While so much effort in invested in adding connections to the places and things that surround us, it is true that a point might (will) be reached when keeping connections out will become just as important. A team of researchers at the Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble has developed “metapaper”, a WiFi-blocking wallpaper that will keep your wireless network ‘in’, making the network both more secure and it’s signal strength stronger.
The shielding portion of metapaper has a snowflake-like pattern but can be covered up by traditional wallpaper and is made from renewable resources and is also recyclable. The Finnish company Ahlstrom purchased the rights to metapaper and is working on developing it for commercial availability; they expect to make metapaper available to the public sometime in 2013 and that it should cost about the same as regular wallpaper.
Of course, blocking off the entire outside world is not (necessarily) something that would be desired, and the developers claim that metapaper does allow FM radio waves and emergency frequencies to pass through. Ahlstrom is proposing that metapaper could create a healthier interior environment, as it would reduce a person’s exposure to electromagnetic waves.
The technology behind metapaper shield is in that snowflake-like pattern, printed with a conductive silver ink; of course, a room would not be completely sealed unless the floor, ceiling, windows and doors were all papered as well.