Digital Signage: Soon to Be Underfoot

Phillips may have gotten the idea from watching The Wizard of Oz and seeing Dorothy follow the yellow brick road. Regardless of where the idea came from, you may find yourself looking down for signs instead of up in carpet buildings like airports, hotels, and more. Phillips is working on carpets with LEDs embedded.

It’s still early in the planning phase, so there isn’t an official name yet for the carpet. It will be able to produce all sorts of digital displays and then go back to looking like normal floor cover. The plan is twofold, since many high-traffic areas are becoming cluttered with signs, but many people look down while they walk. Wall space is freed up, and signs will be more readily visible to people who are keeping their heads down.

Maybe the best function of this carpet will be as emergency lighting in situations that call for it. LED arrows on the carpet could direct traffic towards emergency exits much like airplanes have emergency lighting designed to direct passengers to the closest exit. Of course, you can expect ads to eventually be underfoot, as well.

The carpet may be released as early as 2014 overseas, but there is not a scheduled release yet in the United States. It may not be long, though, before we don’t have to lift our heads to find a way out of a building in an emergency.