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Luminous Shadows Underfoot

Floor tiles, that when walked upon, glow momentarily and have customizable special effects.
  [vote for,

There are several ways the tiles can be made but basically these would be standard 12" or 16" floor tiles but manufactured of translucent materials such as acrylic or glass brick. Each one is then backed with an electroluminescent panel and finally a thin rubber sheet containing a circuit/ logic board with micro pressure-sensors. The tiles are configured for daisy-chaining on two opposing sides so that individual rows of tiles complete their own circuit.

The default setting will illuminate tiles, when activated by the pressure of footsteps, with a glow-on glow-off type of visual effect. The glow pattern radiates outward in a circle with fading edges, its diameter is about twice the length of the footstep detected. Think of each footstep creating a "visual echo" made of glowing light. The length of glow time, its brightness, size of glow pattern, etc. can all be customized.

The fun happens with the ability for choosing special effects. Designer light patterns substituted for the default setting can include effects such as softly twinkling snowflakes in the winter, breeze scattering leaves in the fall and tiny, random blossoms-a-blooming in spring, etc...

These tiles would be most suitable for entrance ways, long hallways and kids bedrooms. A utility design ideal for bathrooms would create a lighted in-floor calendar/ date- keeper to help you get you focused on your day from the get-go.

Tiger Lily, Jun 02 2003

Billie Jean crossing http://www.halfbake...e_20Jean_20crossing
very similar halfbaked idea, by [adhib] [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Electroluminescent Panels http://www.vea.it/V...nti/ill_elettro.htm
[Tiger Lily, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Lightspace http://www.lightspa...roducts/nightclubs/
Aug 4 2004: You could bake your idea using this product, currently marketed to discos [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       You could follow your cat to find your way around in the dark. That would be pretty cute.
sild, Jun 02 2003

       I can't help but think that we have done this before, not as elgantly admittedly. I like the snowflakes effect idea...can there be a crunching sound while this is happening? (+) Even if it has already been preposed on the HB this is superior!
silverstormer, Jun 02 2003

       Thank you [silverstormer]. Cats could leave little paw prints in light though I can't recomend these tiles for owners of paranoid cats. Kittens, however, would be a blast to watch playing with their paw print "shadows."
Tiger Lily, Jun 02 2003

       Hehe, I like it. But I don't like the fact that I keep getting pictures of Michael Jackson in my head.
RoboBust, Jun 02 2003


       [RoboBust], I had not remembered that at all until you mentioned it. I guess that makes this baked. Poop.
Tiger Lily, Jun 02 2003

       Include a memory function and it could be used for giving directions in large or complex buildings. When the info desk person is asked the way to the widget dept, they can just hit a button and say 'Follow the orange footprints, and they'll take you there'. (I remember a similar idea in an Asimov SF story).
OnionBread, Jun 02 2003

       No, this is much better [Tiger Lily]. Michael Jacksons were just plain white tiles, and I imagine some guy backstage was merely flicking them on and off as he stepped on them.
RoboBust, Jun 02 2003

       are they like lit disco floors?
po, Jun 02 2003

       See link for a very closely related idea, for outdoor use.
krelnik, Jun 02 2003

       Nifty! I'd hook the whole thing up to my computer so it could do the "life" cellular automata using my footsteps as input.
drzeus, Jun 02 2003

       [Po], think of these tiles as if they had the properties of a mood ring and you have left behind a footprint. This will start you in the right direction. This is a primitive analogy by comparison as the tiles, however, can produce effects in different colors and infinite patterns by choice.
Tiger Lily, Jun 03 2003

       This is the coolest idea I have ever seen.
Jezzie, Jun 03 2003

       You could run the entire day over at X speed, seeing who was where at any time, using shoe sole recognition technology. Eventually the kids will be jumping between pieces of furniture to avoid leaving a tell-tale history.

One way this could be made in a dumb version: the tiles are phosphorescent and the shoes have UV lights in the soles. The combination leaves slowly fading imprints wherever one goes. Spectacular for dance floors, and esp. useful for dance studios...
pluterday, Jun 07 2003

       coooool....it lingers, i imagine? and i can get it in pretty colors?
igirl, Jun 07 2003

       Why not design a thin electro-luminescent sheet that can be pasted onto the abdomen of pregnant women.This could show them the outine of the developing foetus and its position.
Avendra, Sep 29 2003

       You could light the rim of the toilet when you stand in front of it to help you aim at midnight... IF you stand, that is!
stringstretcher, Oct 31 2003

       Heh. So instead of just footprints underfoot, there should be a nightime setting that would illuminate a "walk this way" pattern to the loo/john/bog? Just before arrival, "running flashers" could help "bring you in" ;b   

       A lighted rim could also save people from..uh, well, those midnight "bowling" accidents...
Tiger Lily, Oct 31 2003

       The technology for all of this exists, and it would be (relatively) cheap. All it would take is a few clear acrylic panels and a cheap electric drum set.   

       Excellent idea. Bread!
shapu, Aug 04 2004

       A flying dutchman has built an interactive light floor. Basically it's a sandwich of coloured liquid (if "igirl" wants pretty colours she can have them) between two panes of glass. This rests on supports that encompass a light installation. When you walk on it your weight displaces the liquid and the light emerges where your feet have been, thus leaving a luminescent trail that gradually fades over about a minute. You could have the walkway on an higher floor without the light installation and your footprints would reveal what's going on below.
sabretooth, Aug 25 2004


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