In August of 2006 an Irish company called Steorn announced that they have developed a technology that produces “free, clean, and constant energy” and challenging the scientific community to review its claim.
This was (and still is) an audacious claim and one that should either revolutionise the world of physics and engineering then and there or be discounted for the tinfoil hat wearing nonsense it most likely is. However persist it did and for the next 11 months Steorn put out a call for scientists to come in and review the technology and once completed this technology would be presented to the world.
The grand unveiling, for what they are calling orbo (I’m guessing short for Oroborus, an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail, also a symbol of unity), was announced to take place in London on July 4th at the Kinetica Museum at Spitalfields Market in London.
As it turned out the demonstration was canceled due to “technical difficulties” and they will reattempt it on July the 5th. (Engadget provide an interesting run down of the events).
I can’t believe this has been kept alive for so long and a part of me actually wants it to be true, but for selfish personal reasons. As a Irish engineer that has worked around the world it is hard to get away from the paddywackery stereotype image of the Irish. It doesn’t matter how many microchips you have taped out, or C++ programmed applications you’ve debugged and shipped or been involved in the deployment of the carrier network for the next generation of mobile phone technology, it doesn’t matter. Endless times I have endured or witnessed fellow irish ex-pats field innate question like did you have electricity growing up? or is television in color in Ireland? or have we ever heard about a computer? In a lot of cases we just feed the stereotype, Irish people love winding people up and while you might think we’re dumb we don’t mind taking the hard technical jobs, doing the best job we can and the money that comes with it.
There has been many suggestions that it is a hoax, part of some viral campaign for a product (Halo 3 has been mentioned and I was interested to find the top of the engadget page this listed All the Halo 3 news that’s fit to print ) but the problem is that most hoaxes aren’t drawn out this long.
So while Irish people have endured the slights of a bit a slagging what is going to happen if Steorn turn out to be wrong. Man the ammunition that is going to give people world wide will be painful. It’ll be the punchline to so many Irishman jokes and it will have the unfortunate fact of actually been true.
“Did you hear the one about the Irish company that thought they had created free energy?”
Apparently orbo doesn’t work well under hot lights no demo today either. If they turn all the lights off we could then see it working, . . . wait that doesn’t work either!