It won’t fly like the magic carpets of Arabian fairy tales but the new digital carpet launched by Desso and Philips Lighting is pretty impressive. Visitors to Clerkenwell Design Week (20-22 May – seems rather a short week!) might have seen it in action.

The carpet has a translucent subsurface with LED lights placed beneath it. Pre-programmed electronic messages can then be beamed to those who walking across it. For instance, an arrow may light up directing you to a meeting room. Live internet feeds can also be plugged in – BBC’s Dougal Shaw had the current newsfeed stream beneath his feet as a demonstration.

So far this innovation is targeted at the business environment, but if it catches on and production costs go down then who knows -a digital doormat that tells you to wipe your feet?

By Andrew Libra