IBM and KONE, one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry, today announced a multiyear agreement in which IBM will provide cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and services to drive innovation in smart buildings.
The Leadenhall Building in London, where KONE - an IBM Watson IoT customer - provides the largest and fastest suite of panoramic elevators in the world (credit: DBOX for KONE)
Through the agreement, KONE will tap into the IBM Watson IoT Cloud Platform to connect, remotely monitor and optimize its management of millions of elevators, escalators, doors and turnstiles in buildings and cities worldwide. The system will analyze vast amounts of data from sensors embedded in equipment helping to identify and predict issues, minimize downtime and personalize the experience for users. Instead of having to call in a service engineer or stick to maintenance schedules, KONE will be able to predict and respond to selected technical issues in real-time, with the ability to run tests remotely and make commands over the cloud.
"Our partnership with IBM is exciting and it is an important stepping stone to deliver the best People Flow experience," says Henrik Ehrnrooth, President & CEO of KONE Corporation. "We operate in a connected world and by working with IBM, new solutions like remote diagnostics and predictability means we will deliver even better services to our customers, and great experiences for the people who use our equipment."
With real-time insight about the operation of its equipment, KONE's plans to drive further innovation and develop new solutions and services to improve the flow of people in some of the world's busiest cities and buildings. Using IBM's open standards-based Watson IoT Cloud platform, KONE plans to allow a vast developer ecosystem via Application Programming Interfaces (API's) to build new applications to make a smoother, safer and more personalized people flow experience for building users. For instance, community-based systems could help people pre-order elevators during the busiest times of the day or speed up evacuations during emergencies.
As buildings get taller and taller with the capacity to serve tens of thousands of users simultaneously, there is increased pressure on elevators and escalators to keep people moving smoothly. KONE is leading the way in bringing together technology and innovation to meet the requirements of some of the world's most ambitious and iconic buildings. Its projects include the Leadhenhall Building in London which features the world's largest and fastest suite of panoramic elevators; the Makkah Clock Royal Tower Hotel, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is the tallest hotel, clocktower and largest indoor space in the world; Madison Square Garden in New York, known as the world's most famous arena; Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which is a pioneer in adopting state-of-the-art building technology; and the Jeddah Tower, Saudi Arabia, which at over 1km tall, will be the world's tallest building when completed.
"Efficient, people-centric cities and buildings are better for business, societies and economies. Central to this is how people move around within them and intelligent systems are poised to make their experience more convenient, intuitive and enjoyable," said Harriet Green, General Manager, IBM Watson Internet of Things. "With IBM's cognitive IoT technologies, KONE is embedding intelligence across its operations and driving a wave of innovation in smarter buildings."
IBM is an established leader in the Internet of Things with more than 4,000 client engagements in 170 countries, a growing ecosystem of over 1,400 partners and more 750 IoT patents which together help to draw actionable insight from billions of connected devices, sensors and systems around the world. Building on the company's $3 billion USD commitment to bring Watson cognitive computing to IoT, IBM in December 2015 announced that Munich, Germany will serve as the global headquarters for IBM's new Watson IoT unit, bringing together 1,000 IBM developers, consultants, researchers and designers to drive deeper engagement with clients and partners. For more information on IBM Watson IoT, please visit www.ibm.com/iot
KONE is one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry. KONE'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. KONE provides industry-leading elevators, escalators, automatic building doors and integrated solutions to enhance the People Flow in and between buildings. KONE's services cover the entire lifetime of a building, from the design phase to maintenance, repairs and modernization solutions. In 2015, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 8.6 billion, and at the end of the year close to 50,000 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd in Finland.