the Glass Industry Can Fill Demand for Wireless Protection
by Drew Vass
Since the advent of wireless networking, companies and individuals
alike have sought to lock down personal information through data
encryption and network security programs. And these services have
come a long way since their birth. While they are still the number
one defense against wireless hackers, the window film industry is
now offering an added layer of protection for a buildings
most vulnerable point of accessits glass.
While a few window film manufacturers report, or at least allude
to, having signal defense films in development, Martinsville, Va.-based
CP Films currently has the sector cornered. A unit of Solutia Inc.
in St. Louis, Mo., the company says it has been manufacturing a
patented signal defense window film for the federal government for
years, but only recently has it declassified this product and made
it available to the general public.
We were approached about eight years ago by a supplier to
the federal government about making a window film to stop wireless
signal leakage through windows, explains Lisa Winckler, global
director of technology at CPFilms production facility in Martinsville,
Va. Today, CPFilms manufactures virtually 100 percent of the
window film used by the federal government to prevent electronic
eavesdropping and wireless signal stealing.
Developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense and
CPFilms technology partner, ASTIC Signals Defenses, LLumar®
Signal Defense Security Film uses a patented combination of metal
and metal oxide layers to reduce signal strength across the electromagnetic
spectrum. The company reports that its film has been installed on
more than 200 buildings within various federal agencies, including
the Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, Department
of State and various buildings within the executive branch. And
it doesnt stop at federal office buildings, as CPFilms says
its product has also been installed on the residences of senior
In May of 2009, CPFilms announced it was making its elusive film
available to the public and greater details were unveiled with its
declassification. Introduced as a high-tech, clear window
film for businesses and high net-worth individuals, the film
is marketed as a means of securing and protecting the confidentiality
of wireless and other free space electronic communications.
Originally it was offered exclusively through the manufacturer,
at a price that excluded the average homeowner. Instead, the company
chose to target the retail, healthcare and financial services industries.
Just because the film is available, doesnt mean its
easily attainable, though. Some dealers say the price tag outweighs
what many companies deem an extreme measure.
CP Films has changed their marketing strategy concerning this
film. They have tried to target commercial accounts for obvious
reasons while maintaining their direct government relationship,
explains Mike Feldman, owner of Advanced Film Solutions a CPFilms
dealer in New Port Richey, Fla. We went to their training
session back in May or June and weve had several inquiries,
but havent really closed any deals. We hear that some dealers
have been able to grab sales, but who knows whether this is real
Tommy Shoppe, a sales representative for Performance Films Distribution
in Clearwater, Fla., agrees.
CPFilms opened it up to us about eight or nine months ago,
but we havent had a great deal of success in selling it yet,
Shoppe explains. At this point, most people at least know
about it, but its a tough sale, he says adding, It
definitely takes a high level of sales expertise to close a deal
on this film as opposed to the others we sell.
Shoppe says some customers do explore the option, but, at an approximate
cost of $30+ per square foot, not many are willing to go there.
One of the companies Im working with now on a large
project actually brought it up to me. They didnt end up going
with it, but they were well aware of the product and wanted to explore
the option, Shoppe says. He says the opportunities are there,
though, but mostly (still) in the government contracting and private
We work in conjunction with some of CPFilms representatives.
Theyre good at tracking down opportunities within the government
sector and sometimes theyll line us up with a project,
To read more about how this new type of building protection works,
look for Cant Hear Me Now in the November issue
Drew Vass is a contributing editor for www.USGNN.com/USGlass
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