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Friday, March 16, 2012

A Device that Displays Wait-Time

Student to market Shabbat elevator tracker

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH 03/15/2012 01:31

Engineering student finds commercial solution to endless Shabbat elevator wait.

By BeeOnTime

If observant Jewish residents of towering hotels and apartment buildings feel that waiting for the automatic Shabbat elevator is like awaiting the Messiah, there will soon be a solution.

A 24-year-old Jerusalem inventor and biomedical engineering student will soon market the first tracking device that informs would-be elevator users in their rooms or apartments when it will reach their floor.

Approved by rabbis for Shabbat use, the affordable wireless device is being manufactured in China. The system is patent pending in both the US and Israel.

Shlomo Friedman, who graduated from yeshiva high school at 16 and is the son of a dermatologist, started building “smart homes” – whose functions are monitored and controlled by a computer system – four years ago. Working for a family in a luxurious penthouse on the top floor of the capital’s Wolfson Towers, Friedman heard that they had to wait 15 minutes or more until the elevator arrived, as it moves only one floor at a time without human intervention.

According to Jewish law, one may not press the elevator button to call for it, or to open or shut the doors, on Shabbat or festivals.

The imaginative Friedman came up with the idea of launching a timer – as an offshoot of the smart home system – to tell the residents automatically how many minutes and seconds remained until the elevator’s arrival.

Now, if only he would invent a device to show the wait-time for the Messiah...


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