If you work in an office environment, you probably have felt the need to use the restroom. However, in an office with a large number of employees, sometimes the toilets end up being occupied when you need them. Well, most people would just look for somewhere else to do their business. However, in Japan there is an app for finding an empty toilet stall, so you don’t have to spend time looking for one yourself.
According to telecom company KDDI, Japanese people spend too much time waiting for a rest room to become available. According to the company spokesperson, “That means they are not working and walking around being idle. And that means money is wasted.” Therefore, the company developed an app to help people find the nearest available rest room.
Furthermore, the app will assist people in that it can tell administrators if a stall has been occupied more than 30 minutes. This would help prevent potential accidents. It would also tell if someone is taking a nap in the toilets, which is apparently a problem in Japan. “We believe this service will help people waste less time”, said the KDDI spokesperson.
The app works with sensors on the cubicle doors. These sensors link up with a central computer system. Then the system provides real-time data to a website. This website tells the waiting person how many cubicles are available in a particular region. The system also sends an email to a facility administrator if a toilet is occupied for too long. This will help the administrators deal with any possible accidents or troubles that may occur.
So far, the app is only available in Japan. The app developers, KDDI Corp, plan to launch the service at office buildings first. Then they will install the system at public restrooms at sports stations, shopping malls and other places where the facilities are often crowded. This has the potential of being a very important app; sometimes, you simply can’t find vacant toilets.
KDDI might be on to something there. However, they are not the first people to create a toilet-finder app. A search on Google Play Store would reveal several other apps that help you find a rest room.