The idea was concocted by Las Vegas businessman Michael Luongo, who claims it can protect air travelers' privacy from obtrusive TSA full body scanners.
Dubbed "the flying pastie", the design consists of a 2-mm thick patch made of 100 percent rubber meant to "obscure the most private parts of the human body when entering full body airport scanners."
The site quotes Peter Siegel, a senior scientist at the California Institute of Technology, who says rubber cannot be detected by airport scanners as it resembles skin.
"The scanners do a good job seeing under clothing but cannot see through plastic or rubber materials that resemble skin. You probably could find very common materials that you could wrap around you that would effectively obscure things."
Straddling a fine line between utilitarian and gimmicky, the website
says it is "giving you back the right to your privacy" and features a young woman displaying the pasties' suggested use.
Prices start at $9.99 for a "male bottom" shield and go up to $16.99 for a "hers" set of "Only my boyfriend sees me naked" or a "his" set of "only my girlfriend see me naked".
Wholesalers can also customize their own pasties with the text of their choice. As the website indicates:
Need customized flying pasties for your website? Your cause? Your candidate? Customize your own Flying Pasties Design! Maybe you want to promote your website. Or, promote YOUR cause, YOUR candidate or YOUR message. Contact us today for your very own personalized Flying Pasties. From orders of 1000 to 10,000. Order today!
Gimmick or not, the shields may spell trouble for those using them at airports.
If the concealed shields were to be detected by the body scanners, TSA personnel are almost certain to take the person aside and do a full-body pat-down, which may prove far more of a privacy breach compared to scanners.
Luongo advises anyone using the shields to comply with TSA screeners by removing them when asked.