It is via a new article published in the journal Nature that we can hear the news. We thus discover that a custom-made structure could make Wi-Fi signals more transmissible through walls.
Wi-Fi and the wall challenge
Currently, if you want to boost your broadband router’s WiFi signal, it usually involves a combination of different techniques, such as positioning your router (and/or its antennas) in the best possible location and attachment of additional signal repeaters or extenders.
As you probably know, walls are the sworn enemy of any wireless network, especially if your walls are very thick like in old buildings, or castles for the lucky ones among you. This is also the case if your walls have metal elements (like in a bunker, but we don’t judge your life choices). The signal can get through, but it will be much weaker once it reaches the other side, assuming it can even reach it.
The complexity of a signal
An electromagnetic wave that hits the surface of a wall will see part of its signal pass (refraction), while another part will be reflected. In other words, the walls of your house are a bit like a maze for a Wi-fi signal. And this is what causes connection problems in the majority of cases.
And for scientists at the Vienna University of Technology and the University of Rennes in Austria, the solution to this challenge is to make the wall effectively translucent to all incoming light waves by placing a suitable complementary medium in front of it, the famous structure we were talking about at the beginning of the article.
The idea is to add a second additional obstacle to the first in order to allow these signals to achieve near perfect transmission when passing through the wall. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? And yet… To put it simply, we help the waves to guide themselves through the labyrinth represented by the wall.
Matthieu Davy, lecturer in electronics at the University of Rennes declares:
This additional barrier helps guide the waves through the initial maze to follow fully transmitted paths, eliminating any reflection, regardless of the direction of illumination.
The team has thus developed an additional obstacle calculation tool, which makes it possible to obtain rapid results regardless of the complexity of the obstacle. It is then sufficient to scan the reflection of the waves on its surface. This result is applicable to all types of waves and to a whole range of frequencies.
If it seems very complex to set up for the time being in the house of an individual, (Because how to install another additional obstacle?) this discovery offers many perspectives in the field of telecommunications.