Yep, I’m calling it. Shenanigans! You all know I love to be the skeptic and question the answers. Here’s one that come along out of CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, last month that just refuses to die.

Here’s why I call shenanigans and call this snakeoil:

First, it makes no sense. Unless they are not telling us something, or in other words are misrepresenting the device, the power just isn’t out there to do what they claim. Charging a battery, means putting power in. POWER. Measured in watts. Feel the charger on most battery-operated devices. It gets warm. It’s doing a lot of work, putting a lot of power into the batteries. It’s just not there in thin air. If it was, we’d all be getting cooked like food in your microwave, which incidentally, works in the same range of frequencies.

They choose wi-fi as their source of power. Why? How do they restrict the power going into it out of thin air to just that coming from wi-fi? You can’t. Cordless phones, microwave ovens, wireless security cameras, dozens of other things all use the same frequencies. Does this use them all? If it does, why not just say so? If it doesn’t, why be so selective? Isn’t my cordless phone’s power good enough? My microwave certainly produces more power… They’re not telling us something here and just using the term wi-fi as a buzz word. Most people don’t really understand how wi-fi works, so it’s kind of magical. They capitalize on that.

And why use microwave spectrum at all? Certainly, there is a huge amount of electromagnetic energy around us all the time. Why not harness the power of all those AM, FM and TV transmitters? What about leakage from our 60Hz power system? All those are potentially much larger sources of energy than wi-fi hotspots.

But the real alarm bell is the use of the RCA name. Most people don’t realize RCA (Broadcating, RCA Victor, etc.) ceased to exist in the late 80’s. The name is held by Thompson SA, a French company and licensed to various people. RCA Records is really part of Sony, for example. This is just some little start-up buying credibility by licensing the RCA name. I’m not buying it any more than I’m buying a RCA TV anymore.

Supporting links:


Oh Gizmo!


RCA in Wikipedia