You probably haven’t ever thought about what lifts will look like in the future – and that’s understandable – it sounds boring if we’re honest with you.
But the images you’re about to see – generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) – will have your imagination running wild at the thought of the design, technology and logistics that could become common in years to come – not just in lifts – but in the futuristic buildings and cities they’re in.
Let’s take a look at the predictions.
The future of lift technology (according to AI)
We asked ChatGPT what lifts will look like in the future – and used its responses as prompts for AI image generator, Midjourney.
The AI chat bot predicted everything from augmented reality (AR) displays and multi-directional travel to green building trends and solar power being a huge influence.
And apparently, there could even be AI chatbots in lifts that remember your personal preferences, make conversation, and play trivia with you – did you ever think you’d be friends with a bot?
And, we can even see what lifts that take us above the clouds and into space might look like…Take a look for yourself.
1. Taller, more visually appealing lifts and space-efficiency
ChatGPT said: “Innovations in materials and construction may allow for more creative and efficient lift designs. We could see lightweight and super-strong materials, like carbon composites, used to construct taller and more visually appealing lift systems.”
It added that innovations in lift shaft design may lead to more compact and space-efficient solutions, allowing for greater flexibility in building design, which is likely to be a significant focus in the future, especially as urbanisation continues, and proper use of space becomes more critical.
We don’t know about you – but these two look like something out of Blade Runner. Perhaps these will be the norm in 100 years’ time, rather than 50.
These however, feel a little less sci-fi – and could become more common in the not too distant future. Skyline views are always a bonus, as well.
2. Multi-directional travel and multiple cabins in one lift
The chatbot added: “Some designs are already exploring the concept of ‘vertical transportation’ that involves multiple cabins in a single shaft, or even multi-directional lift systems. Horizontal or sideways-moving lifts are a concept that has been explored and could potentially become a reality in the future.”
Who knows, maybe sideways or multi-directional lift travel could be facilitated on the outside of buildings to save space, or even take you from building to building.
This is what Midjourney came up with when designing the concept of multiple lift cabins in a single shaft – it’s certainly one way to go for those that find sharing lifts with strangers awkward.
3. Artificial intelligence – AI chatbots and facial recognition
ChatGPT said: “Lifts could potentially have AI chatbots integrated into their systems to enhance the passenger experience. Chatbots can provide information about the building, floors, and available amenities. They can assist in finding specific locations within the building or answer general queries.”
But it doesn’t stop there. ChatGPT also said the bots could offer news updates, real-time translation services, safety instructions and exit guidance in case of emergencies and communicate with building security or emergency services.
It continued: “Chatbots can offer entertainment options, trivia, and news updates. AI chatbots can be designed to recognise individual passengers, offering personalised greetings, remembering their preferences, and providing tailored information based on past interactions.”
For anyone fearing getting stuck in a lift – this bot could provide some comfort and company. Don’t get too attached though, unfortunately you can’t invite it to your wedding.
With facial recognition becoming more and more common, it’s unsurprising this could become a thing in lifts.
ChatGPT said: “Lift cabins can use technology like facial recognition or smartphone apps to personalise the experience, setting preferred lighting, music, or temperature for individual passengers.”
“AI and machine learning will be used to monitor the condition of lift components in real-time. This will allow for predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and improving reliability. We can expect advanced sensors and AI to constantly monitor the lift’s environment to prevent accidents and respond quickly in case of emergencies.
“AI and predictive technologies could play a role in optimising lift usage, reducing wait times, and efficiently managing passenger flow within a building.”
4. Augmented reality and touch screen displays
Even if it’s not for long, we can often get bored in lifts. Our rides might be more engaging with AR displays though.
ChatGPT said: “Touchscreen interfaces, augmented reality displays, and even entertainment systems might be integrated to enhance the passenger experience. AR displays in lifts can provide passengers with a more engaging and informative experience during their ride.”
Its examples included weather conditions and forecasts, the temperature, and time and date – as well as more engaging features like news headlines, a visual representation of the building’s layout or stock market updates.
The chatbot went on to say that equally, in a post-pandemic world, touchless controls to select floors and open doors might be favoured – but surely, the AI chatbots can take care of this.
5. Green building trends and solar power
ChatGPT said that green building trends will likely influence lift design, adding: “Lifts will continue to become more energy-efficient. This could involve regenerative braking systems, more efficient motors, and the use of sustainable energy sources like solar power.”
Of course a more eco-friendly approach will not only influence the design of lifts, but buildings and entire cities too.
Here’s how a building’s solar power systems could look when use of the sustainable energy source grows.
6. External lifts
According to ChatGPT, if urban areas continue to grow and space becomes more limited, architects and engineers may explore unconventional solutions for transport – potentially leading to more external lift designs: “There might be an increased interest in external lifts, including glass cabins on the outside of buildings. As urban areas continue to grow and space becomes more limited, architects and engineers may explore unconventional solutions for vertical transportation, potentially leading to more external lift designs.
“If there’s a heightened emphasis on sustainable and eco-friendly design, external lifts with features like green spaces or energy-efficient technologies may become more prevalent.”
One thing’s for sure, the concept looks incredibly cool.
7. Design and aesthetics
Of course, luxury and comfortability will always be relevant, and ChatGPT believes universal design principles will be more prevalent. “Lifts could become more comfortable and engaging,” it said. “They can be designed with attractive and calming aesthetics, using high-quality materials, artwork, and finishes. Appealing interior designs can reduce passenger stress and discomfort.”
We can imagine that in hotels for example, lifts are likely to be more luxurious and less sci-fi-feeling, with space for seating and suitcases.
By the looks of it, you might even be able to take a quick nap if you’re jet lagged from a flight.
8. More space
While some of the speedy and more compact lifts we’ve shown above will save space, and luxurious lifts in various industries can be designed with aesthetics in mind over sheer practicality, of course larger passenger space requirements are still going to be key under some circumstances.
ChatGPT said it’s reasonable to expect that in the future, some lifts will still be designed to maximise space and accommodate more passengers efficiently: “As urbanisation continues, and buildings become taller and more densely populated, optimising vertical transportation is crucial.”
Here are some ultra-modern lifts Midjourney has designed to maximise space.
9. The kinds of cities AI imagined these futuristic lifts to be in
With futuristic lifts, comes futuristic cities – and here’s a glimpse into what the world could look like in many years to come.
10. Lifts above the clouds and into space
Just for fun, we asked Midjourney to design the concept of lifts that take you above the clouds and potentially into space – whether or not this shows an actual lift to space from earth, who knows, but the images are certainly mind-blowing.
ChatGPT did reign us in a bit though, but ultimately said anything is possible: “While the idea of lifts taking you above the clouds for panoramic views is captivating, several practical challenges and limitations would need to be overcome to make this concept feasible. The concept is more in the realm of science fiction at this point, but advancements in materials, engineering, and technology could potentially make such ideas more feasible in the distant future.”
With these advancements in mind, ChatGPT concluded: “The feasibility of a space elevator or alternative space transportation concepts may be revisited, however, as of now, traditional rocket-based launch systems remain the primary method for reaching space.
“Future advancements and breakthroughs in materials science and space exploration could open up new possibilities, but this remains a topic for long-term exploration and research.”
So, who wants to get working on one of those?
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Get in touch with us today to discuss a bespoke installation.
All images were generated by Sheridan Lifts on the AI image generator, Midjourney, on a paid-for commercial plan.