We’ve told you about touch-sensitive floors before, but this one really kicks it up a notch — as in playing a CGI soccer game on its surface.
Developed by Patrick Baudisch and his colleagues at Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, this glass, 26-square foot pressure-sensing “smart floor,” called GravitySpace, recognizes people by their weight and tracks their whereabouts to display interactive videos.
Walking on the floor is akin to walking over a mirror where one’s computer-generated doppelganger is digitally reflected. The idea is that the pressure-sensing technology could turn your floor into an interactive surface that controls electronics in your homes, lets you play games and monitors elderly or disabled people.
For example, if you walked into the room, the floor could recognize your weight and play your favorite album, turn on you favorite TV channel or just turn on the lights. Or you could call up a game of virtual soccer and perhaps save a few lamps from getting broken.
As of now GravitySpace exists only as a prototype that relies on a sub-level space below the two-and-a-half-inch-thick glass floor where an infrared camera tracks footprints and a high-resolution video projector transmits video up onto the glass.
A rubbery, pressure sensitive film coats the floor, which is surrounded by LEDs. When someone steps on the floor, their footstep interferes with the infrared light and their footprint is captured by the camera. Software recognizes what and where those objects are and, in tune, generates video for the projector.
“This pressure sensor is of such high resolution that the floor can recognize anything from shoe prints to fabric textures to someone’s knees,” Baudisch told New Scientist.
Baudisch and his team will present GravitySpace at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris this April.
Credit: Hasso Plattner Institute