https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/ ... o-recharge
Fiji PM endorses InstaCharge, the app its creators claim can recharge your phone
PM Frank Bainimarama wants to make Fiji a telecoms hub but experts say phone app breaks the laws of thermodynamics
An app that claims to recharge phone batteries in 30 seconds has been publicly endorsed by the Fijian government, despite experts saying it defies the rules of thermodynamics.
InstaCharge was launched at a lavish party in Fiji last week, and was lauded by the Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, who is said to be the only person so far to use the new app.
Bainimarama has stated many times his intention of making Fiji the telecommunications hub of the Pacific islands.
The creators of the app – American Douglas Stewart and Fijian businessman Gaurangbhai Patel – said their invention took two years to complete and was a world-first. On their Facebook page, they said their mission was for users to “always be reachable during an emergency crisis”.
“It is a pleasure to launch this world-changing app in Fiji,” said Stewart at the launch party. “I would like to go back to America with one billion users.”
The mobile app claims to store excess battery power when an Android smartphone is charged overnight. When the battery runs low during the day, a phone can be recharged in 30 seconds by accessing stored power through the app, it was claimed.
The launch party for InstaCharge was held at the Grand Pacific hotel in Suva, the capital of Fiji, which the creators of InstaCharge have selected as their world headquarters.
However experts say the app breaks the basic laws of thermodynamics. “This claim is just absolute nonsense,” said Justin Hodgkiss, an associate professor of physical chemistry at Victoria University in Wellington.
“Anybody who’s studied science at even a high school level knows that one of the fundamental principles is that energy cannot be created or destroyed.”
“It’s just that simple, you can’t just make energy with an app,” he told Radio New Zealand.
Professor Shawkat Ali, dean of the department of computer science and information technology at the University of Fiji, said he did not know anyone in Fiji who had seen or downloaded the app since its launch a week ago, and he and his academic colleagues found it “impossible” to accept the company’s claims.
“The academic community in Fiji is not accepting the claims of this company ... what they are claiming to be able to do is 100% impossible ... I don’t know anyone in Fiji who has used the app, no one.”
Instacharge said its app was available in Fiji, and would be “coming soon” to Google Play and be available in the US by January. But Google spokesman Joshua Cruz said they had had “no engagement” with the developer of InstaCharge at all.
So far there have been no reports on social media of any Fijians downloading and using the app.
In a statement, InstaCharge said they were aware of reports questioning the veracity of their company’s claims, but said none of the skeptics had provided “substantial evidence” detailing why their product did not work.
“In the pursuit of technology man and woman have always questioned the validity of inventions and creations, InstaCharge App is no different.” the statement read.
Further information about how the app worked and where and when it would be available would be released next week, but until then InstaCharge wanted to “set the record straight” that their had been no funding provided by the Fijian government towards the creation of the app.
The Fijian government was contacted for comment but did not respond to requests.