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Revolutionizing buildings with the help of IoT

This week’s Smart City roundup features new ways in which elevators are being improved with the help of Internet of Things technology,  smarter and connected hotel trends, and a new smart and sustainable office building.

thyssenkrupp elevator

ThyssenKrupp Elevator gets connected


Elevators are an essential part of our city lives, but they can be problematic. Breakdowns is a typical scenario for a frequented elevator, but can be prevented with the help of the Internet of Things.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator, a company that maintains more than 1.1 million elevators globally, is rolling out a new maintenance system that utilizes IoT, Big Data analytics and the cloud.  The system is built and tested by Microsoft Corp. and IT services company CGI Group, and will be installed in all of ThyssenKrupp’s elevators in the next five years.

CGI will install the communication gears in the elevators needed to take data from sensors on the elevators and transmit it to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud service for analysis.  The sensors in the elevator will be able to collect data such as acceleration rates and speed with which the doors open, to the distance traveled and the amount of electricity used by the motor. So during regular maintenance schedules, a technician just needs to plug a laptop into the system and see the errors plotted by the system to decide whether a repair is in order or not.

Smart upgrades for Hilton hotels


Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is preparing to announce a mobile service to trump the competition.

Currently, some hotels allow their guest to check in right in their phones, letting them avoid long lines at the check-in counter as well as use their mobile phones as room keys. Hilton wants to take the mobile experience to a whole new level allowing guests to not only book using their smartphone, but see the location of the room and select which rooms they want to book.

Hilton plans to launch this new mobile feature by the end of the summer in six brands, from the midscale Hilton Garden Inn to the luxury Waldorf Astoria.  By next year, guests will be able to used their phones to lock and unlock their hotel rooms, and by 2016, most of Hilton’s hotels worldwide will have the feature available.

The Edge


Designed by PLP Architects, The Edge is a new building that will house Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.  The building is designed in such as way that 60 percent of the office spaces receive natural lighting due to their north-facing windows. Deloitte’s new headquarters will also be situated in a location that has easy access to public transportation.

The Edge will be fitted with high-tech lighting fixtures from Koninklijke Philips N.V. (commonly known as Philips), and has achieved Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) Outstanding certification, which recognizes high sustainability standards.

The Philips lighting system utilizes Power-over-Ethernet technology, which not only allows for automated actions but also transmits data. This enables tracking and monitoring of the lighting system, which means bulb lifespan and faults are logged, making way for quick replacements and maintenance.

The connected lighting system will also allow office workers to control their spaces using their own phones – make rooms dimmer or brighter, change the color of the light being emitted – to promote a more work-conducive environment.  Additional sensors are added to the system to track carbon dioxide levels, temperature and humidity, making sure that the workplace is safe for its occupants.

Philips aims to finish installing the connected lighting system by the final quarter of 2014.

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