09. 07. 2007
Cool bathrooms at New York's Bar 89
If you go looking for the restrooms at Bar 89 in SoHo, instead of a private room for women and a separate one for men, you'll encounter an open area upstairs with a row of hi-tech looking stalls. Through the glass doors, you can see the toilet and sink lit up in red and blue. I observed someone going into one of them, and when they closed the door, after a second or two, the glass door became opaque and the word "occupied" lit up at the top of the door. I entered a stall, saw that I could still see the guy sitting on the sofa across from me, and assuming that I was no more invisible to him than he was to me, quickly exited. But I went back to investigate and take some photos with my cell phone camera (my Helio Ocean).
Just as I was thinking that I need to get out more in order to keep up with bathroom technology, I realized that everyone in the place was talking about the crazy doors - it's quite a conversation piece. I never did get to the bottom of how they work; it's either the lock or some kind of motion sensor that causes the door to fog up.
I complain about auto-flush toilets (which often flush at random) and automatic faucets, but this is much worse. What if it malfunctions while you're in there?