One squirt of smart paint could create a small moving picture on the next bottle of pop you buy. This paint, which is being developed at the University of Warwick in the UK, essentially smears an electrical power system onto any surface: bottle, computer, even your hands. The electrified surface could then display a moving image; or it could provide camouflage, changing color to match its environment. Or it could become a tracking device, perfect for a surveillance society.
According to Warwick researcher Gordon Smith:
This technology opens up a wealth of possibilities, plastic drink bottles could have moving displays created as an integral part of the bottle - or instead of tracking products by hiding RFID tags in them the whole product or a major plastic component of it could effectively be turned into a giant impossible to remove tag.
Smart paint has long been a dream of the U.S. military as well. It funded a research project at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2002 to create self-healing paint that could repair itself and prevent rust on tanks. Image via Painted Soda Bottle Collectors Association.
Smart Paint [Printed Electronics World]