The Modern Perpetual Motion Scam
Despite perpetual motion machines being impossible, there are some that still attempt to recreate them, disguised in ideas many would think are brilliant
Scams are all around us. There are people everywhere who are taking some very unique and creative approaches to financially screw us. There are others still that have an idea, need funding for it but remain incapable of ever successfully turning that idea into a business, mostly due to the constraints of physics. Many people are still duped into donating (it’s not investing if you’re investing in the impossible) their hard earned money into a scam that can never become anything more. Knowing what’s a scam and what isn’t can be hard, but when it comes to new, scientific idea scams that come from less than formally educated individuals, they usually have one thing in common.
Solar-Powered Portable Electrical Outlet
Too small to be practical
This neat device sticks onto any window, has a solar panel on it and will charge your device with the power of the sun. Sounds like a good idea, right?
At first glance this thing seems really small. The diameter is maybe 7cm, so a solar panel on the back (front?) will be something like 5cm. If you have solar panels covering your entire house, you’ll be lucky if you can operate the TV, dishwasher, and the refrigerator at the same time. Granted these take a lot more energy than a smartphone (about 1000x more), but how much bigger are those rooftop solar panels compared to this one? A conservative estimate is around 6000 times larger. So in theory, you would need about 6000 of these stuck to all your windows, of which you probably don’t have enough space, to power your house. So no, in this case this is not reasonable.
Triton, World’s First Artificial Gills Re-breather
Maximum power consumption
“Breathe underwater up to 45 minutes and at a maximum depth of 15ft by utilizing our ‘artificial gills’ technology & liquid oxygen technology.”
45 minutes? Liquid oxygen? Artificial gills? Neglecting the fact that normal scuba diving equipment, with the large pressurised oxygen tanks strapped to you last for an hour maximum, this seems like some pretty fancy equipment. Other uses for liquid oxygen include explosives and rocket engines. These are both very technical field, requiring much research and development, and suddenly this patchwork startup can miniaturise liquid oxygen equipment into tiny apparatus?
Then there’s the problem with breathing time. Converting liquid oxygen back into gaseous form, regulating pressure, using these ‘artificial gills’ looks like it requires a lot of energy. More energy certainly than the output of a Solar-Powered Portable Electrical Outlet at least. Is there a battery tiny enough that can provide that much power for that long? The short answer is no, and even if they developed a new ‘modified lithium battery’ as they state, that new technology would be groundbreaking and could sell it for billions, not put it into this device.
iFind — Bluetooth item locator with no battery
No electricity? No problem, or so they say
This sound very questionable. Anything that requires bluetooth requires batteries. Bluetooth is an active technology that requires the exchange of signals from one device to the other. Through some clever triangulation and computation, the way these signals are received can determine where something is located in relation to one another.
Another way to power these devices, which stated in the description is through RF signals. This is a real and established technology, which is one of the primary technologies used in wireless charging, particularly in smartphones. The problem here is that these RF signals are over very short distance, and requires substantial intensity to generate any sort of charge. This is the type of device capable of generating such a signal:
Then there’s the technology required to convert these RF signals back into electricity. Long story short, this is very advanced technology that cannot be miniaturised into a coin-sized bluetooth device.
Solar Freakin’ Roadways
Infinite solar power, finite space
In a previous publication I outlined why this idea is unbelievably ridiculous. To summarise:
There is no doubt that the Solar Roadways would produce a lot of power, way more than the US’s current power consumption. However, the installation, manufacturing and energy required by the Solar Roadways would greatly increase power consumption, more than the power they could produce.
By now you’re probably realising what the common theme around these devices is. As it turns out, many of the scammers themselves aren’t the most scientifically literate either. This means that they come of with these very commendable ideas, having no idea that the amount of power required vs. the amount it can generate/is available. In an effect they are creating perpetual motion machines, machines that violate pretty much all the laws of thermodynamics. They create machines that require more power than what’s available and then magically make up for the difference in pseudoscientific or physically impossible ways.
Always look for discrepancies in input vs. output. The majority of the time this will immediately indicate if some seemingly innovative idea is a scam.