Looking for a Public Restroom in Israel? Look to your iPhone!
If there's one fear that plagues parents when they take their kids out on the town – or out of town - it's the fear of having to find a place for them “to go.”
To the bathroom, that is. Whether in the city or on the road, finding a “nice, clean restroom” is one of those problems that few speak about, but many worry over. Unfortunately, there never seems to be one around when you really need it – and often, the ones you do find are not “up to snuff.”
A new iPhone app – called “Public Restrooms” - could help solve the problem. The app lists public restrooms in cities around the country, and classifies them according to their qualities – cleanliness, gender, accessibility, etc. Patrons of the restroom are also invited to give a thumbs up or down for the facilities, and, using the iPhone's location services, users can click on a map and see exactly where the restroom is in relation to where they are, and see the distance in meters.
It's also a social app – meaning that users can add restrooms not on the list, and they will get uploaded and added to the general list, as will user ratings. The app is new, so it only has information on restrooms in several large cities, like Tel Aviv and Ra'anana, but developers hope that it will boast a comprehensive database within several months.
While it sounds like real-life send-up of something you might see on a sitcom, the app is modeled on similar ones visitors to large cities like London and New York can download. And while some of those apps have a bit of “tongue in cheek” reputation, the Israeli version is a serious, well thought out app: It is sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, as a way of raising consciousness among men and women over 40 over the need to get checked for bladder infections. The app was designed and is marketed by Pfizer's local ad agency, Geller Nissim Publicis.
The free app (in Hebrew only) also features information on bladder infections and a phone number (a service sponsored by Pfizer) to call for more information on the problem. And, it also includes an RSS feed of the latest news bulletins – to be used once you find an appropriate restroom, perhaps.