KONE Launches Test of World’s First Tweeting Escalator

At an undisclosed location in London, a KONE escalator now is tweeting the details of its working day and conditions. “Escalators are the unsung heroes of cities. They move millions of people a day and, of course, they need to perform safely and smoothly,” said Max Alfthan, executive vice president, marketing and communications at KONE.

Social media is a powerful tool that serves many in different ways. It can empower the powerless; it can spread information at a “viral” pace; and, as everyone should know by now, affords public officials the opportunity to get their messages out directly to their constituents (for better or worse) without the filter of the professional news media. It in essence gives a voice to the voiceless. To that end, KONE has developed a social media presence for its vertical-transportation (VT) equipment. Specifically, The Dispatch-Argus reports, the VT giant has given one of its escalators a Twitter account, all part of its 24/7 Connected Services. The escalator — “At an undisclosed location in London,” the source notes — offers real-time updates of its performance through the handle @JustAnEscalator. A virtual reality and 360-degree video enhance the program. Are you wondering what an escalator has to tweet about? The recent screen grab at right gives a sample, plus, maybe, an idea of the technology’s potential. Like, say, alerting commuters when specific escalators are out of service or back in operation. That might be worth a tweet.

Meet Walton Press

Just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, lies the small town of Monroe, which has been the home of Walton Press since 1900. Walton Press now serves as the printer for ELEVATOR WORLD magazine. On February 15 and 16, Elevator World’s Vice President of Production, Lillie McWilliams, along with myself, had the privilege of visiting the press to see their process. The timing worked out great, too, as we were actually able to see our magazine going through the printing process!

The level of pride everyone at Walton Press puts into their work results in a quality magazine, not only for us, but for you — our readers.

We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to everyone we met at Walton Press for being such wonderful hosts.

Check out some of these photos from our visit!

Here, one of several signatures that make up a copy of ELEVATOR WORLD magazine, is being run through the giant heat press and folding machine

 

And the final result is good!

 

Another impressive piece of machinery at Walton Press

 

 

 

Got ink? Walton Press has a lot of it!

 

 

Some of the Walton Press team with myself and EW VP of Production, Lillie McWilliams

Riled Rodent Shocks Shoppers

A frame taken from video shows the moment a rat leaps toward a man who was trying to walk past it on an escalator at a shopping mall in Manila, Philippines; image from DailyMail.com.

Shoppers at a mall in Manila, Philippines, were forced to face their fear recently when a manic rat aggressively charged them as they walked down a stopped escalator, the Daily Mail reports. Video posted on the newspaper’s website shows the rat lunging at people as they try to make their way past, prompting the shoppers to jump and sidestep their way to safety. After giving several of the shoppers what appears to have been the jolt of their lives, the restive rodent is seen running down and off the escalator and under a nearby rack of clothing. No reason was given for the escalator being stopped.