Researchers and engineers around the world have been chasing fall prevention for many years now. A Japanese company called Prop went as far as to create a personal airbag in 2008, for instance. But developing something is one thing. Bringing it to market, as a product that is clinically proven to work and attractive or unobtrusive enough that people use it, is something else entirely. We'll see if smart carpets and floors fare any better than the still-absentee smart shoes.
At least one large personal emergency response (PERS) company has shared with MobiHealthNews in the past that one reason fall prevention technologies are so hard to bring to market is liability: If a device is going to claim to prevent falls, it had better prevent all falls. And what's the legal liability when it fails to prevent one?