Tony Stark, the alter ego of Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man, is something of an inspiration to the folks at Stuff. Not so much the womanising and drinking aspect, we’re after the technology used by his modern incarnation with a Jarvis-controlled smart home being the ideal place for us all to lay our heads. Smart appliances and a voice activated climate control system are all within reach but no-one ever gives any thought to what needs to be installed beneath their feet.
Smart carpeting is a component that could find its way into a connected home and a German company, Future Shapes, may have just what the scientist ordered. The company has a product called SensFloor, which is designed to be installed into a home or building as an under-carpet layer and which features sensors that can detect changes in the electrical field above them. In short, it can detect when someone is standing on it and the SensFloor layer is capable of transmitting that information to a control module.
Future Shapes has developed this technology to assist older people who may live alone, since it could measure when they have fallen and are unable to get up without assistance and alert someone who can help. They have already installed the tech in a nursing home in France for that purpose. But we’d have something a little less honourable (and practical) in mind for it.
SensFloor could be used as the basis for a Mission: Impossible-style security system that could trigger alarms when someone walks over the floor at an unauthorised time and, with a little work and perhaps a wearable addition, could even be developed to recognise a house’s inhabitants without sounding an alert. Or it could be used to enable more effective home automation, turning on or off lights and appliances as a room is entered or exited. Again, an NFC chip could be used to augment something like this to allow specific actions.
Right now thought, this sort of home use is a pipe dream. The material used for SensFloor costs about R1000 per square metre, putting it almost out of reach for us. But not for Tony Stark.
Source: Digital Trends