Tunable Windows To Keep Office Secrets

Dec 13, 2004

Secrets that zip across offices through wireless computing networks all too easily also zip through office windows into the hands of competitors – now researchers at the University of Warwick have devised a method of producing tunable surfaces that can selectively block signals from wireless networks from spilling out of the office.

Dr Christos Mias, in the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering has developed a “dipole grid based frequency–selective surface” (also known as an FSS surface) to perform this task. This grid of circuitry has the potential to be embedded in any glass window and then tuned to block the selected frequency. This ability to tune the circuit is triply useful. Firstly it means that the circuit can easily be tuned to block a different frequency if circumstances in the office change without having to remove the window or the embedded circuits. Secondly it allows for different window material variations– normally the variations in the type of glass used would mean that you would have to develop bespoke blocking circuits for each window – but by having a tunable system one can then have a one size fits all set of circuitry which can simply be tuned to match the glass type. Thirdly it can compensate for small FSS fabrication errors.

Dr Mias has already worked with colleagues in other universities and institutions to produce non-tunable FSS configurations on standard domestic glass. Both, optically transparent thin-film and opaque micromachined conductors have been employed attenuating the power of the incoming signal, at selected frequencies (above 20 GHz) by 100 to 1000 times.

Source: University of Warwick’s

Explore further: Mapping the world's linguistic diversity—scientists discover links between your genes and the language you speak

Related Stories

Bendable glass devices

Apr 27, 2015

A special class of glass materials known as chalcogenide glasses holds promise for speeding integration of photonic and electronic devices with functions as diverse as data transfer and chemical sensing. ...

Research team develops 'smart' window

Apr 09, 2015

Commonplace as they are, windows are an important piece of technology. Beyond architectural aesthetics, a building's ecological footprint depends heavily on how its internal light and heat are managed. With ...

Distant supernova split four ways by gravitational lens

Mar 05, 2015

Over the past several decades, astronomers have come to realize that the sky is filled with magnifying glasses that allow the study of very distant and faint objects barely visible with even the largest telescopes.

Internet trend puts users center stage

Dec 11, 2014

Sensors that track steps, pulse, diet and more marked a wearable computing fashion trend this year as they evolve from measuring what we've done to telling us what to do.

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

Jul 03, 2015

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain

Jul 03, 2015

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.