What is the Touch Board?
The Touch Board is a tool to make your projects interactive, responsive, smart or just fun. Use the Touch Board to change the world around you by turning almost any material or surface into a sensor. Connect anything conductive to one of its 12 electrodes and trigger a sound via its onboard MP3 player, play a MIDI note or do anything else that you might do with an Arduino or Arduino-compatible device.
The Touch Board is designed as an easy-to-use platform for a huge range of projects, whether it’s painting a lightswitch on your wall, making a paper piano or something nobody’s thought of yet. Make sure to take a look at our video above and check out the information below. If you’ve got a question, get in touch and we’ll get it up in the FAQs. We hope you’ll support the Touch Board. We can’t wait to see what you will build on top of this powerful platform!
from the Bare Conductive Kickstarter page
Who is Touch Board aimed at?
Anyone and everyone, we try to make everything we do as easy to understand possible so that both beginners and experts can engage straight away or be inspired to explore further.
How does your startup stand out against it’s competitors?
We try to maintain an approachable outlook, we encourage people to hack our products and ask questions about what we do and suggest ways we can improve things. Being quite small means we can be quite responsive and change things quickly but we try to explain things completely in the first place so that the feedback is useful.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
We never set out to start a company and i think that is important to point out. The four of us Matt, Isabel, Becky and myself (Bibi) were all studying at the Royal Collage of Art when we came up with the idea for an Electric Paint that was non-toxic that could be targeted at new consumers and applications. When developing this material platform we felt strongly that we should not be the ones to say what it should be used for as we felt it had many potential applications, therefore we did not want to limit it to one specific area so soon. We wanted to give people the chance to define what they thought it was useful for. This is what we have spent the last 3 years doing and now we have launched a new platform idea through the Touch Board. This unique technology enables people to build interactivity onto any surface, so now we can’t wait to see people will do with it.
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
We are all designers and engineers, so we did not set out to create a startup. It is important to have a foundation from which to build any business especially one around physical objects or products. The product needs to be developed before the startup otherwise it will not be sustainable, however not all products should become businesses as this may also not be sustainable. The two need to go hand in hand, but you first need a solid idea and means to execute it to even get to the start line.
Why did you choose kickstarter as the source of funding for your company? Did you look at any other?
The Kickstarter model embodies the way we like to interact with our customers through an open dialogue, and the most important thing to us was reaching as many people as possible, the more people we can attract the more ideas we will be able to share. We feel the Kickstarter is a great platform because it enables a small business such as ours, to test whether an idea is popular before investing valuable resources into it, and it also helps with funding development that would otherwise be very hard for a start-up.
<h4 >How long has the your startup been in the making, and who is the team behind the business?
We founded the company in July 2009 and have been trading since September 2011. We are comprised of 6 full-time employees (including the 4 founders) 2 part time and 3 business partners. We all have a range of skills in design, engineering and business development so it’s s a good balance.
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a startup owner?
Learning languages, in the beginning while we were developing our Electric Paint we needed to learn how to talk to new industries that none of us had interacted with before, so we had to learn the terminology in order to be taken seriously but also the get things moving in the right direction. This is something that has continued as we move into new areas but its a fun and necessary part of it.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
The Touch Board is the first step for us into new areas, we are just looking forward to seeing where this will lead us, we will be focusing on industrial partnerships and extending the reach of our current products.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Make sure you really really want to do it, you may spend the first year or two just getting to the start line.