by Cindy Riley Parker
In keeping the finger on the pulse of the paranormal bubble most shows offer multimedia tie-ins ranging from magazines, books, DVD collections and more merchandise than you can shake a dowsing rod at. Included in the marketplace are the ever-increasing in popularity “iPhone Apps” which are cheap to make, cheap to buy and easy to use. It is into this market place that apps like the popular (and previously reviewed) Ghost Radar and the new “Paranormal State” branded EMF detector app for iPhone fall.
The main question on everyone’s mind is “Does it work?”
Well, the answer is not quite as simple as yes or no. Mostly because the meter does fluctuate and blip and beep accordingly and acts in a manner similar to EMF detectors found on the market today and implemented by many paranormal groups around the globe. So in that sense, it does seem to function the way an EMF meter should.
There is one caveat to this claim though…the actions of the meter are completely random and don’t seem to recognize EMF generating appliances.
I loaded up the meter on my phone and held it in one hand as I moved it over the surface of my computer tower which typically sends the needle on a traditional EMF through the roof. Here on the “Paranormal State” app, the needle barely registered any recognizable movement. As I moved it way from the computer and toward the monitor it went crazy, blipping and bleeping and the needle shot up to the 55 mark indicating a high level of EMF. I then tested the monitor on a traditional detector and while there was a jump to about 22 it was nowhere near as high as the “Paranormal State” EMF meter indicated.
More interestingly, when I retested the same monitor with the app, seconds after testing it the first time, the needle didn’t budge.
It also didn’t move when I held it near an electrical outlet that is known to have a leak, but the physical meter jumped like a Mexican bean.
The app meter jumped sporadically and inconsistently. Spots that spiked one moment were eerily quiet the next indicating that the meter is nothing more than a random noise generator designed for amusement rather than scientific evidence.
The validity of the app is brought into question with the ability to “Scare your friends” by switching to a manual mode where you can cause the meter to jump and beep simply by sliding your finger across a green bar on the screen.
More importantly, if the developers are so sure of their software and product, why is the app not in use by the very investigators who endorse the app by allowing their name to be associated with it? “Paranormal State” EMF Detector is a cute gimmick at best and a frustrating exercise in paranormal investigation evidence collection at worst. The app is free so it is unfair to say that it is a rip-off, but it is not worth the loss of hard drive space it takes up on your phone.
If you are a serious paranormal investigator, spend the 50-150 bucks required to equip yourself with real tools of the trade and stay away from gimmicks that are meant to amuse.