Author Topic: The Airing  (Read 56607 times)

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Offline Buga8tr

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The Airing
« on: June 18, 2015, 04:25:18 AM »
Hey all.  I am new here.  I have some field experience repairing electronic devices.  But a couple of things from scratch to make life easier and what not.  So I am not a total newbie.
 
 But I am scratching my head and wondering if anyone has thoughts on this product.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/airing-the-first-hoseless-maskless-micro-cpap#/story

Airing: the first hoseless, maskless, micro-CPAP

My wife uses a CPAP and i just don't see how you can get the air-flow that a big machine produces in such a tiny package.

 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 05:56:37 AM »
And all the pictures show people with closed mouths.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 09:43:58 AM »
That device is not a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Not even close. It is essentially an "internal" version of the Breathe-Right strips seen here:

https://www.breatheright.com/

Both my dad and my son had to use CPAP at some point. I am in the medical profession as well. This device, while it can probably help some people breathe better it is not CPAP and has no excuse trying to market itself as a replacement. The idea behind CPAP and the reason it works to prevent or reduce sleep apnea is because it "blows open" obstructions, usually caused by a narrow airway coupled with hypertonic musculature and excess tissue in the back of the throat.... The same tissue often causing snoring.

During inspiration, the delivery of positive pressure helps to reduce that fold from closing and "chattering" which is what causes the noise. The snore noise is usually on breathing in. If there is greater pressure, there is larger volume flow and the pressure keeps the flaps open. During expiration, it is usually not a big deal to overcome the positive pressure.

In any case, these professional CPAP machines cost a good amount of money, they are medical devices and have to be approved and must have various fail-safes and also settings that are set by a licensed professional that does a sleep study and checks on the exact type of apnea and the machine is prescribed. In fact, at least in Canada we get government insurance to help subsidize some of the cost through the hospital.

So this IndieGogo campaign may actually be dangerous in the way it is marketed. I hope they have a disclaimer like "Please check first with your doctor if this is right for you".

As far as whether the Airing actually does anything.... I'm sure it does. The Breathe-Right strips stick to your nose and there is a metal strip inside which wants to straighten so it essentially flares your nostrils. I have used them and found them to help improve breathing through the nose because I have narrow openings. If there is an obstruction on part of the nose that is surrounded by harder tissue (bone/cartilage) the tissue won't be as expandable and it won't work. But if you put it on the fleshy soft part of your nose near the nostrils it will flare it and may notice better breathing. Many of the football players and other athletes have been seen using the Breathe-Right strips.

But the Breathe-right doesn't claim to replace CPAP machines and cure sleep apnea, which is a complex multi-factorial disease that may have various causes and needs medical diagnosis and therapy. In some places you can even lose your driver's license if you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and do not follow the advice of the doctor, because it has been found to contribute to accidents. That forces many people (like truck drivers) to not get tested for fear of then losing their license or be forced to undergo testing and use of the CPAP which is tough to get used to.

The fact that they raised close to $500,000 boggles the mind. However, they are at least cheap. They anticipate it selling for $3 each... they want $135 for 90 Airings... or $1.50 each for founders. That is supposed to be a 90-day supply, although I imagine you can wash them or soak them in some kind of solution, or perhaps boil them and you can use the same ones or cycle through a small batch probably for much longer. If they are made of proper rubber they will probably be usable much longer, so it is not a bad price. I may buy a couple for $3 when they come out in stores but there is no way I'm going to buy 90 of them when I know you will probably be able to re-use them for some time. And they will probably help when you have a cold or some congestion and help you sleep a bit better without opening your mouth at night and getting a dry sore throat because of it.

I can see some issues with irritating the inside of your nostrils from chronic use though. If they have any Latex in them it may also cause allergy. The Breathe-right strips can only be used once usually since the adhesive that sticks to your nose loses its stickiness after you remove it. So I see the appeal for the Airing. BY THE WAY - Breathe Right pack of 30 strips costs about $18 at Wal-Mart, or about 60 cents each. For Airing they want $3 a unit and expect you to use a new one every day so you have to buy a 90-day supply for $270 ?(or $135 IndieGogo price)?

BOTTOM LINE:  While it may be helping you breathe a bit better, on occasional use, it should NOT be marketed or in any way shape or form claim any sort of association with treatment of Apnea and CPAP substitution! I see the comments and people think it is a replacement for CPAP... Oh my god wait until they start to have problems and some people lose their life or crash into others and injure other people because of this claim that it is a CPAP-less cure for Apnea.

(PS - close to half million $$$ in 2 days... with 28 days to go... to get 90 of these at a minimum order? have people lost their mind?)

« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 09:57:00 AM by edy »
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Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 10:14:40 AM »
One more thing (excuse my Rant... this stuff ruffles my feathers)....

If you watch their VIDEO on their website:  http://www.fundairing.com/#first-ever-micro-cpap

The founder clearly says they do not have a working prototype, it even says in the video they write "Non-Working Prototype" when they show it. The entire premise is on these "micro-blowers" working. The founder states in the video that he showed it to some engineer and they said it was theoretically possible to generate the airflow with those micro-pumps.... but they have no working prototype to show it works.

As far as I'm concerned, and please prove me wrong Airing guys... the entire thing is a sham to generate a sufficient amount of capital to begin "development" of a prototype. When they realize (or they already know) it is not going to work as intended, they will market it as a replacement for a Breathe-Right strip with an extra little fan-like air blowing inside so you will think it is doing something. But the micro-blowers need to direct air into one direction. The way it is engineered with 2 electrostatically charged plates moving up and down, there is an equal chance of air entering and exiting from either port. There has to be a valve of some kind put in there to allow air to only blow out in one direction. The amount of power required to move that amount of air for that amount of time can be calculated on the back of an envelope. It is mechanical work. A good fluid or air dynamics or HVAC engineer should be able to figure this out and see what kind of energy is needed to produce "x" pressure on a surface the size of 2 nostrils for 8 hours.
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Offline Buga8tr

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 01:41:12 PM »
Thanks for confirming what I was thinking.  A few people have suggested this thing to my wife, that's how I heard about it in the first place.  And I was thinking there is no way it could replace her machine. 

It's hard to believe that is has raised  over $500,000 and still has almost a month left on it.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 03:44:44 PM »
A good fluid or air dynamics or HVAC engineer should be able to figure this out and see what kind of energy is needed to produce "x" pressure on a surface the size of 2 nostrils for 8 hours.

Why? I can just look at a conventional CPAP machine, assume it's 10% efficient, assume this thing is 100% efficient and still be orders of magnitude off from having enough energy in any battery which fits in it.

It's a scammy total bloody scam.
 
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Offline Bob F.

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 09:34:43 PM »
The general principle seems to be: Indigogo = probably a scam; Kickstarter = possibly a scam, possibly massive over-reach by the campaign owners (unless it's about "high-end audio" in which case = always a scam). 

Well, people have donated nearly half a million beer-tokens after just 3 days, so they win either way.  Everyone sleeps with their mouth closed these days?  Who knew...   Does no one engage in critical thinking anymore?

(I realise I'm being unfair to all the good Kickstarters etc out there, but hey - when they allow the likes of this and the countless others like it and take their cut of the cash then you have to wonder...)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 09:42:50 PM by Bob F. »
 

Offline bitwelder

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 10:06:50 PM »
Well, people have donated nearly half a million beer-tokens after just 3 days, so they win either way. 
Unless somebody is able to convince KS to withdraw the campaign, because it's in violation of some rule or perhaps because the project might be dangerous. But there is less than a month to find a compelling reason.
 

Offline rs20

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 10:18:11 PM »
I wonder... the principle of the CPAP machine is to increase the pressure in the respiratory system by presenting that increased pressure to the nose and mouth. But as us electrical engineers know, all voltages (and pressures*) are relative, so you could expose the entire rest of the body to a negative pressure to achieve the same result. Of course, this would be even more uncomfortable and cumbersome than a traditional CPAP machine - a negative pressure spacesuit with a cutout around the face. But, would the legs and arms need the negative pressure? The crown of the head? The torso? Pure speculation on my part, but is it possible to expose just the neck area to a negative pressure to achieve the same result? Would this be significantly less irritating than a mask? Heck, people voluntarily use neck pillows.

Has this been considered?


* OK, there is such a thing as absolute pressure, but it's irrelevant here.
 

Offline Bob F.

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 10:21:46 PM »
I wonder... the principle of the CPAP machine is to increase the pressure in the respiratory system by presenting that increased pressure to the nose and mouth. But as us electrical engineers know, all voltages (and pressures*) are relative, so you could expose the entire rest of the body to a negative pressure to achieve the same result. Of course, this would be even more uncomfortable and cumbersome than a traditional CPAP machine - a negative pressure spacesuit with a cutout around the face. But, would the legs and arms need the negative pressure? The crown of the head? The torso? Pure speculation on my part, but is it possible to expose just the neck area to a negative pressure to achieve the same result? Would this be significantly less irritating than a mask? Heck, people voluntarily use neck pillows.

Has this been considered?


* OK, there is such a thing as absolute pressure, but it's irrelevant here.

Sounds like you have the beginnings of a successfull Indigogo campaign right there!  >:D
 

Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2015, 02:56:49 AM »
The subject of obstructive sleep apnea is complex. There are entire fields of medicine and respiratory therapy and neuroscience dedicated to it. As much as I'd love for this tiny little battery-powered nose-ventilator to work (much like Solar Roadways and Anti-gravity machines and so on)... the unfortunately REALITY is that we just DON'T KNOW. Based on what I have seen from the Airing campaign, the founders DON'T KNOW EITHER.... but they still produce a nice looking little prototype and sell the idea based on encouragement from an MIT guy (who they never the mention the name of) that said the numbers say it's possible.

Yet a few seconds later in the video he says he needs the money to develop the actual blowers and engineers to do the actual hard stuff.

There is a simple way to debunk the entire thing:

1. Are blowers even available? Or are they trying to invent what they show in the video?
2. If the blowers are available, they can easily test TODAY using even a rudimentary device how much pressure and air-flow they can produce, and the power consumed.... on a lab-bench.
3. Let's assume the lab-bench test shows it is possible.... Can they miniaturize it all to remotely appear like that nose-plug device? Can it be powered by a couple of Zinc-Oxide hearing aid batteries (which unfortunately I am also all too familiar with).
4. How much capacity is in a Zinc-Oxide hearing-aid style battery? What is the amp-hour rating and what is the maximum discharge rate capable?

For hearing aids, a Zinc-Oxide under typical usage for say 14-16 hours a day (hearing aids opened at night) the batteries typically last over 1 week.  Can you force 2 of these batteries to complete discharge in 8 hours over-night, or is there a limit on the max amperage they can handle? The whole point of Zinc-Oxide batteries is that they work differently from Lithium Ion and Alkaline, which makes them ideally suited for these types of low-consumption medical devices like hearing aids. I also have rechargeable hearing aid batteries but they do not last more than 1 day in that size.

Zinc-Oxide batteries also have a decay curve the minute you tear the oxygen seal off them, they allow oxygen in and they will expire. That's why you need to have them air-tight until ready to use. My wife made the mistake of removing the plastic seals from a couple of them and carried them in her purse for "backup" purposes, and after a few weeks realized they were no good.

So the idea behind the Airing is that it will probably come with built-in batteries that then have a seal somewhere that needs to be peeled to expose the hole to allow oxygen into the battery.

Finally, if they can manage to do all of this in a $3 retail device (as they claim) I will be completely blown away. Heck, I'd buy boxes of them just to hack them and use for other purposes! Can you imagine having micro-blowers, a micro-chip on PCB, a couple of Zinc-Oxide batteries, plus all the rubber/plastic moulding and packaging, all for $3 a piece retail (which they claim is their target price) and allow them to still turn a profit? The IndieGogo price turns out to $1.50 a piece.

A quick search online shows 8 hearing aid batteries (Duracell) for about $15... or $2 each. That's expensive. Specialized sites will sell you 60 batteries for about $20, so that's 33 cents a piece.... Much better. But the micro-blowers (which I have yet to understand... even if they have been invented) have got to cost a fortune. The only micro-blowers I have seen are piezo-electric ones from Murata which seem to be doing a good job:

http://www.mouser.com/new/Murata/muratamicroblowers/

See spec sheet here:

http://www.mouser.com/pdfdocs/MZB1001T02_ver6.PDF

The spec-sheet for the above blower requires a sinusoidal generator of 10-20 volts. According to CPAP machine specs, they usually want 6-20 mmH20 pressure and flow rates of 20-60 L/min. Let's say 10 mm H20. That is 0.1 kPascal. According to the Murata specsheet at 10Vpp they can get a pressure of 0.1 kPa at 0.5 L/min flow. If you use 20Vpp you can't even reach 1.5 L/min at a pressure of 0.1 kPa.

Again, it really all depends on this new-fangled micro-blower tech they are showing in the video. I can't find anything about it and certainly there has to be some work involved moving that volume of air under that pressure because remember it is not only about pressure. Even if you could create the pressure in a tiny volume, the minute you breathe in you have expanded the available space multiple times and the air just diffuses and pressure completely dissipates. You need the flow and volume constantly being pumped in order to pressurize the entire throat/lung system. Not to mention the amount of energy required to carry out all that work.... Not something you can accomplish the whole night with a couple of tiny batteries.

Here's a thought... if anyone has a Quadcopter, remove your batteries and instead strap on a bunch of Zinc-Air batteries as a replacement and see how much of a difference there is. If these batteries are able to pack that much more punch in the same volume and weight, let us know how it performs in comparison.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 03:19:30 AM by edy »
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Offline rolycat

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2015, 03:03:38 AM »
You have to admit it's an appropriate name. Entirely made from gas and vapour.

Also strangely reminiscent of the Airnergy, another revolutionary device that unaccountably failed to materialise.
 

Online mtdoc

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2015, 03:27:11 AM »
Typical CPAP pressures are around 10 cm H2O.  Unless this device can produce that kind of pressure and maintain it through the night, it's worthless.
 

Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2015, 04:36:21 AM »
My understanding is that also the pressure has to be measured by the device itself in a feedback loop, since it is affected by holes in the system that leak the air. The idea is to entirely pressurize the system (nose, mouth, pharynx, lung) to whatever the prescribed setting is 6mm H20 up to 20mm H20 for most home machines.

Let's say average is 10mm H20. The air is being blown into the mask at a certain rate to maintain a pressure of 10mm H20 which is being sensed within the machine tube. If there is more volume inspired or less, or if there are more leaks, the machine blower changes rate to compensate for the loss of pressure via leakage, to maintain the desired pressure setting.

The idea of the pressure in the nose is to overcome the obstruction when breathing in.... usually the soft palate and tongue which fall on the back of the throat and block the air. Your lungs alone can't produce enough "negative" pressure to overcome this blockage, and it only gets worse as you lower the lung pressure (while trying to expand your lungs and therefore same amount of air in a larger volume) it can make the soft palate/tongue tissue stick even more. Hence, you need to push it open from the outside to eliminate that "valve-like" effect from the soft-tissue. By pressurizing the incoming air, it will push open the obstruction of the tissue and let air pass through, avoiding excessive work by the lung muscles which may not have enough ability due to volume changes and internal air pressures to do it alone.

So this Airing says nothing about actually monitoring the pressures and adjusting flow to compensate. Once again, the more you understand the principles behind CPAP, the more flaws are found. Nevermind the BIG engineering questions as to how it is even remotely possible to achieve the kind of air pressure/flow volumes required for 8 hours of sleep using tiny blowers and batteries.

IF you had told me the Airing was like an in-the-nose version of the Breathe-Right strip, I would have said GREAT! Send me some! I would have believed them.

But once they started with this microblower CPAP replacement stuff.... Whoah! Like Dave said (perhaps quoting Carl Sagan)... "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Let's see the evidence... Let's see those multi-parallel micro-blowers in action and then you can have my money. Until then, how do I know they will not spend $1,000,000 on simply trying to develop micro-blowers and in 2-3 years still not have done anything remotely close to being strong enough to make Airing a reality? Remember we are funding their research into something that may be possible according to calculations done by an unnamed MIT person.... who is not even part of their team.

I think the whole thing is a rouse to get enough capital into the hands of Stephen Marsh to work on the engineering and patent of his microblower technology (the charged plate capacitor bellows system)... with CPAP as an after-thought. He has to see if this will even work. Why he doesn't already have a working prototype of just one micro-blower is beyond me.

The perk delivery date is July 2017.... Yes, 2 years from now! So for 2 years they will pretend they are doing stuff with your money and either spend it all on a fruitless pursuit, or if they are wise and not completely callous they will invest it in some relatively stable securities and skim all the interest they can gain in 2 years... Giving back the original funders their money dollar-for-dollar, while they keep all the higher-interest-earned rates from that huge bulk of money sitting in an offshore bank somwhere.

Anatomy of a soon-to-be crowd-funding scam:  Promise "X", take money "Y"... invest it for 2 years... get "Y" + Z% interest in 2 years. Can't deliver "X", sorry, refund everyone "Y" and keep Z%. Nice rate of return on someone else's money. Even better.... use "Y" to buy a house in a hot growing market and actually live in it for 2 years, then sell it to return everyone's funding, but keep the profit from the home value growth. 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 05:06:00 AM by edy »
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Online mtdoc

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2015, 05:08:48 AM »
No need for this device. All it takes is a little suction..... :palm:

 

Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2015, 05:18:13 AM »
No need for this device. All it takes is a little suction..... :palm:

I could make a lewd comment... but I won't go there.  ;D


Speaking of dental appliances to help with sleep apnea, yes there are tongue and jaw repositioners but once again obstructive sleep apnea is a complex disorder which needs to be properly diagnosed. All of these appliances should be followed up with a sleep study to test if they actually work. If your dentist fabricates something like this, how do you know it really works unless you are monitored again?

How many people who get an Airing will undergo another sleep study to check if it is actually working? Most will just be so happy to be done with their bulky face masks that they will be self-deluded into thinking it works, and avoid having it independently verified for fear of being told that it isn't working and they need to wear the full face mask again.

They are poised to make a truckload of money though... so if they can't pull this off, I don't think anyone will sweep it under the rug. They have over $500,000 in only 3 days... how much can they gather in the remaining 27 days? Anyone taking bets? $2 million? $3 million? What do you think?
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Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2015, 04:26:45 AM »
I sent this letter to Airing (who are now close to surpassing $600,000 in 4 days and have 27 days left in their campaign). We'll see what kind of response I'll get. Here is my email to them at their preferred contact address [email protected]:

Quote
Hello,

I'm interested in learning more about your micro-blower "bellows"
technology. Is a prototype already developed on the scale you are
considering? Are you just trying to determine a way to mass-produce it
cheaply? Or are you still testing out the concept of using
charged-plates in that micro-blower design to see if it can drive air?
I'm curious to know whether any actual lab prototype (no matter how
crude) has actually been produced and used to actually measure
performance.

I am intrigued by the design. I think a valve will still be required
to direct air flow in one direction. Will you have any feedback sensor
in the Airing to adjust for pressure that will change the speed of the
micro-blowers? Also, will users of the Airing still be recommended to
undergo a sleep study using the device to see if it is actually
performing as designed and helping the apnea.

I look forward to hearing from you.


By the way, if you look at their perks, so far they have promised...

$199 level: 48 x 120 Airings = 5,760
$70 level: 447 x 30 Airings = 13,410
$95 level: 293 x 45 Airings = 13,185
$135 level: 2000 x 90 Airings = 180,000
$145 level: 40 x 7 Airings = 280
$155 level: 28 x 90 Airings = 2,520
$270 level: 15 x 180 Airings = 2,700
==========================
TOTAL: 217,855 Airings in just 4 days.

By the end of this campaign, depending on the perk levels how many Airings will they be on the hook for? Remember, many of these are "coupons vouchers" which will let them exchange for the Airings. But if everyone tries to redeem their coupons all at once....

That's some massive manufacturing.

Didn't someone say KickStarter and IndieGogo were not supposed to be for building a business, but helping to carry out a focused project?  Sounds like this is just Venture-Capital raising to start R&D on a possibility of maybe getting a product down the road. The risk has to be HUGE, at least much much higher than what I believe people being crowd-sourced are being led to believe.

They say on their IndieGogo page "WHAT WILL WE DO WITH YOUR MONEY":

Quote
Airing will use your money to accelerate the execution of our development plan. We will be able to expand our technical staff and get access to the equipment and materials critical to building a working prototype of our micro-blowers, which we can then test. The more we raise, the more resources we can deploy to speed this technology into the hands of the people who need it.

Basically, the money is to develop a micro-blower which they still have no idea if it will work, so they can test it and then tell everyone that it fails to meet the goals of the project. Several millions dumped into R&D and sorry to all the funders, your money has been put to good use! "We worked hard to try and bring our dream to reality but physics didn't agree with it. Sorry but it was a valiant effort, thanks to all who supported us!" - Airing LLC (prediction)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 04:45:46 AM by edy »
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Re: The Airing
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2015, 05:01:28 AM »
Here is an old article from Boston Business Journal on the inventor of Airing Stephen Marsh. Not sure if it is the same guy.... but pieces seem to all fit together. What ever happened to "Encite"?

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/mass-high-tech/2011/03/stealthy-fuel-cell-startup-encite-raises-650k.html

Also here is a list of patents attributed to Stephen Marsh on a site that aggregates it:

http://patents.justia.com/inventor/stephen-marsh

It seems to fit the profile of the Airing inventor. Could it be the same guy?

Here is some more background about how Encite purchased assets from another company IFCT which he owned and went bankrupt. So perhaps he was using the funds to escape bankrupcy from another company, switch names and continue forward to shed creditors:

http://mandalitigationcommentary.blogspot.ca/2008/09/can-founder-director-and-30-stockholder.html

Here's what it says:

Quote
Echelon Ventures, L.P. and affiliates (“Echelon”) invested in Integrated Fuel Cell Technologies, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“IFCT”). Founder, former CEO, director, and 30% stockholder Stephen Marsh is the focus of this decision. IFCT failed and went into bankruptcy, and Marsh and friends formed Encite to purchase its assets.

So Marsh starts company IFCT, gets money from Echelon, then when it fails he declares bankruptcy to not have to pay back his investors. But instead he gets together with a group of his friends to start a new company Encite, which then purchases (around the back of his investors) all the assets of failed IFCT, so he can carry on business under a new name while shedding all obligations to his previous backers.

So I wonder, is this the same Stephen Marsh that is part of Airing?


YES it seems to be the same folks... Look here at this profile page for Encite:

http://www.bloomberg.com/Research/stocks/private/relationship.asp?personId=54549688&privcapId=52669974&previousCapId=4371726&previousTitle=Integrated%20Fuel%20Cell%20Technologies,%20Inc.

There is a Philip M. Huyck, same guy on the Airing Blog and website who is seen speaking in the video. Marsh and Huyck are current members of Encite and now they are gathering capital for Airing, they seem to have already failed on another company (not even sure what Encite was making).
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 05:11:39 AM by edy »
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Re: The Airing
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2015, 01:11:01 AM »
Fascinating story.... A little more into Encite and Marsh and the case between him and the venture capitalists that funded his failed fuel-cell startup (also PDF attached):

http://law.justia.com/cases/delaware/court-of-chancery/2011/ca-2476-vcg.html

Here are the first few paragraphs:

Quote
This case involves a claim for breach of the fiduciary duty of loyalty. At the center of this dispute are the assets (mostly intellectual property) of Integrated Fuel Cell Technologies, Inc. (“IFCT” or the “Company”), a nowdefunct tech startup company founded by Stephen Marsh to develop potentially revolutionary micro fuel cell technology. This technology, if perfected, could have replaced batteries in portable electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops. Despite several rounds of financing, IFCT was never able to develop the technology into a commercially viable product, and the Company never produced a consistent stream of revenue. This was a problem, of course, for IFCT’s investors, particularly Echelon Ventures, L.P. (“Echelon”), a Boston-area venture capitalist firm that was IFCT’s principal investor and a holder of the majority of the Company’s preferred stock. Since investing in IFCT, Echelon had worked consistently to reduce Marsh’s influence at IFCT.

As IFCT approached insolvency, it became apparent to IFCT’s board that a sale of the Company’s assets was the only viable solution. The board, which consisted of two Echelon-appointed directors, Marsh, an independent director, and the CEO, conducted a bidding process to sell IFCT’s assets. The Company received several bids, but the major bids at issue in this case came from a group of investors organized by Marsh and from a group of investors organized by Echelon. Several of the investors in Marsh’s group (notably including Marsh himself) went on to form Encite LLC (“Encite”), the plaintiff in this case. Echelon’s group comprised individuals and entities that had participated in a bridge loan to finance the sale of IFCT’s assets, and most of these participants were holders of the same class of preferred stock as Echelon.

The bidding process lasted about five months, and the board eventually approved the Echelon-backed bid. Marsh believed that the rest of the board had not adequately considered, or had wrongfully rejected, the Marsh-backed bid. While the CEO was working out a consent solicitation with IFCT’s lawyers to send to the stockholders, Marsh informed the stockholders that they were about to be sent a bid approved by interested directors, and that superior bids had been ignored or cursorily negotiated. Based on a leaked draft consent solicitation and at Marsh’s direct urging, an IFCT stockholder and friend of Marsh’s filed a derivative suit. Apparently this was the last straw in the Marsh-Echelon relationship, a relationship that had been difficult since its inception. The board withdrew the Echelonbacked offer, and all of its members besides Marsh quickly resigned. Marsh, then the sole director of IFCT, instead of pursuing any outstanding offers, took the company into bankruptcy, wherein the Marsh-led group of investors (Encite) submitted the winning bid for IFCT’s assets, beating out a competing Echelon-backed bid.

Having secured the intellectual property of IFCT for himself and facing the opportunity to start over with the technology he had created, Marsh could have continued on his way, content with his victory over the venture capitalist firm that from the outset had tried to force him out of any position of power in IFCT. Instead of taking his victory to the bank and proceeding to develop his nascent fuel cell technology, Marsh decided that the best course was to continue his struggle with his former fellow board members and Echelon, and he filed this suit alleging that the Director Defendants breached their fiduciary duties to IFCT, abetted by Echelon.

In the end, if you read the entire PDF, you see an interesting story of corporate-legal shenanigans. Bottom line is Marsh may have learned his lesson and decided to go through crowd-funding to avoid all the legal hassles. If things don't go through, he is unlikely to face anywhere close to the same legal costs and challenges. He is free to do as he pleases along with some of his friends who were also part of the IFCT/Encite defunct tech start-up that he put into bankruptcy.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 01:15:06 AM by edy »
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Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2015, 02:42:48 AM »
Here is the answer to my question to Airing. They replied fairly quickly, I am surprised. Will I eat my words? Will my pessimism and skepticism be proven wrong? Only time will tell...

Quote
Thank you for your email.  Our technology is quite intriguing and as you have noticed, we have shown an over-simplified version of it in our video and with other information that we have shared. This was intentional and we have been advised not to disclose additional information at this time. We invite you to stay tuned to further developments if you care to support us as a founder.

Also a good way to circumvent any real debate. Seems like a side-step and politically correct answer that sneakily avoids giving out anything substantial.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 03:20:51 AM by edy »
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Offline eas

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2015, 09:09:06 AM »
I wonder... the principle of the CPAP machine is to increase the pressure in the respiratory system by presenting that increased pressure to the nose and mouth. But as us electrical engineers know, all voltages (and pressures*) are relative, so you could expose the entire rest of the body to a negative pressure to achieve the same result. Of course, this would be even more uncomfortable and cumbersome than a traditional CPAP machine - a negative pressure spacesuit with a cutout around the face. But, would the legs and arms need the negative pressure? The crown of the head? The torso? Pure speculation on my part, but is it possible to expose just the neck area to a negative pressure to achieve the same result? Would this be significantly less irritating than a mask? Heck, people voluntarily use neck pillows.

Has this been considered?

* OK, there is such a thing as absolute pressure, but it's irrelevant here.

What you are describing sounds a lot like an Iron Lung, only more oppressive.
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Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2015, 01:29:54 PM »
An iron lung is best known for its use during the height of the Polio era when the virus paralyzed the diaphragm and other muscles required for breathing. It essentially created a negative external pressure on the torso which due to normal pressure able to enter through the mouth caused expansion of the lungs. It was like doing CPR chest compression in a way. At least it allowed for some gas to be exchanged.

Sleep apnea is not so dramatic. People can breath, their lungs function. The passage is mostly open. More "suction" by expansion of the lungs isn't the issue. In fact it just makes the soft-tissue from the back of the throat and tongue clamp down further. People in that state can be heard gasping for air... the lungs are working harder and harder to expand but the path is blocked. So no amount of negative pressure in the lung will work. That will simply collapse the airway even further. You need to blow open the obstruction from the other side and pressurize the lung so it is working in a different "range" of pressure that isn't as susceptible. Think of it as using the same voltage range but with a bias introduced.... no longer ground referenced but floating at a higher level.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 01:37:55 PM by edy »
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Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2015, 01:19:41 PM »
I found the Encite Corp website here... It is pretty amateurish looking:

www.encitecorp.com

There is a domain registration info here attributed to Stephen Marsh for a site called www.cpapnia.com:

http://wa-com.com/cpapnia.com

Notice it lists Stephen Marsh's email address as [email protected] along with the Burlington MA address also stated as headquarters of the Airing project:

Quote
Domain Name: CPAPNIA.COM
Registry Domain ID: 1857116564_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Registrar URL: http://networksolutions.com
Updated Date: 2015-01-29T01:58:27Z
Creation Date: 2014-05-02T20:08:19Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2017-05-02T04:00:00Z
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Registrar IANA ID: 2
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: [email protected]
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8003337680
Reseller:
Domain Status:
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: Marsh, Stephen
Registrant Organization: Encite, LLC
Registrant Street: 41 Second Avenue
Registrant City: Burlington
Registrant State/Province: MA
Registrant Postal Code: 01803
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.7814240971
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: [email protected]
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: Marsh, Stephen
Admin Organization: Encite, LLC
Admin Street: 41 Second Avenue
Admin City: Burlington
Admin State/Province: MA
Admin Postal Code: 01803
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: +1.7814240971
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax:
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: [email protected]
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: Marsh, Stephen
Tech Organization: Encite, LLC
Tech Street: 41 Second Avenue
Tech City: Burlington
Tech State/Province: MA
Tech Postal Code: 01803
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.7814240971
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax:
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: [email protected]
Name Server: NS71.WORLDNIC.COM
Name Server: NS72.WORLDNIC.COM
DNSSEC: Unsigned
URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/
>>> Last update of whois database: Sat, 07 Mar 2015 12:43:37 GMT <<<

That encitecorp.com site looks pretty bad. I don't think it was updated since 2006. I bet cpapnia.com was being considered as an alternate name to Airing. It is now a landing page under construction having links to CPAP supplies.

Quite a mystery... I truly hope they have some breakthrough as they say.
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Offline NoItAint

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2015, 01:54:08 PM »
Medical scams are the worst.
 :palm:

CPAP works.  It's science based medicine.  Studies have shown health benefits.
Hospitals use them now and less people die or have to have a hose shoved down their throat.

This fake device might keep someone who needs help from seeing a doctor and getting help from real CPAP, BiPAP, or other sleep problems.  Even breathRight strips, or similar, maybe some people should go see a doctor first.

The claim that CPAP is full face mask for everybody is false.   It's true, some people need a full face mask for CPAP to work for them.  This scam device would never help them.   Others, can get by with nose pillows.  There's a strap that goes around the head to hold the nose pillows in place.  These things shows some big in nose grippers to hold in place.   If this thing has CPAP pressures some people are going to need big grippers in their nostrils.  Forget that crap.

I have a feeling that most people buying these are going to resell them on non-regulated websites to poor souls using Dr. Google for help with their ailments.  These secondary scammers are what's driving this.

 
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Online edy

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Re: The Airing
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2015, 02:21:53 PM »
Marsh has these others registered as well (besides cpapnia and encitecorp):

airingllc.com (under construction)


l _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ w.com (according to a reverse lookup but I can't make out the name).

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