November 24, 2009
Techno-toilet needs SMS to open and for payment
Ever have that experience when you need to use the toilet on a journey and it’s locked with no sign of a key anywhere? Well the Finnish Road Administration has devised a brilliant, albeit slightly skewed notion of using your mobile phone to not only open the toilet door, but pay for the use of facilities as well. In certain places in Finland a simple SMS like ‘Open’ to a number provided on the door will be directed to a modem that will send a signal for the door to open. Some toilets in the City of Cophenhagen in Denmark, the city’s technical and environmental department have devised a techno-toilet that allows users to pay for its use via text message. The flaws in the system I see include, if you’ve got to go bad and the system takes long to send an SMS or the modem takes long to send a signal, that’s problem number one. Problem number two could be a scenario where-in you have no balance. Of course these are farfetched situations but when you gotta go, you gotta go.