Intelligent foam

Store shelves that know when they need restocking are one of manypotential applications for a novel sensing foam developed byresearchers in Europe.

Shelvesfitted with a thin layer of the foam can tell when products are out ofstock, allowing a store to automatically monitor supply. And the foamcould give other objects and surfaces sensing abilities, theresearchers say.

Thefoam is made from flexible sheets of polyolefin, each a quarter of amillimetre thick and containing air gaps that make the material lightand elastic. The same substance is currently used to make insulationfor pipes and for padding in packaging.

Source: technology.newscientist.comAdded: 11 January 2008