This week’s assignment involves musing on a piece of interactive technology used in public by multiple people. Perhaps my mind is perpetually in the gutter, but I couldn’t think of anything else other than automatic flushing toilets. It’s an exception when it functions the way it should. In most cases, it goes awry, and it the worst case, leaves you with gnarly public toilet splashback.
Now, the idea of an automatic flushing toilet sounds great. The purpose of the technology is to prevent the spread of germs on the flusher, especially since the hands/ feet used to flush are varying degrees of being soiled. However, most of the time, the you have to press the button anyway.
Here are a few ways the automatic toilet misfires:
- Flushes when placing seat cover, thus shifting or accidentally misplacing carefully arranged concatenation of toilet paper.
- Fails to detect squatters, aka long-range pee’ers (Milkshake scene from There Will Be Blood, anyone?)
- Flushes when on the toilet.
- Fails to flush at all.
- Impossible to find, or difficult to press flushing button that’s saturated with all kinds of craziness.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about solution, and it’s ideal if the flushing is triggered by the locking and unlocking of the stall door. All parties use their hands to exit a stall, and the triggering action intuitively occurs after you’re done with your business.