Wallpaper blocks Wifi and phones

Conductive ink pattern filters out unwanted signals - but can also provide security for offices

7 May 2012

A NEW wallpaper that can filter out Wifi waves has been developed by French researchers: and they say it could be priced the same as classic wallpaper.

Pierre Lemaitre-Auger of the Grenoble Institut Polytechnique said the wallpaper - called Métapapier or Metapaper - would give people and businesses reassurance about electromagnetic radiation from Wifi and mobile phone signals.

It has a treble purpose: shielding people from outside radiation, ensuring homes and offices' own Wifi signal is not being hacked or hijacked - and looking good.

Developed by Grenoble INP Phd student Fabien De Barros and the Centre Technique du Papier, it uses a printed pattern of conductive silver ink that filters out specific frequencies such as the 0.9, 1.8 and 2.1 GHz of mobile phone signals or the 2.45 and 5.5 GHz of Wifi.

However, the filters allow other waves such as FM radio or TV to pass through.

The researchers said it could also help improve sound-proofing and would be used either as backing paper or as wallpaper but could also be used as part of floor-coverings or plasterboard.

France uses about 60 million rolls of wallpaper a year and the Centre Technique du Papier estimated it could become a €30 million market for France alone.

Métapapier will be marketed by Finnish company Ahlstrom, which has bought the rights. It should be on the market next year. A similar product was developed by researchers at BAE systems in 2004, but not brought to market.

Student Fabien De Barros has set up a description of how Metapaper works here (you may need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file)

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