Glow Rug

A touch-sensitive electroluminescent carpet could prevent nighttime stumbles

As someone who has broken the same pinky toe three times and fractured my fifth metatarsal once, I can immediately see the appeal of a rug that lights up when you step on it. (I will conveniently neglect to mention that all my breaks happened during the middle of the day.) Invented by two engineering students at London South Bank University, the rug uses electroluminescence to glow under the weight of a footfall.

Electroluminescence works by passing a current through a material which emits light when electrified. The most commonly used medium for these applications is a powdered phosphor. When excited, it produces an instantly recognizable green-cyan glow—you can see it in LCD wristwatches and thin film nightlights.

The rug uses the same concept and is powered by a set of rechargeable batteries. In addition to glowing underfoot, it can be set to flash in time with music. So pull out your Hypercolor shirt and get ready to tear up the dancefloor—but don’t get too crazy. You don’t want to break anything.