Wireless and the Wash, Too
By Jeff Goldman, Thu Aug 28 10:45:00 GMT 2003

Laundromat - an ideal location for Wi-Fi installation.

There's a lot of discussion these days about various hotspot business models, but one thing everyone agrees upon is that location is key. Airports and hotels, places where people are stuck away from home or the office for long periods of time, are perfect locations-- coffee shops and bookstores are more debatable.

That leaves one extremely logical market largely untapped: laundromats.

Think about it: anyone who goes to a laundromat has to stay there for at least an hour or two-- wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to catch on work or emails while you're there? For college students, creative types, anyone who uses a laundromat but still needs to get work done, it's an ideal location. Just like a hotel or an airport, you're stuck there, and you might as well get something done in the meantime.

And one company is taking notice: Serynade Wireless of San Francisco just announced a new laundromat-specific hotspot kit. The company acknowledges that its target audience has a lower income than most, but points out that this captive audience, particularly when they're students, could prove an ideal target.

A test run at the Bar of Soap Laundromat in Dallas, Texas resulted in a marked increase in the number of laptop-toting patrons, and Serynade aims to exceed 200 locations by the end of the year.

Next up, they say, will be a wireless alert system to let you know when your wash is done, or when a dryer is available. Now THAT'S creative use of Wi-Fi!