PCOMP: Observation

This is a towel dispenser in the bathroom at one of my favorite bars.  The thing that is remarkable about this towel dispenser is that it knows if there is a paper towel waiting to be torn from the dispenser and won’t shoot out more paper towels if this is the case.  This seems pretty simple, but it confused me and a lot of other guys I noticed trying to get more towels.  For obvious reasons, I couldn’t document this (I guess I could have secretly left a camera somewhere).  It was funny to watch guys continually wave there hand across, trying to get that second bit of towel, thinking that the machine had broken.  Some guys tore off the towel and tried again and got another towel.  Others just gave up.  So it’s sort of a step towards a more sustainable towel dispenser.  The directions are kind of redundant.  I would assume that most people are familiar with these towel dispensers but it tells us both to wave our hand and that it’s motion activated.  But it doesn’t say we’re only supposed to get one towel.  It tells us that implicitly through it’s action.


Author: owen ribbit


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