Pressure sensitive floors: How to design one and what to use it for

Pressure sensitive floors: How to design one and what to use it for

Although a relatively new innovation, pressure sensitive flooring technology has started to be used in some fresh and innovative ways.

Creative software company Adobe crafted an interactive pressure sensitive display at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco. While pressure sensitive floors are commonplace in warehouses and manufacturing plants. 

Even everyday locations such as supermarkets and shopping centres use pressure sensitive flooring to activate automatic doors and count visitor numbers.

Utilising the right pressure switches and coding them effectively can create exceptional results when designing and building a pressure sensitive floor. All of which sounds complicated, but in fact can be relatively simple to achieve.

How to design a pressure sensitive floor

When designing a pressure sensitive floor, it is important to work out what your flooring will be used for. Typically, pressure-sensitive resistors will be placed strategically under the surface of the floor to track movement such as sitting, walking, standing still and more. 

Your pressure-sensitive resistors will then need to be linked to pressure switches that connect to a computer or transmitter so that the information you need from the floor is reported properly. Getting the information you need will be a partnership between the floor and the coding used to relay the information. 

Considering the flooring type you use is important too. Heavy and non-pliable flooring such as concrete or stone tiles might not work as well as more flexible materials such as wood or vinyl floor coverings. 

What to use a pressure sensitive floor for

As we have said, pressure sensitive floors are already being used in some everyday situations such as getting in and out of buildings and activating electronics for use. Nevertheless, there are some innovative ways pressure sensitive flooring is being used to help support health, well-being and industry. 

In zoos and wildlife parks, pressure sensitive floors are being used to track animal behaviour as a way to monitor their overall health. Specifically, monitoring time spent standing, laying down and asleep in their pens or houses. 

Pressure sensitive flooring is also being used in care for older citizens too. Floors can be adapted to assess abnormal pressure patterns when seniors walk, help to create orthopaedic footwear, or perform mobility assessments for insurance or healthcare reasons. 

In the automotive industry, pressure sensitive floors are being adapted to test different car parts. In particular, pressure sensitive floors can be used to test the effectiveness of car tyres and predict their safety when in use, helping manufacturers to create better, safer products. 

Due to the relative newness of pressure sensitive floors,p there are still endless possibilities for its use. Research in a wide range of industries such as aviation, sports and farming are still being explored. Leaving room for innovation in the world of pressure sensitivity.