Fact Check: Electric Companies Do NOT Hate 'Young Whizkid' For Purported Power-Saving Invention

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Electric Companies Do NOT Hate 'Young Whizkid' For Purported Power-Saving Invention Short Circuit

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:

electric video.png

(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.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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