So this is clearly a gimmick marketing campaign, but I kinda like it? I think? KONE has introduced the first ever escalator connected to Twitter and a virtual reality experience to showcase how an escalator can continuously report on its performance.

The London-based escalator’s inner most thoughts can be seen on the campaign website, which features links to the virtual reality video experience, plus the feed from @JustAnEscalator. The never-ending VR escalator ride can be viewed via a mobile device, on a PC or with a VR headset.

@JustAnEscalator tweets details of its working day and condition.  As the first escalator on Twitter, it seeks to help its users understand how one of  these heavy duty machines keep people moving. Using data gathering and interpretation, viewers can see information transmitted from equipment to the Twitter feed.  This actual service, named 24/7 Connected Services, transforms maintenance by bringing real-time data and insights to customers and service technicians.

Max Alfthan, executive vice president marketing and communications at KONE said: “Escalators are the unsung heroes of cities everywhere on the planet. They move millions of people a day and they need to perform safely and smoothly. The Machine Conversations campaign demonstrates how IoT, analytics and insights can take maintenance from the ordinary to the extraordinary.”

Tobias Wacker, creative director at hasan & partners said: “We don’t pay attention to the machines that make life easier, until they go wrong.  Artificial intelligence helps KONE interpret vast amounts of sensor data to monitor, analyse and display information in real-time, to predict resolutions to potential problems. For people who use elevators and escalators that means less waiting time and a more reliable service.

“People found the KONE Machine Conversations campaign soothing, which led us to explore other ways to get machines to communicate.  We have used VR in a surprising way, through an uneventful, never-ending escalator journey, while the tweets give an insight into just how much goes on inside machines to keep cities moving.”

Tom Ffiske
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