Al’s Column

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FCNews Volume 27/Number 12, October 22/29, 2012

SMART CARPET: We already have smart phones and smart appliances, so why not carpet with intelligence? A blog on reported, “Homes of the future may soon be equipped with ‘smart carpets,’ or sensor-packed rugs that can instantly detect when someone has fallen and can’t get up or when unknown feet have been taking a walk around.” Developed by researchers at the University of Manchester in the U.K., the carpet contains a layer of optical fibers that creates a 2-D pressure map. When stepped on, this map distorts, causing sensors around the carpet’s edges to relay signals to a computer, which analyzes the footsteps—is this a normal walk across a room or has someone fallen to the ground?


SMART SAFTEY: The smart carpet system can even be programmed to call for help if it detects a fall and a person doesn’t immediately get up. And, according to the project’s lead researcher, Dr. Patricia Scully, “The carpet can gather a wide range of information about a person’s condition. From biomechanical to chemical sensing of body fluids, enabling holistic sensing to provide an environment that detects and responds to changes in patient condition.” As a result of being able to learn the exact footsteps and walking patterns of individuals, researchers say it could also be used as a security system, alerting homeowners of intruders. If this product ever comes to market, it could make for an interesting retail item, especially for dealers with an elderly clientele.

PINK MATS: Earlier this month we noted October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. This month is the right time to show support for eradicating this disease being that it directly impacts the industry’s prime customer. For the ninth consecutive year, Carpet One Floor & Home held its Carpet One Welcomes Your Support campaign which, this year,

featured a collection of 12 pink ribbon welcome mats. The mats are available year-round but each October the buying group introduces a new collection to spur sales at member stores across North America. Twenty-five percent of the sale price of these mats will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Prior to this year’s new mats being introduced, Carpet One and its members have raised more than $850,000.

STAKES RAISED: This year, Carpet One is seeking to raise more than ever as, for the first time, select pink ribbon mats will be sold online via Carpet One’s Facebook page at The entire collection is available at Carpet One stores for approximately $24.99 in the U.S. and $34.99 in Canada. Myra Biblowit, BCRF’s president, said the organization can only do the research it does to fight breast cancer thanks to efforts like Carpet One and its members, noting the charity “puts over 90 cents of every dollar donated into critical funding…at leading medical centers worldwide.”

DIABETES HELP: Speaking of using social media to help a good cause, Nourison announced the “You Click, We’ll Give” campaign to help fund research to find a cure for diabetes. The soft surface mill launched the two-month initiative in which for every new “like” on Nourison’s Facebook page,, or “follow” on its Pinterest page,, during October and November, the company will donate $1 to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. The company and its owners, the Peykar family, are strong supporters of the foundation and finding a cure and this campaign is a way to raise the level of awareness. This devastating illness effects approximately 26 million people in the U.S. or more than 8% of the population. To learn more, visit Nourison’s social media pages.

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