It’s a win-win: bathroom providers get paid a nominal fee, and users get relief.
The app, scheduled to launch in January, is being developed by whizzz kids Hillary Young, 26, and Deanna McDonald, 29, a couple of Brooklyn dwellers who saw a natural need and found a high-tech solution that didn’t involve a Starbucks restroom and a line five deep.
Network users with an available bathroom fill out a profile and name their own price, usually about $2.50 per visit. When nature calls, app users will see bathrooms owned by friends of their social network connections, send a request, and — with some luck — find and use a bathroom within five minutes. They then rate their experience for future users.
“When someone is on the Lower East Side of New York, the application will automatically find where they are, and hosts will appear on the map,” says Young.
At most, bathroom users and bathroom owners will be within five degrees of social network separation.
“CLOO’ will show people you’re connected to, and who you have in common,” Young says. “We don’t want anyone walking into a stranger’s home.”
Young figures that CLOO’ needs about 1,000 available bathrooms to launch in New York City, “a large community where everybody knows each other,” she says.
Would you walk into a stranger’s apartment to pee? Would you offer your bathroom to a friend of a social network friend?