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Smarter people flow

Kim Langstrom talks to fmME

Kim Langstrom, head of access control, KONE.
Kim Langstrom, head of access control, KONE.

As one of the world’s leaders in the elevator and escalator industry, KONE has been known for its innovative people flow solutions for quite some time now.

Now, the company wants to integrate its people flow solutions with intelligent access solutions, a combination that aims to make navigation through buildings a lot smoother and smarter.

During a recent visit to Dubai, KONE’s head of access control, Kim Långström, talked to fmME about the company’s new portfolio of People Flow Intelligence solutions.

“People Flow Intelligence is basically about managing people movement through a building,” Långström explained. “The elements of People Flow Intelligence have been in use for decades, such as hotel access cards. But now we are taking them a step forward.”

According to Långström, KONE’s People Flow Intelligence solutions enable the efficient management of a building by targeting four main areas: access solutions, destination guidance, information communication and equipment monitoring.

While building owners are allowed to pick and choose the KONE solutions they want for their facilities, the integrated package showcases the full extent of the system’s capabilities.

The process begins with a tenant or visitor using an access card at the entrance of a building, triggering the destination control to direct the person to an elevator, which has already been chosen for the user taking into account his/her destination, elevator traffic and the existing wait queue. Two-way communication is enabled thanks to the touchscreens placed in the elevators, with KONE’s remote monitoring solutions keeping a close eye on the whole system as well.

The benefits of this system are easy to see—the elevators, for instance, function more efficiently, with users getting to experience less crowded cars, fewer stops and shorter travel times.

KONE has also introduced a mobile application called RemoteCall, which allows users to call for an elevator from anywhere in the building using their smartphones. The touchscreens within the elevators, besides acting as a source of information for users, can also serve as a platform to display media content.

Besides helping people move comfortably through the various spaces of a building, these solutions also aid in improving the security of the structure, as it connects the elevators in the building with all of its entry points, thereby restricting access.

“With KONE’s solutions, everything is integrated seamlessly,” Långström added. “The modular solutions are designed to be scalable, which means that they can be grown and updated according to your needs.”

With KONE’s area of expertise being in the realm of elevators and escalators, the company’s move to integrating access solutions to its existing crop of offerings is in response to the changes being seen in the innovative buildings being built today.

“We have been involved for many years with people flow,” Långström said. “But now, with buildings getting digitized and more intelligent, KONE is today well suited to providing solutions in people flow intelligence.”

With the Middle East’s penchant for constructing buildings that reach towards the sky, Långström believes that KONE’s access solutions could be put to good use for the numerous tall tower projects currently planned for the region.

“The higher the buildings get, the more intelligent they have to become,” he said. “So, it becomes very important to think ahead and take advantage of the latest technology solutions when designing such buildings.”

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