This weekend’s demo of Steorn’s Orbo Power Cube has begun. I’ll add updates to this post as they come in.
This demo has received very little publicity — so far as I know, the closest thing to a public announcement of it has been on the Slattery’s Pub Facebook page. There was no mention of it on CEO Shaun McCarthy’s Facebook page, or even on the Steorn website itself, which was mysteriously replaced with a blank white page early yesterday.
Friday evening in Dublin, an update was posted on Slattery’s Facebook page, with a comment and a short video (see it here). The comment reads:
Our mate #ORBO just arrived. This was our first touch. The box has an extra diagnostics kit so normally half the size. We will keep it here and test this revutionary product #madeinireland and creatively powered by #Guinness
The video shows the sleekly designed “Orbo”-branded box, a roughly 5 inch cube that looks like it would be right at home among Apple products. Some men talk enthusiastically as they plug a mobile device into the box’s USB port, and, after a few seconds, celebrate as the device acknowledges that it’s receiving a charge.
According to the comment, this Power Cube is twice the size of the standard product, so that it can fit some extra diagnostic equipment. Of course that leaves further room for doubt, as there could be enough LiON cells packed in there to charge a few devices without violating any laws of physics. Other possibilities for “cheating” could include taking the device into a back room every so often for “maintenance” or “diagnostics”, and switching out batteries; hiding a wire; or even wireless inductive charging through the tabletop. So, this demonstration will not satisfy any skeptics. But then again, satisfying skeptics doesn’t appear to be even a consideration this time around; if it were, then besides adding quite a bit more in the way of controls and transparency, they probably wouldn’t be holding the demo in a pub.
The demo did continue on through the evening. My source in Dublin stopped by, and had this to report:
I went to Slatterys, the staff were jokey, first saying it was all top secret, then they told me they had built a “nest” about 10 feet above the counter behind the bar so no one could touch it, to house the “never die battery”. I could see the nest of green leaves. They focused a light on this nest, and then, accompanied by some ceremonial music, placed an about 4 inch by 4 inch silver paper box marked ORBO into the nest, with a lead out of it, seen to be charging a mobile.
No one, but me was interested.
As far as I know, no one from Steorn attended, but I was gone by 7 pm.
Slattery staff tell me the nest is symbolic, the nest will rot soon, the battery is ever lasting, they say, while it will deplete, Steorn’s perpetual energy, presumably Orbo, will regenerate that battery.
I was amazed that there was no journalist that I recognized at Slatterys, but there may have been confusion, there is another Slatterys in Capel St. some miles away, all of the above was in Slatterys in Dublin 4.
I must go back to that local Slatterys within a few weeks to see whether they are still charging phones for free.
While the box appeared to him to be made of silvery paper from several feet away, he agreed that it likely was metal, instead.
Slattery’s posted the following update on their Facebook page at the end of the night:
Well tonight was really interesting. We had many people in that sat down in groups and had come in to see ORBO in action. She didn’t dissapoint. She charged many phones iPhone and Samsung types some HTC. The recharge speeds were more or less as normal if you used normal plug source.
I’m at home now but I will be in at 11 tmrw to plug in a phone and I will let you know how it goes.
Orbo will not move from its location. I am as skeptical as anyone out there. If it’s still operating like this in a week I know ppl will say that I’m “micro dosing” it with power. There is no way to charge it.To be honest I have no vested interest. If it fails I can slag Shaun about it during a poker game!
Here’s a photo From Slattery’s, of the Never Die Battery in its “nest” of leaves:
And here’s a closer up image, from Shaun’s Facebook page: