Carpet of the Future

Can your rug detect falls, prevent injuries or warn of an intruder? Soon, it may.A group of researchers at the University of Manchester in the U.K. are developing “smart carpets” that will be able to detect when someone has fallen and is unable to get up, or when unknown feet have been walking around.The carpet is packed with optical fibers that, when stepped on, report data back to a computer that will analyze footsteps and walking patterns.By monitoring footsteps over time, the smart carpet may also be used to prevent injuries. According to New Scientist, the system can learn people’s walking patterns and look out for small changes, such as putting more weight on one foot over the other. By measuring such subtle modifications in gait, the smart carpet may be able to use this information to warn against oncoming mobility issues in the elderly.Now if only someone would design a rug that can vacuum itself.Via Floor Covering News