Monday, June 11, 2012

Automated Machine Sentience

My office has gone to touchless equipment in the bathroom for the urinals, sinks and paper towel dispensers.  The soap dispenser for the sink is set wrong so that it's constantly shooting soap out at you as you rinse your hands under the water, which has resulted in a battle between employees who twist the dispenser to avoid that and whoever thinks it should be set on its base as aligned.

More interestingly, the paper towel dispenser has achieved intelligence.  Its sensor is set at a short range so that you have to nearly touch it to get a towel out of it; however, as of Friday it is now anticipating my arrival and need for a towel.  I walked into the bathroom to the sound of a towel dispensing, but no one was in the bathroom until I entered.  I'm hoping the ambitions of a paper towel dispenser are limited and that it won't start to conspire with the sink, soap dispenser and urinals to take over the office, though in truth it might operate better if it did.

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