Developed at the University of Tokyo, this specially designed paint could be used in future to secure home Wifi networks. Containing an aluminium-iron oxide which resonates at the same frequency as wi-fi waves, the airborne data is absorbed and blocked, preventing access beyond the boarders of your home.
The team hopes that the paint will find application over a wide variety of scenarios, security being the most prominent. In the past, users had to reply on encryption and security keys to prevent hackers from accessing their data, what the paint aims to do is removed the signal from the hands of undesireables.
Yet another application Shin-ichi Ohkoshi, project leader for the anti wifi paint, used as an example is movies.
“Our current mobile phones work at much lower frequencies, around 1.5 gigahertz. But, our material can also absorb frequencies that low, so you could block phone signals from outside and stop people’s phones ringing during the movie,” he said.
The blocking of mobile phone signals is far from the only advantage though, as Ohkoshi explains how the paint can pave the way for a better quality movies experience :
“Movie pictures are beamed on the screen by the projector at the back of the cinema. But in the future, you could use a data link that works with millimetre waves. You would have problems with interference, unless you painted the wall and ceiling of the theatre with an absorbent material like ours. In fact, we’ve had an order from an American company keen to use our ink in its movie theatre – we’ve just sent them a sample.”
However, as abundant as the creators enthusiasm for the project, skeptics are making their voices heard. Mark Jackson, security engineer at Cisco UK says that the technology is nothing new and doubts the cost efficiency of the whole idea.
“Surely the thought of having to redecorate a building in order to provide Wi-Fi security is more costly & complex than security functionality available in even the cheapest of Wi-Fi access points?”