Real Estate

Kone working on disabled-friendly elevators

Updated on: Oct 12, 2012

How many times have people walked into an elevator and had to search for the control panel and the buttons to press? The control panel on each elevator seems to have a different lay out.

Imagine the plight of those who are visually impaired or otherwise physically challenged.

Can elevators be made more people-friendly? That is one of the objectives of People Flow Day an annual exercise last week by Kone Elevator, a multinational player.

This year’s theme was design.

Globally 800 employees of Kone Elevator in 26 countries interacted with elevator users last Wednesday to get their feedback with a view to improving the ease of use and experience in using Kone elevators. In India over 135 employees in 15 cities participated in this exercise.

Neeraj Sharma, Managing Director, Kone Elevator, says: “more and more people do not want just a steel cage” for an elevator. As buildings go higher people will be spending more time in elevators, more people will be using elevators. There is a need to improve technology, aesthetics and utility. Elevator design needs to be more sensitive to the needs of the physically challenged.

For instance, one of the early application was in the Delhi Metro where tactile flooring is used to enable the visually challenged to reach the elevators and then to the compartments.

Sreelakshmi Menon, Director Marketing and Communications, Kone, said the company is focussing on aesthetics, functionality and the emotional elements in design. Small changes can have a big impact, such as providing seating facility for the elderly.

While each manufacturer may have his own design, feedback from customers can help bring in uniformity in basic design such as the layout of control panels and the location of the panel within the elevator.

The data from the People Flow Day event will be passed on to the research and development teams in Kone to see if they can be brought into day to day use. Next year’s theme for the event will be safety.

Published on October 16, 2012

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