Can your floor alert EMS if you have a heart attack or stroke?

Forget smart phones. Do you have one of those new smart floors?

That’s a question friends might be asking one another years from now.

Last month, the U.S. Patent Office issued a new patent to IBM. The title: “Securing premises using surfaced-based computing technology.”

That’s an unglamorous way to describe a floor with a computerized surface. When you walk across this smart floor, numerous sensors record every step.

Drop your keys. Roll a ball. The floor knows.

Nobody at IBM has explained how they’ll utilize this technology. Home and workplace security is one obvious use.

Health is another. A smart floor will sense irregularities, such as a person lying on the floor. In the event of a stroke, heart attack, or a fall, your floor will alert emergency services.

And just imagine if IBM brings Apple into the development of the smart floor. The sky’s the limit!

In the future, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” might go more like this: “Siri, I’ve fallen. Send help. And play ‘Purple Rain’ while we’re waiting.”

“IBM–patented floor could detect a heart attack, call the cops” Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, c|net, 4/10/12,

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