Posted on 24/10/2020

#Transport #Japan

Japan is at it again, and this time they're testing hands-free bathroom doors

Using public restrooms is the last resort for most of us because it's not the most hygienic place to be. Our paranoia has become worse since the pandemic and now we're extra careful about what we touch, but this Japanese airline is one step ahead of everyone else. They've been testing out hands-free bathroom doors for their lavatories and this could be a game changer!

Reinventing the flying experience

Reinventing the flying experience 123RF

ANA has been designing a hands-free bathroom door in partnership with JAMCO, a company that supplies products for the aviation industry. Currently they have been able to create a prototype of a new door and it's displayed in the ANA lounge at the Haneda Airport in Tokyo. If this prototype is successful then it will be implemented in the bathroom stalls that are on the aircraft as well.

Instead of a regular door knob, this prototype features an "elbow doorknob" which lets passengers open and close the door with just their elbow. What makes this an effortless experience is the fact that the doorknob slides easily from side to side which inturn allows passengers to efficiently lock and unlock the door. Another feature that has been added is a handle which helps passengers open the folding door using only their elbow. Locking the door from the inside follows the same kind of mechanism, but they have included a large button that uses a spring contraption, so passengers can press the button with their elbow to lock and unlock the door with ease.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, ANA has worked hard to ensure a safe, and clean experience for all of their passengers and the hands-free door is part of their newly announced cleanliness program called the Care Promise. The program was created to show customers that the airline is committed to keeping the ANA spaces pristine and hygienic. Along with the hands-free features, the airline has revealed a few other protocols that are a part of their Care Promise program. All of the ANA crew will be fully equipped with the appropriate protective gear and they will maintain social distance while attending to the passengers. Additionally, there will be vinyl curtains between the passengers and the staff, and the area will be disinfected regularly.

The company has assured their passengers that despite all the precautions their journey will be as comfortable as it was pre-pandemic. "When you begin to travel by air again, we offer you the same comfort and enjoyment as ever," said ANA's president, Yuji Hirako when unveiling the new program.