[Update] Firm announces open-source licensing agreement
The free-energy firm Steorn is making news again. Today they have announced their plans to make their intellectual property open to all under a modified General Purpose License immediately after completion of the independent scientific validation process that is currently underway.
Steorn was first reported in OhmyNews in August 2006. The firm placed an ad in The Economist to attract the attention of the world’s leading scientists working in the field of experimental physics.
Steorn has pressed on with its plan to market its technology through partnerships and licensing. Today’s press release puts a new light on Steorn’s role in facilitating the rapid development of products using their technology as the power source.
In an interview with Richard Walshe, Director of Marketing, Steorn’s role in development became clear. “Our position would be in the role of assisting our technology into the public domain. The actual deployment is up to the third parties. We are an enabler,” said Walshe.
Under the terms of a modified general purpose licence (GPL) and for a nominal fee, Steorn’s intellectual property will be made available concurrently to all interested parties, from individual enthusiasts to larger research organizations. Steorn is taking this move to accelerate the deployment and acceptance of its technology for both humanitarian and commercial products.
Those who sign up to the service will gain engineering support from Steorn’s own development team (if necessary). On Steorn’s online forum CEO Sean McCarthy has said, “… understand that the full development environment [of the service] is designed to enable commercial organizations to rapidly develop products using our technology as the power source.”
The fee will be a sliding scale, depending on the person/organization wishing to sign up. “So there will be room for ‘hobbyist’ members and the fee in this case will be minimal,” says McCarthy. The actual pricing levels will be determined over the next several months.
He concludes on the forum, “Again I do have to point that this happens after the technology has been validated and at the same time as the launch of our own product.”
And that may be the next update on Steorn.
Invisibility Cloak – Update
In the OhmyNews article “The Coming Era of Magical Physics” in which I wrote of Steorn I also mentioned the use of metamaterials to achieve a “cloak” of invisibility. It stated, “As for visible wavelengths of light, the research team from Duke says that they are not yet feasible.”
I can now report that an article in physorg.com states, “For the first time ever, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have developed a material with a negative refractive index for visible light… that could lead to a wide range of new applications as varied as ultrahigh-resolution imaging systems and cloaking devices.” The material operates in the far infrared – but still visible – part of the light spectrum. No cloak yet, but it brings the goal a step closer.
©2007 Gregory Daigle
Originally published January 12, 2007