Green means ‘go’ in smart bath­rooms

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - TRAVEL -

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.

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