Noting that the world of public bathroom sanitation technology is on the brink of a scientific revolution, researchers from Stanford University announced earlier this week that they were on the cusp of inventing a motion sensor sink that works on the first try.
“After years of arduous research and test trials, we have finally built a motion-operated sink that works after only two or three swipes of your hand,” said electrical engineer Dr. Archie Mendez. “We believe that in the next five to ten years, advances in infrared sensing will allow us to create one that works on the first attempt.”
According to a Surgeon General report, only 30 percent of rest stops and other public bathrooms in the U.S. have functioning automatic faucets. The remaining 70 percent are props, put there solely for aesthetics.
The Department of Health and Human Services decided to fund the Stanford study to prevent millions of Americans from giving up hope and walking around with “yucky, germy hands.”
“We found that the average number of swipes it takes to get a motion sensor sink to function was 5.6,” said HHS Chief Handwashing Expert Ruth Gardner, “and that’s not including soap.”
Despite the progress Dr. Mendez and his team have made, he says there are no guarantees, as the field of personal hygiene is a chaotic and complex one.
“Automatic sinks are just the first step in the process,” he said. “We still have no idea how to make an air-powered hand dryer that actually dries your hands.”