4D Sportsground features rotating surface to support multiple uses


March 13, 2013

The Eindhoven field-lab will serve as a testing bed for the first 4D Sportsground

The Eindhoven field-lab will serve as a testing bed for the first 4D Sportsground

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Some sports venues – think indoor basketball courts/ice hockey rinks – use their space to support multiple sports. LEDSSPORT's Pulastic LED Court and ASB's GlassFloor both use LEDs to redraw line marking to suit different sports, but the new 4D Sportsground being developed in The Netherlands takes the concept to the next level, delivering a sports field that seamlessly rotates between three separate surfaces. Its designers hope to develop a field that spends 24 hours a day in use.

The 4D Sportsground uses a series of panels to form full surfaces. The prismatic machinery operating below ground level rotates the panels to form three distinct surfaces. One set of panels creates a soccer field out of artificial turf; one creates a multi-sport plastic court; and one is designated for non-sport revenue usage, such as billboard advertising or solar panels.

With the system in place, one park field can host multiple sets of sports and harvest energy or earn advertising income during its down time. Instead of a cold, abandoned field in winter, you have a revenue-earning solar field. The parties believe it can help sports clubs to be self-sustaining, earning the income needed to pay for expenses.

The 4D Sportsground was conceived last year by Dutch outfits Sublean and InnosportNL and is being constructed with the help of several other partners, including ProFit, a European Union-funded organization that supports sports innovation. It is being built at ProFit's field-lab in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

ProFit operates several urban field-labs, parks where its partners test new sports equipment and activities for public analysis and feedback. Sportsground designers will collect feedback about the users' experiences and use it in pursuing a possible commercial version of the rotating sports field. The Eindhoven test field will open within the next few months.

The 4D Sportsground utilizes what Sublean calls Cablean Technology, which it describes as the "world's first durable three-dimensional surface technology." Sports fields are just one of many applications of the technology, and the company is most interested in using Cablean panel systems to get more use out of infrastructure, including buildings, homes, fences, billboards and more.

For instance, it imagines equipping buildings with rotating walls so that the buildings themselves become multi-functional – harvesting energy with solar panels and showcasing advertising or artistic lighting, for instance. It completed the concept in 2009, achieved its first industrial application last year and has plans to outfit Amsterdam Arena with a 4D facade this year.

The video below shows a little more about what ProFit calls the "first 4D sports ground in the world."

Source: ProFit

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

I think that solar panels would be wasted on this, with the two "soft" surfaces make the third surface hard for roller hockey and such.


As a former parks and recreation director, I can see the advantages but I can also see HUGE maintenance issues! Nice try.


Maybe for a small square footage area this would be unique, but the complication of the many moving parts for anything larger is simply not worth the maintenance.

Fahrenheit 451

Watch the two mating surfaces at 0:25 and 2:00 when someone is running or walking on them. Little bit of movement going on, which smells like failure to me. Interesting concept, and the lawyers will love it.

Bruce H. Anderson

My big annoyance with the video is that there is a lot of repetition of a couple things then only half a secound of a couple things.

You need to balance it out so that you show case every part in an amount that details them to the point where people can appreciate what they are looking at.

Then move on to the next part without getting bored of seeing the same thing repeatedly.

Ben O'Brien

Excellent. Now connect GLaDOS to it for the most entertaining outcome!

Kyle Brackin

Sounds like doing it the hard way! I am imagining an area covering built of segments like those of a horizontal roll-top desk, or garage roller-door, even made in one continuous long strip (like heavy-duty pool cover?), stored in pits either side of the playing surface - perhaps disappearing under the first few rows of seats. You would end up with a surface in the middle with one stored either side! Roll one away to reveal the next, complete with markings ... soccer, netball, basketball, all in one area. Should end up less complicated than all those rotating segments. The number of playing surfaces only limited by the room for storage at the side.

The Skud

A very creative idea but seems destined for huge mechanical failures, it doesn't seem very practical at this stage.

Rain Tree

I can see this for walls, yes. Maybe less for floors with all the weight and batter it's going to endure.

Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
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