Thursday, January 25, 2007

An Elevator Pushes My Buttons

My wife has been going a little crazy from the lack of mobility imposed on her by her injuries. Just to get her out of the house, I drove her to the mall the other day, and wheeled her around in her wheelchair. The mall has two floors, so we had to use the elevator.

When I got into the elevator, I saw a control panel that looked like this:





This kind of thing bothers me terribly. There's only one possible place for the elevator to go, so why are there two floor buttons? I realize that elevators aren’t intelligent, but I'm sure they know which floor they're on.

In my opinion, the elevator control panel should look like this:





The GO button tells the elevator to go to the next floor, whichever that might be. There’s no need for the “close door” button, because pushing the GO button closes the doors.

There are approximately 170,000 commercial buildings being constructed in the United States every year. I estimate that about half of those are 2-story buildings. If the elevator industry uses my improved design, eliminating two buttons, they’ll probably save at least $2.50 per installation. I would expect a Finder’s Fee of 1%, which means the elevator industry will owe me $2,125 by Christmas.

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