Is a "young whizkid" inventor shown in a social media video despised by electric companies for creating a device that "cuts 50% off an average home's power bill"? No, that's not true: The young man shown in the video is an inventor but not of some purported power-saving gadget called FusionWatt. Instead, he's working on mind-reading technology that would allow people to control devices with their thoughts.
The claim appeared in a post and video on Facebook published on December 24, 2022, under the title "Imagine life without electricity." The caption opened:
Electric companies hate this young man and his new invention
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Dec 26 16:30:33 2022 UTC)
The post inaccurately identifies the young man in the video as 19-year-old Noah Watson. His real name is Alex Pinkerton. He's the co-founder and CEO of Brane Interface, a technology company he started with his father in Austin, Texas. The video of Pinkerton, used in what is effectively an ad for a product called FusionWatt, is from a CNBC article published on May 11, 2019. Pinkerton was 16 at the time. Here's a still image from the CNBC video, which shows the Brane Interface company name and logo:
(Source: CNBC screenshot taken on Mon Dec 26 18:50:24 2022 UTC)
In the video, Pinkerton is seen standing in front of a booth for his company Brane Interface. A banner for the company in the video says:
Measuring the magnetic fields of human thought with an external low-cost and compact brain-computer interface.
A Google search, using the terms "Alex Pinkerton" and "Brane Interface," produced multiple images of Pinkerton from the original video, as well as many stories about the young inventor. Google searches for "Noah Watson" and "Whizkid," "Noah Watson" and "invention" and "Noah Watson" and "inventor" produced no results showing the same person pictured in the video (here, here and here).
Lead Stories reached out to Brane Interface to get Pinkerton's response to the video. If one is provided, it will be added to this story.