SOUTHEND is set to be the shopfront for stunning new technology that “wraps” buildings in a decorative casing.

The technology is currently applied to items such as iPads, allowing low-cost creation of one-off covers to the owner’s design. Based on vinyl, it is also available across a range of textures.

Rights to its use have been acquired by Macadamia Media, based in Aviation Way, Southend. The printing consultancy specialises in cutting-edge systems.

Co-director Colin Maynard says: “Design wise, the method can be used to place any graphic on the side of a building. It can also be used on more complex shapes, for instance, a helicopter.”

The core technology is well established, but Macadamia has brought the cost down to a price the average homeowner or small business can afford.

Macadamia also plans to open a quick turnaround shop. Customers will can walk in with photos or designs, and ask for them to be turned into a cover for a mobile phone, games console, iPad or other device. The finished product will be available in minutes.

Colin says: “It will be the first shop of its kind. We’ve been looking at sites in central Southend. We anticipate the kids will regard it as a cool place and help put the word out about what we can offer.”

After that, Macadamia plans to “premiere” its wrapround technology on a local building. Says Colin: “We’re a Southend company and Southend is where we want to launch it.’’ Former investment banker Colin set up Macadamia after leaving the City in 2008.

He says: “I wanted to set up my own business, dealing with something original that had great potential. I realised personalisation was a growing trend, and that technology made personalisation of anything more feasible and affordable. It came together when I met my business partner, Lee Halsey, who has a background in digital printing and shares my vision.’’