Have you fallen and you can't get up? Move over LifeCall medical alarm ... and tell Mrs. Fletcher that IBM has patented a "smart floor" that can detect if someone in the room has fallen (or if there's an intruder):
The patent describes a floor containing sensors that can determine who is in the house and what they are doing.
It senses the shapes, weight and number of feet on the ground so it can distinguish between adults, children, infants and pets, as well as identifying unauthorised visitors.
"Electronic multi-touch floor covering is a surface computing platform that responds to objects and senses users' movements above the surface," the patent says.
The system could be programmed to sound an alarm, activate emergency lights or call the emergency services if it identifies someone lying prone on the floor or the presence of an unknown individual.