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Wired wallpaper

Adding a wall light to your living room is a complex affair, since the wiring has to be embedded beneath the surface of the wall and the wall has to be plastered over and repapered or painted. Change your mind about where the light fixture should be and you have a messy and costly problem on your hands.

Now Philips wants to change all that ? the company has designed wallpaper with conducting strips running through it. Philips says that appliances such as lights and displays endowed with the right kind of conducting pins could be powered by just sticking them into the wall so that the pins make contact with the conducting strips.

You could experiment an infinite variety of lighting arrangements in your sitting room, with no expensive remedial work needed. It’s a different matter if you decide you don’t like your wallpaper, though.

Read the full conducting wallpaper patent application.

Justin Mullins, New Scientist contributor