Is this just a sales gimmick? One company is selling a new router with a special setting for pregnant women. It's stirring up all sorts of controversy between tech giants.
Router maker Qihoo 360 rolled out a new model with three modes described on its website as wall penetration, balance and "pregnant women". The pregnant mode is supposed to reduce the amount of radiation given off by the router by up to 70%. Qihoo's competitor Xiaomi is challenging those claims. The team at Xiaomi says that Qihoo's developers are promoting this "pregnant women" mode to market to worried parents without any real increase in their protection.
In fact, Xiaomi is claiming that there is no benefit for pregnant women to avoid being around strong Wi-Fi signals. An official post on social media from Xiaomi says, "The so-called pregnancy mode is just a marketing tactic. WiFi usage is safe, so please rest assured when using it."
The World Health Organization backs up Xiaomi's skepticism with an official statement about this type of exposure. The statement explains, "The overall weight of evidence shows that exposure to (radio frequency) fields at typical environmental levels does not increase the risk of any adverse outcome such as spontaneous abortions, malformations, low birth weight, and congenital diseases."
Qihoo developers aren't making these claims themselves, but are looking to their CEO who acknowledged that there is no scientific evidence to link Wi-Fi exposure to birth defects and hazards. He just says that they're playing into consumers' beliefs about pregnancy risks and there's nothing wrong with that.
Zhou Hongyi, chief executive and president of Qihoo, told the the South China Morning Post, "We are targeting people who are afraid of radiation. We aren't scientists. We haven't done many experiments to prove how much damage the radiation from WiFi can cause. We leave the right of choice to our customers."
Do you think that the company is trying to pull a fast one on expectant parents or do you think that Wi-Fi really can harm a mother and her unborn baby? Let me know by leaving a note in the comments section below.