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article imageMetapaper, the wallpaper that prevents people from stealing Wi-Fi

By Leigh Goessl     Oct 20, 2012 in Technology
Researchers have developed a type of wallpaper that can allegedly block Wi-Fi signals from reaching outside the home, which, if effective, can potentially increase wireless security. This product is close to reaching the consumer market.
Digital Journal had initially reported on this new product over the summer. According to media reports, the development is moving forward and getting closer to reaching the consumer market.
Created by French researchers from the Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble, the product will be distributed by Ahlstrom, a Finnish company. The wallpaper, which has been named Metapaper, will reach the consumer market in 2013. It is said this wallpaper will cost about the same as regular wallpaper.
Wireless technology is far beyond being a novelty these days, being used with everything from mobile to home appliances. Even home energy control can be attained through mobile apps and wireless technology. The problem is that wireless is not as secure as traditional wired connections.
The wallpaper is designed to block Wi-Fi signals from "escaping" the home, reported Mashable. TV, radio waves and emergency signals are said to still be able to pass through.
Mashable notes, "Even though setting a password on Wi-Fi is cheaper than installing yards of wallpaper, this innovation demonstrates the rising concern about connection security, and may appeal to consumers looking for added protection as they redecorate."
Ubergizmo points out that individuals who steal Wi-Fi from their neighbors may be blocked in the future by this new form of interior decorating. If this product takes off and works as designed, there may be a lot less piggybacking off wireless networks in the future.
Is this product a trend of what the future will hold? If this wallpaper is any indicator, entire new markets could emerge that stem from society's gravitation towards always wanting to be connected. A decade ago, who would have ever thought "secure" wallpaper would hit the market?
At this time, there is no word on what kinds of wallpaper designs will be available.
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