N8 State

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N8 State (pronounced as innate state?) is a science woo scam in the form of a mobile app for Android platforms that claims to protect the user's DNA from electromagnetic radiation. The brand also includes traditional science woo scam products such as body patches and "specially treated" bottled water.

According to the page, "N8 doesn't stop bad EMF, but works at the subatomic level with the photon to protect the EMF field around every cell in your body to keep & progress cellular structure coherently." It also further claims that "N8 works by re-ordering photons within its range, returning surrounding energy fields to their natural frequencies."

Quackery[edit]

Jimmy Houston representing his hood by flashing gang signs.

While certain types of electromagnetic radiation can indeed harm DNA, the ones people are regularly exposed to are of the non-ionizingWikipedia type, including hair dryers, microwave ovens, televisions and WiFi. And while newer phones do have lower Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) ratings, an app alone cannot alter the amount of EMF radiation produced by the device.

As it appears, this is the latter-day digital equivalent of LED flashing stickers[2] sold in the late 1990s to early 2000s and used on NokiaWikipedia feature phones like the 3310Wikipedia, which claim to offer protection against cell phone radiation, something that has experienced a resurgence with the emergence of 5G cellular technologies that the conspiracist community has (unsurprisingly) scapegoated to be the cause of diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19. Unfortunately, despite the fact that Google has cracked down on conspiracist apps on the Play Store (most notably InfoWars), N8 State hasn't been taken down for similar reasons; it was delisted for a while in 2021 only for it to resurface not long after.

The quackery isn't just limited to the Android app itself, as the N8 State company has also (apparently) sold similarly scummy products on their website,[3] such as "photon patches" and "photon water" (also endorsed by celebrity outdoorsman and TV personality Jimmy HoustonWikipedia for some reason), all of them playing on the pseudoscientific misconception about photons.[4]

Somehow, it also got the attention of the American news magazine programme NewsWatchWikipedia who reviewed the app on their "AppWatch" segment.[5] As to whether N8 State paid off journalists or not is everyone's guess.

Investigation[edit]

A blogger took to investigating the app and its stated claims by downloading an .APK package and performing a thorough decompilation of its code.[6] In a nutshell, the app is nothing more than a news feed app catered to alternative medicine if not outright quackery, if the "com.n8zone.pushnotifications2" reverse DNS identifier isn't any indication. What the "Protection" button actually does is merely spawn an invisible PNG overlay over the device's screen, and give out a notification that the user is being "protected" from radiation; none of the "photon re-ordering" malarkey could be found in the code at all. Not to mention that due to N8 State's use of the now-deprecated overlay API, a side effect of using the app is that running it on newer versions of Android may render the touch screen inoperable unless you kill the app or restart the device. A Virus Total scan of the APK links the app back to Mobiversal, a Romania-based app developer with several legitimate projects under its belt. Further investigation traces the app to a certain Christopher Sterling, who was listed in a press release and trademark applications for N8 State bottled water and the app itself.[7][8][9]

Also, a cursory Google search reveals that none of N8 State's other products have seen a retail release at all, despite the "photon water" drink having been endorsed by Jimmy Houston, making it seem like as though the whole operation is little more than a Ponzi scheme. One of the recent comments on Houston's video apparently reveals that he simply forgot who or what was he endorsing and was merely duped into shilling for a (non-existent) product; a YouTube user asked about the name of the water bottle Jimmy held, only for Houston himself to state that "[he] can’t remember".[10]

The final nail in the coffin?[edit]

In 2022, Google announced that they will be further cracking down on apps that peddle health-related misinformation such as anti-vaccination and conspiracist media, among other changes to their Play Store guidelines,[11] though the N8 State app is still available on Google Play and the Amazon App Store as of April 2024.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Specifically, it displays a dummy PNG image and overlays it over the screen, likely so that a persistent service could nominally operate while the phone is turned on and thus give the user a false sense of assurance

References[edit]