Smart tiles

Gruppo Romani, one of the leaders of the Made in Italy ceramic tiles industry, presents the first-ever Smart Tiles. These intelligent tiles can interact with state-of-the-art home automation systems. This is the outcome of more than four years of research and investments amounting to about 10 million euros, funded by Mise, and included technical partners such as Sacmi, Iprel, CNR, Trebax and Studio IOT. 

Project idea 

Gruppo Romani wanted to explore transforming natural ceramic slabs into intelligent and smart elements, capable of self-monitoring and monitoring the surrounding environment. The project idea of active ceramic tiles for monitoring building structures pioneers the future of design. It is applicable both to ventilated walls and raised floors. Two industrial property patent applications have been filed for this in Italy, Europe and the US.  

Smart tiles

Giorgio and Paolo Romani of Gruppo Romani have presented the first Smart Tiles.

Tile to cloud 

A special compartment is created on the back of the ceramic slab tile. This holds a micro-electronic card fitted with micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) sensors, capable of transferring collected data to the Cloud. The sensorised tile enables integrated monitoring of programmed parameters. For example, when applied on ventilated walls, one may measure the temperature, humidity, dew point, shocks or deformation induced by seismic events.  

Another type of sensor, installed when laying floating floors, will be capable of detecting a possible overload, monitoring the people flow, turning on perimeter alarms and interacting with weight sensor lights. 

Industry 5.0 

Giorgio Romani, president of Gruppo Romani, explains that with the Industry 5.0 revolution, this invention projects the Group towards the exploration of new fields of application for ceramic slabs. 

“Our work has mainly focused on the intended use of covering ventilated walls of residential and commercial buildings. The innovative characteristic of transmitting information on the most important structural and environmental parameters may create interesting scenarios for many buildings in a safety and prevention perspective, offering a valid high value-added solution, presently one of a kind.” 


Gruppo Romani’s Smart Tiles will be produced in a 120cm x120cm size, on demand and customised to meet clients’ specific requirements. 

Paolo Romani, the Group’s chief executive officer, concludes: “I must thank the two co-inventors for the success of this ambitious project, namely our industrial director, Alessandro Berselli, as project manager, and Marco Bonvino of Studio IOT, who has developed the micro-electronics component, and of course all our collaborators who have participated in all the experimental, prototyping and testing phases.” 


An innovative idea of creating a smart tile than can transmit data to the cloud is creating a new avenue for smart homes in the rise of Industry 5.0. 


Full acknowledgement and thanks go to: for the information in this editorial. 

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