Wire free offices

British Telecom's research laboratories in Martlesham, Suffolk, have developed a pocket dictionary-sized box that could replace the wiring needed in offices to connect computers and telephones. Known as passive picocell, the box can fit on the wall or the ceiling of an office. A prototype of the product has been successfully installed for a local area computer network. Picocell is linked to a central server through fibreoptic cables and can interact between computers and telephones within a range of 200 metres through radio waves. It does not require a power supply of its own and can send and receive messages at the same time ( New Scientist , Vol 154, No 2085).