Yes, the Life Alert slogan is cliche, but how can you avoid it when talking about a "smart carpet" that can assist the elderly when they fall? The carpet is the brainchild of researchers at the University of Missouri, and it has the capability to electronically monitor a senior's location and sound an alert in the event of a fall. This is made possible using a new sensor that can be printed on thin, flexible sheets using equally flexible and inexpensive "organic ink."
These organic Ink sensors can be utilized in the thousands on a sheet layered between a room's carpet and carpet pad. Currently, the researchers are working on a system that would feed the data collected by the sensors to a computer for display and electronic analysis. Caregivers could then use this information to determine whether or not the elderly individual was in danger. If all goes well, the device could be used in real world testing scenarios inside two years. All-in-all, a device like this would have a significant advantage over other warning systems given the fact that the individual in question would not actually have to be conscious to summon help. [University of Missouri]