iMagiMat in Action

iMagiMat in Action

Smart carpets for care homes and hospital wards

Optical fibres laid under the carpet alert healthcare professionals to a wide range of information on a person’s condition and walking patterns.

  • Developed by The University of Manchester, England
  • Fully working prototype and technical document available
  • Positive evaluation by clinical partners
  • The University of Manchester now seeks a commercial partner to collaborate on product development


  • Plastic optical fibres, laid on the underlay of a carpet, can bend when anyone treads on it and map in real-time their walking patterns
  • Maps 2D images by using light propagating under the surface of the smart carpet
  • Compact electronics at the edges measures and relays sensor signals to a computer
  • These signals can then be analysed to show the image of the footprint and identify gradual changes in walking behaviour or a sudden incident such as a fall or trip


  • Dimensions 1.00 x 2.00 m active area
  • Materials used: commercial carpet and underlay, fibre-optic sensing layer
  • Hardware / software

    Portable external equipment – 240V power supply,

    palm-size data acquisition blocks from National Instruments (NI), laptop running NI LabView Dedicated imaging software, integrating NI Labview


New sensor system strategy based on tomography, allowing lower cost, easier deployment, maintenance and management of the sensor system

  • Alerting health care professionals in advance of an adverse event such as a fall or the acute onset of illness enabling remedial action
  • The carpet can be retrofitted at low cost
  • Gather a wide range of information about a person’s condition; from biomechanical to chemical sensing of body fluids


  • Fully working prototype ready for demonstration.
  • Further prototypes targeting specific applications are possible.
  • Clinical partners have positively evaluated the technology for application in areas such as Falls assessment; Community care and Assisted Living.
  • Technical design/engineering document available


Smart carpets in care homes or hospital wards Physiotherapists analysis tool for monitoring a person’s gait An early-warning system to detect the presence of chemical spillages or fire


The University seeks a commercial partner for product development collaboration


Daniel Syder
Commercialisation Executive
The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP) Core Technology Facility
46 Grafton Street Manchester
M13 9NT
+44 (0) 161 306 8512