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When it comes to innovations in sports, it usually has something to do with changes in the rule book, the uniforms, or adding gigantic scoreboards and television displays to the inside of the stadiums. But not since the invention of AstroTurf has the actual game setting seen such a dramatic update.
The Germany company ASB Systemsbau has created the GlassFloor, “the most advanced flooring system in the world,” which substitutes paint for LED lights to map out the lines across the floor, allowing for a wide variety of sports to be played without confusion. Should their product become the norm, gone will be the days when volleyball or badminton games had to put up with the painted lines of the basketball court. “Get those pesky basketball court lines out of here,” said one angst-ridden badminton player.
The floor itself, made from two laminated glass panels, sits atop a complex sub-structure that allows the floor to attain the same level of elasticity as a normal wood floor. The surface is etched to avoid glares from overhead lights, and is coated in ceramic to get the proper grip. A foil coat along the bottom of the glass can be customized in any color. The lights are controlled from a touchscreen panel, and beyond the lines themselves, video messaging, scoreboards and other wording can also be created to show up beneath the floor. I hope we don’t all drown in the collective drool from advertising executives.
This is the future of dance floors, I’m predicting that right now. I’d like a home version of this for my driveway that can accommodate for hopscotch, four square, and marbles. Oh, and Calvinball, of course.