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However quickly technology evolves, we will still always need systems to convey people up and down through everything from houses to skyscrapers. It was only a matter of time before someone stepped things up with an innovation like this one: the flexibly curving escalator, possible future rival to the classic spiral staircase.

In fact, this is not the first design of its kind, but it represents a significant step forward in the direction of fully customizable shapes for human conveyance systems – this variant by engineer Jack Levy can wind and twist in ways none of its predecessors could possibly rival.

But wait, why do we need this? For one thing, it frees up designers in terms of new construction projects. More importantly, though, it makes retrofitting old buildings a far more manageable prospect – and wrapping around and within historic architecture plausible for people who cannot manage stairs.

Whether this will suddenly start appearing in shopping malls (let alone homes) near you is another question: it is still expensive and complex, particularly for non-commercial/institutional populations, but do not be surprised if you find one snaking through your office building sometime soon.