Even though there are references stating that Archimedes built an elevator around 236 BC, elevators as we know them started being developed in the second half of the 19th century. If before elevators consisted of a single rope pulling up and down a fragile cabin, American industrialist Elisha Graves Otis invented a safety device which prevented elevators from falling in the event of a hoisting cable's failure, setting the foundations for more stable and safe designs.
Throughout the years some new designs and implementations have been made, from the addition of doors to new lifting techniques. Elevators also became "smarter" and faster, until eventually coming to the devices we use nowadays. However, there is one specific part that has not been evolving that much: the elevator panel.
Escalade, an Israeli company, has developed a device which will bring a revolution to the way we deal with elevators: the iCEP, Intelligent Connected Elevator Panel, is a software driven platform designed for smarter and safer programmed elevator operation. It can be installed in existing elevators, which is undoubtedly a great feature favoring its easy spread.
While iCEP may seem just like a every other panel, it is not - in fact, there is much beyond the looks. The regular panels can only perform basic commands, such as selecting one or more floors at a time, calling for help, protect floors with keys, and so on. In addition, each elevator requires a different panel, according to the number of floors.
iCEP, on the other hand, can be used in any kind of elevator, with any number of floors. It consists in three modules: the iCEP Keypad, which is used for selections, the iCEP Display, which is a tablet-like screen, and iCEP-LOP (Landing Operating Panel), which is installed in each floor to summon the elevator.
iCEP Display and LOP
iCEP has a virtually unlimited range of commands and operations. Its main features are related to security, since it has the ability to activate only through a code's input. Specific buttons can also be disabled, and instead of using keys to unlock certain floors, this can be made using passwords. It also has special features for impaired people.
The great advantage of the iCEP system is that it does not require as much maintenance as the regular panels. It can be upgraded after the installation without implying its removal or substitution, since iCEP is software based. All of these features make this a safety and security enhancer system, while also being time and cost-effective.
New features are being developed for iCEP, which will make it even better: biometric sensors (for fingerprint, facial and voice recognition), embedded card readers and built-in smoke detectors are just some of these improvements.
Elevators are really useful and provide a valuable help to us, but while technology is evolving each and every day, elevator-related technology was not evolving at the same pace. iCEP, however, represents a huge improvement in this kind of technology, hopefully leading to more and yet better improvements over time.