The concept of a cyber-laundry is based on the popularity of cyber-cafes and coin-operated laundries. The public laundries known as 'coin laundries' appeal to large masses of people who cannot afford to own their own washing machines. Millions of people who do not own washing machines have been taking their clothes to coin laundries, for decades. The popularity of cyber-cafes has expanded tremendously since the first cybe-cafes were opened. Today there are cyber-cafes in nearly every major city. In a cyber-cafe, people pay a few dollars to sit down, use a computer, they can also order coffee.
My idea for cyber-laundries is an attempt to combine the popularity of cyber-cafes with the popularity of coin laundries. A cyber-laundry would be equipped with coin-operated washing machines and dryers, it would also be equipped with computers. Poeple who use cyber-laundries could bring in their clothes, and put their clothes into a washing machine, so their clothing can be washed. While they are waiting for their clothes to wash, they can sit down at a computer and browse internet websites.
Cyber-laundries should appeal to a large class of people who lack the money to buy their own washing machines, dryers, and computers. Since people usually wash their clothes once every week, a visit to a cyber-laundry could become a weekly routine. When people are in the laundry washing their clothes, they can use the computer to check their e-mail, to pay bills online, or to perform other online tasks. They may simply entertain themselves by looking at websites, so their trip to the laundry won't be so boring.
Computer graphic illustration by Anthony Ratkov.