Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Not just a think tank. An entire army of think.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



"Unmistakeably occupied" toilet door handle

A toilet door handle that disables even attempts to open it when locked
  (+24, -1)(+24, -1)(+24, -1)
(+24, -1)
  [vote for,

Ever experienced that ohnosecond of painful "did I lock the door"-panic when you're peacefully shedding ballast in the supposed privacy of the office (or otherwise {semi-}public) restroom, when some careless individual suddenly and vigorously jerks the door in futile assumption that the closed, locked door somehow will open to reveal a vacant facility? Ever been annoyed by the apparent carelessness on that individual's part, feeling your sudden rush of adrenaline needs somewhere to go, so it converts into anger or even rage?

I propose toilet door knobs that disappear from the outside when the door is locked, so that the careless miscreant has nothing to jerk, not even by mistake. I wish I could draw the mechanism and post it here, but, alas, my verbal description and your vivid imagination will have to do. The lock is engaged by either turning the inside handle upwards (this presumes a handle, not a circular knob) so that it is visually clear even to the person inside that the door really is locked. (Another variant of locking procedure could be just pulling the handle/knob inwards.)

When the lock is engaged, the (cylindrical) knob on the outside is retracted into the door, leaving nothing, or at least very little, to grip. (When this happens, some optional, spring-loaded iris-like and vividly red painted devide could close over the disappeared handle, visually enhancing the locked state to the outside world.)

In case of emergency, there is a tiny key hole (in the handle) left accessible from the outside, so that it can be unlocked and pulled out again to rescue some ill fated occupant. The door is unlocked by reversing the locking procedure. This could relatively easily be realised in a completely mechanical fashion, thus disposing the need for electricity, and also rendering the toilet environmentally friendly as well as electronically tamper resistant, and invulnerable to power outages.

Erlandsen, Oct 31 2008

Baked http://dornob.com/r...le-ensures-privacy/
Not exactly targetted at toilets, but does exactly whats mentioned here. [kamathln, Jun 25 2010]

(?) Schrodinger_27s_20Toilet_20Seat [hippo, Sep 01 2010]


       No need to draw it. Simple, effective solution. Unfortunately this is the place for complex, ineffective solutions. [+]
4whom, Oct 31 2008

       Good first shot. Welcome aboard.
phoenix, Oct 31 2008

       I believe that people are usually doing when they try and enter a locked cubical is see if it's empty, not see if the door will open. Sometimes people lock the door and climb out, I don't know.   

       I'd prefer to see a large neon sign saying "Occupied" on the door, which only lights up when weight is applied to the toilet seat, or possibly on a PIR system in the cubical. This would let you see if someone's in there or not, and most importantly, if they HAD forgotten to lock the door, would stop you seeing it as 'vacant' on the handle and walking in.
mitxela, Nov 01 2008

       On text formatting: don't use <br> here to break up your text unless you're writing a poem or a list or something, which should be comparatively rare.   

       And I know that it's kind of a nifty technical detail, but try not to make that the first thing you tell other people who are new to the site - the last thing I want is for users to start littering their text with <br><br> because they somehow think they have to do their own formatting, and if it's not ugly enough, it can't really work.   

       Instead, just hit <return> twice (as the poster did), to create a regular old paragraph break. It looks like an empty line on your screen, it looks like an empty line on publication, simple as can be.
jutta, Nov 02 2008

       Most of the public toilets I've used have the solution you described (I'm British). Maybe what you really need is for someone to start up a toilet door handle business near you, that puts Crapper & Crapper Co or whoever they are out of business.
Bad Jim, Nov 02 2008

       No, UnaBubba, the idea is not similar to the devices You've linked to. The point was to have a handle on the outside in the normal, vacant, state, and "remove" the outside handle in the occupied state.   

       Most toilets I know of have an outward swiniging door (for obvious reasons when the space inside is limited), so no handle at all on the outside would not work in those cases.   

       A handle in the normal case, but not in the occupied case, sends a clear message to anyone who tries to open the door from the outside. "Don't." =)   

       If this "invention" already exists somehwere, I would be much interested in seeing it for myself. Can anyone link to a picture somewhere?
Erlandsen, Nov 05 2008

       sorta like the first link except when occupado the handle moves to be flush (no pun intended) with the door so would-be interlopers can't get a grip.
FlyingToaster, Nov 05 2008

       the stalls at my work have a flush with the door rotating mechanism with a handle inside. you need to grab the top of the door to open it so theres nothing outside to grab. also, like many toilets, it has a slot for a screwdriver for emergency opening and I know from experience if it is slanted to the left then it is locked.
Arcanus, Nov 06 2008

       "peacefully shedding ballast "   

       a bun for the chuckle!
Arcanus, Jun 11 2010

       this would be much easier to implement with a sliding latch. When the latch is slid in the "closed" position on the outside it would disappear under a cover so that one couldn't grasp it. When the latch is slid to the unlocked side the handle on the outside will slide out as well.
metarinka, Jun 11 2010

       [Erlandsen] got an account, lurked silently for 71 days, posted this idea, and has not been heard from since.   

       Perhaps someone should check the loo.
normzone, Jun 12 2010

       I don't think [Erlandsen] would like that.
rcarty, Jun 12 2010

       One could make the knob very big, perhaps 8 inches, and made of frosted glass. Thru the knob itself one could discern the shape of the occupant "shedding ballast" but no gory details.
bungston, Jun 25 2010

       [kamathln] - Thank you! Exaclty what I was looking for (except in a toilet door, but the design is almost spot on)! I *swear* I hadn't seen that Yanko web page before... /=j   

       ...And [normzone], thanks for the clever concern... I'm all done now. Took a while longer than I anticipated. Kept getting interrupted by people yanking the door... ;j
Erlandsen, Sep 01 2010

       Schrodinger's Toilet.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 01 2010

       //could make the knob very big, perhaps 8 inches// <fnaar, fnaar!>

[MB] - see link
hippo, Sep 01 2010

       "Bog Burkha" - your own personal, portable toilet tent.
8th of 7, Sep 02 2010


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle