An automatic door, also known as an auto door, is a door that opens automatically, usually on sensing the approach of a person.
In the 1st century AD, mathematician Heron of Alexandria in Roman Egypt invented the first known automatic door. He described two different automatic door applications. The first application used heat from a fire lit by the city's temple priest. After a few hours atmospheric pressure built up in a brass vessel causing it to pump water into adjacent containers. These containers acted as weights that – through a series of ropes and pulleys – would open the temple's doors at about the time people were to arrive for prayer. Heron used a similar application to open the gates to the city.
In 1931, engineers Horace H. Raymond and Sheldon S. Roby of the tool and hardware manufacturer Stanley Works designed the first model of an optical device triggering the opening of an automatic door. The invention was patented and installed in Wilcox's Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut for the benefit of waiters carrying plates of food and drink. The entire system plus installation was sold for $100.
In 1954, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt invented the first sliding automatic door. The automatic door used a mat actuator. In 1960, they co-founded Horton Automatics Inc and placed the first commercial automatic sliding door on the market.
East Anglia in the East of England comprises the four counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and is close to London. It is well-connected with Europe and the rest of the world through London Stansted Airport, the International Gateway to the East of England. There is also Norwich International Airport and London Southend Airport. The region has an excellent rail service with Greater Anglia, including the Stansted Express.
A recent report shows that East Anglia is home to three out of five of the fastest-growing city economies in the UK. Cambridge topped the list, with Ipswich second and Norwich fifth nationally according to The UK Powerhouse study.
The report reveals that Ipswich had the second-highest rate recorded of GVA growth rate (a measure of the value of goods and services produced) in the UK in the first three months of the year (2.5%), while Norwich enjoyed a growth rate of 2.4%.
Looking forward, the report also predicts the three locations will maintain their top 10 positions by the final quarter of 2028.