Tooshlights from Modus Systems aims to put an end to the embarrassment of not knowing if a public toilet cubicle is occupied or not.
At Internet of Business, we’re often surprised by some of the more novel uses we hear about for IoT technology – but this one really stopped us dead in our tracks.
It’s a smart restroom traffic management system cutely named ‘Tooshlights’ and its makers claim it helps guests “know where to go”.
Today, the company behind Tooshlights has officially launched its new product design at LightShow West 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre in California, and alongside that, has announced a total of $3 million in funding from Texas-based convenience store chain, Buc-ee’s.
Tooshlights, apparently, is addressing one of the biggest pain points in the customer experience when it comes to using public conveniences – long lines and the awkward process of testing the doors to see if a cubicle is occupied.
Each Tooshlights unit consists of a smart latch and indicator light, easy to install in new bathrooms or add as an upgrade to existing facilities. The smart latch communicates wirelessly with the indicator light, so when a cubicle is free, the light is green. When it’s occupied – and the smart latch activated – it turns red.
“A common problem in facility design is flow of movement,” says Allen Klevens, president and chief executive officer of Modus Systems, the parent company Tooshlight, with no apparent hint of irony. This, he explains, affects customer satisfaction and, in turn, profits for airports, hotels, shops, theme parks, office buildings and other premises with toilet facilities.
Better bathroom experiences
New investor Buc-ee’s claims to pride itself on the state of its public bathrooms and, according to the company’s general counsel Jeff Nadalo, is now hoping that Tooshlight will provide its customers with an even better bathroom experience.
According to Tooshlight chief design officer and architect, Ella Hazard, the system was designed “with both form and function top of mind.” Again, there appears to be no pun intended here.
“We are solving a critical pain point for consumers – long wait times – but we are also providing facilities operators and venues with a unique customer differentiator,” she says.
Through the Tooshlights dashboard, venue owners and facilities managers can access real-time, venue-specific information about restroom usage, helping them to make decisions about how restrooms are installed and maintained, based on footfall.
Modus Systems says Tooshlight has already been awarded a US patent for its restroom stall occupancy indicator system and technology. So that’s a relief.