Ding! The next-generation elevator should be much faster, thanks to responsive rides that require less waiting, make fewer stops and anticipate your destination.

Personal Occupant Requirement Terminal, or PORT, is elevator maker Schindler's solution to vertically growing cities. It's a kiosk with a touch screen in a skyscraper's main floor lobby that replaces the traditional call buttons. Passengers enter their destination floors, then the kiosk directs them to a particular elevator, grouping people who are going to the same floors.

The system and its algorithm will also begin to understand the traffic of the building and track passenger behaviours, such as when they go for lunch or take coffee breaks.

Coming up

Schindler's James Ellingson talks to CBC Radio's Spark about smart elevators on March 24 at 1:05 p.m. on CBC Radio One.

"So it begins to learn where the elevator stops, when it stops, what floor it stops at, how often it stops, so we could begin to predict where people want to be and where they want to go throughout the day," James Ellingson, national director of sales and marketing of Schindler Elevator Corporation in Canada, tells CBC Radio's Spark in an interview that airs Sunday.

It's no surprise that this old-fashioned transportation technology is getting the boot. Since Archimedes, the eureka-shouting Greek inventor, put together the first lifting device with ropes and pulleys, riding the elevator has become one of the minor annoyances of modern life as buildings grow taller and bigger.

Ellingson cited studies that show 60 per cent of the world population will live in urban areas in 40 years as more people move to the cities.

"In order to move those masses of people intuitively [and] efficiently … something had to change, because we couldn’t bear those types of numbers with traditional dispatching," he said.

PORT technology could shorten the time passengers spend waiting for and riding in elevators by 30 per cent, according to Ellingson.

"That's pretty significant if you think about the time we spend during the day moving vertically."