July 19, 2012
Wifi-Blocking Wallpaper May Keep Your Network More Secure
John Neumann for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Your personal wifi security may soon increase dramatically with a few rolls of new wallpaper.
Researchers at Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble, in cooperation with the Centre Technique du Papier, in France, developed the wall covering, known as metapaper, that can preventing wifi signals from being broadcast beyond the confines of an office or apartment, reports Sean Gallagher for Ars Technica.
The product contains conductive silver ink with metallic patterns. The makers claim it can selectively filter, reduce or reflect electromagnetic waves. It not only protects against intruders stealing wifi from buildings, but it also ensures that signals inside a building are more secure and stronger.
The wall covering does, however, allow FM radio waves and emergency frequencies to pass through, writes Olivia Smith for CNN. The paper can be covered up by traditional wallpaper so that it is not viewable if you disapprove of the geometric pattern. Additionally, the paper is made from renewable resources and is recyclable.
Unlike other signal-blocking technologies based on the all electromagnetic-blocking Faraday cage, the wallpaper only blocks a select set of frequencies used by wireless LANs, and allows cellular phones and other radio waves through.
The metapaper is also advertised as a healthy alternative, with claims that it reduce a person´s exposure to electromagnetic waves. Scientists behind the product point to studies that say the overuse of wireless technology may cause harmful health effects.
The Finnish firm Ahlstrom acquired the rights to the metapaper. Exact cost estimates have not been released but it should be “equivalent to a traditional mid-range wallpaper.” According to the Centre Technique du Papier, the paper is not yet commercially available because it is still in the industrialization phase.