Protect Your WiFi Network With Wallpaper

BAE Systems have developed a type of wallpaper designed to secure WiFi networks. The wallpaper uses a Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) to let only some radio frequencies through, whilst blocking others.

The upshot is that a site using the wallpaper can keep wireless LAN signals inside, but allow mobile phone and other EM signals through. This is much more convenient than turning an office building into a Faraday cage, as staff will still be able to use their mobile phones and emergency services signals will not be blocked.

The wallpaper can even be switched off in an emergency (if only it’d been around when Oscar Wilde needed it), to allow all signals through.

At UK£500 (€747) per square meter it’s a little pricey for home use but more practical for companies. Of course, wireless networks should be properly secured with user authentication and encryption before resorting to FSS techniques, but the product is a useful precaution against users setting up unauthorised unsecured wifi access points within organisations.

The wallpaper is composed of a top secret kapton and copper sandwich (kepton is that film that very thin circuit boards and connectors are made out of – prise the back of your iPod and you’ll see what I mean), and BAE are currently working on a thinner version for coating windows.

BAE Systems

Published by

Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?