Steorn broadcast their second webinar today. It was much briefer than the first and began with a demonstration of what makes up an Orbo power cell, as well as some simple tests intended to show that the cell generates electricity. Following this was a brief presentation of the first few Orbo-based products: the OCube itself, set to ship within six weeks, followed by the OPhone which is scheduled to ship in a couple of months, and then both an e-cigarette and a wireless game controller, each expected in the first half of 2016.
The OCube can be ordered right now, and costs 1200€ plus shipping. The OPhone can be pre-ordered now, and costs 480€ plus shipping. The e-cigarette and game controller are not yet available to be ordered. The OCube and OPhone can be ordered by writing to email@example.com. In response to my inquiry to that address, I received back an automated message stating:
Thank you for your interest in Orbo technology. We will respond to your email within the next 24 hours.
This could mean that the moment is finally approaching where we’ll get some answers as to what Steorn is really up to. If they begin accepting money for Orbo orders, then they legally owe consumers a product that lives up to its billing, or else they’re guilty of fraud.
Here’s a summary of the topics covered in today’s webinar:
– CEO Shaun McCarthy demonstrated the basic construction of an Orbo power cell. The two output wires are each connected to a sheet of conductive metal. One of the sheets of metal is covered by a layer of a highly resistant specialized material. When the two sheets are pressed together, a current is generated. (Note that, in accordance with the shareholder video that was leaked several weeks ago, the two conductive metal layers would be made of dissimilar metals, and the specialized material that covers one of the metal layers would be an electret.)
The two metal sheets that make up a power cell, not yet connected.
A hand-made demonstration Orbo power cell, with measurement of its output.
– Shaun connected the output of the cell to an oscilloscope, which showed voltage as soon as the sheets came into contact with one another.
– The cell is “piezoelectric to some extent”, so the demonstration takes a while to stabilize after being connected, and it’s also “quite good at picking up ambient energy”. Nonetheless, Shaun did note in the first webinar that Orbo is not an energy harvesting device, and that it has been shown to generate electricity when isolated from external energy sources such as EMF and vibrations.
– The demonstration cell produces a voltage of 0.4 to 0.5 volts, which is a function of surface area. When the circuit is shorted, this voltage drops down to 0. When de-shorted, the voltage bounces back. Everything is dry, there is no electrochemical potential being degraded, so no matter how long the cell is shorted out, it will always bounce back to the inherent voltage of the cell.
– As another test, the Orbo cell is connected to a resistor. A voltage is measured across the resistor, showing that work is being done. In this case the energy is being dissipated as heat by the resistor.
– As a final test, the Orbo is connected to a capacitor instead. After the capacitor is first shorted out to deplete any existing charge, the connection to the Orbo cell is shown to charge up the capacitor.
– The demonstration uses hand-built cells; actual devices (shown by Shaun) are professionally packaged and manufactured.
An actual, manufactured Orbo power cell, and shelves holding many hundreds of them.
– The OCube produces up to 2.1 amps and is capable of one tablet charge, or two to three smartphone charges, per day. It is expected to ship within six weeks, and costs 1200€ plus shipping. To order an OCube, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– The OPhone will ship next. It is a retro style, retro function cell phone, that “will never need to be recharged”. It will be available within the first couple months of 2016. It costs 480€ plus shipping, and can be pre-ordered by writing email@example.com.
– An e-cigarette produced by Wicked E-Juice, and a game controller for use with popular game consoles, will be available before the summer of 2016.
The contents of an OPhone, left to right: two Orbo power cells, a lithium ion battery, and a standard, retro-style (non-smart) cell phone.
Computer imagery of the finished OPhone design.
Later Orbo products: Wicked E-Juice e-cigarette, and game console controller.