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SPOTLIGHT ON: SENSORY FLOORING Sensory Scientia’s Wipe theme

Tomorrow’s Flooring Assistant Editor, Eve Douglas, takes you on a walking tour of sensory flooring, a fully interactive floor installation that is becoming increasingly popular as a way of enhancing people’s environment.

We walk around on floor every day and, quite often, think nothing of what is on said floor or what it can do. Sensory flooring is a technology aiming to change that.

Sensory flooring is a system whereby images and patterns can be projected onto the floor, providing an array of interactive experience and activities to anyone, regardless of their age or abilities.

Designed primarily for educational, social and most recently rehabilitation purposes, sensory flooring is becoming increasingly popular in schools, residential homes and even psychiatric hospitals as a means of connecting people with situations and environments that they


wouldn’t usually experience. It encourages interaction via visual and audio means and has proved a worthwhile tool for teachers and therapists who want their children or patients to move and behave in certain ways, enabling them to assess their cognitive understanding and/or memory skills. Another popular function for sensory flooring is to facilitate people with special needs, and give them an area that they can explore, create and use to expand their knowledge.

As everything is touch and sound sensitive, the need for switches or wires is eliminated and the installation comprises of a high specification PC computer, projector, and projection flooring surface,

configuration and training. It isn’t necessarily the cheapest of instalments, but what it can provide in terms of learning and interaction for anyone from a small child with learning difficulties to an elderly person with dementia, is priceless. Sensory Scientia designed the software used for sensory flooring, and leading resellers such as Integrex Ltd use it in their solutions.

The next most important thing is, of course, the flooring. Impact absorbing floor tiles are the most ideal surfaces for sensory flooring and GREATMATS provide a great range of floor tiles in a range of colours, thickness and sizes. The type of flooring recommended for sensory flooring varies with

wherever it is it’s being installed, but impact- absorbing floor tiles are probably the most ideal as they create a soft, cushioned floor that is anti-slip and can be used either as temporary or permanent floor coverings. Its versatility makes it very common in schools and hospitals where the rooms may also need to be used for things other than the sensory, interactive activities. The tiles, which are made from flexible vulcanised rubber, can be laid onto any hard surface and can be ‘locked’ together, meaning they are stable enough for a wheelchair to be on. American based company GREATMATS have a huge variety of tiles available in various colours and sizes. Unfortunately, they can only ship to the USA

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