When we talk about a magic carpet, this is normally confined to fairy tales somewhere in Arabia, more often than not involving an exotic princess and a streetwise boy who has the assistance of a genie in a lamp to boot. Well, the magic carpet that we are talking about today is literally more down to earth, where it can detect almost immediately just when someone has fallen as well as predict mobility issues, thanks to the good scientists over at the University of Manchester. The clever implementation of plastic optical fibres that are laid on the underlay of a carpet allows it to bend whenever anyone treads on it, mapping out one’s walking patterns in real-time.

Small electronics which are located at the edges act will function as sensors, relaying all signals to a computer which can then be analyzed, depicting the footprint while identifying gradual and subtle changes in walking behaviour, including a sudden incident like a trip or fall. Not only that, this magic carpet will be able to show whenever there is a pattern of steady deterioration or change in walking habits, which might point towards a fall.

It would be great if this technology can be installed in care homes as well as hospitals, or if your home has its fair share of elderly who might find it more difficult to walk around, fitting one of these magic carpets would also do the trick. Physiotherapists are able to rely on the carpet to map changes as well as improvements in one’s gait. [Press Release]

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