How Do I Install A Camera In This Elevator?

Conversations that have never happened:

Architect: "You know what this building needs? An EVEN MORE complex, expensive, and inefficient elevator system!"

Skyrise Property Manager: "OMG Yes!"

wow. How do you get power to the elevator cab?

Maybe its got a few electric motors and you charge it all night - the Tesla of elevator cabs!

You would install the camera in the usual way, it´s still an elevator car.

I would believe that both power and communications/control are taken from the rails, the video mentions linear technology, see Linear motor - Wikipedia

Minimally, this appears to rule out wireless and laser.

In regular elevators, you use the cable but this does not have a cable, correct?

You could base communications on leaky coax, see Leaky feeder - Wikipedia

This is currently in use in subway systems, its a two-way wireless link

This is a really interesting use for RF over coax (in lieu of the baseband we're used to). I always thought leaking RF was a bad thing, but in this application that is the goal.

I know it will probably make me the oddball here but I think it's brilliant and fifty years overdue. And just as Elon Musk's hyper-loop is light years of efficiency ahead of MagLev train technology, this concept seems to me to have the same approach of radically innovative simplicity. I suspect we'll probably see the first iterations of this pop up in some new mega-building in the middle easy within a few years. Just like i'm sure that since Elon open-sourced the design for the hyper-loop, the first working model we'll see won't be in the US. (Not enough boondoggle associated with it for our US project awarding systems. :)

Lol, this strikes me as being 100 times more realistic than the hyperloop.

These elevators will no doubt be heavily dependant on network communications (PLCs, Emergency phone, locator devices, power, etc). I can't imagine that there would not be a "spare port" for cameras. I would bet that installing cameras will be simple in an elevator like this. Maybe you wont even have to pay for an elevator tec to shadow your every move (Not!).

I agree initially it looks like it would get power from the rails, like subways. The camera would be powered off the elevator's power system, then just wirelessly connected to a building wide WLAN infrastructure using roaming hand off from one AP to the next nearby AP that comes up.

So if that future elevator can be wirelessly connected via the building's general WLAN, does that mean that cameras in elevators today can be so connected? I ask because I have never heard anyone talking that approach.

I don't see why not. I've even seen some brands selling wireless camera systems specifically for elevators. (Don't remember their names.) But you're right, you don't hear of it often. Maybe most times there is already a coax cable there for a camera and most integrators don't want a big hassle installing more modern ones in an elevator. Besides, such a small area, I think D1 is considered good enough most times. So give the camera to the elevator guys, let them install it, then just connect it to a DVR or analog-IP encoder. That's more a guess on my part; we haven't really dealt with specifying too many elevator camers.

But with the proposed elevator system, how else would you do it besides wireless? Unless you do network communication over the same rails the car travels on, similar to how Ethernet over power line systems work.

Power Line Networking

Also in passingly mentioned here with real-lived deployment of Powerline Networking for Elevator.

I still belive wifi can make things realistic by proper placement of switches and bridges in place..

I am sure it's possible. The question becomes: how much cost / complexity does it add to properly place WiFi devices to deliver seamless connectivity to cameras in elevators? How does that compare to alternative traditional means?

At a certain point, it might actually cheaper to post a security guard in the elevator car. I just hope he never has to call for help.

Transit Wireless System

Each intercom is connected to a Transit Wireless’s 4.9 GHz access point, from where it joins a wireless mesh. The same band can be used for closed-circuit television, so deployment of CCTV throughout the network is now feasible in a much faster way than it may have been before. “There is some CCTV there already, but the size of our new network means that the possibly of rollout becomes faster now that we’re deploying these other networks and the fibre-to-the-edge technology,”

4.9GHz is reserved for public safety in the US, so while a government building might be able to pursue this, the typical commercial highrise may not.

In the U.S. commercial use of 4.9GHz is possible when life/safety is involved.

Non-traditional public safety entities, such as utilities and commercial entities, and the Federal Government may enter into sharing arrangements with eligible traditional public safety entities to use the 4.9 GHz band in support of their missions regarding homeland security and protection of life and property.

In any event I would imagine this regulatory hurdle is minor compared to the many other approvals and/or exceptions needed to implement such a novel design. Just need to add a line item for it to the bottom of the master PO for regulatory kickbacks...

CD, you missed highlighting the most important part of that passage "with eligible traditional public safety entities"

Building would need to make the case that they are or house 'traditional public safety entities.'

The client doesn't have to use the 4.9Ghz licensed spectrum. They could use the unlicensed portions of the 900mhz, 2.5Ghz, or 5Ghz spectrum. they would just need to do a thorough site survey (in any case) to make sure they minimize noise and interferance.

:D, you lost me:

Building would need to make the case that they are or house 'traditional public safety entities.'

Where exactly did this 'housing' requirement come from? Here is the actual FCC language:

... we conclude that permitting 4.9 GHz licensees to enter into sharing arrangements with entities not eligible for their own licenses is in the public interest. We will not place any limitation on what type of entity may be a party to such sharing arrangements; rather, we afford traditional public safety providers that are licensed in the 4.9 GHz band flexibility to exercise their discretion regarding what entities in their jurisdiction operate in support of public safety.

So a licensed muni-pd could allow a skyrise complex to utilize 4.9GHz if the building falls within their jurisdiction and it is in support of public safety. In any case it's possibly moot, since the FCC is more recently leaning towards relaxing the need for even the sharing agreements:

The commission says that it has tentatively concluded that allowing non-public safety entities to obtain licenses directly rather than having to enter into sharing arrangements with public safety licensees would remove a barrier to entry and stimulate more investment in the band.

It's not clear if this thing exists beyond just an idea at this point.

But to answer your question, you'd carry video signals using essentially the same mechanism that is required for the in-car emergency phone system.

My guess is that the creators of this elevator would be well aware of the need for in-car video in at least some of the installs and have accounted for this. If not, they've probably also missed a thousand other details that would be the elevator unrealistic.

This is either a solved problem, or a problem that will never exist...

1. Sell them several virtual cameras, powered by gravity pumps (good in elevators).

2. Tell them you'll install it remotely, or with robots from the future

3. Cash check and leave town forever.

Consult the Star Trek starship design team and see how they implemented it. Those United Federation of Planets engineers are all tops in their field, and they've been doing vertical/horizontal elevators since 1966.

You could use wireless, it's just going to take multiple handoffs. Fluidmesh's Fluidity product could probably do it.

Full disclosure - I used to work for Fluidmesh, and I still like those guys....

Hal, question - how many cameras inside elevator cars used Fluidmesh that you know of?

I think I can accurately say "a handful" - maybe a half dozen or so. I left the company 2 years ago, but there was an integrator in NYC hitting residential mid-rise and high-rise buildings with wireless to the elevators and seeing some good success.

I thought they were already doing wireless cameras in the 40,000 mile high elevators in the middle east or asia.

To answer the initial question, I assume this will run on scandalously insecure bluetooth or zigbee or some new insecure wireless scheme pushed by the elevator industy.

I would have thought you could bath the tunnels in 802.11-something and handled handoff. they can do wireless handoff on speeding trains, presumably these boxes don't take corners that fast. You need wireless in the elevators anyway to track everybody, er, provide network services to everybody who has a smartphone.

Hello everybody, this is Cosimo and I am Fluidmesh Co-Founder and VP Sales. This is a very interesting problem and I wanted to share some insight on how we have been using wireless to deliver connectivity to moving vehicles as I belive it could be of interest to some of you.

First off, we have done quite a few traditional elevator communication systems in the last couple of years using 5 GHz 2x2 MIMO technology. RF propagation works quite well inside the elevator shaft and we have seen throughputs anywhere between 50 to 95 Mbps on these systems so fully capable of supporting video, voice and data. Although I am not an expert in the elevator business, it seems that going wireless is the best way to go in case you are doing a retrofit of an existing elevator to add IP connectivity. Most of the time is a two radio set up but you need to make sure that you pick a radio that is able to handle the continously changing RF conditions and adjust modulation accordingly. With some elevators traveling north of 10mph you need to have a pretty dynamic rate controller to maintain throughput. Your traditional 802.11 AP most likely won't cut it.

In case we have an elevator that moves in two or three dimensions, we would use what is known as wireless 'trackside' technology. This is the same technology we are using to deliver connectivity to subways or industrial vehicles in a tunnel. The system is composed by three main parts: an on-board radio, a trackside infrastructure with radios spacing anywhere between few hunderd feet to 3 miles along the track/path (depending on the topology of the track), and a backbone network to connect the trackside radios to the NOC. The radios uses a proprietary MPLS-based fast roaming solution that can handle the handoff without any interruption in service and no packets dropped. We call this technology Fluidity. Currently we are rolling out Fluidity with a number of transit agencies in North America and in Europe and we are able to deliver around 100 Mbps up to 220 mph. Video surveillance and on-board passengers wi-fi are driving most of the need for on-board connectivity together with on-board diagnostics and signaling/CBTC.

With cameras being installed in the majority of vehicles, we feel that vehicle (V2V and V2I) communication is going to play a key role in the video surveillance industry in the coming years. We are excited to be able to serve those customers, drive innovation in the market, and help integrators stay ahead of the curve.

Hope this helps! I will be glad to dive deeper in some of the concepts behind this technology if needed.



As mentioned earlier, the elevator has to have an emergency phone (at least in North America anyway) which would be equally challenged by not having a traditional travel cable.

I find it hard to believe that the guys who designed the "Wonkavator" didn't devise a communication method given that you can't get occupancy without a monitored elevator phone. It's therefore a reasonable assumption that the commuication link is IP based and therefore the video link would use the same medium. The camera power would come from the elevator cab pretty much the same way in which it does currently.

I am curious to see how the trunk slammer weasels will try to cheat on these as they usually try to sneak a cable down the shaft to avoid drilling and fire stopping and all that other fun (and legal) stuff.

It would be tough getting it past the Elevator inspector in my experience. Also, why not use a simple coaxial to IP converter (assuming they have a coax cable? That one from Altronics looks pretty good (and cheap)