We all have our methods of organising ideas, be it low-tech in the form of sticky notes or some cutting-edge mobile app. There's also the reliable whiteboard, which combines the simplicity of just writing your thoughts down with the ability to annihilate them just as quickly. Sure, you could buy a whiteboard and find a place for it, but what if you could transform the walls of an entire room — say your study or the office meeting room — into erasable drawing surfaces?
IdeaPaint recently released its "CLEAR!" series of paints, which, as the name suggests, allows you to apply a transparent whiteboard-like layer to any surface. Along with providing an instant place to commit your ideas, kids can draw on it without facing the wrath of their parents. Sounds neat, right?
At first, I was impressed but, upon thinking on it more and reading comments from those who had tried the paint out, my interest began to wane. Anecdotal reports state the paint doesn't have the greatest of smells, even days after the initial application and can require multiple coats to work properly. A perfectly smooth surface is also preferred, though I reckon that's a given, considering you'll be writing on it.
The other problem is it costs $US225 for enough of the stuff to paint 15m², which is plenty to cover a whiteboard-sized area a few times over, but won't last long if you're planning to do an entire room. It occurred to me that surely there's nothing particularly magical about the paint and if you're dedicated enough, you could probably find a way to make your own, cheaper substitute.
Don't get me wrong — I'm glad there are companies out there, like IdeaPaint, experimenting away in the hopes of making our lives a little more organised (and providing ways to impress your friends). But when does it cross the line from brilliant product to expensive gimmick?
IdeaPaint [Official site]