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Designs for All > Thresholds: Automatic Doors

Photo of open automatic doors in a train station

In ancient theocratic Egypt the focus of society rites was about the spectacular “mise en scene”. A scientist named Herón created a system to open automatically the temple’s doors while a ceremony was celebrated. When the priest would order doors to be open a hitting system combined with a communicating vessels system would open the gates and permit access to the gods’ residence.

After those remote origins until the contemporary automatic door systems a long path of investigation has been fulfilled. Turning doors and flip-flop doors have softened the path towards modernity.

Nano–technologic solutions and microchip implementations were analyzed at the MIT to come up with better building solutions for doors and windows. These systems are useful both for private and public spaces, such a homes or airports; here they are also applied as security control systems.
Former origins of automatic doors may be found in rotating doors and flip-flop doors. Those gyratory doors permit easy access carrying suit cases, baby chairs or crutches with absolute comfort. Flip-flop doors are a genial invention for bars, restaurants and public baths or saunas.
High-tech architects such as Richard Rogers or Renzo Piano often use on their buildings automatic doors with elegant transparent crystal structures that allow easy access to groups and avoid the necessity of using hands to open those doors.
The company Cellbris has stepped forward in the invention of automatic doors and has created a system that allows the door’s opening through the mobile phone. A toll free call opens the gate from distance. That allows the generalized use of public or private spaces, for the opening of doors might be done without physical requirements and with no need of third person’s helping. The security of public access is guaranteed by the use o fan authorized code.

At Reading’s University scientist Kevin Warwick created MAD system. They analyze the study of microchips implants in human bodies. They walk towards a certain future cyborg. With this system we could become James Bond in Casino Royale and would be able to open doors just by staring at them.