It is unsurprising that in the meeting room of Bare Conductive’s east London office, there is a light switch on the lefthand side of the door. What is surprising is that the switch is painted onto the wall. More surprising still is that the company says the button does not need to be there at all: you could in theory tap anywhere on the wall and a light would come on.

The light switch acts as an illustration of the young company’s core product – an electric paint or ‘paintable wire” which can be applied to paper, wood, cement and textiles, among other materials, and becomes conductive once it dries.

From its most simple use of lighting up a tiny bulb on a birthday card to creating an over-sized game controller for consoles or painting an entire wall so that when it is touched a light comes on, the liquid has been used for a variety of applications since the four founders of the company came up with the idea while working on a final-year project together at the Royal College of Art.

In 2009, Isabel Lizardi, Matt Johnson, Bibi Nelson and Becky Pilditch wanted to investigate whether they could print an electrical […]

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