Interior Decorating for the Security-Conscious

Researchers at the University of Tokyo say they’ve created a paint that blocks out wireless signals, reports the BBC. You can use it, for example, to make sure your neighbor doesn’t steal your wi-fi, and movie theaters can use it to stop cell-phones from interrupting films. Critics say the paint still doesn’t stop hackers, and it’s probably cheaper to set up a wireless-protecting encryption than to redecorate a whole room. [%comments]


The theater I usually go to has countless pre-movie ads for Sprint. Even if there weren't ad revenue to lose, how much of a premium could they charge by adding this paint? My guess is not much.

I've got a feeling this won't be taking off in theaters anytime soon.


If it blocks cell phone signals that's a deal breaker for most home applications. I'd much rather broadcast my WPA2 protected network to the world than go without cell phone reception in my apartment, especially as I don't have a land line.

I would actually argue that this is a bad product for consumers. Unless buyers thoroughly cover their entire residence including windows there's a pretty good chance some signal make leak out. These people may assume that they're protected and forgo other security measures such as WPA encryption. Breaking into an unsecured but weak network is pretty trivial, good luck cracking WPA2 in any reasonable timeframe.


As a teacher, I would LOVE to have this in my classroom! Cell phones have become a huge distraction over the last few years and a big source of cheating as well.

Paul Clapham

I recall reading somewhere that it's illegal to jam or block cell-phone reception in the US. So that would make use of this paint illegal as well, wouldn't it?

science minded

You raise the interesting question of how a scientist or artist or any creative person protects their property or work from thieves, publishes their work in a way that credit is paid where credit is due or publishes at all when facing an antagonistic, invidious, envious .... audience. Darwin definately ughts concerning this matter. My own now -- "as expediciously as is possible." without hatred or malice and for all to benefit, but not at my own expense.

I bumped into someone yesterday who had all too conveniently forgotten to say thanks for the editorial help that I had given on a grant that she was pursuing and had gotten. I quickly reminded this person of her manners. My first reaction to her memory lapse was -- why did I bother to be helpful -- it did not do me any obvious good. she never even said thanks--but then it occurred to me i.e., only just enough to have the edge on the matter..

This, for some not so strange reason, brings me to the question of how the leaderless Republican party can find its voice. I say--keep looking and some one of you will find it in your past. Politics aside, we need a two party system in our country.It's called, as my Dad would say, a good system of checks and balances. Keeps leaders on their tippy toes. But this still does not absolve politicians and other officials from acting responsibily. Once again, Obama is our president and the commander and chief of our armed forces.

If anything, we may have lost the Chicago opportunity because we were not united behind him. We need not lose again on such matters of healthcare, the envioronment, peace and well-being. . WE better learn this lesson and quick.



A tinfoil hat is far easier, you don't even have to move your furniture and it's portable.


I use Netflix instead of going to the movies because I'm not willing to pay $11 to have my movie viewing interrupted by obnoxious cell phone chatter. But watching on TV at home is not the same as watching on the big screen in a theater so I, for one, would pay a premium if in addition to blocking cell phone signals, they stationed an usher in the theater to shush disruptive chatterers and eject them if they don't keep quiet.

science minded person

I use to think of any and all disruption as bad til I learned of its real true value . I have been trying to teach my child the real value of unease in the quest for meaning in life. Based upon her most recent completion of an art/history assignment of what it means to be an american, I think my child finally gets it.


I think it would be great for prisons. The are several countries, including my own (Mexico) in which inmates use cellphones to continue directing their criminal organizations. Of course you can use some other devices, but corrupt guards can always turn them off. It would be really hard to "turn off" a painted wall. You could paint it again, but it would quite visible. My only recommendation for the researchers would be to use uncommon colors.

Tim H

Mr. Clapham, it's illegal to jam signals because a jammer operates by transmitting on the frequency you're trying to jam, and FCC approval is required for a transmitter. Passive blocking devices, such as a metal cage, remain legal but may be cost-prohibitive.


this is about wifi signals, not cell-phone jamming...

science minded

FYI- interior re-decoration and external understanding seems to be required because of the real differences that exist between us. Why? Because of what we all gain from the mutual orientation of our activities. The images of what it means to be an American included a girl wearing a hat with yellow lipstick as compared with a woman whose face (with the exception of holes for eyes and mouth) is covered by a black robe. My daughter's reaction to the woman covered in black--"fear" i.e., that the woman was to be feared. This is a curious response given "the ritualistic fear of purely physical uncovering" found in ancient times (both in Islam and in Judaism). Max Weber, Ancient Judaism, p. 192. My point-- I may not agree with the covering, but now I do understand its origins enough to understand that we are not so different after all and indeed if there is something to be feared in our world its's our ignorance (when it comes to our planet, our health care needs etc), and the lack of a mutual orientation of our activities.