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77 SMART FLOORING DOMOTEX


ENERGY Your floor knows what you are doing and where you


are going. It can even tell others all about it. Welcome to the wonderful world of the smart surface


Photography | Pavegen.com and Energy-fl oors.com Words | World Show Media correspondent


Technology is driving product development these days, giving fl oor surfaces the ability to detect and evaluate movement as well as report accidents, generate power and even give directions. And they’re getting smarter by the day. Smart technology is starting to get under our feet, quite literally, giving fl ooring the potential to not only infl uence, but change our thinking on building designs. The high-tech fl oors of today have the sensor capability to detect movement, weight, pressure and other data to guide the way designers consider everything from construction methods to traffi c fl ow and security. They can also generate electricity by movement or turning on lights when they detect that someone has entered a room. They’re already making their mark in industry. Smart fl oors with antennas built into them are able to pick up data from the badges employees wear or the wristbands given to visitors. In the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland, Ohio, for example, fl oors can monitor the location and status of patients, staff and equipment. Administrators there


set up alarms to alert them to possible equipment theft and accidents. Taking that scenario a step further, designers have long envisaged a time when a patient has an accident at home after being discharged and the sensor saves the day by acting according to its program and calling an ambulance. Similar technology already exists to help the elderly by giving audio alerts when they wander into the wrong room. IBM has also made considerable strides in this area, thanks to its patented electronic, multi-


touch covering initially designed for use in medical monitoring and surveillance, hoping in particular, to reduce false alarms. Future Shape developed a system dubbed the SensFloor, which uses a series of sensors layered into textiles in the fl oor to transmit radio signals from


DOMOTEX PREVIEW 2020


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