wallpaper to the masses
by Jana Branch | 23 May 2012
Back in aught-four, Iconoculture reported on WiFi-trapping wallpaper. The problem? At nearly $800 a foot, ordinary Moes and Marys could forget it. Now techorating gets a boost with Métapapier, or Metapaper, an affordable signal-blocking design (Connexion-France.com, 8 May 2012).
Developed at France’s Grenoble Institut Polytechnique, the wallpaper prototype uses silver crystals in a snowflake pattern to do the hard work of keeping WiFi-signal-stealing intruders out while letting radio and cellphone
signals in. And it doesn’t look bad either.
Metapaper will be available in 2013 from Finnish wallpaper company Ahlstrom, with the cost projected to be similar to any conventional, mid-range wallpaper. But what about WiFi signal security on windows? The researchers are currently working on a transparent version, too.
What this means to business
Data privacy continues to gain ground in consumers’ list of concerns. Marriages of functionality and pleasing design continue to hook a generation that holds the sleek Apple aesthetic near and dear. Sure, an encrypted network with a strong password could offer a similar level of security, but WiFi-trapping wallpaper provides a permanent solution that
doesn’t require homeowners to remember and share passwords the next time friends come visiting with laptops or iPads in tow. Innovation opportunity exists anywhere that a propriced product can be reinvented for ordinary consumer