ThyssenKrupp unveil their new cable free, go anywhere elevators



  • Tomorrows skyscrapers will be 3D printed into a whole host of different, strange shapes, but in order to make them a reality we need a new type of cable free elevator and ThyssenKrupp look like they’re about to deliver


In the 160 or so years since the first skyscrapers were built, lots of amazing advances have helped us reach new heights and build them bigger and taller than ever before. Today, for example, in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia they’re planning on building a 167 story skyscraper, and even taller buildings are on the drawing boards.


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However, that said people still don’t really live in skyscrapers the way futurists had envisioned, for one main reason – elevators can still only go only up and down. In the Harry Potter movies, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and others, for example, we’re shown magical cable free elevators that can travel not just vertically but horizontally and even diagonally. Now though, thanks to German elevator company ThyssenKrupp, who are trying to, finally, get rid of cable elevators, and replace them with levitating ones that use magnets and electric linear induction motors instead, that reality could be closer than we imagined, and they’ve just showed off their latest prototype called “MULTI.”


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Finally architects can finally realise their wildest dreams of making odd shaped, 3D printed skyscrapers, like the 80 story one being planned for Dubai in 2020, and design buildings where people live in the clouds, only rarely having to go down to street level, instead being able to move horizontally and, or, diagonally around the building to the next tower over, or to the bridge between them, for a swim, a trip to the doctor or even the grocery store.


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The research project, which is set to conclude in September 2018, aims to explore as many of the practical implications of cableless elevator travel as possible, but we already know that thinking of elevators the way ThyssenKrupp suggests would revolutionise the design, construction and use of tall buildings. Builders could create structures that are both far taller and far wider than current skyscrapers – and people could move though them much more easily than we do in cities today.

Sadly though there is still no revolution in sight for elevator music, so you’re still stuck with that at least.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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