Detailed by Discover News earlier this week, a German company called ASB Systembau GMBH has developed a new type of glass flooring that utilizes programmable LED lighting to create lines as well as video messaging or specific wording directly underneath the glass surface. Currently built into a school gym in Germany, the lighting can display a variety of boundary lines for sports such as basketball, tennis, badminton or other activities that can be played in a typical gymnasium. If this type of flooring was installed within a large sporting arena, it could also display the score on the floor during intermissions as well as advertisements for sponsors and lighting shows during halftime.
Called the ASB Glassfloor, the glass flooring material undergoes a series of alterations using a ceramic treatment to reach a level of elasticity and friction that’s similar to a typical wooden floor. The company also conducts “bounce tests” for gyms in order to make sure a basketball bounces at the same height as a wood floor.
In addition, the glass surface is dulled to a point where the reflection is significantly reduced in order to avoid player distraction. Company representatives compares the reflection level to a typical marble surface. This treatment also happens to hide any type of scratches that are caused during play and the flooring can be customized in any color. The color of the flooring can also be changed at a later date which would be ideal for a sports teams that adopt different colors. In addition, the glass flooring is supported by a lightweight frame made out of aluminum. That framing system also houses the LED lighting.
When combined with sensor technologies, this type of flooring could alter how sports are played and judged. For instance, a tennis court could digitally mark the spot where a tennis ball lands using an LED light and sensors built into the ball. Rather than looking at replay video during a sporting event, the LED lighting system could offer an accurate placement of exactly where a ball landed or where a player’s foot stepped out of bounds.
Coaches could track where each of their players stepped on specific plays and look for ways to improve the team’s effectiveness or exploit weaknesses in the other team using that tracking data. Even more advanced, entirely new sports could be developed where the rules dictate that the boundary lines automatically shift during the game based on timing, scoring or many other factors.
The company is also pitching other venues, such as nightclubs and event arenas, for installation of the advanced ASB Glassfloor material. The LED flooring could be programmed for live music events and incorporated into a band’s performance. A variety of different colors can be used for the LED lights making it ideal for clubs that want to display a creative light-show on the floor while patrons dance to the music. The flooring could also be used in the corporate setting. For instance, the glass flooring could display the company logo or video presentations related to a recent advertising campaign in the lobby of the company headquarters.