Polymerized Tape

Narjes Pourjafarian and Paul Strohmeier

The finished Swatch applied on a human foot in the form of sport tapes. The right hand touches the tape as if it operates it as a touch wheel


Conductive copper tape has become a somewhat ubiquitous tool for fast production of lo-fi electrical prototypes. However, copper tape has a number of drawbacks if one is prototyping with soft materials, textiles, or even directly on the human body. Because it is not elastic, it does not adhere well to such materials. Sports tape, however, has the desired elastic qualities, and additionally is designed to adhere not only to arbitrary objects, but also to human skin. We polymerize sports tape to make it conductive. The resulting conductive tape has a series of electrical properties which make it an exciting sensor-material. It is piezo-re-sistive. This means its resistance changes with applied forces. It can also be used to create a voltage gradient, which enables simple and precise position sensing. This unique combination of mechanical and electrical proper-ties makes it an exciting and unique prototyping

The tape sticked on the left hand and the right hand operating the tape sensor. The screen on the laptop shows the according slider.
 Linear on-skin input usingpolymerized tape


Elastic sports tape (Non-linear elastic tape. Core-spun elastic warp & 100% cotton weft. Plain weave, backed with adhesive), water, pyrrole, Iron(III) chloride hexahydrate


Bowl, Spoon. Mixing and Stirring.

Drawing and calculation formulas for sensor input through the tape sensor.


Cedric Honnet, Hannah Perner-Wilson, Marc Teyssier, Bruno Fruchard, Jürgen Steimle and Ana C. Baptista





The range of applications demonstrated is compelling. I think it is exciting and gives me several ideas for other directions to test. For me, this generative potential is a mark of a successful project. I see further potential in pushing the craft of this material, such as creating more complex sensor shapes with a laser cutter to instrument complicated objects like a glove. The argument is well laid out and I appreciated the details provided in polymerization process.