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13/12/2004 - WillauTronic Protection Scandal

We had hosted both their original address (as requested by them) and our returning comments. However, due to the content of our response they have now kindly asked for us to remove both their original address and our response, and agreed to do the same on their sites and the sites of their IBOs. If you would like a copy of the comments and our response, please email us at: Contact Powerwatch

Contents

[The Product]
[The Questions]
[The Company]
[The Summary]

The Product

Having electrically tested the Willautronic eSmog handy chip (sampled provided in November 2004, tests carried out in the same month), we believe very strongly that this version of the product will never protect you and your loved ones by reducing or cancelling EMF emissions. If we are correct and you were to use your phone more, it might effectively put you at an even greater risk.

WillauTronic, who make this small(3x2cm) aluminium sticker, claim that it offers protection from the harmful effects of electro-smog during mobile phone calls. It is intended to be stuck on to the battery of your mobile phone.

Upon examination it was discovered that the gold coloured pattern on the back of the sticker was just a pattern - it was not electrically conductive and in fact very closely resembled metallic gold felt tip pens. There is a black "blob" at the place where you might expect an electronic microchip to be connected, however on closer inspection it became obvious that it certainly was not any kind of electronic device. It appeared to be a blob of thick black ink, and crumbled off very easily when scratched with a mechanical pencil.

We were unable to find any reduction in EMFs at the user's head as a result of sticking this foil on to the battery as set out in their leaflet. I do accept that they state that this would be the case, but read our FAQ responses (Response 2) for explanation of why this is, in fact, very important.

The Questions

On the Willautronic website, there are some convincing sounding technical FAQs regarding possible questions on the handy chip - we address their responses here:

1. Are the WillauTronic devices covered by international patents?

No. The technology and method of "programming" the device is understood by the creator, Walter Laufs and is locked in a secure vault in Germany with succession rights. To disclose this unique process to secure an international patent would disclose the secrets behind the technology and manufacture and would be copied within a matter of days by those that ignore international patent protection!

We find this surprising - not that the mysterious "programming" is not hidden in a German vault, it may be, but the whole point of international patent laws is that no-one can replicate and sell the same device - we speculate that this may be more to do with the fact there is no substantive mechanism to patent, and that people could produce their own "chips" for very little and save themselves a lot of money.

2. Will the WillauTronic devices interfere with the normal functioning of the phones?

No. The uniqueness of the WillauTronic design neutralizes the harmful effects of the EMF without affecting the EMF which in fact makes the phone operate efficiently.

Once again, we fail to understand how this can be the case. Anyone with even reasonably basic technical understanding of electromagnetic fields will be fully aware that any effects of the EMF are completely intertwined with the fields themselves. We do not believe it is not possible to eliminate any of the effects (potential or otherwise) without in turn eliminating the field itself (which is necessary for the phone to function). This is akin to expecting earplugs to prevent only the noise you don't want to hear but to leave the noise you do want to hear. You either have the noise or you do not. "Active" noise- cancellation techniques can, and do, work for continuous stable signals (like a constant whine or hum), but they require a measurable output signal from the cancellation device. In the case of a mobile phone handset the device would have to put out exactly similar level of power. Willautronic say that there is not a measureable output signal from their device.

This is one of the points Willautronic have addressed in their communication with us. The claim is that it is not the transverse waveforms of the EMFs that is being cancelled, but the longtitudinal component of them. It is technically possible that the EMFs would have a longtitudinal component, and in fact as mobile phones pulse one could assume that they do transmit their signal with this component in. However, it takes the form of the sporadic nature of the communication, and is still tied in with the waveforms themselves. To cancel this via destructive interference you would directly counter both the waveform and the frequency, and would also eliminate the waveforms themselves and hence we believe that the phone call would not work.

3. Can you check to see if the device is operating by measuring the radiation levels?

No. The radiation levels relating to the phone remain unchanged. It is only the negative "messages" on the waves that are cancelled out using the inverse interference process. This is the unique process and programming of the device created by the founder of WillauTronic.

We certainly have no argument at all with the fact that the device has no noticeable effect on the radiation levels, however, all known side-effects of mobile phones are due to the radiation itself, and as mentioned if the radiation itself is not reduced, neither will the cause of health effects be. It is worth mentioning that for the principle of the "inverse interference process" to work, the chip would have to be emitting fields itself, which it quite clearly doesn't (even they admit that they cannot measure any scientific emissions from the chip).

4. Can "traditional" medical instruments detect these positive results being experienced?

At present there are no known reliable scientific medical instrumentation to consistently prove the positive effects of these devices. Reference can be made to the Research section under Scientific Studies (WillauTronic) and see the relevant independent results so far. WillauTronic has only been in the public arena for less than 12 months and the results so far are exceptional. The Testimonial section will also enlighten you to the many people getting positive results.

No, this would likely be due to the lack of positive results from any demonstrable scientific effects as far as we can tell. Not to say the people genuinely don't feel better, but it may well be as a result of a "placebo" effect (i.e. psychological) from believing that you will feel better. We cannot see that any field strengths will have changed, and as such your body will be under just the same stress as before, however there is reasonable evidence to support immune systems being bolstered by positive feelings and thought, and this may well be the reason for the improvement in well-being.

But who are WillauTronic?

We have been given a copy of their Product Information and Sales Manual (Version 01/05). Their carefully crafted leaflet, which actually says nothing useful about the subject of EMF adverse health effects or about how the "chip" works, is wrapped up in apparently convincing sounding phrases. It claims that the chip works on the principle of destructive interference, but not on how it achieves this - There is a diagram of two out-of-phase waveforms that cancel each other (which they would do), however the aluminium foil with its printed pattern does not actually do anything as far as we can determine, so the image bears absolutely no relevance to the product itself.

As it appeared to be completely ineffective at what it was advertised to do, we decided to do some investigation into the company behind the chip. Having had a good look around their website, we found their Independent Business Owner (IBO) Manual. Now we accept that the point of being a business manual implies that it will be primarily focused on the business end of the product, but this is how the manual breaks down:

Page 1: Front Page ("Sales Manual" -- their title!)
Pages 2-3: Background Information (not actually about the product, except for the final couple of brief paragraphs)
Pages 4-5: Brief diagram and banners of the destructive interference principle and product guarantee information - no actual explanation of how the product works
Page 6: Background information on Network Marketing
Pages 7-12: Explanation of how much money you can earn with Willautronic via massive network marketing methods
Pages 13-19: Set up help, form templates and company policies

Now despite the fact that we expected the manual to focus on the business side of the chip, we didn't expect only two pages to be dedicated to how it works, and even those gave no explanation of how it works other than an out of context diagram that bears little relevance to the product.

Having failed to find any more information on how the product worked from the business manual, it seemed prudent to check out their presentation: it started with the normal background spiel and ended with the network marketing promotion, but at least contained some of their "scientific" experiments to support the product. Still no explanation of how it worked, but at least something to examine more closely. Our opinions are as follows:

1. Micro Analysis of Blood

These were "dark field microscopy" tests to see the effects of mobile phones, unprotected and otherwise, on human blood. The first thing to notice is that the clarity and general picture quality of each of the three slides differ considerably, which would not be expected from a continuous experiment of this nature. The third slide contains considerably less blood cells than the first slide, and the second one appears to only contain one blood cell. More importantly, there is absolutely no information on the experiment at all, merely three slides and an explanation of them, with the nastiest looking one attributed to the phone without the Willautronic chip.

All in all not entirely unprovable with the information given, but very dubious looking pictures and no scientific basis beyond the quoted experimental methodology leads us to view this as very weak evidence indeed.

2. Radiesthesia Testing

Firstly it is important to note that, whilst we don't want to be seen to brand any alternative therapies as quackery without closer inspection, radiesthesia and radionics have been given a very bad name by historical practitioners having completely non-functional equipment when examined. The graph shown in my mind has several very questionable points. Firstly it seems capable of measuring "energy fields" in your "yin" and your "yang" - not to sound overly sceptical but it would be most interesting to see how these were measured and whereabouts these things were measured from. Secondly it appears to make a claim that using a mobile phone with a Willautronic chip greatly increases your "vitality", by no less than a 150% increase. As we understood it, the process of the chip was to eliminate the negative effects of the phone and no more, we find it hard to see how Willautronic could argue that the chip can greatly improve your wellbeing over not using the phone at all.

This is even weaker evidence, and without any more information on how the results were produced, what they really measured and what can be concluded from them we would discount this as non-evidence.

3. Water Crystal analysis

There are two slides here, one showing a comparison between polluted water and water exposed to mobile phone radation without a Willautronic chip, and the other showing a comparison between pure mineral water and water exposed to a mobile phone with a Willautronic chip. First thing to note again is the poor quality of the slides depicting mobile phone exposure. It is interesting to see that they in fact closely resemble greyscale out of focus images of what they are being compared to, implying in our view that neither using the phone with a chip nor using the phone without a chip had the slightest effect on the water. A much better way of demonstrating these supposed effects would be to have one sample of water, showing an image of a crystal created from pre-exposure water, an image from exposed with no chip water, and an image of exposed with a chip water. These could then be compared with known images of high and low quality water.

Once again, the presentation of the results is so ambiguous that it is meaningless. The methodology is non-existant in the interpretation of the results is left entirely to the reader's enthusiasm (or not as the case may be).

Once again, Willautronic have complained greatly about our interpretation of their "science". Unfortunately, they have once again failed to provide any futher backing for these experiments, either in the form of methodology or properly written up results. Without this we stand 100% behind our reasoning as written above.

So it becomes apparent in our opinion that there is no certifiable scientific reasoning or quantifiable experimental results in the FAQs, research pages, business plan or product presentation suggesting any positive effect from the chip, other than non-attributable testimonials from people whose identities have not been disclosed. We understand the need to safeguard contactable details from testimonials, but this also means that by definition they cannot be used as good scientific evidence for the product's efficacy.

That said, to be fair we should state that WillauTronic have offered to subject their products to a full scientific protocol (along lines which would be satisfactory to Powerwatch) for testing their effectiveness. We will be very interested to see the results of such testing.

We have now removed all reference to the www.fairtrade.info domain, as it is no longer relevant to this article.

In Summary

In the meantime, on the basis of the information we have seen to date, we believe that the WillauTronic esmog Handy-Chip will not protect by reducing or cancelling EMF emissions. In fact, if you used your phone more believing that you were protected, it might put you at an even greater risk.

There are a number of firms marketing what they claim to be personal EMF protection devices that we believe make dubious claims and may not work at all. If you are aware of any devices that may fall into this category please contact us with as much information as you can.