Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 289217 times)

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #200 on: December 11, 2015, 03:28:42 am »
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Is there any way to make some money from the inevitable failure of this ludicrous project?

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Looks like they're hiring.

There you go. Just stay away from share options ;)
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Offline Delta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #201 on: December 11, 2015, 05:53:37 am »
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Is there any way to make some money from the inevitable failure of this ludicrous project?

Quote
Looks like they're hiring.

There you go. Just stay away from share options ;)

Well I do consider myself to be a "Super Technician"....!  (If I do say so myself...)
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #202 on: December 11, 2015, 05:01:04 pm »
I don't understand uBeam well enough to comment too deeply but I could see that perhaps they could develop new more efficient transducers or antennas or amplifiers. Who really knows? They basic idea may be impractical but if they have a core of smart people and money something may come of it.

If you don't understand well enough, why are you arguing with engineers here who do know?

It's not just a problem of the transducers.  It's not just the energy lost in the conversion of electricity to sound and back to electricity.  That's actually the least of uBeam's worries.  Their big problem is that 93% to 97% of ultrasonic energy is absorbed by 12 feet of air!  That's a fundamental physics barrier that can never be crossed.  Of the remaining 3% to 7% energy, most of that gets lost in the conversion to and from sound.

Even if all the above problems did not exist, uBeam has the fundamental usability issue of the requirement for a clear line-of-sight.  Nobody wants to use a product that requires a bulky receiver that forces the screen to face down.

Even more energy is lost if the receiver isn't pointing the right direction and that's something uBeam can't control.  uBeam might be able to control the direction of the transmitter, but they can't control the receiver direction or whether it's covered by hands, table, leather purse, or clothing.  If the angle of the receiver is 90 degrees or more off, the efficiency goes to zero.  If clothing is blocking 100% of the receiver, the efficiency goes to 0%.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 05:43:30 pm by Danseur »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #203 on: December 11, 2015, 05:08:59 pm »
So looks like I'm not getting an invite antime soon....

I'm special too:
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #204 on: December 11, 2015, 05:30:36 pm »
It's not just a problem of the transducers.  It's not just the energy lost in the conversion of electricity to sound and back to electricity.  That's actually the least of uBeam's worries.  Their big problem is that 93% to 97% of ultrasonic energy is absorbed by 12 feet of air!  That's a fundamental physics barrier that can never be crossed.  Of the remaining 3% to 7% energy, most of that gets lost in the conversion to and from sound.
Even if all the above problems did not exist, uBeam has the fundamental usability issue of the requirement for a clear line-of-sight.  Nobody wants to use a product that requires a bulky receiver that forces the screen to face down.

Yup. It's plainly and demonstrably impractical to anyone with a clue.
But there continues to be believers.

The efficiency is a problem from an environmental point of view as well.
Take their claimed 1.5W, and be generous on the efficiency, let's say 2% total system efficiency. That's 75W to charge a phone at 1.5W.
Let's assume that 1/10th the population of the US will charge their phone, say 30M phones. 30M x 75W = 2250MW of power required.
And that's being generous.
That's an awful amount of waste. And a huge step backward given the EnergyStar and other efficiency measures the world has been taking up.
Yet uBeam want to revolutionise the whole world with this rubbish!
Look at their website of what they want to use this with :


It's outright disgusting to champion a power technology with such wastage!
They should change that slogan to "Waste At 100%"
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #205 on: December 11, 2015, 05:46:25 pm »
Yup. It's plainly and demonstrably impractical to anyone with a clue.
But there continues to be believers.

The efficiency is a problem from an environmental point of view as well.
Take their claimed 1.5W, and be generous on the efficiency, let's say 2% total system efficiency. That's 75W to charge a phone at 1.5W.
Let's assume that 1/10th the population of the US will charge their phone, say 30M phones. 30M x 75W = 2250MW of power required.
And that's being generous.
That's an awful amount of waste. And a huge step backward given the EnergyStar and other efficiency measures the world has been taking up.
Yet uBeam want to revolutionise the whole world with this rubbish!
Look at their website of what they want to use this with :


It's outright disgusting to champion a power technology with such wastage!
They should change that slogan to "Waste At 100%"

When I brought this up, a well know security researcher got really mad at me for hating on uBeam.  He straight up told me that he didn't care one bit if he wasted 99 watts to deliver 1 watt to his phone.  Then I told him it can't deliver 1 watt and haven't heard from him since.  Don't know if he personally knows Meredith Perry or if he is involved in the company.
 

Offline timb

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The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #206 on: December 11, 2015, 08:06:47 pm »
Perhaps they may find a way to remotely fry bacon using ultrasonic technology (SonicBacon(TM) *Patent Pending*) or as a weapon that would literally burn the flesh off of Merideth's adversaries (MerryDeath Ultra Beams(TM) *Patent Pending*). It's doubtful though.

Ultrasonic transducers have been well researched and developed over the years. From Polaroid to Seawolf-class Submarines. This is a subject Dave actually knows a little something about; he's not just talking out of his tight little sphincter.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 04:00:18 am by timb »
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #207 on: December 11, 2015, 08:33:40 pm »
Actually, I'm not arguing. I'm just participating in the discussion. You have simply allowed your biases to cloud your comprehension of what I said.

What I said was basically. Even though the idea may be impractical they may in their attempts to develop it find improvement in some areas. If you want to rant against the concept only in its entirety, fine. I accept it is impractical.

Participation is fine, but you're not really listening to what everyone keeps telling you here.

What we are saying is that even if we assumed zero losses (when reality puts it at a theoretical minimum of 95% at 12 feet range), it is a dead end product.  Nobody wants a charger that only works with the screen facing down sitting on the table.  uBeam used to claim they'll work in a purse or pocket.  Now they've come out to "debunk" their critics but they actually admitted they can't work through fabric and need unhindered line of sight.

Now if uBeam put an ultrasonic transmitter on the tablet, the phone would have to sit on top of it.  But Qi chargers are far cheaper, more compact, fundamentally more efficient, and will work through a phone cover and doesn't need an external receiver.  So what we're saying is that uBeam is absolutely worthless no matter how much they improve the technology.  That is final.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #208 on: December 11, 2015, 11:36:25 pm »
Actually, I'm not arguing. I'm just participating in the discussion. You have simply allowed your biases to cloud your comprehension of what I said.

What I said was basically. Even though the idea may be impractical they may in their attempts to develop it find improvement in some areas. If you want to rant against the concept only in its entirety, fine. I accept it is impractical.

Participation is fine, but you're not really listening to what everyone keeps telling you here.

Do you really not notice the irony of what you just said?
There's no irony there.
I'm guessing you probably meant hypocrisy. (not that I necessarily agree with that either)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 11:39:34 pm by HackedFridgeMagnet »
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #209 on: December 12, 2015, 12:28:38 am »
Actually, I'm not arguing. I'm just participating in the discussion. You have simply allowed your biases to cloud your comprehension of what I said.

What I said was basically. Even though the idea may be impractical they may in their attempts to develop it find improvement in some areas. If you want to rant against the concept only in its entirety, fine. I accept it is impractical.

Would it not be more beneficial if all those man-hours were invested in developing something that would actually be useful?  I don't think you can defend the utter stupidity of this dead end project by claiming that perhaps something interesting/useful might be discovered before it's canned.  I suspect the most useful thing this project will highlight is that VC's should do a bit of homework before pouring money into impractical projects dreamed up by "technology innovators" like Meredith Perry.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #210 on: December 12, 2015, 03:00:34 am »
I don't think you can defend the utter stupidity of this dead end project by claiming that perhaps something interesting/useful might be discovered before it's canned.

I don't think Wilfred is defending anything. He is just saying that there is a non zero probability that along the way they will have a side innovation that will be valuable in other applications. Since he didn't specify the probability it's seem to be a reasonable assertion. The possibility is there.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #211 on: December 12, 2015, 11:18:30 am »
Do you want to live in a world where you can claim with absolute certainty that that cannot happen? I sure as hell don't. That would be a world without hope.
I'd be quite happy to live in world where common sense rules, and that ideas that can be clearly be demonstrated as being impractical for multiple reasons - technical, logistical and business, are called out as the bullshit they are.

Unfortunately we live in a world where common sense is sometimes overridden by self-delusion, greed and lack of technical knowledge. 
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #212 on: December 12, 2015, 11:33:48 am »
Do you want to live in a world where you can claim with absolute certainty that that cannot happen? I sure as hell don't. That would be a world without hope.

As long as they're investing their own money, good luck to them.

This is not. It is yours and mine. That is where it ends.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #213 on: December 12, 2015, 12:28:22 pm »
They would have more success in vibrating the tables at the ultrasound frequency and resting the phone on the table.

But harmonics might make your soup escape the bowl  :-DD

Edit: but at least it probably helps your soup remain hot, or even heat it, so be careful taking a spoonful.
And speaking of the silverware, just put them in a container with water on the table to clean them after you are done.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 01:06:27 pm by miguelvp »
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #214 on: December 12, 2015, 09:50:04 pm »
I don't think Wilfred is defending anything. He is just saying that there is a non zero probability that along the way they will have a side innovation that will be valuable in other applications. Since he didn't specify the probability it's seem to be a reasonable assertion. The possibility is there.

Except uBeam is not promising some non-zero probability on some "we don't know yet" innovation.  uBeam has specifically promised that they will provide wireless power to phones and even TVs at 15+ feet range and work while the phone is in the purse or pocket.  They have steadily cut back on their utterly impossible - YES IMPOSSIBLE - assertion that it will work through leather and clothing or at 15+ foot range.  You can basically view 15 feet of air as a near impenetrable barrier of ultrasonic energy.  It is impossible to get more than 3% of the ultrasonic energy through that much air under typical pressure and humidity.

But it was uBeam's deceptive assertions that they've recently backed off on that hyped them up and got them their $35+ million investment at $500 million valuation.  That money isn't all just private VCs, that includes mutual funds from people's retirement savings.  uBeam has defrauded everyone.

Companies and individuals are allowed to solicit investments on any hair brained idea with extremely high levels of risk.  What they are not allowed to do is misrepresent the level of risk and their own capability.  This is why we have the SEC.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 09:52:54 pm by Danseur »
 

Offline DutchGert

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #215 on: December 12, 2015, 10:50:40 pm »
Do you want to live in a world where you can claim with absolute certainty that that cannot happen? I sure as hell don't. That would be a world without hope.
I'd be quite happy to live in world where common sense rules, and that ideas that can be clearly be demonstrated as being impractical for multiple reasons - technical, logistical and business, are called out as the bullshit they are.

Unfortunately we live in a world where common sense is sometimes overridden by self-delusion, greed and lack of technical knowledge.

Amen
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #216 on: December 15, 2015, 11:58:33 pm »
Can we nail a Batteriser on to uBeam, and get 5x the range?  :-/O
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #217 on: December 19, 2015, 10:21:06 am »
Looks like uBeam is having trouble raising money.  Now they're resorting to CrowdSourcing and some are calling this a "down round".
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/
 

Offline helius

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #218 on: December 19, 2015, 10:40:30 am »
A "down round" is going to make talent flee like rats. You own a diluting share of a depreciating asset—in other words there will be nothing left.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #219 on: December 19, 2015, 10:43:11 am »
Looks like uBeam is having trouble raising money.  Now they're resorting to CrowdSourcing and some are calling this a "down round".
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/

Woah!
Where is their crowd funding campaign?
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #220 on: December 19, 2015, 10:45:27 am »
Looks like uBeam is having trouble raising money.  Now they're resorting to CrowdSourcing and some are calling this a "down round".
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/

"The No. 1 rule in financing is you get what you can,” he said. “It’s really hard to bring really good tech to the market.”

Even harder when the tech is shit.
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #221 on: December 19, 2015, 11:21:38 am »
A "down round" is going to make talent flee like rats. You own a diluting share of a depreciating asset—in other words there will be nothing left.

A lot of times a down round doesn't just dilute!  If there are ratchets involved and the price drop is severe enough, lower priority equity holders can be whittled down to zero!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 11:23:39 am by Danseur »
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #222 on: December 19, 2015, 11:22:49 am »
Woah!
Where is their crowd funding campaign?

FTA: "The crowdfunding effort began in July and is being facilitated by crowdfunding platform OurCrowd of Jerusalem"
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #223 on: December 19, 2015, 11:35:24 am »
Woah!
Where is their crowd funding campaign?

FTA: "The crowdfunding effort began in July and is being facilitated by crowdfunding platform OurCrowd of Jerusalem"

"There's a sucker born every minute"

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #224 on: December 19, 2015, 05:50:36 pm »
A "down round" is going to make talent flee like rats.

Rumor has it they already have.
The ton of jobs they have on offer make it sound like they are rebooting the staff.
 


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