APEX Insight: Tooshlights is disrupting the airport washroom queues by helping travelers know where to go.
The occupied light above the lavatory is ubiquitous in the airline cabin, but hasn’t gained traction on the ground – until now. Tooshlights supplies wireless communication technology to indicate availability of restroom stalls, as well as gather usage statistics to make the cleaning process more efficient. When a stall is open, its latch wirelessly triggers a green light on the ceiling above it. Once occupied, that light turns red.
Tooshlights launched a pilot project at Los Angeles International Airport in April with data analytics company Infax, which specializes in digitizing heavily trafficked spaces. Allen Klevens, Tooshlights founder and CEO, told APEX Media, “The data is useful for the operations team to analyze and make adjustments in staffing, cleaning schedules, and much more, based on data.”
When Tooshlights started development five years ago, the team was focused on solving the problem of restroom crowding and inefficiency. However, they soon discovered a more private painpoint. “We quickly realized that this was much more than just red light-green light,” said Klevens. “The public has anxiety and shyness surrounding bathroom problems, and have thanked us for creating a product that assists them to the next available stall.”
The Tooshlights team was simply building a lighting system to indicate stall availability until a further opportunity presented itself. “The IoT route wasn’t born until we were almost done with the design phase,” said Klevens. “We saw the abundance of IoT products in the consumer space. However, with building management and facilities teams, it was lagging a bit behind. Data is king and we are providing useful data to our clients that they never knew existed.”
“There was a day when we were trending on Reddit and had over 13,000 upvotes!” – Allen Klevens, Tooshlights
Tooshlights can also be found in Terminal B of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, with more airport partnerships in the works. “The passenger reaction has been awesome,” says Klevens. “There was a day when we were trending on Reddit and had over 13,000 upvotes!”
Moving large numbers of people in and out of restrooms is a matter of some urgency in an airport, but it’s easy to see a solution like Tooshlights deployed at other crowded and time-constrained venues such as sports stadiums, theme parks and live music venues. “Coming up with a product that you hear people ask, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ hundreds and hundreds of times really helps in knowing that I made the right decision to launch Tooshlights,” Klevens said.