A Japanese airline is trialling hands-free toilet doors

A Japanese airline is trialling hands-free toilet doors

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has partnered with the Jamco Group to develop the world’s first lavatory that can be exited hands-free, allowing passengers to use plane toilets with “peace of mind”.

The ‘elbow doorknob’ first began trials in mid-June and includes components that allow people to unlock and open lavatory door using – yes, you guessed it – their elbows.

A sliding lock enables bathroom users to lock or unlock the door from the inside, while a second door handle allows the bathroom user to then push the door open to let themselves out.

According to ANA, the product is currently in the development and testing stage, with the airline gathering feedback from customers.

As part of the ANA Care Promise – an initiative from the Japanese carrier “to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience with an emphasis on safety and peace of mind” – this innovation aims to reassure passengers while also creating a clean and comfortable flight experience.

Furthermore, Jamco is also developing a feature that allows passengers to raise and lower toilet seats and lids sat on by others without having to touch them directly.

Tabs make it visually apparent where to touch, providing passengers with peace of mind, according to Jamco.

However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that touching a surface or object contaminated with the coronavirus and then touching one’s own face “is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads”.

In May, the CDC updated its guidance to say that COVID-19 spreads “very easily” from person to person “through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks”.


Featured image source: YouTube/Jamco

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