These days, every two years seems to be just about how often we need to peek in on Steorn in order to find anything new or interesting going on. Whatever they're up to, it's been slow and plodding work... or maybe, as some believe, a prolonged development period designed to bilk investors, where the next milestone remains always just around the corner.
There's been no new official word from Steorn itself for several years now, and its website has remained unchanged. However, trickles of intriguing information having been dripping out through CEO Shaun McCarthy's Facebook stream over the past few months. That's all we've got to go on for now, beyond Sterling Allen's visit to the Steorn office back in 2012, so I'll summarize these tidbits below.
This new series of Steorn related information began back on February 24th, 2014, with this posting:
Sometimes stuff takes longer than you want.... it's going to be a LOT of fun in the next few weeks, a lot
Comments in response to the post asked Shaun to expand on the topic, which he did:
Hehe, life is about to get fun again... and it takes time, but it's been a roller coaster ride and at some point you jump off it with a BIG smile on you face
Better suited to this time and this place - going to enjoy every minute of what 2007 should have been - I am a purist OU man, no wires
Soon after, on Shaun's March 6th birthday, he posted the first new video of what looks like a simple original-style magnet motor Orbo in motion.
Steorn's new, old-school Orbo -- no wires.
Some birthdays are better than others, even when you are just playing with bluetac!
Then on April 11th, Shaun posted an image of what appears to be a AA battery, with a "Steorn" label.
The prototype "Never Die" battery.
Here are a few excerpts from that post:
Shaun: Hehe, what a great Friday it is!!! Commenter: Is that AA size? Shaun: Nope - its no real kinda size, but it is still seriously dead cool - love Fridays! Commenter: But it's a battery, right? Shaun: Yep it's a never die battery Commenter: Shaun - a never die battery? Seriously? Shaun: Yep - never die, its a nice one! Commenter: Is this a prototype? How far away from being able to buy one? Shaun: Just prototype - no idea when we will make it available, but for sure not this year Commenter: Does the prototype shown use any of the Orbo tech principles, or is this something new? Shaun: It's all Orbo Craig no chemicals just magnetic
Taken at face value, it looks like Steorn has been working on more than just water heaters, and trying to fulfill their early vision of Orbo as a source of electricity for mobile devices that never needs recharging.
On April 24th Shaun posted a photo of a conference room filled with empty seats.
Ready to give a demo.
The post reads:
Two weeks on the road demoing the never die battery and I could use a recharge myself - last one, roll on Friday
The comments give scant further information:
Commenter: could you post the demo on Youtube? Shaun: We are not videoing these demos, they are pretty hands on - probably get something out in a wee while Commenter: What kind of response are you getting from the people you give these demos to, Shaun? Shaun: Other than 'what took you so long' the response has been brilliant
On June 29th a short but interesting video was posted that, if Shaun is to be believed, shows workers using sand molds to cast parts for HephaHeat units.
Casting a HephaHeat unit.
Finally, on June 30th, Shaun posted an image of what he claims to be a HephaHeat unit in its case.
First glimpse of a HephaHeat unit in its case.
These recent updates have been increasingly frequent and seem to show a product in the end stages of development. It's difficult to imagine that Steorn and its manufacturing partners could make it this far without realizing that they're deluding themselves about the reality of their technology, if in fact they are. Could this mean that Orbo-based products will finally be released in the near future? Or is this some kind of drawn out charade designed to string along investors? Only time will tell, and hopefully a lot sooner than in another two years.