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This Toilet Tells You When to Go

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 9:08am
Melissa Fassbender, Associate Editor, @melfass

Tooshlights are an LED lighting system that tells you which bathroom stalls are open, eliminating the need for awkward restroom run-ins, or squatting down to search for feet.

“What we are trying to do is bring a problem to light; a problem that we have all had, and to get people to start talking about it and realize that there is a solution,” explains Tooshlights co-founder and CEO Allen Klevens. With more than 100 emails from potential clients in the company’s first week, it seems to be a problem that many have.

“You look and you never know what’s available, it’s frustrating,” he adds.

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Tooshlights runs on proprietary software that can be operated through wired, wireless, or optical technology. “We have technology for all different areas, because all restrooms are different,” says Klevens.

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One of the technologies that didn’t work was heat sensors, which failed because many people wear hats, and the heat couldn’t be measured.

The team often relied on trial and error through the prototyping process. “We went through about a half a dozen prototypes,” says Klevens. Four engineers across the globe provided different point of views, because “four brains are a lot better than one,” he says about the collaborative effort.

During this process, the team also developed a cellphone application to be used in larger venues, such a stadiums or airports. The app allows users to log in a find the nearest restroom, and see how many stalls are available.

The company also extended this ease-of-use to the electricians installing the devices, so they have worked to make the process as simple as possible.

Tooshlights were recently installed at The Hollywood Bowl, a 17,000-seat concert venue, and Director of Operations, Ed Toms has seen a significant improvement in the flow of traffic in the restrooms. “There is no more standing in line waiting for stalls that are actually sitting unoccupied. Our patrons have definitely noticed the difference,” Toms says.

Customers also have the option to customize the lights to their specific venue. “We want to make [Tooshlights] a part of the [bathroom] design,” says Klevens. “We are only going to be growing from this point on, the product sells itself.”

For more information on the Tooshlights, visit www.tooshlights.com.  

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