Pub “field test” ends early

Apparently this past weekend’s debut of Steorn’s Orbo PowerCube wasn’t intended to be a public demonstration at all, but rather a quiet field test of the new technology. That plan was thwarted when Slattery’s Pub posted about the event on their Facebook page, and the information was picked up and spread by eager followers of the Steorn story. With all the unwanted attention, Steorn aborted their field test, and took back the device.

According to a comment on Slattery’s Facebook page:

The device is no longer here. A little too much attention for a quiet field test. I may have gone over the top posting about it so my bad. I’m hoping that we can get her back under more strict media conditions but Slattery’s Pub not exactly a quiet pub hence the perfect place to display it.

As usual, Steorn’s actions can be read in several different ways.

On the one hand, ending a public demo after a few days is compatible with the skeptics’ theory that Steorn is drawing out an elaborate charade, pretending to develop a revolutionary device so as to continue bilking investors. Staging this demo was part of that charade, and it was ended on the false pretense of “too much publicity” when in fact it couldn’t last more than a few days, before the “Never-Die Battery’s” own internal battery would run out.

On the other hand, the lack of any mention of Orbo’s pub appearance by Steorn, the peculiar locale, and the disappearance last week of Steorn’s web site, are also compatible with the story that this was never intended to be a demo at all, just a field test of a technology that’s not quite ready for market. We know from updates on CEO Shaun McCarthy’s Facebook page that Steorn worked with a PR firm a few months ago and developed new logos and slogans. From this point of view, we should soon see a relaunch of the Steorn web site and brand, hopefully accompanied by some genuine demonstrations of their new product (or products… don’t forget HephaHeat), and, just maybe, commercialization.

UPDATE 5/14/15

Today’s Irish Times business section featured a brief article about the aborted Orbo field test, Self-charging battery causes a stir in Dublin pub test. The article includes a couple of terse comments from CEO Shaun McCarthy:

Steorn chief executive Shaun McCarthy told The Irish Times: “We are not offering any Orbo products for sale, we are just doing some basic field trials.” In addition, Mr McCarthy said the company is not publicising the locations of the field trial units

Not much new there, except for the possible implication that there are multiple Orbo field tests either planned or going on right now.

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