Machine Conversations and Tweeting Escalator

Creative Storytelling and Experience Design

Machine Conversations

The world leader in elevators, KONE, had together with IBM Watson IoT created an AI-driven monitoring and control system powerful enough to monitor and predict wear & tear and repair needs of a million elevators in real-time.

Nobody had ever translated machine-to-machine conversations into audible, intelligible and shareable conversations. Until now. We devised a way to tap into the real-time data feed between KONE elevators and the IBM Watson IoT cloud. By crafting over 500 variable-bound lines of copy, calls and responses — we made it possible for the world to hear how elevators speak their minds. The real-time conversations could be heard — and seen — live, and played back using automatically picked discussion highlights.

Within days of its launch, Machine Conversations became a pop-culture phenomenon with consumers, the media and the industry joining the storytelling with phrases from films and entertainment.

In only five weeks we reached 327 million listeners and viewers — with e.g. over 350 media articles ranging from USA Today to Forbes to Quartz to Financial Times to BoingBoing and even the World Economic Forum. Earning KONE exposure worth over 3 000 000 EUR/USD in online advertising space.

KONE Tweeting Escalator

@JustAnEscalator – The world’s only tweeting escalator


Each second, around 6000 tweets are being posted on Twitter. This corresponds to over 500 million tweets every day. In February 2018, an unexpected source suddenly crashed the party.

By connecting their escalators to the cloud and monitoring their performance, Finnish manufacturer of elevators and escalators, KONE, makes maintenance predictive, tailored and intelligent.

We wanted to make this complicated IoT-service concrete and understandable to the wider audience. By interpreting the data provided to the cloud by the escalator, and translating it into readable messages, we created the world’s first tweeting escalator.

On Twitter, the world could follow the inner thoughts of an unnamed London escalator – and they did.

The use of social media, specifically Twitter, as a platform for our communicational concept, allowed us to interact with our audience in a completely new way. In an attempt to simplify a fairly technical service and make it easily approachable and engaging, we used the framework and limitations of Twitter to our advantage and created a campaign the likes of which the world has never seen before.

As we have access to the inner thoughts of a London escalator, why not translate them into human tweets and share them with the world?

KONE VR Escalator

The most uneventful VR experience ever made    

“Like those weird Norwegian Netflix films where you ride a train for ten hours, it’s actually entrancing.”

– Matthew Huges, The Next Web

As the construction market is slowing down globally, the elevator and escalator industry has increasingly shifted their focus from new equipment business towards services. KONE wanted to launch their new IoT-service in a way that clearly stands out and create a competitive edge.

24/7 Connected Services combines KONE equipment with IBM’s Watson-platform, which analyses escalator activity in real-time, every second of every day. Continuous monitoring helps KONE make timely service and maintenance procedures, which prevents unnecessary breakage.

Escalators are boring by design, even to the target groups. They only get noticed if they break down. When escalators are serviced before breakage, KONE can keep them running without interruptions, almost endlessly. This means that we make them even more uneventful by monitoring them in order to keep them running without interruption.

But how do you market something that is innovative, but essentially boring? Our solution was to bring something fresh, news worthy and innovative to the method of storytelling itself, while making it so uneventful it becomes captivating. That’s why we created the world’s most boring VR-experience; A never-ending ride is only accompanied by the monotone voice of the escalator, which informs the user about its performance.

In a world of fast-paced content and short attention spans, KONE managed to differentiate and stand out by presenting something utterly uneventful in an impressive, thoughtful way. Goes to show, that even the most boring subject can become an international sensation when put in the right context.




Mechanical/ Industrial Engineering



Type of work

Creative Storytelling
Digital Experiences

Client description

KONE's mission is to improve the flow of urban life – understand People Flow in and between buildings, making people’s journeys safe, convenient and reliable. KONE is a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry.