The absolute worst part of going to any big sporting event or concert isn't the high price of tickets or the expensive beer; it's trying to use the bathroom, especially a stall. Public toilets during events are always packed, smelly, and full of inexplicable puddles. It's the worst. But a new Los Angeles startup called Tooshlights is taking inspiration from parking garages to make restrooms a better experience.
The company's solution is so simple that it's amazing no one ever thought of it before. Many newer parking garages feature lights over the spots to tell drivers from afar whether the space is open, freeing the frustration of thinking you finally have something only to discover a Mini Cooper or Miata hidden between two SUVs. Tooshlights does the same thing for bathrooms by placing LED lights above the stalls with a sensor to know whether it's occupied. Green means open, and red means in use.
The tech is getting its first limited use at the Hollywood Bowl (ironically enough) in LA, and users love it so far. According to Forbes, it's lowering wait times for stalls, and women especially love the idea because there's no guessing if a place is open.
The lights can conceivably keep bathrooms cleaner too. According to Forbes, The connected system knows if a particular stall remains open for too long while the ones around it are consistently used, and the system signals to staff that the spot might need cleaned up a bit.
Tooshlights is still expanding. Company spokesperson Lisa Inouye told Autoblog via email, the company has "pending projects at NFL, NBA, NHL and other stadiums," but it's waiting to announce them until they are official.