The Aircraft Interiors Expo was this past week in Hamburg, with people flocking in droves to catch a glimpse of the latest technology is set to be released in 2018. The basis for the large display is to show case "in-flight entertainment, connectivity, passenger experience and passenger services" to airline companies. There were ideas rolled out like potential napping spots in cargo hold, and optimally spaced passenger seats, but one new item appeared to get a lot attention: a programmable bidet.
Exhibiting several new product's for their smart ergonomic toilet, Zodiac Aerospace enhanced the mile-high throne's sanitary options, adding a hands-free bidet and UV lighting array (meant for sterilized disinfection). The company has noted that they are primarily working with carriers from the Eastern hemisphere, where the toilet feature is slightly more common.
Although it may look like a device from saw, the design of the bidet is simple. It's base is fixed to the small airplane toilet and users are able to slide and twist the mechanism into position, ensuring a fresh, localized cleaning. And it's the 21st-century, so users will be able to automatically control the bidet from a panel on the wall, since sanitation can be a major issue in a confined space like an airplane cabin.
This isn't the first time a bidet has made it's way onto a plane though. Per One Mile at a Time, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has a luxury bidet available in some of it's refurbished Boeing models. But, these new cleanly fixtures are meant to used by all passengers, not just the one's who can afford to fly first-class (and have a private lavatory).
Yet, many smaller commercial airlines already have an issue with total weight, so carrying more water just to have a bidet may take a detrimental toll on the plane. But, Zodiac already thought and gives each customer the ability to customize their smart toilet so that it fits the plane's specifications. According to Travel + Leisure, each bidet will be different, as one may have a "front and back spritzer" option, while another may have a steady flow "like running fountains." The decision is strictly up to each carrier.
Zodiac Aerospace has not yet announced a specific release date for their budget bidets, but seeing as they recently showcased them in Germany, you may soon see something new next time you brave the airplane lavatory.