Elevator Vendor KONE Signs Multiyear Cloud-Based IoT Agreement with IBM

KONE, a global provider of elevator and escalator solutions with revenues of 8.6 billion euros in 2015 and close to 50,000 employees, has signed a multiyear agreement in which IBM will provide its cloud-based Watson Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and services to drive innovation in smart buildings.

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 elevator area inside the Leadenhall Building in London (credit: DBOX for KONE)

The IoT cloud 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 would 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,” said 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.”

ibm watson cloud kone
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)

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.

KONE’s projects worldwide 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.