Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This museum does spotlight technology.

I needed to use the little girls' room. In place of knobs and faucets, there was this. You stuck your hand under the right area and, viola, soap and warm water. No knobs. No blobs of soaps. No adjusting to get the right temperature. No trying to find the automatic on switch on one of those faucets that sits there, mocking you because the sensor is the size of a poppyseed. It's all stainless steel, so it's also easy to clean. It was one large trough.

To the right along this sink, just out of the photo was a small icon for the dryer. But someone walked in at that point and I thought they would find it odd I was taking photos of the bathroom.

After lunch and a full cup of tea, I used another restroom and saw this hand dryer.
It looks straight out of a bad sci-fi movie. In the movie, the evil scientist has taken over the museum and installed these innocent looking hand dryers. You stick your hands down into this and the two pieces clamp together. You're sucked into his laboratory where he turns you into mindless mutants following his every command.

No, it's not that cheesy. You stick your hands into the area highlighted in orange and a blast of hot air dries your hands in about 10 seconds. It doesn't sound possible, I know, because we've all been exposed to those hot air dryers that tell you to hit the button, stick your hands in the air flow, rub them around for 30 seconds until the air ends, then wipe them on your pants because they aren't dry. 10 seconds. I swear. The air wasn't uncomfortably hot. There was a lot of it and it was powerful. I think kids might have some difficulty keeping their hands in the flow as it was that strong.

In the movie, "Desperately Seeking Susan", Madonna's character uses the old style air blowers to dry herself off. You can't do that with this. The air is kept right inside the area where you stick your hands.

Yes, I'm impressed and you could jokingly say, "Doesn't take much to impress you, does it?" But what's also impressive is that these technologies make bathrooms cleaner, cutting down on paper towel waste, and reduce energy consumption. It probably costs a bundle to retrofit a public bathroom and, let's face it, if you are Macy's, Nordstrom's, Bloomingdale's and their ilk, this is not what you want your lavatories to look like, a wall of stainless steel. But in other locations where the masses go, this would be quite effective at doing what needs to be done.

In a museum spotlighting new technologies, you expect something bright and shiny everywhere.

Beverage: English Breakfast tea


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