Multitouch Smart Floor Detects Heart Attacks, Intruders
By Julie Jacobson
The next big thing in security, home automation and digital health technology could be IBM's multitouch floor that detects family members, falls, intruders and other activity.
Someday your floor could be the only security sensor you need for the home, if IBM moves ahead with a patent granted on March 20, Securing premises using surfaced-based computing technology.
The patent describes a multitouch floor that can determine who is in the house, and what they're doing. The floor senses the shapes, weight and number of feet on the ground so it can distinguish between parents, kids, infants, pets and unauthorized visitors.
From the patent:
The system takes different actions based upon identifying which object is in a particular location. For example, if the system senses that a small child is in an "off-limits" location, such as a swimming pool or hot tub area, the child's caregiver can immediately be notified to prevent the child from getting hurt. Similarly, if the system senses that the family dog has entered an area that is off-limits, such as a living room or bedroom, actions can be taken accordingly. If the owner is home, the owner can be notified with an alert in order to remove the dog from the off-limits location. If no one is home, a high-pitched dog alarm can be sounded in order to have the dog retreat from the off-limits location.
The smart floors also could determine the position and movement of the home's occupants, which has tremendous implications for home health technology, aging in place and telemedicine.
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