Lift majors roll out innovative measures to help users beat Covid-19 challenges
From escalator handrail sanitisers to elevator remote call using WhatsApp, to elevator air purifiers to a smartphone app that allows for contact-free operation of lifts, the list is ‘heavy’ of solutions that support people transition into a new normal
The country’s two major lift and escalator companies, Kone and Johnson, are rolling out innovative measures to help the users of their products to beat the challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 outbreak. From escalator handrail sanitisers to elevator remote call using WhatsApp, to elevator air purifiers to a smartphone app that allows for contact-free operation of lifts, the list is ‘heavy’ of solutions that support people transition into a new normal.
Kone Elevator India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finland-based Kone Corporation, has introduced a slew of people-flow solutions to help buildings and cities be safer and healthier places to live, work and commute in. This is based on findings that as cities gradually begin to open, the experience of using residential buildings and public premises such as metro stations, shopping malls and offices is bound to change.
To help reduce the need to touch surfaces, an elevator remote-call feature using WhatsApp is a response to this by Kone. It allows users to call an elevator using social messaging channels like WhatsApp, removing the need to touch possibly contaminated buttons or displays.
Amit Gossain, MD, Kone Elevator India, said : “In the prevailing Covid-19 environment, the way people interact with everyday surroundings will be challenging. As we ease out of lockdown and re-enter public buildings, we need to come to terms with the new normal with complete certainty. To address this changing need, Kone has introduced a range of health and well-being solutions that will help recreate safer user journeys and healthy spaces in your buildings.”
Johnson Lifts, with its comprehensive product range in lifts and escalators, has come up with an innovation that ensures users are able to operate lifts without touching the lift buttons. The company has developed a smart phone app for this purpose.
V Jagannathan, executive director, Johnson Lifts, said: “Our design and development team has created a smartphone App named EyeRIS that allows people to have a contactless lift usage experience, crucial in these times when Covid-19 is forcing us to look at our lives differently.”
The app connects the smartphone to the lift system using QR code technology and the user operates the lift by just tapping the buttons on the phone’s screen. The user will only need to indicate the present floor and the destination floor on the app and once done, the lift arrives to take the user to the destination floor. This ensures that the user will not need to press any lift buttons.
To further reduce concerns over elevator use, Kone is introducing the new Kone elevator air purifier in select markets. It uses technology — including an advanced photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) process developed by NASA for air control on spaceships — to improve air quality in the elevator car by removing most of the potential pollutants, like bacteria, viruses, dust and odours in the air. The company’s handrail sanitiser, an escalator handrail-cleaning solution that uses a type of ultraviolet light (UV-C) to gradually disinfect escalator handrails, is another offering from the lift major.
Gossain said: “Elevators, escalators and the related maintenance are crucial in enabling people to carry out essential activities. For our customers, a key benefit of the health and well-being-focused solutions is that improvements can be introduced easily, in an era when hygiene and physical distancing are vitally important.”
Johnson Lifts has provided solutions even in areas of high footfalls, like the Chennai Metro, for whom they designed and installed foot operated lift calling systems that help ensure the safety of commuters. “The much needed lift operating solution comes on the heels of our installation of foot operated lift calling systems for the Chennai Metro’s administration office. Our research work continues to be centred on the aims of designing for efficiency and safety of our customers and end users,” said Jagannathan.