As a kid, I was totally fascinated with the Wonkavator, Willy Wonka's magical elevator from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" that travels in all dimensions and defies all Earthly logic. I looked sadly at modern elevators that were only able to go up and down, wanting one that could go sideways and squareways and whateverways I wanted.
It looks like the universe is about to meet me partway with the Multi, a magnet-propelled elevator concept that in addition to moving up and down can also go sideways. The elevator uses a technology calledto move multiple elevator cars along the same shaft without the need for wires and cables. Wait times for elevators can thus be drastically reduced, and the ability to move the cars in almost all directions could let architects stretch their design innovation.
The Multi's cabins are smaller, meaning fewer people transported per car, but it should be able to move more people in the same amount of time as traditional elevators since cars come every 15 to 30 seconds. The Multi elevator is set to begin testing sometime in 2016, and German innovation company ThyssenKrupp hopes to have a fully operational prototype running in its test tower in Germany by the end of 2016.
Here's hoping that by 2026, we've come up with a full-blown Wonkavator that blasts out of a building and goes wherever we want to go anywhere in the world.
(Via Wired UK)