Scientists have revealed a 'magic carpet' which could prevent people from falling and injuring themselves.
Tiny electronics act as sensors that feed into a computer and can spot a pattern of walking behaviour.
Researchers at the University of Manchester believe the technology could be used in future to alert carers if an elderly person falls over.
It could also detect a deterioration in walking habits, which could predict when someone is likely to trip.
Footsteps are mapped out using plastic optical fibres which sit on the underlay of a carpet.
Dr Patricia Scully, from the university's Photon Science Institute, said the carpet could be fitted at low cost.
Professor Chris Todd said: "Falls are a really important problem for our ageing society. More than a third of older people fall each year, and in nursing and residential homes it is much more common than that."