April 17, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 1:57 pm

AP: Otis sees future in elevator ads, digital help

At age 150 or so, elevators have already achieved many technological changes, speeding passengers up hundreds of floors with relatively little energy and in less space than ever, The Associated Press reports.

But there are still new things the old lift can be made to do. That includes doing more to apply digital technology to inform passengers of problems or provide advertising and brief bursts of entertainment, the president of Otis Elevator Co. said Tuesday.

In his first interview since becoming president in February of the Farmington subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., Pedro Baranda told The AP that Otis has succeeded in building and selling elevators that use less energy than typical hydraulic lifts and that take up less space than before.

Still, elevators can do a better job of informing passengers and building managers and also of entertaining captive passengers. That could mean TV screens delivering advertising or, in the rare case of a trapped passenger, video conferencing with rescuers.

"We have a lot more things to do to improve the passenger experience," Baranda said.

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