Smart flooring that can simplify alerting

The ELSI Smart Floor underfloor sensing laminate is a thin laminated copper based sensor that offers some potentially very valuable benefits. According to the website, the capacitative sensing technology can be used to trigger alerts created by patient movements. Examples given are:

  • Falling/slumping on the floor
  • Getting out of bed
  • Triggering lighting when getting out of bed
  • Going to the toilet
  • Leaving the room at night time
  • Staying anywhere where someone shouldn’t stay for any length of time such as the toilet, or on a balcony in wintertime

There’s no indication of price or the difficulty of installation; one presumes it would be best suited for hospitals and residential care establishments as a permanent installation.  There’s also no indication of sensitivity and the danger of false alerts – it’s clearly got to be pretty sensitive to pickup changes in the capacitance of a floor so false alerts is a topic I’d want to explore before making an investment.

That said, it looks to be a very exciting development, that does not require users to wear devices, cannot be fiddled with or switched off by users and, sadly equally important, cannot easily be tampered with by cleaning staff or require regular replacement (as opposed for example to bed sensors).

There would also seem to be the benefit that the output could be used for ADL (activities of daily living) monitoring too (though there is no mention of equipment that this Finnish company provides that could do that).

Clearly this will potentially have other applications in addition to monitoring frail people – the website, under ‘ongoing developments’ also mentions:

  • gaming solutions
  • elevator systems
  • pedestrian counting systems
  • energy optimisation systems
  • prisons
  • intruder and flood detection systems.

This seems a most exciting addition to the array of sensors available, particularly because it requires nothing to be worn and cannot easily be disabled or wear out.

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  1. This solution can only be used when there is only 1 person living alone, without pets or movable furniture. As there is no way the fllor can differentiate between pets and human, or even a dead piece of funiture. If you move a chair out to the balcony, and forgot to move it back to the living room, it will casue an alert, as something stay too long in the balcony.

    If the person have a visitor, then they both go to toilet, and out, and they computer will think the person have problem with memory.

    When it is under the floor, how do your service it? Any problem will need to lift entire floor?

    There are many other solutions that is more practical, and less expensive, also can work with multiple occupants, and even out of the apartment. There are fall detection pendants, watches etc. In the apartment, you can also use motion detection instead of floor sensor. The best part of a wearable sensor is that you know who, where the event happened.

    The floor solution is only warable when it can actually feel the weight, also send the enire weight imprint (foot print, or who body lying on floor), and with the weight also knowing if there are lung water built up, or swollon feet etc. But again when they wear extra jacket, you get false reading.

    Too many things to consider, and look to me too far away from a workable solution.

    • Palle Stevn

      Daniel. Clearly you are totally wrong in what you are saying, of course there can be more than one person in the room, you don´t understand the application, we have now installed more than 2000 apartments, and non of our customers have any problems with issues as you have mention.

      Please contact me to discuss this further if you wish.