Monday, January 21, 2013

High-tech gym floor has LED lights rather painted stripes

Think back to your days in elementary or middle school when you had to go to PE in a gym that was used for multiple sports. Odds are your gym had more than the normal lines for basketball court running across it, making things very confusing if you are new to the sport or just really bad at it. Most of the school gyms have lines for traditional full-size basketball court, and lines running across the middle for basketball courts on each side of the normal court.
A high-tech gym installed by a German company called ABS Systembau GMBH ditches those painted lines on traditional wooden gym floors and replaces them with glowing strips of LED light that remind me a lot of Tron. This fancy gym floor is installed in a school gym in Germany. The fancy lighting system allows the gym to be used for basketball, tennis, badminton, or other activities that are played in your average school gym.
The system is called the ABS Glassfloor. The glass flooring material uses a ceramic treatment to reach a level of elasticity and friction is very similar to that the wood floor offers. The company that produces the system also promises that it performs a “bounce test” to be sure that the basketball bounces at the same height on their fancy flooring as it would on a wood floor.
The glass material used in the floor is also dulled to reduce reflection suppliers are distracted. The company says that its glass flooring is about as reflective as a typical marble surface. The treatment also helps to hide scratches that are caused during play and the floor is available in any color. Another interesting aspect the flooring is that the color can be changed after installation. The glass floor is supported by a lightweight aluminum frame that also houses the LED lighting. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this floor is that it can be combined with sensors that will illuminate precisely where the ball landed or where a player’s foot was to determine if they went out of bounds.

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