SMS opens public toilets in Finland

To unlock the door of one of the roadside toilets along Finland's freeway system, you'll now have to send it a text message with your mobile phone.
The toilets have been secured, and a sign outside explains that the user just sends the word "open" (in Finish) to a short code and the door will be unlocked remotely. The company managing the service will keep a short term record of all users phone numbers, simply so that if the toilet is then damaged by criminals, they can be traced by the police.
Link (Via SMS Text News) (Thanks, Ryan Johnson!)

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  1. Boy, Big Brother is REALLY watching now… “The company managing the service will keep a short term record of all users phone numbers, simply so that if the toilet is then damaged by criminals, they can be traced by the police.”
    I’ll be really interested to see what kind of spam or telemarketing is generated from this list.

  2. “Are you having trouble getting it out? Need a little boost to make it flow better? Try FinLax, the ExLax proudly made in Finland.”

    “Need a little entertainment while you’re in the Johns? Text GAMES to 55555 for cool mobile games for you to enjoy and forget about the smell!”

  3. It’s in Finland. More mobile subscriptions than residents and you can not get a subscription that does not include texting.

  4. >So the “Public” toilet can only be used if you purchase a cell phone plan with texting.

    And know the Finnish word for “open.”

  5. So when your battery is dead find a tree… if you get hauled off to the police station can you use the dead battery defense?

  6. Bad day: someone steals your cellphone.

    Really bad day: they use it to go on a toilet-trashing rampage and you get blamed

  7. so when I send the message, door just pops open? what if someone’s already in there?!

    if someone can please leak out the phone numbers then rest of the world can play pranks on finnish… they’ll be so scared going to loo, you never know when the door would pop open…. hahahaa!

  8. What a pain. I think I’d rather finger print scan my thumb. If they’re going to force big brother crap on us, may as well make it easy for us.

  9. Would I be the only person wondering if the door will open if it is still occupied by another user?

  10. Creepy: having Big Brother (“vanhin veljeni” in the Mothertongue… sort of) tracking your roadside, er… alone time.

    Creepier: Having your bathroom door unlock itself every time some Finnish Ashton Kutcher-type drives past and texts your door to open.

  11. I predict public urination is going to abruptly become a bigger problem in Finland than roadside toilet-vandalism was.

  12. As a roadie for finnish bands I could say I have plenty of experience on the road side toilets, and I have to say it’s a very welcome idea.

    As nice and civilized most of the Finnish people seem like, it must be partly due to fact that so many of them erupt all their road rage and childhood traumas in most violent manner in road side toilets, making them the most vandalized thing in Finland.

  13. Creepier: Having your bathroom door unlock itself every time some Finnish Ashton Kutcher-type drives past and texts your door to open.

    Thanks for planning my next vacation!

  14. This sounds like a big improvement on the Australian system to stop vandalizing of public toilets, which is to keep them locked at all times.

  15. #17

    Roadside urination is the norm in Finland. Most wayside rests north of Tampere are mere parking lots with no facilities to speak of. Unless you consider birch trees acceptable urine targets. The cops don’t care as long as they don’t catch you pissing downtown.

  16. Occasionally people need to do more than urinate.

    So, we’re to assume that text messaging in Finland is as common as having an excretory system? No homeless people? No old people? No people who like to actually talk on the phone instead of texting? No people whose phones are dead? No people who desperately need to use the crapper and don’t want to fiddle with a text message to do it?

  17. #22,

    Don’t travel in Nepal. Not only will you have to shit in the middle of a field, you’ll be a tourist attraction for the locals while you’re doing it.

  18. I’m already able to buy soft drinks, tram/metro tickets and participate in different kinds of entertainment or public services by SMS, so this is just a small continuation to what already is available.

    The basic fee for an SMS is around 6-7 cents. There are a lot of food/gas stations along the main roads to stop by too.

  19. So now an interruption in cell service means an interruption in access to public toilets in Finland? With Murphy’s Law still in effect, after every cell disruption or visit by a tourist without a phone I’d expect to find some “deposits” located right outside the locked door. So close, and yet so far…

  20. And this passes for news? Where do these people come from? As vib explained it already, in many cases SMS equals cash in Finland.

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