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Tile signals wireless ceilings

Materials Cutting Edge

WITH the explosion in the use of personal computers throughout the world, suspended ceiling and raised access floor contractors must cram ever more service wires into offices.

Even the humble site office itself is now a hotbed of computer technology, and with this increased demand comes the problem of greater ducting requirements to handle the miles of spaghetti-like wiring.

Now Armstrong, a ceiling system manufacture based in Middlesex, has developed a ceiling tile that can satisfy our thirst for technology without needing to install more wiring.

The idea is remarkably simple. Low-profile antennas, developed by specialist Centurion, are embedded inside Armstrong's standard mineral fibre ceiling panels. The antennas transmit signals between mobile phones and laptop computers allowing no cables are needed for workers to connect to the internet or company databases.

'There are no ducting requirements with the antenna panels. We developed a tray that allows a number of modules to be hung from it, ' said Armstrong's Steve Collin.

The Uxbridge firm has also developed an acoustic panel range that can allow public address systems to be installed without spoiling the aesthetics of the ceiling.

'These panels are based on a standard 600 x 600 mm design and use flat panel speaker technology to give an 'all-round' sound effect, ' said Mr Collin.

The speaker system will be available in a standard RCS1000 at around £100 per panel with end panels at about £200.