How to lift building IQs and improve people flow with high-tech AI

By | 2 minute read | December 11, 2018


At KONE, our job is improving People Flow® in some of the world’s tallest buildings in the world’s largest cities. We know that even one elevator or escalator out of service can cause major headaches for the people that count on them to get from one place to another. That’s why we started working with IBM to connect our equipment to the IBM Watson IoT Platform in the IBM Cloud to monitor and manage its maintenance status. We say that we’re using technology to raise the IQ of even smarter buildings!

Harnessing the power of IoT, AI and the Cloud to improve People Flow

A couple of years ago, we launched KONE 24/7 Connected Services solution, which provides predictive maintenance for our elevators and escalators. Instead of waiting for our customers – typically facilities or building managers – to call and report a malfunctioning elevator, we’re alerted to potential problems through IoT-connected sensors on the equipment. Based on the sensor data, we can give our service technicians better insights about the actions they may need to help keep equipment up and running.

Furthermore, we’ve transformed traditional preventive maintenance, which is typically based on calendar events such as days in operation. It doesn’t account for actual equipment usage, or consider the customer’s individual needs and how their business might change over the life of the equipment. Now, connected sensors and Watson’s AI analytics help us schedule preventive maintenance at just the right time, based on real-world operation. This helps the customer’s equipment keep running, and they aren’t bothered for unnecessary maintenance just because it’s on the schedule.

Escalating People Flow with 24/7 Connected Services

Like the people who use our elevators and escalators, at KONE we never stand still. Now that we’ve revolutionized maintenance, we’re digging deeper into how to improve People Flow in buildings. We launched KONE 24/7 Connected Services solution for elevators in early 2017. In early 2018, we added escalators to the service.

This is huge. Escalators are the real work horses, the unsung heroes in our People Flow journey. They provide a reliable means of moving huge numbers of people to their destinations, especially in hotels, airports, subways, conference centers and shopping malls. We are using the same technologies—connectivity, Watson IoT and analytics—to provide new user experiences that are more efficient and effective, whether it’s in a subway, airport or shopping mall.

Our work is ultimately about keeping our customers and the people that use our equipment moving. The KONE 24/7 Connected Services solution on the IBM Cloud delivers customer outcomes such as reduced equipment downtime, fewer faults, and more detailed information about equipment performance and usage. For the people who use our elevators and escalators, it means less time spent waiting and fewer and shorter delays or detours. We can’t wait to see what’s next and how we can use Watson AI to raise the IQ of even smarter buildings and cities of the future!

See how KONE continues to improve People Flow on their elevators and escalators by reading their client success story and by watching the video interview below with Samu Salmelin: