Imec is a world-leading R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. imec.icon conducts demand-driven, cooperative research into hardware and software innovation by harnessing the combined expertise of its academic and industry partners.


In 2017, a team of innovative companies launches iPlay, an imec/icon research project. The combination of LED screens with pressure-sensitive technology provides motion experts and game developers with a unique platform that sets a new standard for interactive sports, training and physical therapy. TEN supervises the concept’s entire design and engineering process. TEN’s business unit ONiKi takes care of visualization.

The frame requires the integration of several layers of technology and electronic components. The top cover, with its pressure-sensitive technology, needs special attention. The transfer of energy to the underlying electronics is vitally important. The more accurate the transfer, the more accurate the data. Connecting up all the layers is the third big challenge. High temperatures, sensitive PCB’s, materials that are hard to glue … getting everything properly assembled and working together seamlessly requires elaborate testing and check-ups.

The end result, however, is amazing. The pressure-sensitive, interactive LED floor registers every bodily movement, establishing the physical limits of an athlete or any person on it. Armed with that information, the athlete can start pushing boundaries. Fine-tuning your running or jumping techniques is not just a must for athletes, however. People who are convalescing or undergoing physical therapy may also benefit from the technology.

iPlay flings the doors wide open for a fully interactive (sports) world with limitless possibilities. The only limitation is the user’s imagination.

  • E-gaming in a sports hall with a floor that responds to the players
  • intensive workouts on an intelligent surface that corrects the athletes or users and generates new objectives all by itself
  • an electronic referee who knows exactly where everyone is at all times
  • an immersive experience for artists ...


iPlay is clearly not just a little idea. It’s ambition. It’s revolution. It’s innovation that begs for visualization. It’s not just about the technical side, after all, about how this state-of-the-art lasagna fits together. If you’re a curious stakeholder or concerned party, you’d want to know how it works, wouldn’t you?

I see

Visualization is synonymous with ONiKi. And, in this particular case, animation is the best form of visualization. An animated clip of barely 2 minutes long perfectly visualizes how the iPlay layers are stacked and how they fit together. Towards the end, ONiKi even gets ballsy by releasing an avalanche of bouncing, trigger-happy globes. Fortunately, this high-res mess morphs brilliantly into the mini-movie’s ultimate message ànd logo: iPlay.

An explainer or explainer video lets you dynamize and visualize even the most complex processes and concepts. It doesn’t just demonstrate how a product works, you can highlight its advantages and USP’s with overlays, subtly adding layers of meaning.

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