Everybody who is at least a little interested in technological innovations must have come across Batteroos Indiegogo campain called Batteriser by now. It is also likely to have come across the critical voices telling that Batteroos claims are unfounded. I don’t intend to go much into details, so if you are not familiar with them, google for yourself. I rather write about my thoughts and observation from a more distant point.
I noticed that Batteroo, Inc. published a test report from UL after facing the criticism mentioned above. They payed UL to conduct a clearly defined test with a clearly defined device under clearly defined conditions in order to verify that Batteriser extends the life of batteries, inserted into a Garmin Approach G3 golf GPS unit, approximately 600%. The test was conducted in a way, that a second device taped constantly on the touchscreen of the golf GPS in order to “keep the GPS screen at full brightness during the duration of the test”.
This test proves, that if you happen to be the owner of this exact device and you like to tap the screen non-stop because you really like the baklight to be at full brightness for 10 hours and 12 minutes, then a couple of Batteriser will make your day. A video published by Batteroo shows how this test was conducted (funnily enough, in the mentioned video only 546% extension of the time until the device switched off was accomplished).
While a battery-life extension of over 500% sounds great, I suppose that many people don’t find themselves too often in the scenario above…
Batteroo also published a video showing how Batteriser would perform when inserted in a flashlight compared to a setup without it. This test too, shows a clearly defined test (brightness after two hours) using only one device (this time without any other specification then “traditional flashlight”). The test shows that the light meter measures the initial 60 lux still after 2 hours when using Batteriser, while the measured illuminance dropped to 22 lux without. This means that when Batteriser is used in a “traditional flashlight”, it offers an advantage during the first two hours of straight usage. No word however, in which rate the light output decreased in the setup without Batteriser and how the batteries of the two setups performed after two hours. The Video caption reads (as of today) “The flashlight with the Batteriser sleeves lasted longer and put out an optimal level of power until the end!”
My thoughts off that poorly constructed sentence:
1. There was only one flashlight.
2. It is not the flashlight which is lasting, but the batteries.
3. There is no prove in the video that any setup lasted longer than another. (It is safe to asume that the batteries in the setup without Batteriser last longer).
Observing the fashion in which Batteroo presents their results remind of the argumentation in pseudoscience: Starting with an idea or claim, looking only for evidence to support that given idea or claim while ignoring all conflicting evidence and failing to give straight answers to straight questions.
The 395,599 USD, Batteroo has raised during their Indiegogo campain show that Economics (a social or soft science) follows different laws then Physics, which is a natural or so called hard science. Hard sciences are based on facts and not words.
I understand, that it is tempting to buy products which are saving money and the environment. For consumers it is unfortunately often difficult to verify whether a bought product lives up to the claims it was advertised with. On top of that, it is not very flattering to be proven wrong and to admit to one-selve to have fallen for some marketing scam. Consumers also often have to rely on external specialist knowledge when making purchase decisions. This makes the fact, that a majority of the big tech magazines and blogs published Batteroos claims unfiltered and unreflected, even more sad.
Is Batteriser a scam?
I, for my part would say that Batteroo, Inc. has so far failed to deliver any real evidence that Batteriser does prolong the life of batteries significantly under everyday conditions. It remains to be seen if much battery waste can be prevented thanks to Batteroo or if this will be yet another lie in the book we call “The Modern Life”.