Niclas fixes a stinky laundry issue – by creating an app
Finding an empty washing machine can be a time-consuming hassle when you live in a dorm. Niclas Lach experienced that. So he took matters into his own hands, sat up for two nights straight and coded a widget that tells him exactly when the machines are free. Pssst, the widget works for most CBS dorms.
Niclas Lach’s smartphone has a widget installed that gives him live updates from the laundry room at Porcelænshaven’s dorm.
At the time of the interview, all the laundry machines and dryers are available.
“I’m all about tech. Because technology can make our lives simpler. And I like that,” says Niclas Lach.
Niclas Lach is studying for his Master in Advanced Economic and Finance at CBS, and he is also the inventor of the widget on his phone.
“It’s annoying and bothersome to bring your smelly laundry all the way down to the basement just to find that none of the machines are free, and then you have to carry it back up to your room. There is a system that can tell you the status of each machine, but it’s old and not easy to access,” says the tech-savvy student.
He explains that he already knew a bit about coding, and since he had some extra time to spare during the lockdown, he decided to throw himself into the project of coding a widget that could give him quick and reliable information about the status in the laundry room.
“It took two really long nights to make this widget work, but that was basically it. Since then, I have made some minor changes and improvements,” says Niclas Lach.
The widget obtains data from the website connected to the laundry machines and dryers, and since the same provider covers the laundry machines and dryers at Nimbusparken, Katrinekollegiet and Holger Danske Kollegiet, students living there can also install the widget and get live updates about the laundry status as well.
“I checked the laundry system, which is Saniva, and just in Copenhagen there are about 100 places that use these machines. That means the widget can work for everyone using that line of laundry machines and dryers,” he says.
So far, the widget is available only for iOS, but all the coding is available on the website github.com. This is also where students can get and copy paste the code into the Scriptable app, and from there, install the widget on their phones. The widget will also show you the balance on your laundry tag and if it needs to be refilled.
Niclas Lach has made a descriptive step-by-step guide on how to install the widget. You just need to follow the link to Github and click the link to your dorm here.
He explains that the widget will also be compatible with other laundry systems. That will only require some extra coding.
“The code is free to download, and if anyone finds themselves in the mood to change the code to make it compatible with other laundry systems, they are free to do so. All I want is to make doing the laundry a little easier when you live in a dorm or somewhere with shared laundry facilities,” he says.
And maybe he will throw himself into similar projects.
“I love coding, and now that I have joined the student organization TechLabs, I might even go ahead a do some more projects like this one,” he says and explains that everyone interested can follow him on Twitter for updates on similar projects.