A new kind of lift cable, developed by Finnish elevator company Kone, promises to remove the need for transfer floors, enabling people to travel to the top of a kilometre high skyscraper in one go.

Kone describes UltraRope as lightweight carbon fibre “lift-hoisting technology”.

Unlike the heavy steel cables that lift today’s elevators, UltraRope consists of four carbon-fibre tapes sealed in a high friction coating of transparent plastic, about 4 centimetres wide and 4 millimetres thick.

When installed, multiple strands of UltraRope are used to hoist each elevator car, operating in parallel to share the load.

According to Kone, the UltraRope is 90% lighter than the equivalent steel cable, thereby reducing the load and enabling far taller continuous runs.

The technology has been under test in a 333-metre-deep mineshaft in Lohja, Finland, since 2004.

Sections of UltraRope are currently on display in England’s Victoria and Albert Museum as a signal toward the vertical future of our cities, in an exhibition celebrating a variety of innovative objects.

Courtesy The Guardian UK