Is RFID being used for this particular application?
Yes. Since September 2011, the approximately 300 employees of the Capital Bank Plaza office building in Raleigh, N.C., have been using RFID-enabled identification cards to ride elevators. The system, implemented by the building’s owner, Raleigh Development Co. (RDC), allows tenants’ workers to summon an elevator car and be taken to the requested floor without having to press any buttons. The Personal Occupant Requirement Terminal (PORT) destination-dispatch elevator solution was provided by elevator company Schindler Elevator Corp. The system was designed to reduce wait times, make the elevators safer and more efficient, and consume less electricity. The building’s elevator renovation project—which also includes video cameras mounted on each elevator, the ability to shut down specific floors during or after hours, and a regenerative drive to draw electricity from the lifts’ movements—utilizes high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz passive RFID cards, complying with the ISO 15693 standard, to identify a rider and automatically summon an elevator to take that person to his or her preferred floor (see RFID Raises Elevator Efficiency).
Last year, KABA Lodging, which provides Saflok and ILCO electronic locks, implemented an integrated solution of its RFID-enabled guest keycards with elevators at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. According to KABA Lodging, the 1,193-room convention hotel is using the RFID keycards to steer guests smoothly through its property and improve safety—only keycard holders may be admitted to guest-room floors, for the purpose of heightened security. The Saflok electronic lock system and keycards have been integrated with Schindler Elevator Corp.‘s RFID-enabled PORT technology. The integrated solution includes KABA’s Saflok Quantum RFID locks, deployed with the System 6000 solution that interfaces keycards with Schindler’s PORT technology. The Saflok RFID systems leverage the ZigBee standard, based on the 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 specification, and allows for Web-based monitoring of electronic door locks and keys. When the PORT destination-dispatch technology reads a guest’s Saflok RFID keycard outside one of the eight elevator cars, it automatically calls the elevator that a guest intends to enter (see RFID News Roundup: Hyatt Regency New Orleans Keys Up RFID for Convenience and Security).
And the Finland Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo, held in Shanghai, featured a Chinese lantern-style elevator that combined forward-thinking Scandinavian design and RFID technology to transport visitors to their desired destinations. Employees at the pavilion carried small, black VisualRFID destination cards to identify visitors’ current locations. Each card contained a battery-assisted EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID transponder, an environmentally friendly battery from Enfucell and a low-cost display that utilized technology supplied by E-Ink. If someone wanted to go from, say, the first floor to the third, an employee used buttons on the card to call the elevator, which was designed and built by Kone Technology, one of the world’s largest elevator manufacturers. The RFID transponder then communicated with a reader that called the elevator to the appropriate floor (see A Lift to the Future).
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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