Msnbc: A future smart home will need a way to sense who its residents are and what they're doing. One way to do so may be through the floor.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted a patent to IBM for a security system that would turn a floor into a multitouch surface that recognizes who's standing on it. The floor senses different shapes and weights, so it would know the difference between adults, children and pets by weight and shape and number of feet on the floor. It has a database of registered identities to which it could match the shapes and weights it detects. Once it senses an unauthorized person standing on it, it can sound alarms or call the police, just like traditional house alarms. IBM received the patent, No. 8,138,882, on March 20.