Green means ‘go’ in smart bathrooms
One set of restrooms in American Airlines’ Terminal 4 at Los Angeles International Airport is about to get very popular. And very smart.
As part of a pilot program that debuted Wednesday, LAX is showcasing technology that uses overhead lights to signal if a bathroom stall is occupied or not.
“We’ve all been there. You’re in the restroom and someone shakes the door, peeks through the crack, or looks under the stall partition to see your feet,” said Allen Klevens, CEO and founder of Tooshlights. “Bathroom lines get long because people don’t know which stalls are available.”
To solve the problem, Tooshlights uses “smart latches” that send signals to indicator lights in the restroom ceiling. When a stall door is closed and latched, the light over that stall turns red; when the latch is opened, the light turns green.
Alerting travelers to empty restroom stalls will be helpful, of course, but these restrooms are smarter than that. For the pilot project, LAX and Tooshlights have also partnered with Infax Inc. to gather information about restroom usage, including when the restrooms are the busiest.
“The real-time data we will be receiving through our new smart restroom technology will help us respond quicker when issues occur and gain baseline data for daily and weekly restroom usage,” said Michael Christensen, deputy executive director of the facilities and maintenance group at LAWA.
Starting this week, LAX travelers will find the red light/green light system in one men’s and one women’s restroom just past security in American Airlines’ Terminal 4. If the smart restroom pilot is successful, LAX plans to expand the program to other restrooms in Terminal 4 and, then, throughout the airport.
– Harriet Baskas
LAX is opening two restrooms that use overhead lights to signal if a bathroom stall is occupied or not.