Wired.co.uk: Glass gym floor lights up


A glass sports floor at a school in Germany uses hidden LEDs to switch between court markings at the touch of a button.

The ASB Glassfloor by ASB Systembau GMBH aids concentration by only showing the floor markings for the sport being played but the company are also planning to expand the technology to include light-up training programmes and advertising capabilities.

The floor is constructed from panels made from two glass sheets similar to car windscreens. These panels sit atop an aluminium frame which also contains the LED channels which describe a variety of sport floor markings. Etching to the surface reduces reflections which would otherwise be distracting while ceramic dots burnt into the top panel provide grip.

The combination of translucent glass and hidden LED channels means that only those which are lit up can be seen by players.

The company is keen to expand the technology in relation to sports and training as well as exploring the possibilities of smartfloors in other types of venue such as hotels and clubs.

"We are thinking about running tracks with an indicator on the floor moving at a set speed for continuous running training, virtual barriers for football and handball training that appear and move randomly and are not allowed to be crossed by the ball to simulate defend opponents," say ASB of the flooring's capabilities. "To enhance the professional presentation LED systems under the floor can also be used to show the score, match statistics and nation flags."

Other suggestions include using the floor as a giant screen that can show advertising, being able to illuminate escape routes during emergencies, programmable dance floors and mood lighting for health spas.