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Boeing's self-cleaning lavatory is a germophobe's dream

Boeing's self-cleaning lavatory is a germophobe's dream

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Sure, seating is getting more cramped, drinks and snacks are going away, and it costs a million dollars just to check a bag — but modern commercial air travel isn't all bad. Take a look at this self-cleaning aircraft lavatory concept from Boeing, which might someday reduce the chances that you'll catch a plague from a fellow passenger.

The concept is simple enough: when you leave the lavatory, the motorized toilet seat moves upright to make sure it's exposed, then special lights flood the entire room in bacteria-killing far ultraviolet radiation. (Boeing even claims the system could make the room smell a little less offensive.) And when you enter, virtually every control is touchless — the flush, soap, faucet, dryer, and seat all operate without having to make direct contact with the previous guest's disgustingness.

Of course, this doesn't help with the fact that you're breathing partially recycled air shared with a bunch of gross humans in close proximity, but it's a start.

Boeing says that the UV-flooded lavatory concept needs "further study" before it's made available to airlines (though many of the touchless fixtures are already in the market). For now, just accept those germs; let them live their lives.