Few contemporary figures can claim to be acclaimed scientists, activists and entrepreneurs simultaneously, but Ilonka J. Herazi has earned her place of respect in each of these fields. Perhaps best known as the inventor of the TESLAR wristwatch, Ilonka is also a successful author, filmmaker, designer and philanthropist, whose work has been covered by Oprah, WIRED, Vogue, and the American Biographical Institute.
The story of the TESLAR watch has its roots in the early 1980s when Ilonka began a project to capture standing wave scalar technology in an instrument you can wear on the human body. The purpose of this tool would be to protect the wearer from the ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) fields that emanate from various other electronic devices, by amplifying the electromagnetic frequency of the wearer’s body itself to create a kind of shield. Together with Dr Andrija Puharich, a specialist whose work with ELF technology was already widely recognized, she created a prototype. Initially taking the form of a somewhat clumsy and awkward bracelet, this device was eventually adapted into a wristwatch. That watch became the TESLAR, named after influential inventor Nikola Tesla. It would quickly become a scientific curiosity and eventually grow into a technological phenomenon.
While the TESLAR brand was growing, Ilonka turned her attentions towards other projects. Purchasing a remote aeroplane hangar, she converted it to a laboratory with living spaces where she and a team of handpicked scientists could continue their work on electromagnetic fields. In the years that followed, they would be responsible for several other health and wellness technologies based on the use of quantum physics and electromagnetics. Many of these innovations continue to be used around the world even today.
In 2002, Ilonka met Philip Stein, and they decided to join forces, forming Philip Stein Teslar. The merger was an incredible success, and their product managed to catch the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who made it one of Oprah’s Fav Things not once, but twice—the first time in 2003 and the second in 2005. In 2008, however, Stein and Teslar parted ways and the public became confused as many watches were advertised as Teslar by the Steins when in fact, they were not. The Steins state they did this with no ill intent. However, circumstances prove different as even though Ilonka managed to retain control of the TESLAR name, the Steins have filed a suit to try to destroy her thirty year old trademark and take it for their own. With very strong scientific proof of concept and evidence, it continues to sell and her remarkable product continues to speak for itself.
Ilonka is also heavily involved in a project called The Shift 2012, which aims to improve the quality of life in marginalized communities through several ambitious initiatives. Using a unique social networking platform, The Shift 2012 allows users to fundraise and recruit volunteers for many socially responsible projects around the globe. They can also connect with relevant charities to bring them on board and increase their effectiveness. In another phase of the project, all relevant NGOs, IGOs and 501C3s are brought together to actualize these projects. The goal is to create sustainability in poor areas instead of providing temporary, short-term aid. So far, it has succeeded in several significant projects, including the building of several wells in rural Senegal.
Much of Ilonka’s social responsibility work also involves children. Between 2010 and 2011, she won a total of 12 film festival awards for her documentary, “Walking the Waking Journey”, which follows a group of marginalized children from the Himalayas as they are taught new skills with which to improve conditions in their villages. Throughout this time, Ilonka has continued to write about her work in quantum physics. Her book, A Soul Breathing, and video, The Resonance in Residence, examines the potential for this branch of science to improve our health, our psyches, and our environment—for our sake, and for the good of future generations.
With a distinguished career spanning more than 45 years, Ilonka J. Herazi is a singularly intriguing figure in both global sustainability movement and the technology industry. She currently lives in Tennessee with her husband Courtland and their three children.