SensFloor is a smart rug that can tell when (and where) you’re standing on it

sensfloor can tell youre standing smart carpet

Smart floors aren’t exactly a new idea, but thanks to a German company by the name of Future Shape, they might soon become easy and affordable enough that they’re within reach for average consumers. 

The company’s technology –dubbed SensFloor– is basically an uber-thin, sensor-studded textile designed to be installed underneath your carpet. Each square meter of the fabric is imbedded with sensors that measure capacitance — changes to the local electric field that occur when a person (or any other conductive object) touches it. To communicate the activity of these sensors, the fabric also sports an array of radio modules that transfer the collected data to a control module, where activity can be monitored and analyzed in real time. And amazingly, somehow all of this tech is tucked inside a material that’s only two millimeters thick. 

Obviously, this tech has dozens of potential applications, but to start, Future Shape is focusing on using Sensfloor to monitor elderly people who live alone and run the risk of falling down. For example, the company recently installed it in a nursing home in Alsace, France, where over 70 different rooms were monitored. Whenever SensFloor detected that someone had fallen down, the nurses station was sensfloorimmediately called for help. And that’s just one potential use. Future Shape has barely scratched the surface of what’s possible so far.

Since SensFloor is equipped with radios, it could ostensibly be used as part of a next-gen home automation setup. Imagine a carpet that could sense when you walk into a given room, and automatically tell your lights to turn on, your speakers to fire up, or your blinds to swing open. With the right algorithms, the system might even be able to predict where you’re walking based on the direction of your movement (or even through analysis of your past habits) and turn on lights before you enter a room. If SensFloor were linked up to your smartphone, it could become an invisible surveillance system, and alert you of activity inside your house while you’re away. The possibilities are extremely vast.

At this point in time, the product is still pretty pricey (roughly $270 for every 11 square feet), but with any luck, the cost will begin to come down once demand increases. For the time being, however, we suggest you start brainstorming and planning out all of the elaborate pranks you could pull with something like this.

Find out more here.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Amazon shows off compact cashier-free store that could show up at airports

Amazon is testing its smallest Amazon Go store to date as it considers taking the grab-and-go technology to new venues such as airports and train stations. The compact store is a quarter the size of its current locations.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Deals

Clean up with robot vac, upright vacuum, and spot and stain remover deals

Whether you're gift shopping or need to get your house ready for the holidays, deals on household cleaning appliances are always welcome. We found Walmart's best deals on robot vacs, upright vacuum cleaners, and spot and stain cleaners.
Smart Home

These accessories take your already awesome Instant Pot to a whole new level

If you're familiar with the Instant Pot, you know that this bad boy acts as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, egg boiler, and a lot more. Here are some must-have accessories to make Instant Pot cooking even better.
Smart Home

Cops go after porch pirates with dummy Amazon boxes and GPS trackers

Amazon is helping police in Jersey City to catch thieves who steal delivered packages from outside people's homes. Within just minutes of the operation's launch this week, cops nabbed their first porch pirate.
Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.
Smart Home

A couple’s recalled dishwasher caught on fire — and now they’re warning others

A Wisconsin couple has been using the dishwasher in their house for a year, unaware that it was recalled in 2009. Then the appliance caught fire. Now they are warning others to check appliances for risks when buying or renting a home.
Smart Home

Amazon has some killer deals on vacuums through the holidays

Whether you're buying for someone else or for yourself, Amazon has some great deals on vacuums running through the holidays. Score them while you can and keep your home cleaner than ever.
Smart Home

Got an Emerson thermostat? 135,000 of them are being recalled due to fire risk

Most recalls are relatively benign but if you own an Emerson-branded thermostat, we encourage you to check your model number because the company has alerted consumers to the potential of the device starting a fire.
Deals

You don't want to sleep on these red-hot bedding deals

We've rounded up some of the best discounts and sales happening right now, so you can buy yourself (or your loved ones) new bedding without breaking your budget. Trust us when we say these are deals worth losing sleep over.
Deals

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.