Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 294654 times)

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Offline Poolkeeper

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1050 on: November 16, 2017, 08:54:09 pm »
But they also say: As ultrasound isn’t on the electromagnetic spectrum, uBeam is therefore not limited by the regulatory, safety, and interference hurdles of its competitors. :D

So really no need to test for safety as nothing applies....
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1051 on: November 17, 2017, 12:01:46 am »
Looks like this :horse: might keep limping along for another 2 years.

http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2017/nov/15/ubeam-raising-20m-series-b-round/

I wondered why the author seemed a bit cool on the idea.

UBeam to Ship Wireless Chargers Next Year  September 28, 2015
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/sep/28/ubeam-ship-wireless-chargers-next-year/

Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1052 on: November 17, 2017, 12:39:13 am »
Looks like this :horse: might keep limping along for another 2 years.

We'll still be here to keep them honest  ;D

Quote
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2017/nov/15/ubeam-raising-20m-series-b-round/

Quote
Wireless charging startup uBeam Inc. is raising a $20 million Series B round from Upfront Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Mark Cuban, among others, according to a presentation to prospective investors by Meredith Perry, the company’s chief executive.

The $20 million round is not complete, but would finance the Santa Monica startup’s operations for two years at the firm’s current cash burn rate

So they are burning through $10m a year in cash, or $830k a month. That's handy to know.

Quote
, Perry said in the webinar for prospective investors convened by Israeli crowdfunding company OurCrowd. Perry said another venture capital round could help the firm put an ultrasonic wireless energy product on market as soon as the third quarter of 2019.

Hmm, doesn't say what wireless energy product.

Quote
She did not respond to requests for comment.

Because she knows said product isn't going to be a practical phone charger.

Quote
UBeam stirred controversy within the scientific and venture capital communities in recent years after widely publicizing a claim to wirelessly charge electronics, such as cellphones, using ultrasonic waves sent through the air at distances of several feet. Critics said converting ultrasonic waves into electrical energy is possible in a rudimentary sense, but absent a technological breakthrough, they were doubtful the technology can perform as claimed.

Not doubtful, we are sure of it. And uBeam have said or demoed nothing in 5 years to even remotely refute that.

Quote
The firm has raised more than $26 million from investors since its founding in 2012. Investors include Menlo Park’s Andreesen Horowitz, Santa Monica’s Upfront Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund as well as billionaire Mark Cuban and former Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Marissa Mayer.

Suckers!  :-DD

Quote
The company has made some progress. In June, uBeam’s Perry demonstrated a brick-sized wireless charger receiving enough power to light up the battery icon on a cellphone in an interview with USA Today. However, she acknowledged for the first time a number of technology limitations, including the inability of the device to charge while its sits in a pants pocket, moves around a room, is positioned at angles greater than 45 degrees to its transmitter or at distances greater than 10 feet.

So yeah, she admits it will never be practical  :palm:
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 12:46:47 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline ehughes

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1053 on: November 17, 2017, 03:05:37 am »
They have headhunters looking for people with a  high level acoustics background to run their development team.     I just got contacted (I have 18 years experience with  degrees in electronics and acoustics) recently but the headhunter.     I politely declined ( I wouldn't touch this with a 10 ft pole).


The acoustics community (especially the people who have the right combination of physics and electronics skills) is small.    No one with any relevant experience or skills will touch this.     The people that are currently working there are not acoustics experts or are simply bleeding the company while they are waiting for something else.   No one who has ever looked at air absorption curves would ever think is a viable product.

Acoustics has  lots of useful applications.   Power transmission is not one of them.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 12:23:50 pm by ehughes »
 
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Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1054 on: November 17, 2017, 07:25:54 am »
It's crap like this that keep the wheels turning

https://i-d.vice.com/en_au/article/vbezj4/5-apps-by-women-that-are-beating-uber-and-tinder

Quote
uBeam
Much like On Second Thought's Maci Peterson, uBeam founder Meredith Perry has given the world a technological supplement that it didn't even know it needed. According to an article in TechCrunch, uBeam has "traditional venture capitalists foaming at the mouth," as well as potential investors like Starbucks, Virgin Airlines, Apple and Samsung. Perry, a UPenn grad and former NASA researcher, has devised a way to wirelessly charge your phone with ultrasound via a $50 receiver, from a distance of up to 15 feet. While not technically an app, this innovation ensures a future untethered to the nearest electrical outlet, and was therefore too good to leave off the list.
 

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1055 on: November 17, 2017, 07:28:10 am »
and this bullshit:
https://medium.com/the-mission/five-life-lessons-for-every-entrepreneur-d62579a642c9

Quote
Originals helped me remember how important it is to turn radical ideas into simple memes. The book told the story of UBeam’s founder, Meredith Perry. She is working on wireless charging for devices, and in the early days, she had a difficult time recruiting engineers. Many would hear her idea and immediately shut it down. They thought it was impossible, or maybe subconsciously they realized how hard it would be! So Perry whittled her grand vision into simple engineering ideas (or memes). She then presented these to prospective engineers. Because these ideas were in the realm of what they considered possible, she was able to recruit them for her mission.
The lesson is, when we’re trying to transmit our ideas, it’s not productive to say, “let’s build this radical innovation.” Instead, when presenting your ideas, just say, “I’m building this simple thing, want to help?”
In this way, it doesn’t take a lot of mental resources for a possible co-conspirator to become intrigued and say, “yes!”
All entrepreneurs or aspiring originals must master this art. If you want your creation to help as many people as possible, sell it in bite-sized, easily digestible pieces. Otherwise, you risk alienating those who might help you reach your largest ideas.
 

Offline brainwash

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1056 on: November 17, 2017, 07:41:28 am »
It's important to keep in mind that some news outlets don't want to outright dismiss crazy ideas, in case they eventually turn up successful. That, and the fact that the people writing the articles sometimes receive benefits. But I'd rather not attribute to malice what can be explained by ignorance.
"Free energy" and "wireless energy" will keep hunting us till the end of our lives.

And, to outside people, we (engineers) might be in the same group like audiophools, anti-vaccination people, moon non-believers, ... To them, it's just two sides of an argument and the truth is in the middle. I sincerely cannot expect this will ever change.
 

Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1057 on: November 17, 2017, 08:07:03 am »
and this bullshit:
https://medium.com/the-mission/five-life-lessons-for-every-entrepreneur-d62579a642c9

Quote
Originals helped me remember how important it is to turn radical ideas into simple memes. The book told the story of UBeam’s founder, Meredith Perry. She is working on wireless charging for devices, and in the early days, she had a difficult time recruiting engineers. Many would hear her idea and immediately shut it down. They thought it was impossible, or maybe subconsciously they realized how hard it would be! So Perry whittled her grand vision into simple engineering ideas (or memes). She then presented these to prospective engineers. Because these ideas were in the realm of what they considered possible, she was able to recruit them for her mission.
The lesson is, when we’re trying to transmit our ideas, it’s not productive to say, “let’s build this radical innovation.” Instead, when presenting your ideas, just say, “I’m building this simple thing, want to help?”
In this way, it doesn’t take a lot of mental resources for a possible co-conspirator to become intrigued and say, “yes!”
All entrepreneurs or aspiring originals must master this art. If you want your creation to help as many people as possible, sell it in bite-sized, easily digestible pieces. Otherwise, you risk alienating those who might help you reach your largest ideas.

As one of the engineers referred to in this snippet, I can tell you without question that this is not what happened.

I can also say that the story printed in that book regarding the CTO's response "are not my recollection", to be polite about it.

The whole chapter in "Originals" was so clearly biased that I wrote a blog post about it last May

http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2016/05/unoriginal.html

A key quote from my post

So in summary, and as a rehash of what I've said before - for me joining uBeam was principally because of that CTO, and that the engineering problem was hard. Had it been pitched any other way, I would have passed.
 
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Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1058 on: November 17, 2017, 08:54:23 am »
I'm surprised @ how quiet uBeamdoggle is, shouldn't they be shouting from the rooftops, or is someone asking difficult questions.

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1059 on: November 17, 2017, 09:25:36 am »
I'm surprised @ how quiet uBeamdoggle is, shouldn't they be shouting from the rooftops, or is someone asking difficult questions.
Suspect they're trying to target investors without raising too much bullshit-calling by anyone else.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1060 on: November 17, 2017, 11:35:12 am »
The staff according to Crunchbase, which now shows $31.7M total funding.

 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1061 on: November 17, 2017, 10:47:52 pm »
The staff according to Crunchbase,

Should be a "WANTED" poster.

Even if they have increased the staff from 30 to 14, :) I still don't know what that 14 all do all day. Even I've worked on more complex things that this, with a lot less people, a lot less time, and a lot less money.

Edit. They don't seem to have much in the way of electronics or acoustics engineers, what could possibly go wrong.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 12:29:21 am by StillTrying »
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1062 on: November 18, 2017, 12:04:06 am »
Love the predominance of top heavy titles, Senior this, Director of that.

There’s a surprising number of linear-thinking engineers there.

I wonder what the marketing dude does all day?
 

Online coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1063 on: November 18, 2017, 01:11:04 am »
I wonder what the marketing dude does all day?
If you have a marketing person on the team, and the thing you need most is to market the company to investors, that marketer is going to be the busiest person in the company. At least, they will be in any sanely run company.
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1064 on: November 18, 2017, 07:12:37 am »
I wonder what the marketing dude does all day?
If you have a marketing person on the team, and the thing you need most is to market the company to investors, that marketer is going to be the busiest person in the company. At least, they will be in any sanely run company.

Indeed, it’s not like he’s got a product to sell.

His linked in bio suggests his marketing experience is in real product, not vapourware, and to his credit he’s also an EE.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1065 on: November 18, 2017, 08:04:42 am »
Indeed, it’s not like he’s got a product to sell.

Sure he does. The product is the company.
 
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Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1066 on: November 18, 2017, 08:15:27 am »
Experience selling used cars from a backstreet lot would be better qualification..
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1067 on: November 18, 2017, 08:27:29 am »
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2017/nov/15/ubeam-raising-20m-series-b-round/

“Perry said another venture capital round could help the firm put an ultrasonic wireless energy product on market as soon as the third quarter of 2019.”

Always two years away, eh?
 

Online coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1068 on: November 18, 2017, 09:04:39 am »
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2017/nov/15/ubeam-raising-20m-series-b-round/

“Perry said another venture capital round could help the firm put an ultrasonic wireless energy product on market as soon as the third quarter of 2019.”

Always two years away, eh?
No. That's only 7 quarters. Much less than 2 years :)
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1069 on: November 18, 2017, 10:20:00 am »
Hey, check it out, OurCrowd were kind enough to share the investor presentation webinar on their Youtube channel and make it public, thanks OurCrowd :-+
I'd recommend you download it for more convenient offline viewing and analysis.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 10:33:50 am by EEVblog »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1070 on: November 18, 2017, 10:43:27 am »
So after all this time all they can show is they are "talking to" a number of unspecified companies.
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Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1071 on: November 18, 2017, 10:49:36 am »
Power is 1kW/m^2. That's 150 dB. But no OSHA regulations? Hmmm. Not what I see here.

https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/new_noise/#appendixc

I see 115dB limits in the USA and pretty much the ROW. So a 35dB difference, or around a factor of 55 in amplitude and 3025 in power. Lower, that is.

Nonlinearity might become significant...
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 10:54:15 am by PaulReynolds »
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1072 on: November 18, 2017, 11:13:18 am »
Hey, check it out, OurCrowd were kind enough to share the investor presentation webinar on their Youtube channel and make it public, thanks OurCrowd :-+
I'd recommend you download it for more convenient offline viewing and analysis.

I did the right click and "open in new window" thing to get the non-embedded version. One of the other videos in the sidebar "Wastewater: where does it go?". Made me laugh...  :-DD

Somehow, I dodn't think I'm going to make my way through 1h 17m of Ubeam waffle.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline brainwash

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1073 on: November 18, 2017, 02:42:27 pm »
Just the quick "executive summary" of that video:

Transmitter power density is quoted to be >1kW/sqm, actual transmitter is projected to be 0.33sqm (so ~300W).
A graph shows efficiency vs other methods, at 20% efficiency it lists 5W @ 1m, 1W @ 1.25m. At 60% efficiency it lists 1W@2m. No mention of transmitter power but the line seems to extend to 300W.
Theoretical projected efficiency quoted at 30%, current efficiency "much lower".
Applications are listed include data transmission and retail (user) tracking.
It's unregulated, OSHA dropped ultrasonic limits earlier this year as no adverse effects could be demonstrated. No effect on humans or animals. Most of the power is believed to be targeted towards the device and "99.9999%" reflects off the skin.
A vision system does the array steering, quoted mm precision and 30Hz update rate.
Business plan seems focused on IP licensing.
Most prior funding and future (this round) is going towards engineering and ASIC design. That's 26+20MM.
Final product, transducer, aims to be 100x thinner, 4x smaller with lower cost and higher power [density] than current offerings.

Those are the unbiased redacted quotes above. What caught my eye were a few small things: a big "transducer" sitting inside a car, close to the roof, as proof-of-concept. A low battery warning on the presenter's laptop. A group photo 51:34 that looks odd to my eye, like some people have been pasted in.
 
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Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #1074 on: November 18, 2017, 03:33:32 pm »
At 52:50 she is directly asked what the efficiency is and basically does not answer, just waffles on about 30% theoretical and then mentions maybe a partnership with Tesla  ::)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 03:35:17 pm by EEVblog »
 


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