Personal user interface devices control the future elevator at the Finnish Pavilion at Shanghai Expo


A development project initiated by RFIDLab Finland and implemented by Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences shows how people flow can be managed inside the Finnish Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

Metropolia’s Electria unit, in close cooperation with their partners KONE, Hansaprint, Enfucell and Sensor Center, has developed an RFID tag with a display, which is used to control the pavilion’s elevators in a completely new way. Expo visitors approaching the lift use their personal VisualRFID destination card to indicate which floor they would like to visit. This information is used to bring a lift to pick them up and deliver them to their desired destination.

— The purpose of the VisualRFID development project was to create a solution to help manage a large number of people independently moving from one place to another in an environment they are not familiar with. The key thing in such a situation is the interaction between people and their environment. Normally people need to know where they are, where they are going and how they can get there. However, this can be made easier if the environment is aware of a person’s whereabouts and can react to it, says Research Manager Marko Mattila of Metropolia.

The solution designed is a personal, energy efficient destination card, which consists of an e-paper display, RFID chip and an ultra-thin environmentally friendly battery. All the components consume very little energy, which means that the destination card has a lifetime of several years. Also the production costs for the cards are extremely low – compared, for example, to mobile devices – no more than a few euros. The destination card is compatible with all standard RFID readers and has a reading distance of over 10 metres, which means that one reader can easily cover a large area.

— Using similar technology, we could create a solution with which air travellers can not only get their flight details on their personal cards, but also instructions on how to find their gate. The card could also be used to alert them when it is time to start boarding, describes Mr Mattila. Applications could also be made for shopping malls, cruises and sports events.

— This joint project was a prime example of how ambitious targets can be achieved on a tight schedule through the cooperation of people with the proper expertise. The Shanghai Expo provides a real-life field test while simultaneously showcasing the new destination concept that is the result of cooperation with KONE. And with visitors to the Expo coming from numerous countries, we can collect data on end-user experiences in a multicultural environment, says KONE Portfolio Manager, Jukka Salmikuukka.

Individual People Flow

With the KONE Destination Concept people can enjoy a personalized journey through crowded surroundings such as elevators. Integrated access control and guidance information create a clear pathway to a selected destination. A personal destination device provides a user with personal destination options according to their given access rights.

The system can also provide personalized information, which assists the user with indoor navigation throughout the building. KONE’s People Flow vision is to provide the best possible user experience with eco-efficiency and innovative solutions. This vision becomes a reality as elevator control can be integrated with access control and personal user information. The personal card knows which areas the person has been given access to while providing quick and safe routes to the destination with no pointless waiting.

For further information, please contact

Research Manager Marko Mattila, Electria, Metropolia
tel. +385 40 737 1694

Portfolio Manager Jukka Salmikuukka, Kone Corporation
tel. +358 40 578 9533

Electria is a Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences unit that specialises in ubiquitous technology, engaging in close cooperation with RFIDLab Finland, and has already carried out many projects started up by RFIDLab.

Metropolia is a multidisciplinary university of applied sciences and the largest of its kind in Finland. It has four fields of study: Culture, Economics and Business Administration, Health Care and Social Services and Technology and Transport, with teaching also provided in English. Metropolia combines labour market expertise and university of applied sciences education into a learning community that responds to the special needs of the metropolitan region by training internationally renowned experts and by producing practical innovations.

KONE is one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry. The company has been committed to understanding the needs of its customers for the past century, providing industry-leading elevators, escalators and automatic building doors as well as innovative solutions for modernization and maintenance.

The company's objective is to offer the best people flow experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting in buildings in an increasingly urbanizing environment.

In 2009, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 4.7 billion and approximately 34,000 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd in Finland. Founded in 1910, KONE celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2010.

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