History of the Elevator and How It’s Evolved

Ready for a top-down history of one of the modern world’s most impressive, yet unsung, inventions? Get ready for an enlightening ride. We’re revealing the past, evolution and aesthetics of the elevator, from their earliest origins to the sleek, high-rise staples many of us take for granted today.

Who Invented the Elevator?

How was the first elevator originally made? Technically speaking, rope-and-pulley-based lifting systems have been around for millennia. There is ample recorded history of the forebears to the modern elevator, from ancient Greek texts to the countryside chateaux of French King Louis XV. Legend has it the eccentric king had a “flying chair” installed to discreetly transport mistresses to his bedchamber. Did your history teacher ever share that one?

What were elevators used for originally? The vast majority of these early vertical lifts were for transporting essential goods and materials. Many of these first elevators were unsafe for human carriage past one or two stories, primarily because the ropes they relied on were vulnerable to damage from environmental conditions. Elevators were often steam-powered starting in the mid-19th century. A man named Sir William Armstrong invented the hydraulic crane in 1846, paving the way for the use of hydraulics in elevators.

When were elevators invented? It wasn’t until 1853 that the enclosed, mechanical cab we now think of as an elevator was born. Elisha Otis gets credit for inventing this first modern elevator design. Why did Otis invent the elevator? He was an industrialist initially hired by a New York City-based bedframe company to build hoisting systems that could lift heavy machinery between its factory floors. Instead of reworking the complete design of the elevator at the time, though, Otis addressed its glaring weakness: unreliable ropes that led to catastrophic falls.

In 1853, Otis unveiled a new safety device, one that activated if an elevator’s hoisting cables or ropes failed. That same year, he patented the brake’s design and opened an elevator manufacturing company. He continued engineering safer and more efficient elevator parts and systems meant for multi-story lifts until his untimely death eight years later.

While Otis himself didn’t build the first elevator, it’s unquestioningly because of his backup safety device that contemporary elevators blossomed into what they are today. Without his 1853 “improvement in hoisting apparatus elevator brakes,” heavy-duty cargo and passenger elevators alike would not be able to perform their modern transportation functions.

The First Uses for Elevators

You may be surprised to learn what people have used elevators for throughout history.

  • Ancient construction sites: Historians speculate elevator-like equipment was necessary to build some of the most awe-inspiring wonders of the ancient world, including the pyramids in Egypt and the Roman Coliseum in Italy. However, the first written record of rope-and-pulley lifts came from third-century ancient Greece, thanks to the scientist and mathematician Archimedes. Historians speculate his system used hemp ropes and a simple wooden platform cart, and relied on the strength of beasts of burden for power.
  • Siege weapon: Historians have found descriptions of the Muslim-Spanish caliphates using elevator-like siege weapons around 1000 CE. Caliphate armies would hoist vertical battering rams to break down fortress walls and defense towers during their nearly three-century reign over modern-day Spain and Portugal.
  • Royals’ castles: Elevators began to see more prominence in the houses of wealthy landowners during the late Middle Ages through the Late Modern Period. Nobles would have engineers install increasingly complex and multi-functional lifts in their multi-story estates. The first use was to transport essential household items between floors, and later for more elaborate needs, such as Louis XV’s “mistress” lift or the multi-passenger elevators found in the Russian tsars’ Winter Palace.
  • Raw material transportation: The Industrial Revolution introduced commercialized, at-scale uses to elevator technology. The mining and lumber trades relied heavily on steam- and water-powered lifts. These machines transported raw materials from deep within coal or ore mines to the surface, as well as vertically and horizontally transported trimmed lumber and pulp across many acres. These industrial lifts would become the forebears to the modern-day freight elevator.
  • Passenger lifts and platforms: An upscale New York City department store installed the first passenger elevator in 1857 to transport shoppers among its five floors. The elevator was the first commercial unit in the world to feature Elisha Otis’ safety device. People at the time considered it both a modern marvel and a public attraction, with contemporary newspaper accounts describing lines of people that would form at the store, waiting for their chance to ride this exhilarating new invention. Only 30 years later, German entrepreneur Werner von Siemens invented the first electric passenger elevator. He unveiled it at a German trade fair where it, too, received high praise and public enthusiasm.
  • Low- and high-rise transportation: The 20th century saw improved electric and hydraulic elevator technology hit the market, including speed control and counterweight mechanisms creating safer, smoother rides. These advancements paralleled — if not inspired — another pinnacle invention of the period: the skyscraper. High-rise buildings we know today wouldn’t have been possible without this history of elevator technology.

What Are the Types of Elevators?

what are the types of elevators

Today, there are more types and uses for elevators than at any other point in history. How many have you ridden?

  • Passenger elevators: The most common and ubiquitous of all elevator types, passenger elevators carry individuals between floors of multi-story buildings. Variations of passenger elevators include high-rise express elevators, which transport riders from the ground floor to upper building levels, bypassing middle floors for a quicker ride.
  • Freight elevators: Freight elevators, designed to transport heavy cargo, primarily see use in loading and unloading stations. Their dimensions and interior design prioritize this functionality over everything else, without the aesthetic touches of elevator carpet or tile flooring or wall and ceiling panels you would likely find in a traditional passenger elevator.
  • Sidewalk elevators: Sidewalk elevators work as a smaller version of a freight elevator. They’re common in urban environments that require transporting goods from street deliveries to the upper levels of a high-rise building, or for delivering goods from basements straight to street loading docks.
  • Vehicle elevators: Vehicle lifts are a specific type of hydraulic elevator made for vertically lifting and lowering automobiles. You’ll spot them most often at urban transportation centers, garages and even in some manufacturing environments.
  • Boat lifts: Like the name suggests, boat lifts elevate or lower boats between different levels of waterways and canals. They’re an alternative to the traditional canal lock system, which must flood or drain water levels to port boats between different tiers.
  • Residential elevators: Residential elevators are personal lifts typically installed in an individual’s home.

Elevator Technology and Designs

The earliest elevators were simple planks attached to a system of ropes and pulleys. The planks would vertically hoist cargo and were initially human- and animal-powered, and later by steam or water turbines.

The Industrial Revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries welcomed significant advancements for elevator design and capacities. Thanks to the technologies rooted in these eras, there are two main elevator operating systems today: the hydraulic and the traction elevator. What is the difference between traction and hydraulic elevators?

1. Hydraulic Elevators

Hydraulic elevators rely on highly pressurized hydraulic fluid — typically oil — pumped through a series of pistons and cylinders to lift and lower the elevator. The elevator cab attaches to rails in the elevator shaft, which help stabilize the cab’s overall movements, yet involve no overhead lifting or cable components.

You’ll find hydraulic elevators most often installed in buildings with 10 or fewer stories. This type of elevator operating system typically travels no more than 200 feet per minute and requires a fluid tank control room somewhere near the base of the elevator.

  • Pros to hydraulic elevators: More affordable installation, larger lifting capacities and therefore better for heavy loads, hydraulic elevator shafts require less space, making them more feasible for smaller spaces.
  • Cons to hydraulic elevators: Less environmentally friendly than other elevator operating systems, fluid leaks are uncommon and energy efficiency can vary based on the temperature of the fluid and its tank control room conditions.

2. Traction Elevators

Also known as cable-driven elevators, traction elevators use a harmonious system of mechanical pulleys, gears, cables and counterweights to power an elevator. How does a traction elevator work? An electric motor installed on top of the elevator unit controls the mechanical lifting gear.

Similar to the design of hydraulic elevators, the elevator cab itself sits on railed tracks within the shaft. As the electric motor runs, it spins the pulleys and gears either up or down, subsequently powering the lifting or lowering motion. Counterweights placed throughout the shaft help control lift speeds, while the railed track keeps the elevator cab and counterweights stabilized.

  • Pros to traction elevators: Traditionally quieter and smoother ride, more environmentally conscious, faster traveling speeds make them more attractive for high-rise buildings with greater passenger traffic.
  • Cons to traction elevators: Mechanical system requires longer installation periods and architectural allowances, plus tends to cost more. In some cases, traction elevators can be twice as expensive as a hydraulic elevator.

3. Other Elevator Mechanical Designs

Traction and hydraulic elevators make up the vast majority of elevator operating systems in use today. However, in a few specialty environments, you may stumble across a handful of other types that rely on different parts and functions.

  • Pneumatic elevators: Pneumatic elevators use vacuum-like technology and hyper-condensed air pressurization turbines to lift and lower its units. Pneumatic cabs are typically much smaller than traditional passenger elevators, likely fitting only one person. For that reason, you will nearly always find them in residential environments.
  • Winding drum elevators: Winding drum elevators are the older cousin of the traction elevator. This elevator type uses long steel ropes which wind and unwind around steel drums, thus resulting in their upward and downward motions. And while winding drum elevators have fallen out of use in commercial applications, you’ll still find them serving individual homes.

Elevator Designs and Evolution Over Time

The evolution of elevators is long and dynamic. We’ve seen hydraulic and traction elevator systems develop and advance rapidly over the past century, empowered by the development of the electric motor.

Among all the changes in elevator history, the following have been the most significant.

  • Interior designs: Elevator designs today hold more possibilities for customization and aesthetic personalization than ever. The earliest passenger elevator designs used a partially open birdcage style, made from ornate wrought metal that allowed passengers to look outside the cab as they rode. For a higher price, they allowed various door accents and finishes, and may have even included a custom light fixture. Nowadays, contemporary elevators are nearly limitless in their interior design choices. From sleek, futuristic chrome interiors to rich, warming wood grains to even multi-patterned or photo-realistic panels, elevator interior designs are virtually limitless.
  • Speed: Hand-powered passenger elevators of the past could take well over a minute to travel to the top of only a 10-plus-story building. We’ve benefited greatly from the advanced speed mechanisms developed for elevator transportation. Today, one of the main differences between traction and hydraulic elevators are their speeds. Hydraulic elevators will rarely reach speeds over 150 to 200 feet per minute, while traction elevators built with carbon-fiber components can handle ride speeds exceeding 500 feet per minute.
  • Height: Yesterday’s elevators were far more constrained in terms of total height capacity. Both the materials used to build them, the safety and speed mechanisms controlling them and the powering system fueling the entire contraption caused limitations on how high cabs could reliably transport passengers. Today, elevators’ physical component restrictions hardly constrain them. Instead, architects and engineers contend mainly with the physics of lifting people to higher and higher heights at greater speeds, managing variables like air pressurization and ventilation rather than building a strong enough elevator.
  • Materials: Early elevator engineers fashioned them primarily from metal-based materials, such as bronze, iron and steel. As synthetic material technology advanced in the mid-20th century, however, elevator engineers and designers had new elevator interior choices that could better blend form with function. While most elevator shafts themselves are still steel, elevator interiors consist of hundreds, if not thousands, of materials.
  • Power: As described earlier, the methods for powering elevators have gone through tremendous advancements. Water- and steam-powered systems gradually gave way to electric motors, which then inspired a whole series of mechanical and engineering developments to create quicker, safer, ergonomic and economically superior elevator systems with or without electric machine rooms.

What Is the Difference Between a Lift and an Elevator?

Elevators and lifts are similar mechanisms, but not identical.

Elevators share the characteristic of a fully enclosed cab installed inside durable, also enclosed shafts. Lifts, on the other hand, do not always contain a fully enclosed cab or shaft and will look more like a plain mechanical platform.

The Impact of the Elevator

Next time you regret that decision to be health-conscious and take the stairs, take a moment to be grateful even for the choice. The invention of the elevator triggered a transformative — and often underappreciated — effect on modern life nearly all of us take for granted.

1. Skyscrapers

Historians, scientists and engineers agree: Without Elisha Otis’ pinnacle elevator safety device, elevators would have continued to be unsafe for passenger transport higher than one or two stories. In conjunction with material and powering developments, the elevator has singlehandedly become one of the most influential discoveries paving the way for skyscrapers and modern urban living — plus some picturesque aerial sprawls around the world.

elevators in skyscrappers

2. Real Estate

Before the elevator, the cheapest rent would be on the top floor of buildings. The use of elevators flipped that script, transforming real estate values overnight to favor those on the penthouse level and away from the loud, dirty and often smelly streets of 19th-century cities.

3. Accessibility

Elevators represent a new chapter in accessibility for millions of people with mobility impairments. Many of us today completely overlook these machines, having never lived in a time when automatic, mechanical vertical lifts weren’t common or cost-effective. While they’re merely a convenience for some, they’re a necessity for many others, allowing us all to access spaces no matter the location.

Creative Elevator Designs for Today and Tomorrow

SnapCab is a premier provider of elevator interior remodeling and custom paneling systems. We don’t stop when things look good, though. We seek ongoing partnerships with engineers, architects and elevator installation companies to deliver the exact elevator interior you need to achieve your clients’ vision, then keep them happy ride after ride.

Explore our elevator interior paneling kits and contact us today.

Contact SnapCab

Sound Privacy and Ventilation

Many companies and organizations are turning to open office floor plans to improve collaboration, increase productivity, create a healthier work environment for employees and reduce operating costs. On the downside, an open layout can present some privacy challenges, especially if there is a shortage of quiet work areas.

SnapCab® offers solidly built Pods that can provide the ideal solution. Our movable Pods seamlessly combine sound privacy and ventilation to ensure a tranquil, comfortable setting, no matter where you place them.

How Do SnapCab Pods Provide Privacy and Ventilation?

The innovative design of our Pods absorb sound, creating a quiet stand-alone office space. We also offer synthetic felt as an option, which helps to prevent sound reverberation that can sometimes occur in smaller, confined spaces. You can use your Pods for meetings without experiencing distractions or disrupting the workers around you, or for anyone who needs privacy in an otherwise noisy or chaotic work area.

We produce enough ventilation in our Pods through the strategic implementation of gaps that allow air to escape without impacting the sound-absorbing properties. We also use ceiling fans that will facilitate the movement of air. The fans operate silently, which will enable you to conduct meetings or engage in one-on-one conversations. Solo workers will be able to concentrate without the clattering noise of a fan to disrupt them.

Who Can Benefit from Pods That Offer Privacy and Ventilation?

SnapCab Pods are perfect for any office environment where there’s a need to create more private spaces without having to undertake a significant renovation or remodeling project. They provide a flexible, cost-effective alternative for schools looking to provide quiet studying spaces for students. Architects, designers, writers, drafters, analysts and anyone else looking to minimize disruptions will also appreciate the opportunity to work in silence. You can even use them as phone booths where workers can make calls in private.

Other Advantages of SnapCab Pods

In addition to excellent sound privacy and ventilation, our Pods offer:

  • Easy installation: The modular design and construction of SnapCab Pods make installing them a breeze. Clear labeling of all parts eliminates confusion, and the plug-and-play functionality accommodates your electric and electronic devices without rewiring.
  • Mobility: Our Pods enable you to easily move the pods, thanks to the mounted casters. You can reconfigure your layout whenever you wish.
  • Simple upgrades: If you decide to expand or remodel your office at some point, you can update the panels to complement the new decor or coordinate with new branding initiatives.

Contact Us to Learn More About Our Pods

Learn more about how SnapCab Pods can seamlessly combine sound privacy and ventilation to create quiet, comfortable work areas in your office environment. Contact us for additional information and a no-obligation quote today.

Video Transcript

We’ve really become experts at sound with these pods

Three quarter inch particle board with plastic laminate on most of the surfaces where it’s smooth

And this is a white board, sometimes the whiteboards are covered in gorilla glass.

Depends on what option you want

And then on the outside is another three quarter inch heavy board.

Sound has a hard time going through solid things.

To keep the reverberation from happening from inside the pod we’ve added this synthetic felt.

It’s an option you can get and I highly recommend it.

It makes it sound great in here.

This is the door that we just installed, and I think this is one of the finest features of the whole pod.

The whole door, the seal is all friction fixed so there’s actually no contact between the door and the frames.

So the acoustical experience in this pod is a little brighter, which I think is a little less confining than the other options out there.

And you won’t see any vent grills, we have a lot of ventilation, but it’s hidden around an architectural detail that is a gap.

We like having gaps in the corners of the pods, and gaps around the ceiling.

And the air goes around the ceiling and around sound absorbing material and it has to weave in and out before it can go out through this very silent fan.

We have six fans in this S Pod; it gives you a tremendous amount of ventilation.

Quality Construction

SnapCab® Pods provide an innovative, yet simple solution for companies looking to resolve the space and privacy challenges presented by today’s open office layouts. They’re perfect for establishing quiet, stand-alone cubicles that serve as individual workspaces, private rooms for one-on-one conversations or small conference rooms for meetings or collaborative team-building exercise. They also provide a more cost-effective alternative to expensive and time-consuming office renovation projects.

Our Pods feature quality construction that ensures many years of reliable service, no matter how often you move, upgrade or disassemble and reassemble them. You’ll get a solidly build product that will deliver an excellent long-term return on your investment.

About the Quality Construction of Our Pods

SnapCab Pods feature heavy-duty frames made from commercial-grade aluminum that combines stability and rigidity with maximum flexibility. Because these frames are so light, it makes it easy to relocate your Pods when necessary. The doors of our Pods are also rugged — we’ve tested them by hanging up to 500 pounds of weight from an open door, and there was no sagging or buckling. We’ve even included high-quality door hinges and hardware that can withstand the rigors of heavy use.

Our Pods also have expertly designed and built panels with high-performance laminate skins on the interior and exterior. You can lock the panels into place with ease for faster, more efficient installation.

Our Production Process Also Ensures the High-Quality Construction of SnapCab Pods

We manufacture each Pod by implementing a carefully developed methodology that delivers superior quality — every time. We press each panel with laminate to increase its strength and provide additional sound absorption properties. We then cut the panels with a specially designed shaping and drilling machine that delivers an accurate size and precise measurements. The final step entails attaching and hinging the glass door.

We wrap and package the Pod with care to ensure it arrives at your facility without damage and is ready for assembly. The plug-and-play functionality means you won’t have to perform additional wiring to accommodate your electric and electronic devices after setting up your Pod. Simply plug them in, and you’re ready to go.

Other Benefits Provided by SnapCab Pods

In addition to the quality construction, our Pods provide excellent value in many ways. Heavy-duty casters maximize mobility by allowing you to roll the assembled Pod to wherever you need it in your office layout. Installing your Pod is a fast, easy process, and you can even upgrade them to accommodate office renovations or new branding initiatives. With a choice of multiple sizes, colors and a variety of options like Corning® Gorilla® Glass, you can have a custom product that meets your current and future office space requirements.

Contact Us to Learn More About SnapCab Pods

Whether you’re looking to alleviate space and privacy challenges in an office, school, studio or other environments, SnapCab Pods offer quality construction, flexibility, mobility and much more. Feel free to contact us to learn more about how our Pods can benefit your building layout. We’ll also be happy to provide a no-obligation quote.

Video Transcript

We ended up making these super heavy duty aluminum frames.

They are so heavy, they are so well made you can tip the whole thing up on one corner.

So this is our SnapCab frame, it’s a specialized extrusion built with 8 inch thick walls.

It’s super robust.

Notable differences on this pod include the commercial grade aspect and quality of just about everything from the door hinge and door hardware, to the gauge of aluminum in the door.

Here’s a section of the front extrusion again, demonstrating the intricate web design, providing a lot stability, ridgity.

A special spline embedded into part of the extrusion which keeps the panels in position.

It’s really robust, high density Baltic birch ply.

It’s incredibly stable.

We’ve got a bolted tennen that runs from the left and right side.

Then we’ve got high performance laminate skins on the interior and exterior that also serves as a marker board.

As an upgrade we do offer a PET wall finish, improving the acoustical experience.

And these are, of course, removable and adaptable, upgradeable panel kits, so all of these panels can come out.

The whole door, the seal is all friction fixed so there’s actually no contact between the door and the frame so again, for better acoustic properties.

It holds an incredible amount of weight so regardless of what you do. you can hang off of it.

It can take an enormous amount of stress.

We tested it with almost about 500 600 pounds of weight hanging off the door without any sag.

We future proofed our pod by designing a component into the corners that allows us to lock panels into place.

The Strangest Elevators in the World

Riding some of these elevators may have you holding your breath with anticipation — or closing your eyes. From transparent walls and jaw-dropping vantages to don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it speeds, the coolest elevators in the world use technology and incredible design to achieve things we didn’t think were possible. We’re so impressed, we’ve compiled this list of the most unbelievable elevators you will find.

Why? Because here at SnapCab, we’re obsessed with making elevators better. These elevator styles, designs, shapes, quirks and innovations can change the way we think of the elevator experience. These lifts climb to the top of the weirdest and craziest — yet most delightful — elevators we’ve ever laid eyes on. How many would you ride? Let’s dive in.

Unusual Elevators in North and South America

North America is the first stop on our tour of the weirdest but most unique elevators around the world.

1. Gateway Arch: St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch is the iconic attraction in St. Louis. Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Arch has drawn over 135 million visitors (between 3-4 million a year) since its opening in 1963 for spectacular views both on and off the ground.

Visitors who make their way to the Arch’s observation peak get there in signature elevator style. Guests make the 4.5-minute climb sitting in five-person “pods,” which resemble more of a spaceship’s command center than an elevator’s cab. These pods’ fully enclosed snow-white walls and polished glass doors sit inside a complex rotating mechanical system that threads through the majority of the Arch’s interior, with each pod rotating nearly 155 degrees before completing the lift.

2. The Luxor’s Inclinators: Las Vegas, Nevada

The Luxor Las Vegas is one of The Strip’s premier hotels and casinos. With a theme dedicated to Ancient Egypt, the Luxor is unmistakable from any other building in the city’s glistening neon epicenter — in part because of its elevator system transporting guests up its 350-foot pyramid structure.

The Luxor’s Inclinators, as they’re called, are aptly named. Passengers are carried up a 39-degree incline skirting the perimeter of the hotel and casino atrium, which is so large, it’s said you can park over nine full-sized jumbo jet planes within. Lines to ride the Inclinators are also rumored to grow so long, the hotel had to install a Nile River-style boat ride to entertain impatient guests.

3. Oregon City Municipal Elevator: Oregon City, Oregon

Oregon City’s urban planners shared an odd vision when they originally built the town across two distinct topographical regions — the lower half winding along the banks of the Willamette River, and the upper half sprinkled across its surrounding basalt cliffs.

To make foot travel between the regions easier, the city installed the first-ever outdoor municipal elevator. Passengers today can hop on Oregon City’s famous circular elevator for a 15-second ride up and down the 13-foot structure, complete with a 360-degree observation deck windows revealing pine tree-sprinkled views.

4. Maritime Museum Birdcage Elevator: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Victoria, British Columbia’s Maritime Museum elevator is the oldest operating birdcage lift in the entire North American continent. The museum takes great care to pay homage to the once-popular birdcage lift style, maintaining core stylistic features like its metallic latticework frame and ornate gold trim and accents.

A glowing crystal chandelier hangs from the elevator’s ceiling, lighting the view for passengers as they peer out into their surroundings during lifts and descents. Guests on the surrounding staircase can also look in.

5. Elevador Lacerda: Bahia, Brazil – South America

Keeping the municipal lift tradition alive is the Elevador Lacerda, located in the Salvador neighborhood of oceanside city Bahia, Brazil. Known for its opulent art deco aesthetics as well as for being the country’s first elevator, which is still operational today, Lacerda takes people between Bahia’s mountainous upper district and its seaside lower.

For tourists, Elevador Lacerda is a peek into Brazilian architectural history. Both the interior and exterior decorations of the 236-foot elevator passage carry traces of its 20th-century Art Deco restoration popular throughout Brazil, with wrought-iron frames, rectangular geometric forms and a truly breathtaking view of Bahia’s historic port.

Fascinating Elevators in Asia

Our list of the strangest, most unique elevators in the world next takes us to Asia.

1. Lotte World Tower: Seoul, South Korea

While it faces steep competition, the Lotte World Tower is Seoul’s tallest building and the fifth-tallest in the world. It also houses the world’s fastest elevator.

It’s so fast, in fact, that it carries guests from the skyscraper’s ground floor to the 121st in just over a minute. Once there, visitors can experience the world’s tallest glass-bottom observation deck — but only if they’re brave enough. The transparent deck adds another cutting-edge detail to this modern, fascinating and award-winning South Korean elevator that must be seen to be believed.

2. Bailong Elevator: Wulingyuan Region, Zhangjiajie National Park, China

Getting to the Bailong Elevator in mountainous Zhangjiajie, China, might be a bit of a trek — but one worth the trouble. Considered the tallest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world, Bailong Elevator treats riders to once-in-a-lifetime views of the Wulingyuan scenic area’s sprawling quartzite pillars, a group of sandstone-based rock formations creating massive vertical pillars and steep ravines unlike anything else on earth.

“Bailong” translates into “hundred dragons.” And indeed, you’ll feel like you’re soaring on one as you lift up the 1,000-foot glass encasing to the observation deck, where you’ll stand amidst the quartzite spires to enjoy one of the most breathtaking views in the country.

3. Umeda Hankyu Building Elevator: Osaka, Japan

At first glance, the Umeda Hankyu Building’s elevator system may look like any other elevator or lift found in offices around the world. Yet you can’t miss one key detail — its massive size.

The Umeda Hankyu Elevator is an 11.15- by 9.2-foot enclosure — and there are five of them. Each has the capacity to carry 80 passengers or lift nearly 5 tons of cargo. With sleek stainless interiors and backwall accent mirrors similar to our Corporate II and elevator interior designs, this fascinatingly huge elevator can feel more spacious than some people’s first apartment.

4. Burj Khalifa Elevator: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai builds things that are bigger, bolder and more glamorous than anything else around the globe. Indeed, the city’s famed

Dubai builds things that are bigger, bolder and more glamorous than anything else around the globe. Indeed, the city’s famed Burj Khalifa building is currently the tallest in the world (2,717 feet, 163 floors) and the iconic feature of the city’s desert oasis landscape, reaching the sky by day and lit up into a kaleidoscope of colors by night.

Of course, the world’s tallest building needs one of the world’s most impressive and awesome elevator designs. Whisking visitors at 40 miles per hour, the elevator has an ornate light show passengers see as they climb to the clouds.

5. Taipei 101 Elevator: Taipei, Taiwan

Known as the “Ferrari” of elevators, the Taipei 101 elevator system travels with speed and style. Yet it’s not only the fact this 67-unit elevator system moves at 1,010 meters per minute or that it takes less than 40 seconds to go from the ground floor to the building’s 89th that sets it apart No, the Taipei 101’s real elevator appeal includes its glitzy design, a mix of rich mahogany wood paneling with silver and glass accents.

Elevator cab interiors are also coordinated to match the building’s lighting system, which changes depending on the day of the week. Visit Monday through Wednesday for a warm color palette like gold and red, or stop by on the weekend for cooling shades of blue, violet and magenta.

Weirdest and Craziest Elevators in Europe

Europe boasts some of the most interesting, unique elevator systems and designs on our planet, many of which are tourist destinations in and of themselves.

1. Hammetschwand Lift: Bürgenstock, Switzerland

Don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to take up yodeling after traversing the 501-foot elevator stationed at the banks of picturesque Lake Lucerne. Designed to resemble a space-bound rocket ship, the Hammetschwand Lift carries guests along the sides of Lake Lucerne’s mountains up to its unique cliffside vantage.

Guests experience views of the nearby Bernese Alps as well as the Mythen, Rigi and Pilatus mountain ranges. And since the elevator was built with transparent glass walls, guests can soak in an unimpeded, snowcapped view. Just don’t forget your winter coat!

2. AquaDom: Berlin, Germany

The AquaDom is one of the most famous — and quite possibly one of the most unusual — elevators in the entire world. Located in the Radisson Blu Hotel in the heart of Berlin, the elevator resides in the middle of an 82-foot-tall aquarium tank. The AquaDom elevator contains clear reinforced glass walls allowing guests to watch 50 different species of fish in the 1,500 fish habitat. If they time it right, guests may even spot one of the hotel’s four scuba diving-certified staff feeding the tank’s marine occupants.

3. Santa Justa Lift: Lisbon, Portugal

Baroque architecture and stunning Lisbon views are just two things passengers experience when riding the Santa Justa. Fashioned from iron casings as strong as they are visually stunning, the Santa Justa portals passengers between Lisbon’s upper and lower neighborhoods, awarding them one of the best views of the entire cityscape, all against its signature gothic elevator backdrop.

4. Paternoster Elevators: Germany, United Kingdom and Other Parts of Europe

No list of the strangest elevators in the world would be complete without mentioning the Paternosters. Found today in several European countries, including Germany and the U.K., the Paternoster elevators consist of small, single-person cabs that move slowly in one continuous loop. Guests step on or step off at their desired floor — no opening, closing or holding doors required. In fact, the Paternoster Elevators contain no buttons at all.

Guests riding Paternoster elevators are treated to a quirky glimpse of what many thought futuristic elevator designs would be. Needless to say, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

5. Trampe Bicycle Lift/Cyclocable: Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim, Norway, boasts what many consider the world’s only public bicycle elevator. Developed in the early ’90s to promote commuter biking throughout the hilly city, the Trampe Lift was renamed the Cyclocable after a renovation in 2013.

Operating around 3 mph, the lift gives cyclists a break from the city’s steep, rolling topography, taking them up a 426-foot hill in the Trondheim streets of Brubakken and Gamle Bybro. The Cyclocable represents a functional public utility treasured by Trondheim residents and visitors alike.

Coolest Elevators in Oceania

We head down under on the last but not least stop of our global unique elevator tour, visiting some awesomely strange, strangely awesome lifts in Australian and New Zealand.

1. Sky Tower Elevator: Auckland, New Zealand

Stay clear of the Sky Tower elevator if you’re afraid of heights. The city’s famous observation lift is a transparent elevator, complete with glass walls, glass ceilings and — yes — a transparent glass floor not for the faint of heart.

Passengers who travel more than 600 feet up in Sky Tower’s elevator are treated to panoramic views of New Zealand’s largest city, including mountain peaks and ranges hugging the town — many of which are still active volcanos.

The Sky Tower Elevator is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Auckland. And if the transparent elevator ride doesn’t satisfy your inner thrill seeker, you’re in luck. Sky Tower also maintains a bungee jumping service from a heart-pounding 629-foot platform not far from where elevator riders disembark.

2. QT Hotel: Sydney, Australia

There are a number of elements that make the QT Hotel’s elevator in Sydney, Australia, a unique destination. Decorated to match the hotel’s eclectic, contemporary aesthetic, textured black elevator walls fuse bold colors and patterns to complement the building’s overall feel, rather than merely moving people to and from their rooms. The elevator even has multi-colored lighting trim, shifting color schemes throughout the day.

Yet that’s not all. QT Hotel’s elevators are also musically interactive. Designed with built-in passenger sensors, the elevator changes its soundtrack depending on how many passengers are inside — and has a little fun along the way. For example, solo riders are greeted by Frank Sinatra’s “All Alone,” while pairs could hear Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On” or “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers. The elevator even has parting greetings for guests as they walk off, including “Terminator” catchphrase “hasta la vista, baby” or an ominous Darth Vader stating he finds “your lack of faith disturbing” when you depart.

For a hotel whose staff are called “curators of chaos,” both the musical and aesthetic touches make this elevator ride one of the most unique on the list.

Unique Elevator Designs to Catch Eyes and Grab Attention

Interested in renovating your building’s apartment? Looking for unique, innovative and memorable designs or styles that reflect your business’s brand and showcase its true personality? You don’t have to pull all the stops like the elevators on this list.

Contact SnapCab to discuss your options. We’re a leader in elevator interior design and customized paneling systems with industry-recognized customer service and continuing support. Let’s see what unique commercial elevators we can design for you.


Most employees need to establish an ideal work environment to maximize their productivity and comfort. SnapCab® Workspace offers the flexibility to customize your office space to meet your requirements. You’ll be able to create settings that seamlessly combine functionality with aesthetics and include the “extra” touches that make an office space feel like home. You’ll have a quiet, private work area that will minimize distractions and stimulate the thought process, which can lead to better overall job performance.

So Many Options for Customization

You can begin to customize your SnapCab Workspace even before it arrives at your facility. When you order pods, you can select from multiple laminate choice for the wall panels. For a small upcharge, you can choose a laminate finish from one of many top manufacturers. If you prefer a premium finish, we suggest Corning® Gorilla® Glass, which provides a blank canvas for implementing a wide variety of patterns, images and colors. You can even personalize the paneling with your company’s logo or branding slogan.

The customization possibilities don’t end with the design of your pods. Your workers can equip and furnish each unit to suit their preferences and accommodate their working styles. The sturdy aluminum frame and solidly built compressed wood panels can support brackets for shelving and tables, as well as fasteners to serve as hooks for hanging heavy objects. With the plug-and-play electrical connectivity, you can install everything from air conditioners and flat screen televisions to office and computer equipment without having to do any rewiring.

As SnapCab pods come in multiple sizes, you can also choose the amount of floor space that suits your purposes. The Talk, our smallest unit, works well as a one-person office that still offers plenty of chances for customization. The Meet 4 provides more room for setting up a one-on-one conference room, while the Meet 6 is the perfect size for holding collaborative team meetings. No matter which model you choose, you’ll have the flexibility to create a custom-designed, furnished and equipped workspace that will add value to your work processes.

Additional SnapCab Workspace Benefits

Aside from all the customization choices, SnapCab pods give you a mobile office space solution you can use just about anywhere. Casters mounted to steel plates on the bottom of the units allow you to push them across the floor of your facility, and you can also transport them with a forklift if needed. We’ve made them easy to install, which saves time and labor. You can even upgrade your pods’ paneling if you embark on a facility renovation project at some point and need to change their look.

Feel Free to Contact Us Regarding Your Customization Requirements

If you have specific ideas about how to customize your SnapCab pods, we’ll be happy to discuss them with you. We’ll do everything possible to turn your concept into a reality, and we might even be able to offer some suggestions to improve your design. Contact us online to learn more today.

Video Transcript

And I keep my workspace right on the factory floor where everything is happening.

I sort of tricked it out, I added a curtain hook, I got my mailbox right here, and I got a spot for a trash can.

I used a medium sized pod bench here to make room for the printer and my trash, and this is a regular L sized bench on the other side.

One of my favorite things about a pod is how versatile it is.

You can do absolutely anything you want.

Here we installed a 49 inch tv and it is installed irregularly into our solid panels.

The way we have confectioned (?) the pod with aluminum in the exterior and then the panels of compressed wood will hold absolutely anything you want installed.

I also love how the pod is ready to get any tech that you have and anything that you need for work.

So this is our Facebook (?) portal in here and you can use this for video conferencing.

So that little camera in there is a super wide angle that will get everyone that is inside of the pod and you can video conference in the other side (?).

This is our on-site pod manufacturing support pod.

As you can see the guys have used their own shelf brackets from Fast Cap to hold this desktop up and it makes a terrific work area.

Alright, now here we are in Trevor, our shop foreman’s pod, that he has customized for himself and guess what?

Trevor is into guitars.

It’s very easy to display when you have walls that you can put fasteners anywhere that you want.

This is an amazing product.

I am super excited about it because I am wondering what kinds of ideas are going to come out of the conversations  and focus work that is going to be happening in these pods.

So for me, I am feeling like wow, it’s neat to be able to provide an environment where people can do some real thinking.

Fire Suppression

Fire safety is a critical component of an office building’s infrastructure. Appropriate fire prevention and control measures are also essential for meeting building code standards.

SnapCab® pods offer a flexible stand-alone office space solution that can also meet your fire safety requirements. You can install them with confidence wherever you need to accommodate individuals, small groups or teams. Although pods aren’t necessarily incorporated into the original design of the structure, you can equip them with reliable fire suppression systems whenever you install them.

How Does a SnapCab Pod Fire Suppression System Work?

Our innovative Workspaces give you the flexibility to connect them to your building’s hard plumbing system to tap into the water supply and provide fire suppression functionality. A knockout in the ceiling can accommodate a discreet sprinkler head covered with a specially designed cap. When a fire in the building causes the temperature inside the pod to reach a certain level, the sprinkler head will lower automatically, and the sprinkler system activates.

What Are the Benefits of Fire Suppression Systems for Modular Office Pods?

Integrating a fire suppression system into your SnapCab pods can dramatically improve safety in your facility. These systems can reduce the risk of the loss of life from fire by up to 82% and lower the amount of property damage by up to 71%. The types of buildings that derive the biggest benefit from pods equipped with fire suppression capabilities include data centers, healthcare facilities, offices that rely on the extensive use of telecommunications systems and equipment and those that handle or store a high volume of flammable or combustible materials.

Other SnapCab Advantages

SnapCab Workspaces offer an excellent solution for today’s open office environments where private space is at a premium. Our pods are:

  • Easy to install: The modular construction and clear labeling make setting up our pods a breeze. With the plug-and-play connectivity, you can use your computers and other electronic devices without having to do any rewiring.
  • Easy to relocate: Once you’ve set up your pods, you can move them to just about anywhere in your office layout. Casters on the bottom allow you to roll them across the floor with ease, and you can also transport them with a forklift if necessary.
  • Easy to remodel: Upgrade the paneling of your pods as your needs change over time, such as when undertaking an office renovation project or engaging in a new branding initiative.
  • Multiple sizes and colors: We offer SnapCab Workspaces in multiple sizes to accommodate individual workers, one-on-one meetings or small groups. You can also choose from many colors and a range of options, such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass to create the ideal finish.

Contact Us to Learn More About the Fire Suppression Capabilities of SnapCab Workspace Pods

Learn more about the many benefits of a SnapCab pod with built-in fire suppression. Contact us for more information today. We’ll also be happy to provide a no-obligation quote.

Video Transcript

So, each pod can be hard plumed for fire protection system and fire sprinkler.

So, this is the head, so what happens is when it drops there is a cap that fits over top of this, which contains the head.

And what happens, in this case, when this is heated at a certain temperature, this falls down, and the head falls down, and the sprinkler is activated.

So, what we provide is a knockout in the ceiling tile where the fire suppression head can be place.

We have a hole where the hard plum would come in from the building itself.

A discreet flange is placed through the hole and allows the sprinkler system to float easily into the knockout from the ceiling tile.

If you do hard plum the fire suppression system into the pod, it’s very important to make sure that the pod itself is secured to the floor; so again, we’d be using our seismic feet.

Meeting Pods’ Uses and Advantages

Portable meeting pods have become one of the trendiest spatial solutions in contemporary office design.

Offering privacy and practicality, these collaborative pods for companies are an intuitive choice to conduct small group meetings or stow away for some private work time.

But, are they only for commercial businesses breaking from cubicle complacency? What other uses are there for pods, and what specific benefits can these acoustic meeting pods bring to your workplace, regardless of industry?

Since we at SnapCab® obsess over conference pods — their looks, features and uses that free us all from workplace convention — we’re here to answer these questions and more with a complete list of applications and benefits for portable privacy pods.

meeting pod uses and advantages

Who Uses Conference Pods?

Custom conference pods come in handy in a variety of environments and applications —more than might meet the eye.

1. Offices

Due to the rising costs of commercial real estate, traditional and open-concept offices alike must balance maximizing their current square footage without crowding or cramping the workspace. After all, it will cost the average single-story office today $160 to $170 to add one square foot to its existing layout. Renting extra office space doesn’t fare much better, either, with rent per square foot averaging $23 — an amount that gets even more expensive when you factor in location, building type and nearby building amenities.

Private meeting pods provide a solution when office square footage is at such a premium. Instead of constructing expensive new conference rooms or reconfiguring the entire office, businesses can assemble mobile, modular privacy booths that satisfy the same function. Pods cost a fraction of the price and don’t carry the disruptions, downtimes and price tag of an office space overhaul.

2. Schools

Educational environments are a second popular home for noise-absorbing acoustic meeting pods. From late-night exam cramming to group project meetings to quiet reading spaces across campus, schools require a variety of flexible and accessible study spaces, including those within:

  • College dorm study areas
  • College dorm lounges
  • Libraries
  • Academic buildings
  • And more

Students benefit from selecting the privacy space best suited to their needs. Midsized units, like SnapCab’s® Meet 4, make an ideal flex space for one-on-one tutoring, while larger meeting pods for schools, like the Meet 6, can comfortably seat groups of four to six.

3. Medical Environments

Many medical facilities use modular meeting booths as outpatient consulting rooms, as well as quick and convenient areas to hold private conversations with patients and their families.

This sensitivity toward privacy is not only an industry best practice — it’s a compliance concern. Health care regulations outline a range of protections when it comes to safely relaying personally identifiable information in written and verbal form. Several medical facility types — like the following — employ secure, sound-absorbing conference pods to remain in compliance when communicating sensitive medical information with patients and loved ones.

  • Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Veterinary offices
  • Pharmacies

4. Transportation Hubs

Bustling train and subway stations, airport terminals, bus depots and even combination transportation centers benefit from the quiet acoustic pods can bring.

take a breather in a pod

These busy hubs commonly turn pods and pod technology into custom phone booths and rest stations. Travelers can stow away to make phone calls, send important emails or even take a breather from the hustle and bustle of their surroundings — one of the signature perks of SnapCab’s Pods.

Uses for Meeting Pods

You can find private workspace pods across many commercial and private environments. Within those spaces themselves, office meeting pods have a range of uses — uses that range far beyond housing brainstorming sessions or weekly stand-ups. Consider these office pod advantages.

1. Privacy Rooms

Employees today crave privacy. While the trendy open-concept offices and cubicle-free layouts have ushered a new wave of creative and collaborative floorplans, they are notoriously loud and distraction-prone, even for diligent workers.

Modular booths infuse that much-needed, much-missed privacy back into the workspace. For a variety of tasks, peace and quiet are essential for productivity, as well as the participants’ sanity. Privacy booths work well for workplace activities like:

  • Interviews
  • Annual reviews
  • Confidential professional conversations
  • Important conference calls and presentations
  • Projects requiring prolonged states of deep work

2. Custom Phone and Video Booths

Organizations in the U.S. spend roughly 160 million minutes in voice and video conference calls during the year.

Industry surveys reveal employees tend to lose up to 15 minutes per call handling ad-hoc distractions and bringing conversations back on track. What’s more, over 70% of employees say they’re comfortable discussing confidential or sensitive information during these conference calls, yet don’t tend to consider the security of their immediate environment while doing so.

Office phone booths give a safe, secure location to handle phone and video calls, whether they are routine or confidential. At SnapCab, we make our Talk and Focus booths from sound-reducing panels, complete with an acoustic-absorbing fabric ceiling.

3. Office Wellness Rooms

Office wellness booths, or “Zenbooths,” are an increasingly trendy feature in many contemporary workplaces. Businesses often choose these rooms to match company culture and embody corporate values, as well as recognizing employees’ very human need to recharge in a private place.

These calming, stimulus-free stations give employees an appropriate setting to temporarily relax without causing a scene or disturbing colleagues. Common wellness booth themes include enclosed spaces for meditation, stretching, yoga and similar activities relevant to your workforce’s tastes and interests.

4. Collaborative Meeting Booths

Just as booths make secluded spaces for private phone and video calls, they double as versatile meeting pods for companies that require additional conference space.

pods increase productivity

The design of many acoustic pods keeps group productivity in mind. SnapCab’s Meet 4 and Meet 6 pods — which seat up to four and six people, respectively — contain seating, tables, LED lighting, Wi-Fi connectivity, Corning® Gorilla® Glass interior panels that double as whiteboards and plenty of electrical outlets. Our four-person meeting booth is the perfect environment for uninterrupted collaborative get-togethers, both scheduled and impromptu.

5. Individual or Group Workstations

As businesses scale, they require workspace solutions that’ll grow and adapt as they do, plus remain in good condition across years of use and even after brand aesthetic changes.

SnapCab pods come with a unique modular design on wheels, positioning them as the ultimate flexible desk pod. A pod can begin as a group meeting flex space, but quickly transition to a private workstation dedicated to individual deep work. In some offices where employees don’t receive desk assignments at all, this workspace flexibility is the natural choice to maintain horizontal collaboration and fluidity, while giving employees the desk functionality they need.

6. Private Offices

Today’s typical office employee will get interrupted at work once every 11 minutes. That same employee will need another 23 minutes to shift back into work mode, picking up wherever they left off.

SnapCab’s Meet 4 and Meet 6 pods make convenient, cost-effective private offices, removing employees from their distraction-prone environments. Use them as flex offices available on rotation or even as assigned office spaces for employees or management, housing their complete desk workstation.

7. Snack Stations

SnapCab’s Meet 6 pods’ 71″ x 71″ x 78″H interior dimensions are the perfect size to contain a mini snack bar or coffee station. Tuck them into corners of the office to make it easier for employees to grab what they need, then return to their desk, or add them to current break rooms or dining areas without requiring expensive room renovations. Plus, SnapCab pods come with motion-activated LED light fixtures and fans, meaning no one forgets to turn off the lights and food and beverage smells don’t affect the entire office.

8. Conversation Booths

Ad-hoc conversations between employees quickly catching up after the weekend or discussing their shared favorite TV show all have a time and place in the office. Yet they can be distracting, not only for their participants, but for those around them, especially when they occur sporadically at desks.

Company meeting pods create a designated place for conversations that don’t disturb others in the vicinity. Employees can even use these booths to take lunches or have coffee breaks with colleagues, further reducing the likelihood of distracting, but inevitable, conversations.

9. Nap Pod

Nearly every detail of privacy pod fabrication creates a temperature-controlled, noise-absorbing room well-suited to a growing workplace trend — employee naps.

While napping at work still strikes many as unprofessional, research shows the significant benefits of even brief naps timed mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Portable privacy pods are the place for workers to stow away for some necessary R&R, increasing alertness, attention spans, mental acuity and overall productivity.

10. Office “Neighborhoods”

Unassigned office layouts, or the “agile” office, is an emerging workplace organizational structure where no employee receives a desk assignment. Instead, employees work wherever they feel most productive — then have the freedom to pick a new workspace pod every day.

Use larger multi-pod configurations to designate department types or themed work areas. For example, arrange a cluster of Meet 4 and Meet 6 Pods and outfit it to serve as the collaborative brainstorming hub for the entire organization. Nearby, Connects partitions and acoustic sound-absorbing pod layouts can create a designated focus space for employees concentrating on immersive solo work.

Meeting Pod Advantages

Across their uses and applications, custom meeting pods bring a range of benefits to the organizations employing them.

1. Quiets Working in an Open Office Environment

pods create a quiet work environment

Pods contribute to improved office acoustics, both inside and outside their panel walls:

  • Felt-lined interior panels to soak and contain sounds
  • Glass doors to create a premium sealed noise barrier
  • Acoustic felt ceiling and carpet to reduce sound transfer further

When configured strategically, meeting pods introduce natural office sound barriers and partitions that reduce overall sound travel. This feature is especially valuable if your office has plenty of materials like flush walls, glass, tile, stone or concrete, or is an open-concept floorplan.

2. Portable and Reconfigurable

Most conference spaces in offices are permanent fixtures built during initial construction. These static spaces cannot move, rearrange or scale as you do, plus they rely on people using them according to capacity best practices.

Conference-room congestion becomes an issue of the past when offices adopt portable conference booths. SnapCab’s Meet 4 and Meet 6 Workspaces are particularly ideal solutions, designed as modular kits with high-load phenolic casters to easily pivot, re-angle or all-out move the booths to another location.

3. Cost-Effective

Private meeting booths cost a fraction of what renovating new meeting rooms within your current square footage or constructing new office additions altogether do. Consider hourly contractor rates alone. Plus, any new constructions will be static, unable to scale or adapt to shifting employee needs over time. Opting for mobile, modular and reconfigurable pod meeting spaces is the far more economical choice and the greener one, too.

4. Customizable

Conference pods, including those from SnapCab, come with customizable laminate panels available in premium white or a rainbow of colors.

Looking to go beyond laminate? Individual pod panels can also be fabricated from:

  • Gorilla Glass whiteboard
  • Gorilla Glass Gigapixel custom large-format, high-resolution printed graphics
  • A mix of white and color laminates
  • All of the above

Finish customizing your pod with optional furniture like seating and tables, each made to match the overall aesthetic of the entire conference desk pod.

5. Compact

You can arrange conference Workspaces to seat entire groups of people or house workstations. They’re still fundamentally compact units, designed with an eye toward maximizing current space rather than overwhelming it, all through easy reconfigurability and maneuverings.

SnapCab designs its meeting and conferencing Pods to meet these spatial needs with the following dimensions.

  • SnapCab Meet 4 pod: 53″ x 77″ x 91″ exterior/47″ x 71″ x 78″ interior
  • SnapCab Meet 6 pod: 77″ x 77″ x 91″ exterior/71″ x 71″ x 78″ interior

6. Tech Outfitted

How many times have you entered a meeting, only to realize your laptop battery is dangerously low?

Conference workstation pods remedy this pain point, built to house — at an arm’s reach — all the tech equipment and features necessary to stay productive during collaborative work. Common booth tech features include USB ports, power stations, lighting and plenty of outlets, all providing a plug-and-play workstation ready when you and your colleagues need it most.

7. Mobile

SnapCab’s meeting booths feature modular designs. That means we manufacture them to assemble how you want, where you want, in one complete snap-into-place kit. And because they’re on wheels, you can quickly reconfigure meeting pod layouts to suit your in-the-moment preferences, wheeling these mobile meeting booths here, there and back again — much like a game of Tetris. If you can put together and place a piece of Ikea furniture, you’re ready for mobile conference pods like those from SnapCab.

Office Pods

Curious about custom meeting and group conference pods for your workplace? Send your questions to SnapCab! We’ve seen the benefits our custom meeting pods have brought to countless workplaces and their employees — and we can’t wait to do the same for you.

Browse our SnapCab meeting Pod catalog, then start creating your custom conference workstations today.


Maximum mobility is crucial for success in today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing and evolving work environments. Being lean and agile meets the scalability needs of 21st-century organizations, as they can easily add workstations to accommodate new employees or relocate them whenever they need to reconfigure an office layout. Mobility and flexibility can also allow companies to avoid significant remodeling and renovation projects that take time and often cost a lot of money.

SnapCab® can add the benefit of mobility to your office setting with our innovative Workspace solutions. You can use these solidly constructed, stand-alone spaces as individual offices, one-on-one conferenced areas or self-contained meeting rooms. You’ll get a comfortable, private workspace you can easily relocate to wherever you need it within your office layout.

Casters Provide the SnapCab Pod Mobility

The key to the mobility of our pods is the heavy-duty casters welded to a steel plate that supports the weight of the pod. The casters allow you to roll and maneuver the pods across the floor. Each caster can accommodate up to 800 pounds, which is more than enough for the pod and its contents, such as a table, chairs and computer and office equipment.

Suppose your pod contains heavier objects that make rolling it more difficult. A skid plate attached to the underside of the unit provides extra support if you prefer to move it with a lift truck. You’ll be able to transport it safely and efficiently over distances or load it onto a tractor-trailer or delivery truck with ease.

So Many Ways to Take Advantage of the SnapCab Mobility

You can use our mobile pods in a variety of ways. For instance, if rapid expansion is creating the need to add to your workforce quickly, you can use the SnapCab Focus to form several rows of individual workspaces. Unlike traditional cubicles, our Workspaces are enclosed units with sound-absorbing panels that will create quiet, private workstations, even in a confined area of your facility. The fast assembly and installation process also provide a more time-efficient alternative that will meet your staffing requirements.

Maybe you’re looking to integrate a mobile meeting area into your layout. Our SnapCab Meet 4 pod is the perfect size for groups of two to four people, and you can move it around to different departments without having to create a permanent conference room or area. Our largest unit, the Meet 6 pod, provides the space for team-building activities and helps to foster a collaborative work environment.

All our pods offer an assortment of finish options that allow you to create the ideal appearance for your work areas. You can also upgrade the paneling to change the look of your pods when the time comes, such as undergoing an extensive renovation project or updating your branding.

Contact Us to Learn More About the Mobility of SnapCab Pods

Feel free to contact us online for more information regarding the mobility of our pods and how it can benefit your present and future operating requirements. We’ll also be happy to provide a no-obligation quote.

Video Transcript

Originally they didn’t have wheels.

I remember I was talking to our bench manufacturer, and they said “hey we’d love to have one of pods if only it was on a wheel” because they’re a lean manufacturing company, we’re a lean manufacturing company.

And we all realized, well of course they have to be on wheels.

So we point out the robust casters we have that are welded to this steel plate.

Each wheel holds about 800 pounds.

We’ve got a skid plate which helps protect the bottom under carriage during movement.

So if we want to slide a forklift or a pump truck, we’ve got some protection from the under carriage.

My name is David Robinson and I am the founder of Fractal Workspace.

We are kind of a boutique co-working spot in Kingston, Ontario.

I am standing in front of our SnapCabs.

The area that we have these set up in actually converts into an event space.

So we can move these pods out, which is really exciting.

We also consider moving them into other parts of our space, so the fact that they’re mobile is amazing.

Code Compliance

Ensuring compliance with the frequently changing building and electrical codes is a challenge that nearly every company faces these days. SnapCab® Workspaces give you a mobile, flexible office solution that will also meet your code compliance requirements. Install them wherever you need to create a quiet, private space in your office layout. They will also provide the connectivity you need to power your laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other electrical and electronic equipment efficiently and safely.

Our Pods Are UL-Listed and Seismic-Tested

Underwriting Laboratories has been setting the global standard for product safety testing and certification for more than a century. SnapCab pods are UL-Listed, fulfilling the requirements in crucial areas such as fire and smoke resistance, as well as personal safety assessments and table load and stability testing. The low-voltage electrical wiring within the panels also complies with the UL testing guidelines. You can install your pods with complete confidence and peace of mind.

Seismic testing is another critical safety aspect for organizations located in earthquake zones. Our pods have undergone comprehensive stability and anchorage testing conducted by Critical Structures, one of the most respected and accomplished structural engineering firms in the United States. You can rest assured knowing your office pods can withstand significant structural challenges and contribute to a safer work environment, whether you’re susceptible to earthquakes or any other operational or environmental issues.

Understanding the Electrical Capabilities of SnapCab pods

Our pods come with 110V electrical outlets and a USB charging port you. You won’t need to perform any additional wiring to connect your devices. The plug-and-play capability simplifies the entire process and enhances safety. You can create a fully equipped work environment for your employees while achieving code compliance.

Other Valuable SnapCab pod Benefits

SnapCab Workspaces are fast and easy to install. Besides the plug-and-play connectivity, they feature a modular design and clear labeling that simplifies the on-site assembly process. They also include heavy-duty casters that allow you to wheel them to wherever you need them. If you decide to remodel your office at some point, you can also upgrade the pod wall panels easily to coordinate with your new office layout and design.

Our pods come in a variety of sizes — whether you need to create individual workspaces, one-on-one meeting rooms or conference areas for team collaboration, you’ll find the right solution for your needs. You can also choose from a variety of colors, as well as premium finishes such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass (available for a small upcharge). If you prefer, you can select a blank canvas that allows you to create a custom finish that contains your brand, logo or anything else you desire.

Contact Us to Learn More About Our Code-Compliant Pods

Learn more about how SnapCab pods can provide the ideal solution for your office space requirements and ensure code compliance. Contact us for additional information and a no-obligation quote today.

Video Transcript

Pods have 2 main testings.

One is the UL rating and you can find that on the UL website, very easily.

We’ve got here an example of what the UL website looks like and there is one of our entries to furniture powered, and non-powered.

Here is the certificate number over here, E502865.

Pods are tested to UL standard 962 and in doing that they looked at fire and smoke, electrical, impact resistant; table low testing, personal safety assessment and they did a lot of stability testing on it as well.

The seismic testing was carried out by critical structures, whose report is here on my screen.

And it covers, as it says, the stability and anchorage of all three sizes of the SnapCab Pod.

It’s very current and here is the inspectors stamp.

They went into great detail and were very impressed with the performance of all of the pods.

The floor hatch access to the power supply is code compliant in Chicago.

The 100 bolt DC cable with multiple outlets is a single molded piece and leads directly to the under floor compartment with a single lift up plate which an inspector can easily access.

This is all low voltage wire, again it meets the UL code, which can be easily placed in the canopy in the walls.

Lean Conference Room

Companies and organizations everywhere are looking for ways to create a “leaner” work environment to reduce costs and increase operating efficiency, which is driving the trend toward choosing an open office floorplan. While an open office layout is typically much cheaper than a more traditional closed office, it does offer one significant disadvantage: a lack of conference room space.

SnapCab Workspaces can offer the ideal solution by allowing you to create cost-effective lean conference rooms and move them to wherever you need them in your facility. You can also choose a smaller office floorplan because you won’t need extra space for dedicated conference rooms, which can save you thousands of dollars per month in rent.

Using a SnapCab pod as a lean conference room can also save you time. Because of its mobility — each pod includes casters that make it easy to roll across the floor — you can place it closer to your workers’ location. They won’t have to walk across the facility to attend a meeting, which can add several minutes of productive time to their schedules. The proximity of the Workspace makes it easier to hold impromptu meetings to address an issue that requires immediate attention.

Our Lean Conference Room Options

SnapCab offers two pod sizes that can serve as lean conference rooms:

  • Meet 4: With an interior dimension of just under 24 square feet, our Pod M is the perfect size to accommodate smaller meetings or work groups consisting of two to four individuals.
  • Meet 6: Our largest pod, the Pod L model provides nearly 36 square feet of interior workspace, which is ideal for groups of four to six individuals.

Both models will provide quiet, stand-alone rooms that are perfect for meetings or conferences. They feature sound-absorbing walls to ensure privacy, as well as plug-and-play electrical connectivity to accommodate laptops, cellphones, printers and whatever else you and your staff needs for a successful and productive gathering.

Additional SnapCab Lean Conference Room Benefits

All SnapCab Workspaces feature a solid aluminum frame and wood panel construction that ensure excellent durability. They’re also strong enough to hold shelving, tables and other objects. You’ll appreciate the modular design that allows you to set up and install a lean conference room in almost no time. Purchasing a pod or two is much more cost-effective than integrating “permanent” office space into your existing open office layout.

Create a Custom Lean Conference Room Design

Our pods are also completely customizable. Choose from muliple laminate options for the panels and a wide variety of finish options, including Corning® Gorilla® Glass. When the time comes to renovate or expand your facility, you can upgrade your pods to complement your new design concept or updated branding.

Contact Us to Learn More About Our Lean Conference Rooms

Feel free to contact us to learn more about how our mobile pods can provide the ideal conference room solution for your open office layout. We’ll be happy to discuss your customization requirements and supply a no-obligation quote.

Video Transcript

The other thing about these pods is this less than 4 feet by 4 feet, that is 12 square feet.

The amount of space that people pay for in these offices in some locations is incredible.

And then it’s mobile so there is less walking to get to your location where you want to have the meeting.

It’s very close.

If you have a group of people in your open office that work together, they can jump into one of our L pods or M pods and have a quick meeting.