Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Occupied: LAX’s First Smart Bathrooms Are Now Open

Public bathrooms are stressful for those on both sides of the bathroom stall. Knocking on the door and asking if someone’s inside is annoying and opening the door without warning can be awful. With this in mind, LAX decided to install some lights on their bathrooms, signaling when someone is inside or not.

Mashable reports that the system is called “Tooshlights,” featuring light bulbs that are installed on the outside of each stall. When the stall is empty the light turns green, and when the bathroom stall is occupied the light turns red.

The system was designed by Allen Klevens, who believes that the lights solve an important problem. “Everybody that I’ve spoken to over the years, everybody’s had this issue,” he said. “Either you’ve been on the one side of the stall and somebody’s tried to walk in and you feel uncomfortable, or you’ve been on the outside and people are standing there and waiting to see who comes out of the stall when there could be three or four stalls available.”

It all sounds understandable enough, just… clunky. A light bulb on the outside of each stall equals a whole lot of light bulbs and it can be confusing when there’s a big line. And what happens when those bulbs go out?

The the new “smart lock” feature also records the stalls’ use, which could help when it comes to maintenance, cleaning, and to evaluate how the restrooms are meeting user demands.



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