Even through the Internet of Things can involve devices or machines ‘talking’ to each other, the ‘conversation’ is generally silent.
In a rather offbeat twist, an ad agency has given voice to elevators so they can have conversations in real time, allowing people to hear machines talk.
Hasan & Partners, the Finland agency, formerly part of IPG, had a long-time global elevator client that wanted to more easily describe its elevator monitoring capabilities.
“As an ad agency, we wanted to show the world that Kone has a world-leading elevator service,” Tobias Wacker, creative director at Hasan and Partners told me from Finland yesterday.
The agency worked with Kone to connect selected elevators in different countries around the world.
The elevators send data from sensors and controls about their day-to-day performance. That data, basically computer code, is collected, processed and given a voice. Literally.
Anyone can go online and hear the elevators speak. The elevators that speak are in Sweden, Illinois, Finland and France and all are translated into English.
Wacker said the agency used IBM Watson’s text-to-speech system and all the speaking is in real time.
“It’s real data in real time,” said Wacker. “Everything is real.”
The approach was taken to introduce a new level of service of elevator maintenance.
“This connects elevators to the could so nobody needs to call for repairs in the future,” Wacker said. “AI and the Internet of Things is so hot right now that we wanted to do our part to show the world that this is what the Internet of Things means.”
This is an actual conversation, by voice I heard, from an elevator in Illinois yesterday. The ‘conversation’ is between the elevator and the Kone cloud:
“On my way down to floor 0.”
Please verify landing accuracy on floor 6
No worries, near perfect
Just rode 8.1 meters down to floor 4
I copy, you’re on floor 4
On my way down to floor 3
Roger. That’s down to floor 3
Speed 1.4 m/s
Minimal bounce while landing on floor 3
Measured, good landing
Please verify external noise level
Noticed vibration while going up
A bit, yes. Analyzing
Ready to ride
Wait for passengers
Slight vibration on the way up
Measured as below average
Highly accurate landing on floor 4
Slight vibration on the way down
Measured. Hardly noticeable
Conversations started by an elevator may not be the most exciting, but they do bring to life the concept of machine-to-machine communication.
“The Information is in real time, so we can’t really dramatize it,” said Wacker.
Making elevators speak may actually be enough.