Smart elevator manufacturer KONE wanted to take its maintenance game up a floor or two and allow customers and users to experience the power of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications for themselves. KONE’s ad agency, Hasan & Partners, thought the best way for people to see what the sensors were saying was to hear their messages. KONE selected a handful of its elevators in different countries around the world, and using IBM Watson text-to-speech technology, literally gave the elevators a voice.
The elevators send data from IoT sensors and controls about their day-to-day and floor-to-floor performance. That data, which is in code, is collected and processed and converted to audio in the cloud. Then it is broadcasted in real-time audio and text on the Internet.
The talking elevators are located in Stockholm, Sweden, in Espoo, Finland, in Cote D’Azur, France, and in Illinois. All the language from each is translated into English.
The company’s goal is to introduce a new level of service in elevator maintenance by using IoT and M2M communications. “This technology connects elevators directly to the cloud, so nobody needs to call for repairs in the future,” says Tobias Wacker, director at Hasan & Partners, in a recent interview in Mediapost.
KONE states that by listening to elevators, the real-time data and analytics help the company accurately predict equipment needs and ensure that its technicians perform maintenance at the right time. Everything is based on actual equipment condition. So in case of malfunctions, the company already knows which part caused the fault and what actions are needed.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Here’s a typical conversation between the KONE elevator and the KONE Cloud, from the elevator located in Illinois:
Elevator: Arrived on floor 0. Travel took 7.1 seconds.
Cloud: Adding that to my analysis.
Elevator: Waiting for passengers in the USA.
Cloud: You’re idle. Check.
Elevator: Minimal bounce while landing on floor 1.
Cloud: Measured. Good landing.
Elevator conversations rank only slightly higher than Muzak on the level of excitement. But they definitely bring the concept—and value—of using intelligent M2M communications up a notch.
Listen to Kone M2M elevators talk live.