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Touchless mobility

Staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic requires avoiding physical points of contact in public. But as lockdowns are lifted and people slowly return to offices, how can this safety still be ensured? Our development teams in Spain designed two digital solutions that allow elevators to be controlled via QR codes, and customers throughout Europe can already benefit from these offers.

Admittedly, elevator rides are a double-edged issue these days. Besides the challenge of not standing with too many people in a narrow space, health authorities around the world advise the use of auxiliary means such as pens to push the buttons on the elevator panels to avoid coming in contact with potential sources of bacteria and viruses. To address these concerns, thyssenkrupp Elevator has launched two new solutions for contactless elevator calls. Both are available on the European market and can be offered there by our sales teams.

Solution 1: Elevator pass

Elevator pass comes from our Research & Innovation Center in Gijon, Spain, and is the result of a globally collaborative effort to address the needs of the market. The system works online, offline as well as for users without mobile phones.

Similar to an airplane boarding card, QR codes can be generated anytime via an app, received via text or email, or printed on paper. Users then scan these codes at a reader installed at the landing, and the elevator calls are generated automatically for the origin, as well as the destination floors. By eliminating the need to press buttons in the car, the system makes it easier to maintain safety distances.

The codes can also be used via wearables, such as smart watches or via Braille applications, and usage by robots is also under testing. The solution is already installed at the largest public building in Spain, Laboral University, located in Gijon´s Mile of Knowledge.

The app is currently available for iOs and Android devices at Apple Store and Google Play in five languages; English, Spanish, German, French and Italian. QR codes can be stored in Apple Wallet and Google Pay, and also stored as Favorites within the app itself. The offline usage feature makes this solution especially useful for buildings with high visitor or guest traffic, such as offices and hotels.

Solution 2: Touchless call

With the touchless call solution, passengers can operate the elevator via a virtual control panel on their smartphone without having to touch any buttons throughout the journey. Based on thyssenkrupp Elevator’s building management technology, touchless call was designed by the development team at our production plant in Norte, Spain in close collaboration with tkE Elevadores (ITS Madrid). It is available for the European and Asia Pacific markets.

Using any mobile phone camera, passengers can scan the QR code sticker placed outside the cabin and get access to a virtual Lift Operating Panel (LOP) via the web browser on his/her device. This LOP can be used to call the elevator to the passenger’s floor. By scanning the code placed inside the cabin, access is then granted to the Car Operating Panel (COP) where the destination floor can be chosen.

The solution does not require the use of an additional app, and if the QR codes within a facility need to be changed, new ones can be easily created and instantly override the previous codes. The first customers have already been convinced to use the system; there are already more than 50 elevators across Spain connected with this solution.

Offer of contactless technologies to be expanded

Both solutions are available for elevators from thyssenkrupp Elevator as well as other manufacturers.

“The development of touchless technologies is one of thyssenkrupp Elevator’s key pillars to help maintain sanitized conditions for passengers using our products, even beyond the pandemic,” says Peter Walker, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator. “With online and offline usage features, these digital solutions are easily applicable across a wide variety of segments, including offices, hotels, hospitals, and residential buildings.”

The two new offerings build on thyssenkrupp Elevator’s robust portfolio of products and services to safeguard urban mobility. These include the cloud-based MAX service that minimizes downtime and allows for predictive maintenance, air purification solutions using UV light and ozone filters to clean the air in elevator cabins efficiently, as well as other touchless solutions like a kick-button.