In the ever growing market of ghost hunting gadgets, Dimension Devices have unveiled a ground-breaking Instrumental Transcommunication device, Chattergeist Touch, which they hope will rival established devices such as the Ovilus and Hexcom.
The pocket sized gadget, which is meticulously designed and programmed in the UK, is packed full of ghost hunting features and is priced at a fraction of the cost of it’s well known competitors.
GhostMag caught up with Dimension Devices founder and inventor of the Chattergeist Touch, Barrie, to learn about the unique offerings of their flagship ITC device.
What is your background, and how/why did you start creating ghost-hunting devices?
I was a self-taught programmer and web developer of 25+ years; I worked with some large global corporations such as Jeep, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, and Nikon. But over this time, the industry changed and became more and more convoluted and less fun to work in. So I bit the bullet and jacked it in.
Just before I gave up that career path (which was quite scary!) I had bought myself an electronics kit full of a variety of sensors, a soldering iron, and a bunch of other weird and wonderful electronic things. Before building paranormal devices, I had experimented and tinkered with creating touchscreen games, small manual and automated robotics, and various other bizarre creations.
I’ve always loved the paranormal, I grew up with The X-Files, and I’ve always been fascinated by anything “unknown” from The Missing 411 through to interdimensional entities! I ended up turning into a YouTuber called NetEcho who was playing a game called Project Zomboid, which I was also playing at the time, and I found out he did paranormal investigations; we started chatting about this-and-that, and the result was me making a very crude Ovilus clone on a breadboard with a bunch of wires.
Over the course of couple of years (and a bunch of different iterations), it has become Chattergeist Touch! How time flies!
You have recently launched and sold out of the first batch of the Chattergeist Touch devices! How is your device different from other ITC devices, such as the Ovilus?
Primarily, we set ourselves apart from Ovilus and other ITC devices in a few ways. Firstly, we believe that ITC products in the “modern” world should never just do “one thing”, especially if they have any form of digital microchip component. Even the most basic digital devices can do multiple things nowadays.
Chattergeist Touch stands apart from other paranormal devices because it houses five main function modes (dictionary, phonetic, 8ball, Ouija, and drawing) built into the device by default.
Devices like Hexcom, Polterscript, and Onvoy only do one thing, and whilst they do that one thing reasonably well, the case of these products tends to be unpolished or straight-up raw 3d prints.
Ovilus, while it does have multiple modes, does rely upon some quite archaic technology. One such bottleneck is the Ovilus’ VERY limited word bank of 2,048 words. This significantly limits what can be output during investigations and also “funnels” words that investigators would expect.
You also have to remember some of those words are names, so when the Ovilus says a name, it is meaningless because only a very limited number of names are installed! You would never get “Simon” out of an Ovilus because it’s impossible for it to do so.
Chattergeist Touch has 17,300 words (22 quadrillion combinations at the current count!). While the Chattergeist Touch may not have a speaker built in (yet…!), the range of outputs speaks for itself.
What are the key features, and how does it work?
Loosely, how Chattergeist Touch works is that it measures micro-EMF fluctuations, Temperature fluctuations and Radio Frequency Noise. It reads these at a rate you can set in the options (the default being 3 seconds) and aggregates them into an average result. It then polls the sensors and checks for fluctuations against the average.
The average is constantly being reset, so even though you might move from a room with no interference to a room with lots of interference, once an average is set, that is the new baseline. So while you can force a recalibration of Chattergeist Touch, there’s no need.
The primary mode is Dictionary Mode, which is akin to the Ovilus. The sensors are polled, and when a fluctuation occurs beyond the set sensitivity threshold in the options, it creates a random seed that is statically linked to a selection of words from the internal dictionary. Those words are shown on the screen. The Dictionary Mode also has three sub-operating modes: Prompt, Continuous, and Single, which further customize the output for the location you are investigating.
The Phonetic Mode does similar to the dictionary, but instead of the word list, it selects from the built-in 300+ phonetic letter combinations (approx. 31 duoquinquagintillion results!) and displays them in a 5×5 grid for you to read aloud to determine any possible meaning.
The 8Ball mode uses the sensor fluctuations to return a positive/neutral/negative answer to a question you ask aloud.
The Ouija mode outputs letters and numbers per interval, providing the sensors detect a micro-fluctuation on any of the sensors – that fluctuation is paired with a letter/number and output to the Ouija. Some of the words spelled in this mode have been quite interesting.
We had a user purchase a Chattergeist Touch, and the first word it spelled in this mode was “Life” – the odds of that happening are astronomical if it were chance!
Finally, we have Drawing Mode – which is akin to the Ovilus drawing mode but with much more random outputs; the thing with the Ovilus drawing mode is that it is very limited in how it outputs drawings to the point where they are almost useless.
We have written pattern-generating algorithms linked to sensor fluctuations that output some complicated maths to generate our canvas drawings. We have seen some great results in this mode!
Regarding the future of Chattergeist Touch, the device needed to tick four boxes: Affordable, Portable, Moddable and Upgradeable. In the future, you will see physical extensions to add onto the device through the built-in 4-pin extension port; we’re currently designing a Doppler radar that can detect accurately through walls up to 8 meters and a lovely wrist strap with the battery pack to make the Chattergeist Touch even more portable!
Some of the other extensions we have in the works are VERY exciting, but you’ll have to wait and see.
How do you make the pricing competitive and the best on the market?
Very quickly, I would say that there are devices that are cheaper than Chattergeist Touch, but they do not have as many function modes!
Chattergeist Touch does all the functions of these devices AND will have more functions added for FREE in the future! This was an area we as a team were very conscientious about; ethically, we could not charge the prices that the Ovilus charges; that would be daylight robbery in our minds.
Hell, we’ve seen the Onvoy sale for almost $850 in some places, and the Onvoy only does one function! We know how much components cost, and we know how much labor costs – And we feel Ovilus and similar devices are overpriced for the components they have and the functions they provide.
However, a lot of these devices sell for very high prices all over the world! We are lucky that our backgrounds have provided us with a varied skillset, which means we do not need to outsource developers or designers; everything we create has been done “in-house”, which lowered the developmental costs exponentially.
We searched high and low for high-quality components for a good price that could do what we wanted them to do; we must have gone through hundreds of components over the time Chattergeist Touch has been developed, and we settled on this particular configuration because of availability and at a price that didn’t break the bank for the average investigator!
For the longest time, paranormal investigation equipment has been priced for the “elite investigator” we want to change that and bring it more into the realm of the everyday investigator!
We have seen a number of ITC apps and devices used on television shows such as Help! My House is Haunted in recent years, but there is definitely some scepticism as to whether some of these apps are the real deal. How would you respond to that and do you think some devices / apps are ‘faking’ or giving false positives?
We think there is definitely a place for ITC devices in paranormal investigation, providing they poll environmental data and aren’t just plucking things from random. We did a bit of research on Ghost Hunting Apps, and without naming names, we decompiled 5 of the top-selling (and most famous) ITC mobile apps on the Google Play Store, 4 of them did nothing with the sensors they claimed to do.
They were using the sensor data to light up lights on the screen but still getting words and outputs completely randomly from a wordlist. There was no rhyme or reason for the output being those words.
Some of these devices have sold thousands of times and made the developer(s) hundreds of thousands of pounds in some cases! Mobile apps (in our mind) simply cannot be trusted.
They could be doing anything from using AI to listening to your mic to plucking random outputs. Having a physical device that uses environmental data to create outputs is much more sensible if you want actual results.
Read more: GhostMag recently interviewed renowned television medium Chris Fleming about the use of ITC devices on paranormal investigations. Check out our exclusive Chris Fleming interview.
What is the best or most compelling evidence you have recorded with one of your devices?
With Chattergeist Touch, the way the algorithm draws outputs in the drawing mode, the chances of drawing a figure/human shape are VERY low. Yet, we’ve had more than a handful of “shadow people” looking at figures from the drawing mode when doing investigations in the field.
A few days ago, we went to our local cemetery (which dates from the 10th century), and the first output we got in Dictionary Mode was “Graveyard” – the chances of that were not just 1 in 17,300 words, but also the correct sensor data must be polled that will seed that particular word. We can’t even calculate that chance!
We’ve also had some really interesting answers from the 8Ball mode, just saying a question aloud and having it come back with something more specific than yes/no.
Also, using an EVP recorder, I went to a local cemetery back in Wiltshire in the UK, which was on the hill near an old mental asylum that has been converted into residential buildings now; I walked into the dark and felt a massive unease, so left immediately after recording a very short session.
When I got back and reviewed the recording, I heard something growling at me. I searched high and low as to what that was, but it didn’t sound like an animal. I won’t go back there at night now.
Everyone seems to be talking about AI at the moment. Do you think AI might be used in ghost hunting, or do you think there will always be a place for more traditional techniques?
There will ALWAYS be a place for more traditional techniques! AI is nice, but at the end of the day, it’s not conscious; it is a language model – Meaning it will only ever use data it has trained with to create outputs.
It’s not really creative; it uses ideas it has been trained with. I honestly think if AI is used for paranormal investigation, it will create more false positives than actual positives!
Finally, beyond the Chattergeist Touch, which other devices or ghost hunting equipment could you not investigate without?
The first batch of Chattergeist Touch devices has already sold out, but another 50 devices are on the way. Once in stock, you can purchase for £150 on the Dimension Devices website!