KONE: It’s time for smarter buildings


The future is now. How can a Facility Manager benefit from new, connected technologies?

The world is becoming urban. According to the United Nations, the number of people living in cities is expected to increase from 3.4 billion in 2009 to 6.3 billion in 2050. As population booms, infrastructure needs to cater to new levels of people flow, while increasing convenience and safety. City planners need to seize the opportunities of smarter infrastructure to move huge numbers of citizens quickly and safely around the clock. At the same time, energy consumption and environmental impact must be kept to a minimum. The same needs apply to individual buildings.

According to the UN’s 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects produced by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, the gradual shift in residence of the human population from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050, with close to 90% of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa. The most urbanized regions include Northern America (with 82% of its population living in urban areas in 2018), Latin America and the Caribbean (81%), Europe (74%) and Oceania (68%). The level of urbanization in Asia is now approximating 50%. In contrast, Africa remains mostly rural, with 43% of its population living in urban areas.

In an increasingly urbanized world, new technologies and new businesses are changing expectations. There is a tremendous opportunity to serve customers in new ways and meet the demands of urban environments. Digital technologies and connectivity enable access to new types of services and Utilities that are cheaper, more energy-efficient and easier to use than ever before. New technologies that were once only available to a few are becoming widespread across the globe.



What smart cities do, in a nutshell, is use technology to make our lives better. Smart cities and smart buildings are addressing issues of sustainability, economic development and citizen wellbeing. Expectations from tenants and home-owners are changing now. Changes in their personal lives mean people expect smart technologies to be integrated where they live. From transportation to energy, security, environment and their surroundings, the future of buildings and cities is happening now.



What kinds of intelligent services can you put in place to ensure that your environment becomes smarter? A key element of pro-viding smoother people flow solutions is to integrate advanced technology into different building systems. Simply having top quality escalators, elevators and related solutions in place does not make the most of what is possible. Advanced technology has to be integrated with, for example, energy supply, heating, lighting and lobby access. This enables easier and more efficient management of building systems. By taking advantage of open application programming interfaces (APIs), KONE’s approach makes it easy to manage different devices and integrate them with new and existing systems.

In the case of elevators and escalators that work around the clock, collecting data with sensors is one part of the equation. But in order to create meaningful insights about what is happening, this data needs to be processed by sophisticated cloud-based analytics systems, or platforms, which can analyze and interpret results. Artificial intelligence for maintenance services will help predict and suggest resolutions to potential problems, before they happen.

AII of this can help Facility Managers and engineers anticipate when elevator components will need servicing or replacing, or if adjustments need to be made to cater for busy periods throughout the day, creating a smoother and smarter people flow. This is why KONE is working with IBM to build intelligence and analytics, using the IBM Watson loT platform to make sense of the data in order to bring value to customers.

Cutting edge technologies bring safety, transparency and pre-dictability to services for elevators and escalators, taking maintenance service to the next level in the industry. For people who use elevators and escalators, it means less waiting time and a more reliable experience. For a Facility Manager, it means more satisfied customers, fewer complaints and a lighter workload.



In the future, think about a voice-activated elevator that rec-ognizes you. It could dim the lights the way you like, play your favorite music, or give you a chance to catch up with the news that you want to see.

In your apartment building, the door could open automati-cally, withoutfumbling for your keys. The lobby could have an Al assistant that calls a taxi when you need it. In workplace office blocks, you could communicate with the building and place requests, like asking for an indoor temperature change, or adjustment in lighting for certain areas. Even meeting room preferences for individuals could be linked to arriving elevators.

Ideas like these will create a better connection between building and user. In the same way that we enjoy personalized apps, music and other preferences on our phone, buildings will essen-tially tailor themselves to each individual. That is something that is going to put our senses and our individual needs at the heart of the KONE people flow experience.

The future is closer than you think. Much of this is possible today and KONE is at the forefront of making cities better places to live. Would you like to learn more about KONE and Smart Buildings? Contact us for more information!



According to a June 2018 McKinsey report, cities are becoming increasingly responsive to the needs of commuters.

  • By 2025, cities that deploy smart-mobility applications can cut commuting times by 15 to 20 percent on average
  • In a dense city with extensive transit, the average commuter could save almost 15 minutes a day
  • This a great example of how technology will make urban environments more livable and responsive



9-11 Fabrica de Chibrituri street, floor 2-3, district 5
RO-050182 – Bucharest, Romania
Tel.: +4021 311 4601, +4021 311 4602
Fax: +4021 311 4603


…citeste articolul integral in Revista Constructiilor nr. 174 – octombrie 2020, pag. 18


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