Author Topic: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?  (Read 371717 times)

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Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1225 on: November 14, 2014, 01:04:16 am »
Just received my SEEK and its tiny. It has teething troubles but at $199 It kills any chance of ongoing investment in the M u project.  Dead duck for sure.
 

Offline Jay_Diddy_B

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1226 on: November 14, 2014, 02:06:40 am »
Hi following this link posted in the IGG comments:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5762-S-Harper-Ave-Chicago-IL-60637/3990723_zpid/

We have:



This is the house that is featured in some of the Mu Optics thermal images and the home of Mu Optics LLC.


The price history indicates that the house has been for sale since July 6th:




Regards,

Jay_Diddy_B
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 02:09:11 am by Jay_Diddy_B »
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1227 on: November 24, 2014, 09:16:41 pm »
McGrath - the project creator - says he will be posting an update this morning regarding "the status of the camera".   Another backer already said he has talked to him and was told there is no $$ left for production, so presumably that's what this update will be.

We shall see - if that is what they are going to say, then it seems (to me) somewhat clear that they have been outright BSing people all along with claims of being almost done and only obscuring detail because of "NDA's" and so on.  Meanwhile the refund window expired.  I feel bad for those that get caught out.  I am sure they will blame FLIR and Seek for releasing cameras and killing the interest in investing in them.

It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1228 on: November 24, 2014, 11:14:27 pm »
For some of us this is not an unexpected outcome to an ill conceived project, managed badly and with apalling communications with 'investors'. It became a 'BS' project long ago but has taken an interminable time for the developers to realise it was already dead and buried. Or maybe they hoped that if it went on long enough the angry hourds would get bored and not come after them ?

But looking on the bright side....at least John is OK, and he did learn a lot about running a project ! Yeah, like that is some consolation to his backers. I think not.

It was a train wreck from the start but then this may be the case with many start-up projects, as clever 'ideas' people do not always have the smarts to run a business. Take Sir Clive Sinclair as an example. Very clever man, but could do better in his business decisions.

Aurora
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 11:27:18 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1229 on: November 25, 2014, 12:50:05 am »
And once this does fold, almost certainly so will any info on the prototype that was shown. It will be buried.
Doesn't matter to the industry of course, because Mu had practically zero innovation worth anything, but it might matter to the backers who lost their money. Was it a viable prototype?, or was it a smoke'n'mirrors job?
The conspiracy theorists will no doubt say the latter, and that "all the pieces now fall into place with the choice of show to exhibit at" etc.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1230 on: November 25, 2014, 12:51:48 am »
It was a train wreck from the start but then this may be the case with many start-up projects, as clever 'ideas' people do not always have the smarts to run a business. Take Sir Clive Sinclair as an example. Very clever man, but could do better in his business decisions.

At least Clive shipped product!
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1231 on: November 25, 2014, 01:37:28 am »
It was a train wreck from the start but then this may be the case with many start-up projects, as clever 'ideas' people do not always have the smarts to run a business. Take Sir Clive Sinclair as an example. Very clever man, but could do better in his business decisions.

At least Clive shipped product!

Plus it earned him knighthood!
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1232 on: November 25, 2014, 01:50:47 am »
Agreed, Sir Clive is a great man but  boy did some of his decisions suck... like the rubber keyboard on the first Spectrums instead of a conventional keyboard because he thought it was high tech ! As a Dragon 32 owner I know which I prefrered !  And that C5 was an other opportunity for Sinclair greatness yet somewhere along the line it lost its way and eneded up as a sort of 3 wheel Go-Kart instead of a small electric car  ;D  But yes, he did ship poroduct  :-+

Aurora
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1233 on: November 25, 2014, 04:21:47 am »
The End has Officially arrived!

Quote
Hello everyone,

Our apologies for the silence of late.  Most of you have heard about Seek Thermal's entry into the market.  Needless to say, it's quite the game changer.  We've been working towards a response to this new market reality.

The arrival into the market of a camera with higher resolution than the sensors available to us and a sell price well below our cost of goods, with thirty million in the bank as a result of a patent settlement with FLIR and backed by companies such as Raytheon and Freescale Semiconductor has left us very challenged in bringing our camera to market.  While it is true that Mu Optics has a number of residual advantages; with WiFi and transferring all the thermal data with the stills and videos being the main ones: it is still a Herculean task for us to get to market given this well-funded competitor. 

Regretfully, just as our camera was ready for production, we're now finding it impossible to obtain financing for production. Financing for production has effectively vaporized as venture capital looks at the new competitive landscape and question wether we can be profitable and competitive.  I understand their concerns; despite all recent efforts to redesign the camera utilizing more cost effective components (the most difficult item has been in further in reducing our costs has been the microbolometer), we still can't get our cost to manufacture a camera below $210.    At that cost we believe that we would be competitive with FLIR's offerings.  However, with mark-up, we're well above the retail cost of Seek Thermal's camera. Their strategy; that of minimal feature-set/ minimal cost/ high volume which has sent shockwaves through the industry.

I can't confirm when, or if, we'll make it to production.  It would only be fair to say that, baring a miracle, that we are shutting down operations.

Despite the opinion of a handful of naysayers, our intent has always been earnest. We just didn't see Seek Thermal waiting in the wings, operating in stealth mode right up till their market entry.  Our lack of communications was simply my paranoid belief that others were coming  and I refused to share information about our camera that I believed to be detrimental to our timing into the market and the proprietary design of our camera. I never anticipated someone so deeply funded entering the market.  I admit to mistakes along the way, without which we may have gotten to market quicker, and grab some market share before having to deal with Seek. 

Quote
Part Two of Three


Our efforts over the past couple of years have been financed by the generous, and hopeful, contributions of IndieGoGo supporters; and the investment of even greater sums by myself, friends and family and of the contributor-partners who shared our belief in the vision of Mu Optics.  At this point I'm sorry to say that unless we find financing for a continuing effort, we're unable to provide any additional refunds.  I personally feel a sense of shame; not in our failure in making it to market, but that we're unable to refund your contributions at this time.  I cannot apologize with more sincerity.  Please know that every dime was spent in earnest effort to accomplish the goal.   Everyone that collected a paycheck during this effort never earned a cent more than they would have working at McDonalds.  Until such time as additional financing is found, there is no one collecting any pay from Mu Optics.  As a couple of contributors have pointed out in their postings, I can tell you that my house is for sale and that those proceeds will go to collateralized lenders we borrowed from and there will be nothing left.   I'm at the bottom of my pockets. 

Until the past few months we refunded everyone's contribution that asked for one.  We did that believing we were on the way to market and that thermal imaging cameras for the mass market was such an obvious winner that funding for production was easily around the corner. 

We showed our camera working at the IMTS convention, and we also posted videos showing the working camera. As a result: we received the very positive response we hoped for.  We expected to be in production within a couple of months of the show.  Then Seek Thermal arrived. 

Again, we've not completely thrown in the towel, but it is unlikely we will be able to continue as a company.

Quote
Part Three of Three.


Please forgive our errors.

There are individuals who are threatening to attack the good reputation of companies I have worked for in the past.  Companies which have had nothing to do with Mu Optics.   I am deleting any posting that makes such a threat or that contain phone numbers other than my direct cell phone number. 

I am solely responsible for the efforts of Mu Optics.  I am also not presently affiliated with any other company, I am unemployed other than my efforts to find production funding for Mu Optics.  You can call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email john@muoptics.com.  Any comments threatening others will be immediately deleted.

Respectfully,

John McGrath
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1234 on: November 25, 2014, 05:01:01 am »


Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1235 on: November 25, 2014, 07:23:42 am »
The Mu is Dead...........Long live the SEEK !

 ;D
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1236 on: November 25, 2014, 11:49:11 am »
So will John honor his commitment to make this open source?
He took over a 1/4 million dollars in people's money, that is the least he can do now the company and project have gone bust, and it might be one step toward recovering his ruined reputation.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1237 on: November 25, 2014, 12:05:11 pm »
As I commented in the SEEK thread, I would not expect Mu to place anything in the public domain that could be used as evidence of wrong doing by plaintiffs. If he hunkers down and weathers the storm he might get away with this mess. In the big wide world 250K isn't a great deal of money. He can legitimately claim that he though, he tried and he failed. That is the world of product development.

I fully expect the whole matter to drift into obscurity unless someone has the money and appetite to pursue Mu through the legal system to secure their R&D note and records of work. It may not be right but as we all know, life isn't always fair and investors regularly lose their money when risking it on new ventures. What was the contractual obligation of Mu to its investors ?...  delivery of the finished product, or best endeavours to deliver the product ? Very different implications I think you will agree.

Aurora
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1238 on: November 25, 2014, 12:47:48 pm »
As I commented in the SEEK thread, I would not expect Mu to place anything in the public domain that could be used as evidence of wrong doing by plaintiffs.

Correct. But by not doing so he will almost certainly cop more claims he has something to hide.
If he indeed has nothing to hide and was not lying, then there is only upside in releasing everything.

Quote
He can legitimately claim that he though, he tried and he failed. That is the world of product development.

Totally. It's very easy to spend $280K on development, especially over a year and a half.
There is no law that says you have to be any good at design and project management either.

Quote
I fully expect the whole matter to drift into obscurity unless someone has the money and appetite to pursue Mu through the legal system to secure their R&D note and records of work.

Why would anyone bother?, he has no money left.

Quote
It may not be right but as we all know, life isn't always fair and investors regularly lose their money when risking it on new ventures. What was the contractual obligation of Mu to its investors ?...  delivery of the finished product, or best endeavours to deliver the product ? Very different implications I think you will agree.

If you look at the original campaign, it was clearly delivery of a product:
Quote
Our funding request will get Mµ Thermal Imager into the stores; however, the more funds we raise the lower we can drive our costs, and ultimately the price of the imager.   We’d love to raise enough to make an order for the electronics and optics necessary that will allow us to sell the imager for less than $325.  So....please, even if you see us reach our goal, consider making a contribution anyway, you’ll get the Mµ Thermal Imager at a great discount and help drive down the cost for all the contributors.

and what did they promise the money would be used for?:

Quote
The funds we're seeking will pay for the final development and packaging of Mµ Thermal Imager, the hiring of a worldwide sales consultancy to sell Mµ Thermal Imager’s through to the hardware stores, heating and cooling companies, and insulation companies.  We're also in the midst of finalizing our website which will train people in all the different ways in which thermal images can make for a healthier and lower cost home, videos from existing users and, of course, we need to place the first significant order for the parts, manufacturing, and distribution.

So what parts do they have left? Can they be sold or given away to investors?
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1239 on: November 25, 2014, 09:08:46 pm »
@Dave,
A very good point. Any stock of parts should go to investors who request such. Hwever I don't think they had the microbolometers for production and there may be very little physical asset to distribute.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1240 on: November 25, 2014, 09:11:26 pm »
Well, they did have a prototype, maybe send it to Mike so he can assure the investors that a feasible effort was made?
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1241 on: November 25, 2014, 10:39:50 pm »
Being into debt, he might not own the design anymore at this moment. He'd need to have ownership to be able to release it into public.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1242 on: November 25, 2014, 10:58:05 pm »
Being into debt, he might not own the design anymore at this moment. He'd need to have ownership to be able to release it into public.

Who would own it?
It's be rumored I think they he may have gotten money from elsewhere, but I'd be fairly sure that wouldn't have been enough money for someone to get controlling share in the IP. In any case he did promise it would be open sourced to his Indiegogo investors, so if he then went and sold the IP ownership to someone else then that means he's lied to his indiegogo investors.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1243 on: November 25, 2014, 10:59:39 pm »
A very good point. Any stock of parts should go to investors who request such. Hwever I don't think they had the microbolometers for production and there may be very little physical asset to distribute.

Mostly likely considering IIRC an update that said they needed money to buy the sensors.
In which case, what happened to all the money?
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1244 on: November 25, 2014, 11:04:50 pm »
At this point it sure does look like Mu was either a scam from the get go, OR they had NDA with Raytheon, and Raytheon fucked them with no dinner flowers or lube.

Latter would explain claims of military origin, and reluctance to divulge f'all. You dont want to eff with military industrial complex :). That, or it was just a scam and this theory fits nicely as their exit strategy.
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Offline tom66

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1245 on: November 26, 2014, 12:16:56 am »
It seems odd that they sold the previously $1.1mn for ~$600k. Have prices crashed that much or was he just desperate to sell?
 

Offline _Sin

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1246 on: November 26, 2014, 12:23:15 am »
It seems odd that they sold the previously $1.1mn for ~$600k. Have prices crashed that much or was he just desperate to sell?

You mean the house? I think you're reading the timeline upside down. It was bought for $600k some years ago, put on the market again recently at more than double that, and the price has been dropped steadily for a while because it's obviously not selling.
Programmer with a soldering iron - fear me.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1247 on: November 26, 2014, 01:31:43 am »
Would you buy a house from this man ?  :-DD
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1248 on: November 26, 2014, 01:37:05 am »
Would you buy a house from this man ?  :-DD
Only after a thermal imaging survey ;D
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Offline Bud

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #1249 on: November 26, 2014, 02:11:43 am »
The house was put on sale at least a month before SEEK was first mentioned on the Forum. Means the decision to sell the house was made even earlier
 


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