Wednesday 6 May 2009

Is 'Toilet Locator' the next killer App?

I blogged earlier that Westminster city council in London using 'SatLav' service to guide you to nearest loo. Now according to news item The Daily Telegraph, UK, The trials and tribulations of searching for the nearest public toilet have been eliminated in Japan – with the launch of mobile phone software guiding users to the nearest lavatories.

The Check A Toilet programme, created by the software company Access Co, enables mobile phone users to search for maps highlighting the nearest public lavatory to their location.

From train stations and beaches to department stores and parks, the software lists thousands of maps highlighting the location of public lavatories, including details of their facilities such as baby changing areas, according to reports in Mainichi Daily News.

Users of the mobile lavatory locator are able to upload the free software from the Check A Toilet website whose lavatory location database stretches across Japan, from Tokyo to the northern city of Sapporo.

The software reflects the continually growing importance of mobile phones in every day life in Japan, home to the largest mobile phone market in the world.

Buying groceries, paying for train tickets and reserving cinema tickets are among a string of increasingly popular uses for mobile phones, 50 million of which are sold in Japan every year.

The Check a Toilet Widget, developed in cooperation with NPO Check, who created the toilet map, is a free download available for phones running Windows Mobile or Symbian S60. Entering your location in the search window brings up a map with the local lavatories indexed by number, with successive clicks revealing whether they are equipped for baby-changing or are barrier-free.

Finding toilets is a very important activity as I am sure everyone must have had a bad day when they need to go to one but cant seem to find one. There are many different ways in which local governments and application developers worldwide are trying to solve this important proble ;)

In Beijing (China), there are electronic maps at all public places with flashing lights showing public toilets. Beijing holds the world record for most public toilets in a city. Australian government has created a National Public Toilet map that can also be easily accessed via mobiles. In New York, USA, Diaroogle is serving as a premier toilet search engine. Have2P is a 'Restroom Locator and Everyday Lifesaver' app on iPhone.

Any more you know of? Feel free to add in the comments.

No comments: