The gravity plate was a breakthrough in technology that allowed the manipulation of gravity fields. Used primarily on starships, orbitals, and planets with gravity significantly less than or greater than Earth's, this quantum breakthrough revolutionized space exploration and habitation entirely.
The plate is designed to emit the artificial gravity field from only one of its surfaces. The horizontal space affected is equal to the surface area of the plate. The vertical space affected is equal the length and width of the plate. Thus, a square plate that is three meters in length will affect gravity up to three meters in height. Plates can also be interconnected into a vast network creating huge pockets of manipulated gravity fields in the void of space or on less than hospitatable planets.
Almost all plates are designed to simulate the gravity of Earth, thus providing people with a sense of comfort. On Earth, and other near Earth-like gravity planets, the plates are used to provide low-gravity/zero-gravity effects, usually for entertainment and scientific values.
The gravity plate industry is a large and most creative in Terran space. There are dozens of companies that work diligently to meet the demands of both the construction and consumer markets. Designer plates can be ordered to be aesthetically pleasing, matching the texture, colors, and or decor theme desired by the buyer.
On many worlds, various laws were enacted that mandated all human habitations have gravity equal to that of Earth's. In addition, the companies that build these plates must follow strict guidelines in order to prevent abuse of this technology. As a rule of thumb, every plate built must be tested for three to six months successfully before it is sold or distributed. This is to ensure the devices work properly and will not harm both the customer or the environment.