A typical Serpentine line
Please read NBC News Article that talks about ‘Waiting Is Fun’.
Seated Queuing and Closed Loop Transportation System Will Make Waiting Fun!
We have all stood in those seemingly, never ending, zigzag (serpentine) lines, waiting to enter an amusement park, bank, post office, or a ticket counter. These serpentine lines are everywhere and they do a good job of queuing people in an orderly manner. But standing in line for any length of time can be tiring and painful, especially for kids, people who are unhealthy or for our senior citizens. It amazes me that amusement parks spend millions of dollars for thrilling rides but almost nothing for people who wait in line to get on those rides. It seems to me that there is a disconnect between a really boring wait and a really thrilling ride. My idea is to bring a balance to this, where waiting could become fun and productive.
On July 17, 2012 I took my family to Universal Studios in Hollywood, California, and the line for the new Transformer ride was so long that we stood standing in those serpentine lines for, it seemed like, two hours or more. I thought, there has to be a better way to manage people that could be orderly, comfortable, dignified and also generates revenue for the park operators. That’s when I came up with this idea for a Seated Queuing and Closed Loop Transporting System. I had a patent search done and within two weeks I got the results that this concept is original and is patentable. I actually have many ideas that are patentable but due to financial constraints, I only apply for patent for those ideas that I feel would solve a global problem that hasn’t found a solution yet. I decided to file for a U.S. patent after I saw potential in its application. The patent is pending right now.
My invention allows people to sit and relax in those same serpentine lines while they watch movies, sports, music videos, or play video games, check email and surf the net on iPad sized monitors (with credit card readers) attached to their seats, while their turn comes automatically. Companies can generate revenue by displaying ads on the monitors and by charging a modest amount for premium content (like latest movies). Another source of revenue could be seats with built-in massagers that could operate using a credit card. The biggest benefit could be that the attendance to the amusement parks could increase dramatically even during bad weather or slow season.
To better understanding the loop transportation concept, please click below to watch animation first before reading further:
(In the animation, the operator turns his head to see how many people are needed to go on the ride and then he advances the seats accordingly)
For safety reason, every time the queue would move automatically, a piano tune would play a few seconds before the line moves to alert people and continue playing while the line is moving.
But this queue system could have other important uses as well.
If this queue system is run continuously in a loop at such a slow speed that people can get on and get off while it is still moving (or for the system to move for two minutes in the loop and then stop for two or three minutes during which time, the people would get on and off ) , then imagine this kind of system, in malls where people could just sit and wait for their favorite store to arrive, then they can get up and go shopping. Upon their return, they just get on the continuously moving Closed Loop Transportation System and put their heavy bags on the seat next to them.
At zoos (like Los Angeles zoo), there is a lot of uneven terrain and requires a lot of walking. With this queue system, the loop of chairs can continuously pass in front of all cages and people can get on and off at will to observe the animals up close and sit back down whenever they wish, as they enjoy their trip to the zoo.
Airports could benefit from this queuing system, where this Closed Loop Transportation System could pass in front of all terminals while people with their luggage sit and wait for their terminals to arrive. Another loop controlled by the ticket agent who can advance the line at will, can take people all the way to the ticket counter where they can unload their luggage and get their boarding passes, all while seated. This system could be equally useful in huge museums like Smithsonians that spreads over many nearby buildings. Queue system can take people from one building to the next and from one floor to the next.
In a downtown business district, the queue system can go around in a loop on the sidewalks, and just like at the mall, people could wait for their business of interest to appear and get off and on at will.
The queue system can also zigzag through a parking lot and people can sit and wait for their cars to appear. The loop can take people directly from the parking lot to the lobby and back.
This system would work in Las Vegas as well, where it could be installed on the sidewalks and it would go around the whole strip and people can get up and go to any casino they like while enjoying the beautiful bright lights outside. The seats can have a cover overhead, to protect against searing sun and rain. In places where it snows, each seat (or group of seats) could be enclosed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Would it be dangerous getting on and off this system while it is moving, especially for the elderly?
The continuous loop would be safe for senoir citizens, if it is in the stop and go mode where the loop moves for two minutes and stays standing for 3 minutes for the loading and unloading of passengers. In other situations, the loop can be made to move at a very slow constant speed, where people could just get on and off with the loop still in motion.
The speed of the moving chairs should be the same speed as a child walks at a slow comfortable pace. There will also be an emergency shut-off switch under every chair that, when pressed, would momentarily stop the loop for someone to get off and then the loop would start again by itself. Pressing the button twice, would stop the loop in its track and a reset switch at the lead chair would activate it again. But getting on and off a moving object is done now with no problem and no safety risk. Case in point; people get on and off ski lifts with no problem, where the platform moves at much faster pace.
Wouldn’t this invention make us more lazy and promote obesity, as it will take over walking?
Sitting down is a pleasure that we all enjoy. Anybody can choose not to use this system and instead walk along, if they are concerned about not getting enough exercise. But this could be a necessity for elderly, kids and anybody who gets tired. That’s why we have benches in the mall and if you notice, most of them are always occupied.
What is the future of this system?
The population of many countries is growing old rapidly. Japan is an example where in 50 years, two out of every five people will be considered elderly. But there are many other countries in the same type of situation. This system would be a convenience that will be appreciated when needed.
Wouldn’t it take up a lot of space on the sidewalks and in the aisles?
This system would require about a 2 feet wide swath of space. The whole mechanism can be under the floor, but above floor system can be installed also that would take about the same space, as the mechanism would be under the footrest. There should be plenty of space left in the aisles for people to walk along with this system, if desired.
How much would this system cost to have a meaningful return on investment?
That would depend on a number of factors, like the length of the perimeter of the loop and how many people would use the system. On average, I think that the system would cost less than one tenth of the cost of an escalator (so ten linear feet of this system would cost about one foot length of an escalator). The source of revenue for the operator would be the advertisements displayed on the monitors attached to each chair. If a lot of people use the system and watch those ads, then the revenue would be greater. In some cases, the operators of the system may decide to absorb the cost and simply install this system for the convenience and good of the public. The benefit of this approach would be increased traffic that would lead to increased sales opportunities for their businesses, thus offsetting the cost of purchase and installation of this system within five years.
It will reduce the head count in the line because each chair will probably take the place of two people standing in line. Due to this, extra lines would form negating the need for this system.
The animation shown on this page displays, what I call, a ‘Half Serpentine Line’. Since this system is more orderly, the seated head count will be lower. Maybe 60 seated people would be accommodated in line compared to 100 people standing previously. But those 100 people stood standing for the entire duration. With this system they all get to sit down eventually, so that is an improvement. Bigger waiting rooms could use the ‘Full Serpentine Line’ as it would accommodate a lot more seated people.
This system of moving chairs would incur purchase, installation and regular maintenance expenses to efficiently work. Won’t that cause the ticket prices to increase?
This system has the potential to generate extra revenue that could easily offset the cost of installation and maintenance. Right now, people standing in line do not earn the park operators any revenue and it also makes for unhappy customers. The sources of revenue with the moving chair concept are multiple and diverse. Extra revenue can be generated from the following four sources:
1) Increased attendance at the park results in increased revenue and more income from concession stands due to higher traffic.
2) Advertisements displayed on monitors.
3) Charge for premium content (latest movies, for instance).
4) Built-in massagers in seats.
Could these moving chairs cause some old and sick people dizziness?
Old people with certain health conditions and sick people are usually not allowed on rides anyway. But we are talking about the chairs moving at extremely slow rate, as there will be no advantage in moving the loop at a faster rate.
If the system encounters a breakdown, how would the crowds be handled?
An evacuation plan would need to be followed that will point people to the nearest exit.
Would seatbelts be required?
No seat belts would be required as the speed of the moving chairs would be just a few miles per hour. By the way, not everything that moves requires seatbelts. School and public transportation buses do not require seat belts.
There could be many more uses for this Seated Queuing and Loop Transporting System.
Please feel free to comment. I appreciate your input.
To get in touch with me, please visit my website: www.mrfarooq.com
On a side note:
Please watch my professionally done video of my other invention; The Rapid Commute System on you tube.
Read details here: