In the hi-tech family of LED visual solutions, we see an LED floor as the most wondrous one. It is a useful, visually arresting tool capable of transforming otherwise indistinctive floor areas into a kaleidoscope of colors, as its surface comes to life with visuals. What is an LED floor and how to use it to best advantage?
The LED floor is a digital floor covering; which enables displaying various visual effects on its surface. Provided with interactivity it allows for tracking motion and following people’s movements with graphics. Typically LED floors are assembled from square modules with dimensions varying from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, an optional solution of covering an LED screen with durable glass has become popular recently. The heavy-duty construction of the LED floor allows for withstanding up to 2 tons per square meter, making it possible to drive a car over its surface. LED floors have a protective covering made of high durable plastic, double glass or triplex to provide a scratch-resistant, non-slip surface. As with all LED solutions, color and brightness can be controlled to fit any ambiance. Interactivity is delivered using IR-systems, capacitive or weight sensors.
Digital floors’ resolution varies from high (7-12 mm pixel pitch) to medium (19, 24, 32 mm pixel pitch) that enables for displaying a range of visuals from the finest to abstract images.
Areas of application
Nowhere but in the entertainment industry does the LED floor reveal its best of potential. Providing a full range of expression, the interactive LED floor turns into a vibrant participant in stage activities, as it was at Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The stage was tiled with LedGo-manufactured Black Spinel LED panels to form a square 13 × 13 m (pictured above). According to LedGo's Business Director Winnie Meijer, the floor had all its panels numbered which allowed for better motion tracking as well as more precise respond to the activities held on its surface. As a result, elaborate graphic visuals followed people on the stage flourishing with colors.
The appliance of LED interactive technologies in restaurants and nightlife entertainment facilities will surely leave a lasting impression on customers. Let alone an interactive dance floor, LED panels can be incorporated into the interior design to direct people to areas of emphasis, such as stage or bar zone. Using interactive LED strips, an ordinary staircase can be transformed into a stylish feature with the stairs illuminated each time a customer takes a step. Moreover, LED interactive panels can be used as a digital bar top, as proposed by DCBolt Productions. Having detected a customer’s touch a bar top displays menus that can be virtually flipped through, information about drinks, artists performing on stage, performance schedules, hospitality amenities and much more.
Sports venues benefit from Interactive LED floors as they allow for switching between marking lines on multi-purpose courts. Depending on the sport being played the system highlights corresponding markings while making other lines invisible to prevent players’ confusion. The idea of LED-lit interactive gym floors was successfully implemented by Dutch company LEDSSPORTS and Germany’s ASB. However, the first fully featured LED interactive floor is installed in the House of Mamba facility in Shanghai. The court was built by Nike and AKQA digital agency as part of the RISE campaign intended to encourage young basketball players in China. The court tracks the movement of players on its surface with built-in motion sensors. It can lay out sets of moves for individual people, reproduce different training programs and respond to mistakes as well as display live game data. Moreover, this is not to mention full-colored branding animation and logos displayed between performance stats.
Nowadays when numerous shopping malls outperform each other in grandiosity and design, an acquisition of a digital floor is a definite way to set apart from the competition. As an LED floor reveals itself best when watched from above, an atrium is ideally suited for its installation. Here shoppers can look down on it from upper galleries or appreciate it from transparent elevators. Having been incorporated into the environment, a digital floor allows more than just promoting sales and special offers. Rather than passively displaying the associated video it becomes part of live promotional events such as performance, fashion shows, branding events.
LED floors are second to none in game rooms, schools and kindergartens as long as they provide the ideal combination of entertainment and education. Integrating intellectual activities with fun, engaging games makes an interactive video floor a unique learning platform. Provided with specially designed educative content, the floor initiates collaboration, enhances social skills and knowledge sharing among students as well as helps to develop quick body reaction during active games.
Usage of interactive video floors for rehabilitation therapy has also proved to be very effective, as showed in live testing in ‘De Hoogstraat’ medical center in Utrecht, the Netherlands. There a strip of LedGo’s Black Spinel LED panels was used as part of gait rehabilitation therapy. By displaying a specially designed PadWalk game video floor, patients were motivated to move and turned the therapy sessions into a joyful immersive experience. Let alone children, older patients were also enthusiastic about this way of training and reported better results, the company said.
Interactive LED floors can turn any floor area into exciting playground while allowing for intuitive motion tracking. Depending on the initial objective, their capacity can be used to entertain, engage, educate or stimulate to action. With virtually limitless possibilities of content design, interactive LED floors are suitable for various environments.