Friday, October 26, 2007
Sean McCarthy (CEO of Steorn)
FE Truth: Sean McCarthy CEO of Steorn is with us today. Welcome Sean! Well, it’s not exactly Letterman, but perhaps we can ask a few searching questions of you nonetheless.
Sean: Hi Craig.
FE Truth: It’s now well over a year since the Economist ad which is when most people started following the Steorn story. Back in August 2006 the conspiracy theories were rife. Steorn are obviously still here, and no one has done a runner to the Bahamas with any money. You weren’t an advert for the new Halo game, you weren’t a viral marketing campaign and your offices aren’t a front for the CIA.
That just leaves two possibilities. Measurement error, or you truly have the ability to create / extract free energy, what do you say to people that say measurement error is an explanation for all this?
Sean: I don’t think measurement error is a viable explanation at all. There’s a substantial difference between devices that work that aren’t subject to measurement error and devices that are simply lab based measurements. The new theory seems to be that we’re either right or we’re delusional. Clearly, most people think that we’re delusional.
FE Truth: Can you tell us anything about the 22 jury, has their reaction been what you expected? Will the way the jury goes about validation and the testing they carry out be made public after the process is complete.
Sean: We won’t be discussing the Jury process in public at all until it’s completed.
FE Truth: You’re very enthusiastic when it comes to talking tech. Where did you’re love of engineering and technology come from and what’s your proudest engineering moment?
Sean: I grew up in the age where computers were becoming commonplace. At the age of ten I had a computer in my house and I found this and all technology fascinating. The Engineering school I went to was very hands on, very lab based as well as theoretical so I developed a real love of both technology and engineering. I guess the proudest moment for me and for the company from a technology standpoint was the development of the DiscMatch system which some of the world’s largest companies had tried to develop with tens of millions of dollars over a seven year time frame and failed. We did this project for 160k in 18 months, that was cool.
FE Truth: As ever, you’ve been extremely busy. What sort of stuff have you been working on in the last few months? Anything that you can tell us about?
Sean: We continue to work on Orbo. Obviously we are looking at different implementations of it, more reliable implementations of it both mechanical and non mechanical. We’re also looking at the material science behind these time variant magnetic transactions as in what’s the real driver for them. What makes one material have a different response from another material? We’ve looked at a lot of third party research, fund some research and obviously do our own research into this area, we have managed to rule out most of the drivers to time based domain response (eddy currents, heat and so on) but as to why ferrite has a different response to Iron – well more work to be done.
FE Truth: Previously you mentioned that a second demo will occur and that it would not
be announced, it would just "happen" when you’ve got it up and running. Are you at liberty to announce which country or city the demo will be located ?
Sean: It will most likely be in Dublin, Ireland.
FE Truth: Assuming the jury of 22 scientists returns a positive result on Orbo’s ability to create / extract free energy, do you think the scientific community will accept the jury verdict and embrace the new discovery or do you expect there will still be yet another fight for acceptance? What do you anticipate will be the reaction?
Sean: I don’t think there will be a defining moment to be honest. I don’t feel that any form of validation, be it public demo or validation by a third parties, will be seen as a full stop to the process. I think it will certainly raise awareness and more people will research it but there’s not going to be a defining moment in terms of accepting something so fundamental. All we can hope is that the scientific community will engage further and further into this once they have a credible frame of reference.
FE Truth: Since discovering the anomaly that led to the development of Orbo technology, have you observed any other interesting phenomena, bi-products, or effects during testing.
Sean: We continue to discover interesting things. Apart from the pure mathematics behind magnetic interactions which, if anybody researches into them, are in themselves a contested area, (in that there’s no real one mathematical model that will describe any magnetic transaction in 100% reliable fashion), we are also looking at the Newtonian dynamics behind these things. There’s a lot of interesting stuff. Our concern as a company is not to get sidetracked too much but as engineers we do find interesting stuff and do tend to get sucked into a couple of weeks testing which are necessary and in the nature of the company and how we ended up here but are probably not that pertinent to developing Orbo.
FE Truth: Have you any plans to release an educational pack to schools / colleges, perhaps including a kit-based DIY Orbo for students to mess around and learn from?
Sean: Part of what we are looking at with the e-learning stuff which is in development, involves stress testing some of the modules with different communities, from secondary school students to university students and also looking at how we can attract these people post validation to come in and gain an interest in it. Whether DIY Orbo kits are truly a realistic objective is unclear because the types of manufacturing tolerances required are very high but I would imagine we will be releasing a lot of the e-learning modules behind this into wider audiences.
FE Truth: What exactly is SteornLab - Can you give us any information on this?
Sean: An awful lot of what we have developed over the years has been based on tests. We have bought in a lot of the best of breed test equipment to measure rotary systems and magnetic fields but it’s still a relatively specialized field. We have developed and have patented several testing technologies, specifically non-contact torque sensors and dynamic field measurement equipment to measure magnetic fields in very fast environments. SteornLab relates to the productization of these testing technologies we’ve developed over the years.
FE Truth: Surely politicians would be interested in the technology for lots of reasons.
Has Steorn ever been contacted by anyone in political positions?
Sean: We’ve been contacted by everybody from humanitarian groups to top range politicians, however we have taken the same position with all of them. We are not engaging with the political community or the industrial community until after validation.
FE Truth: Can you give us any news on Steorn’s African water pump project?
Sean: It’s an ongoing project. We have contracted a local engineering company to conduct water surveys and to design a one-fits-all water pump, (i.e. a water pumping system that can be used in multiple sites in Kenya) that work is ongoing, they haven’t finalized their work. Effectively what we will be providing them is the power to drive this system.
FE Truth: "In your opinion does Orbo create or extract energy?"
Sean: It’s a question of views. I would say that, in the same way as there is a mass/energy equivalent there is also a form of time/energy equivalent and whether you consider that energy creation or conversion is a matter of semantics. The explanation behind Orbo is that ÄT can equal E as simple as that.
FE Truth: Has Steorn ever been offered money in order to sell the patents, black shelve them or to suppress the technology in any way? Can any amount of money prevent the technology getting to market now?
Sean: No. We have been offered lots of money but none of that to hide the technology or suppress it. To be honest, none of those conversations get beyond the cursory level simply because we’re not in the business of raising money. No amount of money can prevent the technology getting to market. It does not take a huge amount of money to drive us, or any small business to the wall, but if Steorn was taken out this would not prevent the tech getting out.
FE Truth: What sort of a fight do you expect that the energy / oil / mining companies will put up to stop Orbo from impacting their business?
Sean: Unfair would be the straight answer. I’m from that industry and they’re not fair fights… but I’m looking forward to them.
FE Truth: Presumably after successful validation there will be an avalanche of interest and the company will have to grow significantly to cope with worldwide demand for support? How does the company plan to cope with the workload? Are we likely to see, offices of Steorn springing up in the US, Europe and Far East? or will the support and licensing be done via eCommerce only?
Sean: It will be by eCommerce only. The reality of what we’ve bitten off here is that we couldn’t afford to grow the company to a scale pre-launch that could deal with the expected demand and we can’t do it after the fact. So we’ve designed our business model around who we are, which is roughly twenty people in a building in Dublin. Who knows what size Steorn will grow to ultimately as requirements change, but in terms of immediately post launch we don’t see any specific requirement for adding headcount.
We are already looking at some acquisitions but these are in the very early stages and would be pretty small companies themselves.
FE Truth: Since all this kicked off in August 2006 what has been you’re biggest disappointment?
Sean: July 2007
FE Truth: Have you had any licensing enquiries from interested companies since you went public in August 2006?
Sean: Every day of every week.
FE Truth: What’s Steorn’s position on the licensing of the tech for possible military and
Sean: It’s specifically precluded.
FE Truth: How many patents do Steorn hold in relation to Orbo technology?
Sean: In the region of 15 – 20 applications
FE Truth: You are a technology development company, so what’s the next technology project for Steorn after Orbo?
Sean: Steorn will have to see this through but a lot of the developers in here came from an anti fraud background and we have some really cool ideas in that area. Who knows? There’s always another dream to chase.
FE Truth: You mentioned before that people’s reaction to this is almost a religious reaction. Why do you think there’s such hostility to what is essentially a planet and life saving technology?
Sean: It’s difficult to understand. I think an awful lot of it is the nature of the internet. Since being introduced to the forum life I’ve seen people have religious arguments over the colour of a footballers shirt. The internet seems to give people the right to debate things religiously. When you talk about taking on a scientific establishment which is very much how we cast ourselves, we came out fighting so you could say we provoked a response but that having been said we are questioning a fundamental assumption of the world of physics and I think that the world of physics is religious in its attitude to these things and probably rightly so.
FE Truth: Are there any future R&D plans for Steorn to go after solid state Orbo systems or advance Orbo technology even further?
Sean: We have some engineering issues that we are currently resolving in terms of mechanical systems; we are constantly looking at ways to capture and express the energy in a real world environment that are simpler and simpler and there is nothing simpler than a solid state device. So it’s in the plan, but its not something that we actively engaged in at this time.
FE Truth: CoE largely depends on Noether’s Theorem holding up to scrutiny.
Noether’s Theorem relies on time invariance in an energy transaction to hold true whereas Orbo technology involves time-variant principles. If Noether’s Theorem can be shown to not apply in this case, what does this mean for the world of physics? What sort of knock-on effects do you think we can expect?
Sean: Ultimately CoE is a catch-all. E=mc2 was, for a time seen as a violation of CoE - it was very quickly dealt with by saying that mass is a form of energy. I do believe that the further we dig into this and the smarter the people we get involved, that variations in time frames could be viewed as a form of energy and you could tidy the equations up that way.
FE Truth: If the effect is time-variant, then presumably time would be shown to be a function of energy? This would have massive implications. What are your thoughts on this?
Sean: It’s not a question that time is a form of energy. In any thermodynamics equation you will see ÄT as a factor and what we’re playing around with is ÄT. I think it may not be that much of a job to tidy this little mess up from a physics point of view.
FE Truth: I know I’m asking you to try and be psychic here, but if your timeline of validation goes to schedule and electronics /engineering companies start licensing orbo technology for development in their own products, how soon should the public expect to see orbo powered consumer products on sale? Is 2009 an unrealistic target?
Sean: It depends on what kind of products you are talking about. I always equate this to the hard disk drive. Right now you can have a hard disk with huge capacity for fifty bucks but that’s not how they started out, they started out costing a hundred million dollars for a couple of hundred kb of disk space, this has taken 50 years. Orbo will be no different. I doubt it will be the same fifty year cycle with Orbo because development timeframes are always compressing. Also community development as we plan to have with the SKDB compresses timeframes but we cannot put a specific date on it. We can only hope that it happens in a short timeframe. There’s a lot of engineering involved in taking Orbo from where it is to your phone.
FE Truth: Have Steorn ever been offered a deal by a large corporate to buy the technology? I’m thinking along the lines of GE or Toyota, General Motors. Those types of companies.
Sean: We’ve had lots of interest from very large multinational companies but we haven’t presented an opportunity to discuss it. Our position has been clear from the outset; we’ll validate this and then the big companies will get the same shot as the small guys down the road.
FE Truth: Do you think any other company has ever came close to discovering what Steorn did?
Sean: I think lots of people have. I can look at many of the other free energy claimants and understand exactly how they could work. I could also see why many would be difficult to replicate without understanding what was happening.
FE Truth: Ever got into a fist fight over Orbo?
Sean: I’ve never been in a fist fight.
FE Truth: You’re a Birmingham City fan, so once you’ve become even richer than Bill Gates, presumably you’ll be buying Birmingham City Football Club and turning them into the new Chelsea?
Sean: Some things are impossible!!!!!!
FE Truth: Sean McCarthy, thank-you very much for taking time to speak to us today. We wish you well for the future!