When Nature Calls – Israel’s P-Pass will tell you where to go ‘under pressure’!
By David E. Kaplan
“When you gotta go; you gotta go!”
We’ve all been in this ‘pressing’ situation when nature calls in a town or city in which you are unacquainted with its lavatorial layout.
Israel, the Startup Nation that is globally recognized as quick to recognise problems in the world and offer solutions have done so again.
Whether you are in New York, London, Tokyo or Johannesburg what could be more important that knowing – when that familiar pressure builds up – where to take a leak.
The country that gave the world WAZE – the Israeli GPS navigation software app that informs drivers of motor vehicles on smartphones and tablet computers on best travel times and route details, have now come up with P-pass – a toilet service developed by Israeli students that tells you – ‘where to go, when you gotta go.’
This will come as a great ‘relief’ for those whose bladders are bursting.
It’s all evolving in Tel Aviv with its enviable reputation as “The city that never sleeps” – and therefore has to provide urinals that need to be on active service 24-hours a day.
In a current trial period, tourists and locals in Tel Aviv are using P-Pass where by just a click of a button, finding where to pee is so much easier.
The P-pass bathroom-finding service also informs users which businesses and eateries are open to those who suddenly need to relieve their bladder.p
“Innovation is about solving real problems and we found not knowing where to pee to be a major issue,” 31 year-old Tal Elharar, a female and one of the student-entrepreneurs behind the P-pass service told NoCamels.com – a leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel based at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.
“Everyone has to go,” says Elharar. “When you’re a tourist, you don’t always want to go into a restaurant or business and ask to use the bathroom. Or, you feel you need to buy something that you don’t really want just so that you can go to the bathroom.”
Partnering Elharar are her fellow MA students in Design, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon Lezion – Ariel Rozenberg, Tal Leibushor-Dahan and Shlomit Joy-Goren.
The P-pass mission, says Elharar, “is to provide quick and easy toilet access to users and potential profit to retailers, transforming it from a usually awkward activity to social responsibility.”
In the same way as consumers in shops usually end up buying more than they planned, toilet uses passing through a shop or restaurant may well broaden their original horizon.
Going to “do my business” may translate into actual “business”!
I’Loo’minating The Way
The P-Pass gives new meaning to the term “peebrain”. These Smart students hit on the “pee patrol” concept as tourists in Europe. “Finding a place to visit the lady’s room in a foreign city became a time-consuming mission when there was no reason it needed to be,” said Elharar.
In January 2019, the P-pass entrepreneurs ran their first pilot of the service in the Carmel Market and Jaffa Flea Market areas of Tel Aviv.
Tourists paid $1 for the four-day trial that afforded them a “reward card to pee wherever they wanted” at any of the participating 30 businesses that collaborated with P-pass, Elharar told NoCamels. “We proved that there is a real need to know where to go when you gotta go and that people are even willing to pay for that convenience.”
Gearing up to launch a second pilot in March, the innovative foursome want to be ready for the 64th Eurovision Song Contest which will be held in Tel Aviv in May, when the lines to toilets could could be at bursting point. After all, some 20,000 visitors are expected to crowd Tel Aviv for this year’s international song competition.
Elharar says where better to initiate the service than in Tel Aviv. “We aim to make the world a better place in answering the call everyone needs answered.”
The Fab Four are graduating soon and “we’re meeting with investors. Tel Aviv is just the beginning; we’re planning on expanding our service and App to all major European cities starting with London, Amsterdam, and Budapest,” she says.
If all goes as planned, the app will eventually offer premium services that will inform folk on the prowl with pressing needs, where the cleanest toilets are and where to find three-ply softness.
As always, Israel “aims” to please!