Researchers have revealed a magic carpet that can detect falls and may yet predict mobility troubles. The carpet was established at the Photon12 convention in Durham, UK. Below the carpet is a mesh of optical fibres that detect and plot movement as stress bends them, varying the beam detected at the carpet's ends. Detectors at the carpet's edge translate the light into electrical signals which are then analyzed by a processor.
The developers of the network, at the University of Manchester in the UK, see its primary use in care homes or hospital wards, to raise an immediate alarm in the case of a fall. These deflected light patterns help electronics learn walking patterns and observe if they are deteriorating, for instance in the elderly. The optical fibre network at the heart of the effort makes use of the same types of fibres that pass on data to homes and transversely oceans, in which light bounces next to the fibres' length.