With 'Pregnant Woman Mode,' Chinese Router Maker Begins Marketing To Paranoids
from the clogged-chakras dept
For more than a decade we’ve noted that while there’s no hard scientific evidence proving that Wi-Fi is a health hazard, that hasn’t stopped an endless parade of folks from declaring war on the humble technology. Numerous schools have been sued for trying to install Wi-Fi networks, and some schools have even banned Wi-Fi entirely based on nothing more than a gut feeling. The campaign against Wi-Fi is generally waged by those professing to be “electromagnetically sensitive,” even though most provocation trials to date have suggested these individuals can’t actually identify when a “harmful” Wi-Fi agent is in the room.
Given that there are now entire towns full of the electromagnetically sensitive, it seems only fitting that some hardware vendors would begin marketing to them. One Chinese router manufacturer by the name of Qihoo has been recently promoting a new router that features a “pregnant woman” mode that the company promises delivers around 70% less radiation than a traditional router (or the device’s other settings). The company clearly comes out and says it’s basically marketing to paranoids (or, to be more compassionate, individuals with likely undiagnosed psychosomatic illnesses), and isn’t basing their claims on any actual science:
“We are targeting people who are afraid of radiation”, he said. However, in a statement to South China Morning Post, Qihoo acknowledged that no definitive link has been made between Wi-Fi signals and poor health. “We aren?t scientists. We haven?t done many experiments to prove how much damage the radiation from Wi-Fi can cause. We leave the right of choice to our customers.”
They are, however, engineers who are very familiar with the effects of radiation, but the fact that they couldn’t be bothered to support the claim with any actual research or data should tell you plenty. Not surprisingly, Qihoo competitor Xiaomi wasn’t too impressed with this new product line:
“The so-called pregnancy mode [of Qihoo?s router] is just a marketing tactic. Wi-Fi usage is safe, so please rest assured when using it [Xiaomi?s router]. We firmly oppose, and feel ashamed of, those who create rumours and arouse instability for business purposes.”
Qihoo’s response? Basically the implication that the company will be proven righteous when the nation’s moms begin dropping dead from 802.11n exposure:
“We will wait and see who has a more profound understanding of Wi-Fi routers, me or our competitors.”
Lovely. If hard science is going to be an afterthought (or more accurately no thought at all), it seems pretty obvious to me what the next step in wireless router marketing is. We should begin selling routers that promise to magically protect all users’ chakras and clogged meridians, while giving the customers’ aura and spirit a bright, shiny luster that lesser routers simply can’t match.