An elevator system set to debut this summer would be right at home on "Star Trek."
But Mitsubishi Electric Corp.'s voice-activated elevator was not designed for Vulcans or other extraterrestrials; it was made for humans on Earth.
Here's how it works.
The doors to the elevator open automatically when you arrive in the elevator lobby. The lift will begin moving after you board it and say, for example, "third floor."
The elevator system uses speech-recognition software, which is also being used in many car navigation systems.
To avoid possible mix-ups of homophones--for example, the word "gokai" can mean both "fifth floor" and "misunderstanding"--the user orders the destination floor number after saying one of the predetermined keys: "Operation by speech," "By voice" or "Start."
Mitsubishi hopes to receive orders from hospitals and welfare facilities for the new system, which is designed to help wheelchair users and the visually impaired.
The system will be marketed as an optional feature, and will carry an additional price of about 1.2 million yen ($15,000) for an elevator in a five-story building.
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