Smart Elevators, why fix something that isn’t broken?

This week, for the first time, I have encountered a so-called “smart elevator.”  What is this?  So I type the floor I want to visit instead of pushing an Up or Down button and then choosing a floor.  OK… great.  But what about when you are planning on going to the lobby but then a coworker says to stop on their floor.  Oops!  too bad!  You have to go to your destination or hope your elevator makes a stop.

The keypad
The keypad
2013-09-10 14.13.38
View from the distance demonstrating how the keypad is outside the elevators
2013-09-10 14.13.18
View inside the elevator. Note, no keypad, plus a lame ad for “complimentary transportation to the lobby”











So I looked this up and apparently it is supposed to be much more efficient at picking up people.  To its credit, the elevator does not make many stops once you are on, but it doesn’t seem to arrive to the floor any faster which is one of the criteria I use to judge elevators.

This isn’t enough to make me write off smart elevators or the Crowne Plaza in Syracuse, NY, but the horribly small rooms with an odd layout (let’s just say the 2 full-size bed room has 1 bed against the wall and 1 bed against the bathroom) at the Crown Plaza make me not want to consider it again…and a little warning about the elevators might have been nice.  After I checked in I even had to ask where the elevators were and I wasn’t given any instruction to enter a floor first.  It was a good thing I ran into a coworker who showed me how it worked.  It’s not hard to figure out, but if you’ve never used one before it does take less than 30 seconds to explain.  It just seemed like an unnecessary improvement for something that didn’t need to be improved.



  1. I’ve stayed at that hotel and hate the elevators. I did like my rounded king room though and the lounge was decent as well, saved me going out to eat. I met people from there and when it was first built it was turquoise!

  2. Try them in a tall office building at lunch time or beginning or end of day. Instead of 6 people going to the same floor getting on 6 elevators, it funnels them to the same elevator. If you’re on a high floor, it TREMENDOUSLY cuts down your time. It used to be 12 people on an elevator meant 12 stops. Now it means 2-3. Not sure if a hotel really needs them – really only advantageous with high traffic with large groups waiting at elevators at the same time

    1. I’ve seen tall office buildings with dedicated elevator banks. IE this elevator goes to floors 1-3 and 20-40 and this elevator goes to 1-20 and this elevator goes from 1-3 and 41-50 so people on 50 at most could only stop on a dozen or so floors. People have access to any common floors without having to switch elevators, and you can restrict people from certain elevators.

  3. The Hyatt Regency in Vancouver has “smart” elevators as well. In theory they should work well the high traffic during conferences and people are heading back up to their rooms at the end of day. However, at this HR it can be disastrously slow for a non conference attendee. Can have 5 elevators shuffling people from conference level (above ground floor) up to the various guest room floors, all the while guests on the ground level are unable to get elevators up to their rooms.

  4. Agreed those things are silly in a hotel so small, but we had similar ones at a client of mine at my old job. They were in a new office building that was 24 stories high. To get to the elevator bank from the lobby you had to swipe your ID badge at the security gate (sort of like passing through a subway turnstile). When you did that, it synced your floor to the elevators and told you which to go to. This made the number of stops far fewer than normal. I believe it only did that from the ground floor though.

Comments are closed.