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RFID Raises Elevator Efficiency

At Capital Bank Plaza, in Raleigh, N.C., Schindler's PORT solution employs passive 13.56 MHz tags and readers to reduce elevator traffic flow and office workers' wait times.
By Claire Swedberg
The Schindler ID software not only directs an individual to a specific elevator car, but also stores historical data regarding that person's elevator usage, in order to better direct him or her to the appropriate elevators—a function known as "predictive destination." For example, if a user repeatedly selects a destination of the 12th floor, the system will assign that individual to an elevator traveling to that floor, informing the rider of that action on the terminal's touch screen. If the user wishes to go elsewhere, he can override that information and select an alternate floor on the touch screen. If that person changes patterns over a prolonged period of time—such as repeatedly traveling to a different floor—the system will adjust to recommend several floor options when that user presents his card to the PORT terminal. A user may select the "automatic destination" option to have a certain floor assigned every time the card is presented.

Raleigh Development Co.'s Don Carter
According to Carter, since Capital Bank Plaza implemented the system approximately four weeks ago, the lifts have been less crowded, as elevator movement is now being managed by the Schindler system, rather than by the traditional method in which a group of riders with various destinations board the first available car. What's more, he adds, wait times for elevators have been reduced. One user praised the system for enabling travelers to select and enter an elevator car without ever having to touch anything, he reports, thereby reducing the risk of spreading a contagious disease.

Once Schindler develops a smartphone application, a user may be able to summon an elevator car by tapping his or her mobile phone near a terminal upon entering the building. The system is likely to use a Bluetooth connection, rather than RFID, to accomplish that goal, however.

During the next few months, Schindler expects to implement the system at several high-profile locations, including the Hyatt New Orleans, as well as in two World Trade Center towers, in New York City.

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