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A Radiant Rug for All Occasions

EuroPhotonics
May 2008
LONDON -- This rug really will brighten a room.

Two students at London South Bank University have created a rug that shines when it is stepped on.

The electroluminescent rug — known as Footlume — emits a soft glow and can be used anywhere in a home. It is battery-operated and requires no special installation.

Rug.jpg
A rug created by two college students glows in response to pressure.


The creators, Zoe Robson and Leona Dean, said that there is a trend toward responsive surfaces for home interiors and that the rug is designed with that in mind.

A rug that glows, they point out, does have a number of practical benefits.

It can add a splash of ambient light to an otherwise colorless room, serve as a conversation piece at parties and, in a bedroom, provide a path of light for late-night trips to the bathroom. The rug even can be programmed to pulse to music.

Its potential benefits don’t end there. It can serve as a night light in a child’s room and, for people returning home from late-night pub visits, it can help them safely navigate their way to bed without waking a sleeping partner.

The creators met at school in 2005 while pursuing engineering degrees. They developed several possible product ideas and have since founded their own company, Zolo Designs. Their rug was showcased at the Ideal Home Show this spring.


GLOSSARY
ambient light
Light present in the environment around a detecting or interpreting device, especially a machine vision system, and generated from outside sources. Such light must be treated as noise by the vision system.
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