This is absolutely terrifying. I'm a disabled person who falls a lot and occasionally needs assistance. Am I going to have to need to start looking up whether I'll be able to use public conveniences without violent and humiliating consequence, because of moral panic?— sophia, vulture appreciator (@pylonfan) August 16, 2019
The city of Porthcawl in Wales plans to replace its Griffin Park public toilets with new units that feature high-tech systems designed to police the behavior within, specifically people who go in to have sex or the homeless who would sleep there. Step out of line, and the doors can fly open, alarms sound, and you may get hit with a spray of water. The toilets will cost £170,000 (approximately $200,000), so people will have to pay a fee to use them.
Movement sensors inside the toilets will respond to "violent" activity, while weight sensors will be installed to detect the entrance of more than one person, triggering the deterrent measures. The toilets have also been designed to prevent rough sleepers taking shelter inside: If a user remains in the toilet for too long, a warning message will play, while the lights and heating will switch off.
The planning documents also include a high pressure floor and wall washer, which could activate after every use of the toilet, or less frequently. An automated 10-minute "deep clean" process will take place every night.
What could possibly go wrong? An overweight person, a wheelchair, a caregiver, or a parent helping a child could trip the weight sensors. Spilling water or a wasp could spark anyone to violent activity. These measures could actually attract exhibitionists and those who need a shower. And how is all that automatic cleaning and spraying going to affect the electronics? One would think that the fee for access would in itself be a deterrent, but at the cost of the technology, the city could hire a staff of human attendants who would not only deter mischief, but avoid false positive responses. Read about the plan at CNN. -via Boing Boing