Office toilet woes solved: Japanese company’s amazing system checks if stall is free



Our readers may remember reading about TeamLab and its creative initiatives many times here on The Bridge, and even more of their past work can be found on their website. TeamLab does interior office designs as well, and recently we came across some interesting work they’ve completed.

The project is called the Heaven’s Door, a witty name given to a system that lets office workers see the availability of office bathrooms. Who needs such a system? Well apparently TeamLab did, with its over 100 employees and only two toilets available at that time.

Trips to the bathroom often resulted in long waits or even several visits, so some engineers decided to do something about it.

Heaven’s Door requires that a device be installed for a view of the entire bathroom, and then a smaller device added for each stall. These smaller devices have sensors enabled, detecting whether a stall is occupied or vacant. Office workers can then install a dedicated Chrome extension, which gives you a real time update of the bathroom availability with a single click.

Heaven’s Door was first shown to public at O’Reilly Japan’s Make: Japan Summit back in 2011. If anyone is interested in making their employee’s bathroom life a little less worrisome, prototypes of Heaven’s Door devices are available for 2,000 yen and 3,000 yen (about $20 and $30) on this website.


Photo Credit: Anne Worner via Compfight cc