Friday, March 4, 2011

Cool Technology of the Week

In a world focused on green energy, conservation, and working more efficiently, why do we run escalators when no one is using them?

In Japan, they do not.

Above is a video from the Narita airport near Tokyo which shows the escalators to the gates.   They run at a very slow speed, just enough to overcome the inertia of starting them up.   When a passenger walks near the escalator platform, the rate increases and the escalator runs at full speed until 30 seconds after the passenger leaves the escalator.  Here's a link to another example from the Seoul airport.

The end result is that energy is only expended when its needed.

It's this kind of creative thinking - using energy only when its needed - that defines our green power future.

On demand escalators - that's cool.

That's cool!


Pedro Meireles said...

Dear John,

I find it strange that the same thing doesn't happen in the US. I live in Portugal, a small country in Europe (next to Spain) and here we have many examples of those types of escalators.

So, you don't have to go to Japan to see those kinds of "innovations". You just have to visit this little country called Portugal!

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Dr. H.,

There is another simple bit of technology that I have seen in Asia and Europe that has never been adopted in the US, but could save a lot in energy.

Simply put, in order to run electricity in a hotel room, the key must be inserted in device in the wall.
For the amount of people that leave the lights, A/C, and/or television on when they are staying in a hotel, this would save a lot of energy that is purely wasted from people being inconsiderate.

The most intriguing part is how many rural and out-of-the way hotels in places like Singapore and Portugal that had this technology and I can't imagine why it can't be implemented in America.

fairhavenhorn said...

I've always assumed that it was some sort of safety or liability phobia that kept these out of the US. I've seen them for years in Europe.

Nico said...

Dear John,

I was surprised to see these magic escalators as big news on your page. In Germany we have many of those escalators where there's no steady "traffic" (e.g. train/subway stations). I even remember their existence when I was a child (late 80s/early 90s).

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Congrats on your appearance in the IPAD2 video!

k.i.T.z said...

Yup, saw you on the iPad2 video too, you were cool! I first heard of you from the CareGroup case I did in one of my Information Systems seminar classes. Needless to say, I'm a big fan. :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm, why not go a little further and actually generate electricity when someone is going down the escalator. Meaning, let the gravity create the downward movement and use the motion to create electricity.

cbmd4u said...

Dear J.H.

I saw these for the first time in Brazil this last year and was also impressed with it and the Hotel key light connection not to mention that in Brazil 1/3 of cars are running LNG. We are clearly in the hands of wasteful petroleum
barrons that what to sell and raise
the price of their product as fast and as much as possible.

Lets have HIMSS pay attention and look for opportunities. Wish you had been at HIMSS. Still no jump
drive record registration on arrival and certainly can't go from one vendor to the next to interchange your record.

Chris Bickord MD