Digital meets physical in a unique way with GravitySpace, a new approach to tracking people and objects indoors. This smart pressure-sensing floor can act like a ‘mirror,’ generating computer animations that look and act like the people walking on it.
It can reconstruct objects in direct contact with it “by first identifying objects based on their texture and then applying inverse kinematics.” GravitySpace was developed in the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, with funding from Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK.
The 8-square-metre floor can recognize people by their weight, track their movements and display interactive videos. It could be used to control objects in the home, monitor the family, and play games.
New Scientist notes that the prototype features a piece of glass installed in the floor, with an infrared camera and high-resolution video projector in the room below to track footprints and beam video up onto the glass. The flooring is covered in a pressure-sensitive film and surrounded by infrared LEDs, so when someone steps on it, they disrupt the infrared light, which creates an image of their footprint captured by the camera below.