Boeing wants to make your airplane bathroom experience more pleasant, with the help of germ-destroying lights. The company has introduced a self-cleaning bathroom prototype to combat the dirty reality of public bathrooms, according to CNET.
The prototype looks similar to a standard bathroom, equipped with brighter lights and touchless fixtures. In order to minimize the amount of contact that customers need to have with bathroom surfaces, the toilet seat and trash flap both open on their own, while the faucets, soap dispenser, and hand dryer turn on with a wave of the hand. After a passenger uses the bathroom and exits, everything is bathed in a sterilizing Far UV light for three seconds, killing 99.9 percent of germs.
"In the prototype, we position the lights throughout the lavatory so that it floods the touch surfaces like the toilet seat, sink and countertops with the UV light once a person exits the lavatory," Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Director of Environmental Performance, explains in a press release. "This sanitizing even helps eliminate odors.”
Because plane equipment has to go through rigorous testing before it makes it into the air, it might be a while before these self-cleaning lavatories make it onto your flight. Boeing is also still working on a hands-free latch for the door as well as a vacuum vent system to clean the floors.