When Elisha Otis invented the ‘safety elevator’ mechanism in 1852, elevator crashes have become a rare event indeed. But these days “crash” has a new meaning, which Otis couldn’t have foreseen. Consider the elevator in the photo, from the Azrieli towers in Tel Aviv. It has a wonderful new control system with a large computer screen to tell you what’s going on.
And, as you can see in the photo below, it has crashed…
Too bad the weary traveler has no way to follow any of these cryptic instructions.
In fact, we run all too often into this situation: a computer-embedded system that sends admin-level error messages at a user that has neither the ability nor the expertise to address them. A simple blinking red light captioned “malfunction – call maintenance at tel. 1234567” would at least be actionable!