Sitting in the bathroom stall, you simply want peace and quiet. Unfortunately, the person next to you is being loud. The noise has nothing to do with them straining though. Rather, you hear them tapping away on their smartphone as they text, send emails, and play games. Of course, there’s also the occasional awkward moment when their sound blares before they stop the auto-playing video.
Nearly everyone is guilty of using his or her phone in the bathroom. Even if you’re not, you are impacted by those who do. Multiple investigations found that smartphones contain ten times more germs than a toilet seat. And your coworker certainly didn’t wash their hands after that last, quick text. No wonder studies of smartphones frequently find poop germs on every mobile device.
Fortunately, innovative bathrooms in Japan now provide a solution. The Japanese fascination with toilets is nothing new. Yet, NTT Docomo, part of the nation’s largest telecommunications firm, has found a way to improve upon them. Most bathrooms at Narita International Airport, one of the major hubs into Tokyo, now have a separate dispenser in each stall. The small paper wipes are clearly labeled for use on smartphones.
Decked out with red lettering, the white sheets also contain advertisements for free Wi-Fi services and tourist translation apps. Anyone who has been to Japan knows finding reliable, free wifi is particularly challenging. NTT has found a captive and receptive audience with its wipes. The current program is only a pilot study. Smartphone toilet paper wipes will be available until the middle of March at the airport.
To accompany the launch of the cell phone screen wipes, the telecom giant produced an explanatory video. In addition to showing users how to clean their screens, it explains the different wiping techniques commonly used by people squatting over a Japanese toilet. The two main options are the elephant trunk and the horsetail. Check out the whole video below.