Technology

The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Hoax of the month? StunFone claims to turn your iPhone into a 90,000-volt stun gun

November 9, 2010 |  3:02 pm

Stunfone

The amazingly diverse world of iPhone accessories today brings us a "product" called the StunFone, which claims to turn your iPhone into a 90,000-volt stun gun.  (That is, when the battery is fully charged and "Bluetooth is disabled.")

The video describing the device (which we can't link to because it contains iffy language) was circulated a few days ago by someone calling himself Jeff Esteghlalian, who claims to be a former MIT student. An e-mail sent to Esteghlalian was not immediately returned, nor did a Google search for his name turn up more than a couple of results, including a Facebook page with a couple dozen friends.

Via Twitter, Esteghlalian claimed the project took him a year and cost $120,000 -- capital supplied by his parents. The generally jokey tenor of his tweets zaps some of the seriousness from the undertaking.

The humorous YouTube video depicts Esteghlalian first shocking a friend, then a martial arts instructor, and then hiding across the street as he watches a woman use the StunFone on her boyfriend when a date goes bad. If they were real, these kinds of dangerous activities would obviously not be funny.

The existence of such a device strains credulity not just because its alleged maker is a college-age kid directly marketing a dangerous weapon on the Internet (he's asking $24.95), but because painting in little electric-arc special effects isn't that difficult with the right movie editing software.

That said, this Taser holster-slash-MP3 player made a big splash at CES in 2008, and it was real....

Updated: Yep, it's a fake, created by a stealthy Los Angeles advertising agency.  "Jeff" was an actor. 

-- David Sarno

Comments 

Advertisement










Video