#1  
Old 07-11-2018, 02:55 PM
mixdenny mixdenny is offline
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Elevators with no floor buttons.

I was in a professional building last week and came across an elevator system I had not seen before. There were 5 elevators in the hallway. You used a touch screen display to find and select the department you want to visit. It then assigns an elevator to you and that door opens. Step inside and it takes you to the floor you are going to. There are no controls in the car at all, just a light to indicate which floor you stop at. Oh well, what can go wrong?

Dennis

Last edited by mixdenny; 07-11-2018 at 02:55 PM.
  #2  
Old 07-11-2018, 02:58 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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I don't know. What can go wrong?
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:00 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is online now
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I'd assume something can wrong if it is a building like mine where departments often change floors and it isn't updated on the touchscreen system.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:07 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
I'd assume something can wrong if it is a building like mine where departments often change floors and it isn't updated on the touchscreen system.
Wouldn't the workers have trouble getting to their new floor?
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:07 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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I interviewed in a building like that once. The elevator floor opening was controlled by the Front Desk. You could only get off on your assigned floor or the ground floor.

It's the ultimate in Control. Or Paranoia.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:10 PM
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Lots of possible errors: Changing your mind on where you want to go, realizing you made a mistake, etc. You have to get off the elevator at the wrong floor, push the new destination, wait for the elevator to come, etc. (Vs. you're on your way from 1 to 5, realize you need to see Judy on 3, push 3 quickly.)

Then there's newbies. You make a selection, get on, someone just walking up gets on, stares at the panel, not fun stuff ensues.

What if you don't know the department? You only know it's Fred in room 403. How long does it take you to figure out how to get to the 4th floor?

And on and on and on.

This is an "F" for user friendly design.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:18 PM
GaryM GaryM is online now
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I'm disappointed. I read the title as "no floor bottoms".
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:23 PM
Folly Folly is offline
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I'm sure it could be implemented badly, but I worked in a building in the past where it worked great.
Key in your floor in a keypad by the entrance as you enter the building.
Go to the elevator letter that flashes at you to find an open elevator waiting for you.
Get to the elevator at about the same time as 2 or 3 other people.
The elevator detects that the 3 or 4 people have gotten on and immediately closes the door and gets going.
  #9  
Old 07-11-2018, 03:23 PM
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"Welcome to the all-new Acme Premier elevator, the latest in technology. The Acme Premier can understand English and will take you wherever you want to go. Please state your desired floor."

"Four, please."

"Going to floor ten as requested. Please fasten your seat belts as it will be a bumpy ride."

"No, not ten! Four! Four!"

"Now arriving at floor ten. Please exit the elevator and do not dawdle, as others are waiting."

"You took me to the wrong floor! I want floor four, dammit!"

"Patrons will not talk back to the elevator. Patrons who sass the elevator will be sorry. It's a long way down, remember. Now get out!"
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:48 PM
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Thank you for traveling Ajax.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:28 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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We have that setup in my building. It supposedly cuts down on the scenario where everybody crams into the first available elevator by "pre-sorting" the riders into different cars.

It's also a security precaution. We were having problems with thieves and disgruntled ex-clients trying to come up and cause trouble.
  #12  
Old 07-11-2018, 04:35 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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Scottish voice-activated elevator.

https://youtu.be/NMS2VnDveP8
  #13  
Old 07-11-2018, 05:30 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I once stayed in a hotel that used exactly that system. You pushed your floor on a keypad in the elevator lobby and bye and bye an elevator came along and took you and others, stopping only at the floors requested. Going down, you just pushed the elevator button. I think there was way to go between floors (I assume the staff had some kind of override); you just went between your floor and the lobby. I can't remember where this was. I think it was actually activated by your room key.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:37 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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So, if two people come in at the same time, but are going to different floors, how do the elevators indicate which one is for whom?
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:05 PM
RitterSport RitterSport is offline
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While I'm sure security is the reason for this in some buildings, in my office building and other buildings I've been in, I'm pretty sure the reason is to save energy by moving people more efficiently.

In my building, they spent a lot of money switching from the regular up/down button, floor buttons in the elevator system to the current system where you choose your floor on a screen outside of the elevator and it tells you where to go. You can choose any floor in your elevator bank from any other floor, so it's definitely not security. They wouldn't spend all that money for no reason, so we all suspect that it helped them get green certification or something like that.

I've been in other buildings where only the ground floor makes you choose a floor first. But, once you're on another floor, you go with the old system -- press up or down then choose the floor inside the elevator. Maybe they get partial credit for that.

I don't know why it's more efficient or greener to do it that way, but I can't think of any other reason why my building would change things over.

The real downside to the system is that now I find when I'm in a regular building, I often get into the elevator and just wait, forgetting to press the floor I want to go to. More than once, I've gotten in, the doors close, and I just wait. I finally notice I'm not moving (or the doors reopen to let others in) and I remember to press the floor button.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:06 PM
RitterSport RitterSport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
So, if two people come in at the same time, but are going to different floors, how do the elevators indicate which one is for whom?
In my building, every floor has several touchscreens. You press your desired floor and the elevator number shows up. Then, someone else presses his/her floor and they get one assigned (may be the same elevator, which can make multiple stops).
  #17  
Old 07-11-2018, 06:14 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
I once stayed in a hotel that used exactly that system. You pushed your floor on a keypad in the elevator lobby and bye and bye an elevator came along and took you and others, stopping only at the floors requested. Going down, you just pushed the elevator button. I think there was way to go between floors (I assume the staff had some kind of override); you just went between your floor and the lobby. I can't remember where this was. I think it was actually activated by your room key.
Yes, our hotel in Naples had this system. I quite liked it. There wasn't that much in Naples that I did like, so it's nice to have at least one good memory.
  #18  
Old 07-11-2018, 07:38 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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It's call "destination dispatch" and as mentioned above, it sorts riders by floor so at the start of the day, or coming back from lunch, each elevator doesn't need to stop at every floor. It may seem goofy to have to pre-select your floor when you're the only person in the lobby, but the system really shines at "rush hour" when an elevator full of people only needs to go to one or two floors to unload passengers, then zip back to the lobby for more.

How it works is you just punch in your desired floor and the keypad then displays a letter and arrow to guide you to the appropriate elevator.

The security aspect where the lobby desk guard does that for you so you can't wander the building is just a neat side effect. Another benefit is energy efficiency, but the primary purpose is maximizing efficiency of an elevator system. I once saw a writeup of how someone like Otis or Schindler converted a hotel's elevators to destination dispatch and the wait times for an elevator to arrive and trip times were both greatly improved just with what's essentially a software update. (No faster motors, no adding elevators, etc.)
  #19  
Old 07-12-2018, 03:23 AM
friedo friedo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
So, if two people come in at the same time, but are going to different floors, how do the elevators indicate which one is for whom?
The touchscreen tells you what elevator to go to after you select your floor.

I worked in a building with this system and it worked great. Made things very efficient because people would be sorted according to what floor they were going to, with nearby floors sorted to the same car. You rarely had to wait more than ten seconds for an elevator, either up or down.
  #20  
Old 07-12-2018, 06:46 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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But what if Jason Voorhees or Michael Meyers is chasing you and you don’t want him to know which floor you’re getting off at?

ETA: and how are our kids supposed to play elevator tag when they get bored on “Take Your Kids to Work Day”?

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 07-12-2018 at 06:48 AM.
  #21  
Old 07-12-2018, 07:50 AM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Are such systems ADA-compliant? (ADA=Americans with Disabilities Act).

How does a blind person (for example) operate the touchscreen and then know where their assigned elevator is? Is there some provision for this?
  #22  
Old 07-12-2018, 08:25 AM
Sarabellum1976 Sarabellum1976 is offline
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I know that paternoster elevators are of course terribly dangerous, but they are certainly efficient and fast. I wonder whether they could develop a modern, safer version nowadays?
  #23  
Old 07-12-2018, 01:41 PM
xnylder xnylder is offline
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Buttonless elevators are being implemented on some newer cruise ships (such as the Carnival Horizon). Apparently it's been a mess. Older, less-tech-savvy passengers don't get them, and neither do tipsy passengers of all ages. Returning cruisers from other ships are used to jumping into whichever elevator is available and are surprised when they can't get to their expected floor.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:48 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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It wasn't by department, but one of my last clients had an arrangement similar to that described in the OP. There were two screens on each floor; you touched your card to the screen, called which floor you wanted and the system told you which elevator to use. If you were trying to reach an unauthorized floor there was a message saying so, and one of the four lifts responded only to specific people's cards (building management, security). The system didn't require each individual person to card in: so long as one person in a group was authorized to access a floor, the whole group could.

It worked well, although we used to joke trying to figure out if the system was trying to equalize the mileage of each car or what; it didn't necessarily assign you the nearest one and might even assign one which was currently going away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Are such systems ADA-compliant? (ADA=Americans with Disabilities Act).

How does a blind person (for example) operate the touchscreen and then know where their assigned elevator is? Is there some provision for this?
In each floor there was a set of buttons activated by inserting the card, seeing people simply found the screens easier. And the system gave the lift both on-screen and by voice. Not speaking Spanish was more of a problem.

Last edited by Nava; 07-12-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:54 PM
Folly Folly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Are such systems ADA-compliant? (ADA=Americans with Disabilities Act).

How does a blind person (for example) operate the touchscreen and then know where their assigned elevator is? Is there some provision for this?
In the building I worked in, it was actually keypads and not a touchscreen. I don't think the letter was said out loud although I might just not remember.

There was, however, at least one elevator per bank that still had the floor buttons.
  #26  
Old 07-12-2018, 04:12 PM
Spiderman Spiderman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RitterSport View Post
The real downside to the system is that now I find when I'm in a regular building, I often get into the elevator and just wait, forgetting to press the floor I want to go to. More than once, I've gotten in, the doors close, and I just wait. I finally notice I'm not moving (or the doors reopen to let others in) and I remember to press the floor button.
My first experience with one was going to visit a client. I went to the building, waited for the first elevator (which the majority of people got onto) & got onto it too. Only after the doors had closed did I realize there were no buttons to push.

Given they're not standard (yet) there really should be some BIG sign in the lobby.
  #27  
Old 07-12-2018, 04:14 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Seems extremely inefficient, and useless in any high-traffic building.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:36 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck
Seems extremely inefficient, and useless in any high-traffic building.
Just the opposite. High traffic is what destination dispatch was designed to manage. I first ran into it (the hard way) about 15 years ago, so it's not exactly new.

The last office building I worked in was 35 floors, and with two banks of five elevators for service to 2-17 and 17-35 (17 was a sky lobby) it was rare to wait more than 10-15 seconds going up or down. Hugely faster than the previous building that had six elevators serving five floors. Having to wait 30 seconds or more was normal in that building.
  #29  
Old 07-13-2018, 01:05 AM
Tim@T-Bonham.net Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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I just wonder what happens when the computer running the touchscreens on every floor locks up and has to be re-booted.

I've seen that happen in computers controlling:
- display screens/scoreboards in a stadium (Olympics, no less)
- routing screens in an airport
- train crossing signals
- traffic light signals
- door lock keypad systems
- vending machines
- gas station pumps

I'm sure there are work-arounds for most of these. But being trapped in an elevator seems more serious than most.
  #30  
Old 07-13-2018, 09:31 AM
Quimby Quimby is offline
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I have been in hotel with a set up like that. You pick a floor before you get in, it tells you which car will be yours and one of a bank of several elevator opens for you. Usually there will be separate banks for ranges of floors.
  #31  
Old 07-13-2018, 09:52 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net View Post
I just wonder what happens when the computer running the touchscreens on every floor locks up and has to be re-booted.

...

I'm sure there are work-arounds for most of these. But being trapped in an elevator seems more serious than most.
You're mixing two things. The elevators do not stop mid-trip because the computer is being rebooted; it is needed to give them the order to "go", but not to "keep going". Same as a regular elevator, if you think about it: you don't need to keep your finger on the button.
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Last edited by Nava; 07-13-2018 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:40 AM
friedo friedo is offline
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Seems extremely inefficient, and useless in any high-traffic building.
Seems you don't know what you're talking about, and didn't read the thread.
  #33  
Old 07-13-2018, 10:42 AM
friedo friedo is offline
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I just wonder what happens when the computer running the touchscreens on every floor locks up and has to be re-booted.
The same thing that happens when the computer running traditional elevators malfunctions: the system returns to some default failsafe state and people are mildly inconvenienced for entire minutes.
  #34  
Old 07-13-2018, 04:28 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Just the opposite. High traffic is what destination dispatch was designed to manage. I first ran into it (the hard way) about 15 years ago, so it's not exactly new.
Yeah, it seems quite obvious that this would be a way better system.

A computer that knows where everyone wants to go is going to be way more efficient than people just getting on the first elevator to come by.

Sure, there will be a few weird corner cases and mistakes, but the average performance is going to be vastly superior.
  #35  
Old 07-13-2018, 04:56 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
I once stayed in a hotel that used exactly that system. You pushed your floor on a keypad in the elevator lobby and bye and bye an elevator came along and took you and others, stopping only at the floors requested. Going down, you just pushed the elevator button. I think there was way to go between floors (I assume the staff had some kind of override); you just went between your floor and the lobby. I can't remember where this was. I think it was actually activated by your room key.
The Rainbow Tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu has this system. My wife and I were confused by it at first but I found it to be an effective way to manage large numbers of guests accessing the elevators at the same time.

Oh, Hilton Hawaiian Village, how you've spoiled me.
  #36  
Old Today, 07:09 AM
Heracles Heracles is offline
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Besides reducing trip times for passengers, increasing elevator efficiency indirectly reduces the number of elevators needed for a given building. Under the traditional system, with the trend towards taller towers, an unacceptable fraction of floor space would have to be allocated to elevators, or passengers would have to lose time in transfers at "sky lobbies".

Last edited by Heracles; Today at 07:12 AM.
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