MetaPaper Coming Soon: Affordable Wi-Fi Blocking Wallpaper
(aka Faraday Cage)
by Brad Chacos
WiFi / Frequency Blocking Mesh Pattern
Are all the stories about seamless Wi-Fi switching and Google Street View wardriving getting you down? Is your WPA2 password, well, “password”? Fear not, worried Wi-Fi lovers; researchers from Institut Polytechnique Grenoble and the Centre Technique du Papier have you covered — literally — with their spiffy Wi-Fi blocking wallpaper, charmingly called “Metapaper.”
The silver triangle snowflake-esque design may or may not be your cup of tea, but the French publications L’Informaticien and The Connexion report that it’s actually the wallpaper’s secret sauce. The geometric shapes are coated in conductive ink made with silver particles that block three separate Wi-Fi frequencies. If you don’t like it, the creators say slapping a layer of more eye-friendly wallpaper over it won’t damage its signal-blocking capabilities. Tin-foil hat types may even want to coat the walls in Wi-Fi-blocking paint before applying the Wi-Fi blocking wallpaper to get twice the protection, or, er, something.
Now, Wi-Fi-blocking wallpaper has been done before, but this one has a couple of key characteristics that set it apart from its competitors. Price is one of them. Other Wi-Fi-proof wallpaper costs an arm and a leg but when the Finnish company Ahlstrom launches this product next year they expect it to cost “equivalent to that of a classic wallpaper mid-range.”
Smartphones work perfectly fine with the wallpaper, too — texting, calling, mobile data and all. Only a handful of Wi-Fi frequencies are blocked.
Now for the bad part: if you just coat your walls in the stuff, Wi-Fi signals could leak out through non-covered surfaces. That’s fixable, but the fix entails covering your roof, floor and windows with the wallpaper. Sitting in a dark room may be boring, but hey, at least your home network will be safe from Google’s prying eyes.