Advanced Flooring Turns Whole Rooms Into Touchscreens For Monitoring Movement

Growing older comes with a few nice things. Knowledge evolves into wisdom. Context informs perspective. A long life’s ups and downs are woven into a rich tapestry of memories.

But it also comes with a number of consequences that almost everyone would just as soon avoid. Footing becomes unsure. Bones grow fragile. A task as simple as rising from bed or navigating a room becomes fraught with danger when a fall could mean a broken hip or being unable to get up again.

Such a fall is among the great fears of caretakers, whether it’s a relative or a nursing home. What if no one is home when the accident happens? How will a nurse know if the injured person has tumbled to the ground on the far side of the bed?

A German startup is offering a high-tech monitoring system for this problem, which is set to grow more urgent as the developed world begins dealing with a spike in senior citizens. The company has developed an advanced, conductive textile floor covering they call SensFloor that detects when people are walking or lying on it. The innovation is already alerting European nursing homes when a senior has fallen. … (Read more)