Spotlight On… Public Toilets? And One Public Toilet App
Public toilets are the unsung hero of modern societies. They are taken for granted in most countries but not in Singapore, where the Restroom Association Singapore (RAS) has undertaken the commitment of maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of every single public restroom in the island nation. Toilets are something everyone uses every day and as such, can be a significant risk to spreading epidemics if they are not maintained well or kept in perpetual hygienic conditions.
To aid in the endeavor of pointing to a better toilet, the RAS have resorted to modern technology. There is an app - LOO Connect - that will locate the nearest restroom and at the same time allow visitors to provide live feedback on the condition of the restroom. A person in search of a toilet does not need to get inside before knowing the condition of the toilet. In Singapore, this is done on a non-profit basis but there is tremendous profit potential in these sorts of services, especially on a regional and global platform. With the world today more closely connected with budget travel, everyone is in a new place, a new town or new country very frequently in their lives. Every single one of them needs a restroom in a public place at some point in the day. This app lends itself well to free downloads and employs the advertisement revenue model. Users get to find the toilet they prefer, the get to grouse about ones that are bad and RAS makes sure the toilet gets up to spec. Everyone wins.
Revenue models for free apps is strictly ad-based. The success rate is based on pure numbers. The higher the number of applications downloaded and in use, the higher the number of people that will click on the advertisement that appears. The app also works on crowd input. The more people who participate leads to better bathrooms and better service, which of course, results in more people using the app.
Who ever would've thought such creative genius could center around something like public restroom facilities? Not sure about you, but this makes me think that maybe I need to stop looking for the next "big idea" and focus on more practical, every day things that are likely right under my nose. (or bum).. Thoughts? If so, please share them below!
Tabitha Jean Naylor