We’ve all had those awkward moments in public restrooms when we’re not sure whether a stall’s occupied or not. At LAX, you no longer have to peek under the door for feet, try handles, or risk walking in on someone. That’s because they’ve installed “Tooshlights,” a new Smart Bathroom system, in the restrooms of Terminal 4.
The system has a light above the door of each stall, which is green when the stall is empty, but turns red when the door of the stall is locked.
“Tooshlights” founder and president Allen Klevens believes it has solved an all-too-common problem:
Everybody that I’ve spoken to over the years, everybody’s had this issue. 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.
We’ve received email after email saying ‘Thank you.’
But here’s where the system gets weird. The smart locks also record usage data such a how often each stall is used and at what times. The motive is to be able to know best when to clean the restrooms and track people in emergency situations, but it’s a bit odd that technology is being used to track people’s restroom habits.
If the new restroom system is met with positive reception, it may become as commonplace as automatic faucets are today. What do you think? Is the system cool, or is it an unnecessary invasion of privacy?