Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 226014 times)

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Offline edy

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #675 on: December 12, 2016, 02:23:52 PM »
Since uBeam's main goal as initially conceptualized will go up in smoke... is there anything else that can come out of this company and $23 million in investments (perhaps more now), their "engineering" team plugging away at stuff in some physical space and with a bit more time that will salvage this wreck for the investors? Some other application, concept, accessory, gadget, etc? I think a miracle will be needed. The more they keep putting their resources in to making this wireless charging research, the less they will have to put in to some other idea (if there is even one). When and can investors yank their investments (or whatever is left of it) and cut their losses?
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Online sdouble

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #676 on: December 12, 2016, 04:33:26 PM »
She may have left for Mexico with a bunch of million bucks.
 :-DD :-DD
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #677 on: December 12, 2016, 04:39:18 PM »
Since uBeam's main goal as initially conceptualized will go up in smoke... is there anything else that can come out of this company and $23 million in investments (perhaps more now), their "engineering" team plugging away at stuff in some physical space and with a bit more time that will salvage this wreck for the investors? Some other application, concept, accessory, gadget, etc? I think a miracle will be needed. The more they keep putting their resources in to making this wireless charging research, the less they will have to put in to some other idea (if there is even one). When and can investors yank their investments (or whatever is left of it) and cut their losses?

Word was that people internally wanted to pivot the product into some other direction/product/market, but Perry would have none of it.
She has the controlling interest and I'm pretty sure she'll ride this donkey all the way into town. Otherwise she won't be able to give all us engineers the middle finger:
https://youtu.be/ukgnU2aXM2c?t=13m41s
 

Online Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #678 on: December 12, 2016, 04:45:57 PM »
Let's forget about any possible power transfer that can be used for charging via uBeam. Let's say they design some system or a tiny chip with a small tuning fork designed to oscillate at some very high frequency, attach it to a Quartz element (similar to a Phono cartridge) and they use uBeam as a way to broadcast "data" local to certain locales (much like a WiFi) but uni-directionally.

Now you have the potential to have data transfer of advertisements, specials, WiFi-password information, etc... something to the phone that may bootstrap a potential WiFi or BlueTooth connection based on the location proximity due to sound. Usually something within a room. Maybe even like in Museums or other places.

There can be potential here in that sphere of thinking..... What do you think? With things like Pokemon Go being all the rage, location-specific broadcasts through open systems may have some potential. Not sure why would need yet another communication method but this may be good for data-only benefits.

Next up: A handheld device to control your TV using ultrasound.

Any VC backers interested in that?

« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 04:48:40 PM by Fungus »
 

Offline timb

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The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #679 on: December 13, 2016, 06:41:19 AM »
Let's forget about any possible power transfer that can be used for charging via uBeam. Let's say they design some system or a tiny chip with a small tuning fork designed to oscillate at some very high frequency, attach it to a Quartz element (similar to a Phono cartridge) and they use uBeam as a way to broadcast "data" local to certain locales (much like a WiFi) but uni-directionally.

Now you have the potential to have data transfer of advertisements, specials, WiFi-password information, etc... something to the phone that may bootstrap a potential WiFi or BlueTooth connection based on the location proximity due to sound. Usually something within a room. Maybe even like in Museums or other places.

There can be potential here in that sphere of thinking..... What do you think? With things like Pokemon Go being all the rage, location-specific broadcasts through open systems may have some potential. Not sure why would need yet another communication method but this may be good for data-only benefits.

Next up: A handheld device to control your TV using ultrasound.

Any VC backers interested in that?

I think Zenith beat you to it, by 60 years! XD

(I know that was your point, still, a lot of people don't know the history of the humble remote control. From wired, to visible light, to ultrasound to IR...)

http://www.zenith.com/remote-background/

Quote
Next Generations: Space Command

Zenith’s Dr. Robert Adler suggested using “ultrasonics,” that is, high-frequency sound, beyond the range of human hearing. He was assigned to lead a team of engineers to work on the first use of ultrasonics technology in the home as a new approach for a remote control.

The transmitter used no batteries; it was built around aluminum rods that were light in weight and, when struck at one end, emitted distinctive high-frequency sounds. The first such remote control used four rods, each approximately 2-1/2 inches long: one for channel up, one for channel down, one for sound on and off, and one for on and off.

They were very carefully cut to lengths that would generate four slightly different frequencies. They were excited by a trigger mechanism that stretched a spring and then released it so that a small hammer would strike the end of the aluminum rod.

Fun Fact: This is where the term "clicker" (referring to a TV remote) came from. Pressing the button required a bit of force to stretch the spring and, when the "hammer" released, it made a loud clicking noise. The whole mechanism is not dissimilar from a double-action only revolver.

The more you know! ~~*
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 06:43:10 AM by timb »
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #680 on: December 13, 2016, 06:55:55 AM »
The more you know! ~~*

The later (electronic) ones were also very good at controlling cats!
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #681 on: December 13, 2016, 09:44:14 AM »
I've already tested the cat from 30kHz to 60kHz from 5 meters away.
At 60kHz the cat could just about hear it, at 40kHz I could barely glow a red LED at about 5mm, but the cat from 5 meters away described the 40kHz as "bloody loud".

http://independentscience.tumblr.com/post/101728968844/ultrasound-thermodynamics-and-robot-overlords

the firm's confident that the initial system will be on store shelves by the fall, with the consumer transmitter costing between $200 and $300, and the puck itself retailing for around $30.
uBean 2011.
https://www.engadget.com/2011/06/01/ubeam-wireless-power-startup-shows-prototype-at-d9-video-hands

Offline edavid

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #682 on: December 13, 2016, 11:14:33 AM »
The later (electronic) ones were also very good at controlling cats!

The earlier ones could be controlled by dogs!  When I was a tot, my dog could change the channel on my grandparents's Zenith TV.  When she ran around their house, the metal tags on her collar would click together, generating the same ultrasonic tone as the remote control.
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #683 on: December 15, 2016, 02:19:26 AM »
A world without wires. One day all mobile devices will be wirelessly powered this way.

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #684 on: December 15, 2016, 05:45:39 AM »
A world without wires. One day all mobile devices will be wirelessly powered this way.

... or better of, they will come with a built in lifetime power source.

Solar calculators are a great example for a similar progress. A building full of power hungry vacuums tubes was replaced by a tiny and cheap gadget with superior computation power that harvests its own power from the environment.

I can imagine how such a proposition would be 'debunked forever' 75 years ago.  ;-)

« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 05:48:26 AM by zapta »
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline iaeen

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #685 on: December 15, 2016, 06:22:57 AM »
A world without wires. One day all mobile devices will be wirelessly powered this way.

... or better of, they will come with a built in lifetime power source.

Solar calculators are a great example for a similar progress. A building full of power hungry vacuums tubes was replaced by a tiny and cheap gadget with superior computation power that harvests its own power from the environment.

I can imagine how such a proposition would be 'debunked forever' 75 years ago.  ;-)

I doubt that this will ever happen. I'm not saying that I think that getting a modern cell phone for the power consumption of a small solar cell is impossible, but by the time you get the power requirements down to that level, the computational power will be considered obsolete (as hand calculators are today).

The mobile device market has shown us that features >> battery life (read: power consumption). Sure, lots of people talk about how great it was when their old dumb phones lasted a week on a single charge, but the number of people that actually go out and buy such phones is insignificant. We would need some breakthrough in environmental power harvesting technology (solar cells or whatever) that makes internal storage less practical than even the most energy dense internal storage method.
 

Offline JimRemington

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #686 on: December 15, 2016, 06:51:50 AM »
Quote
We would need some breakthrough in environmental power harvesting technology (solar cells or whatever)
I'm looking forward to the day we can directly harvest the fluctuations of the vacuum state.
 

Offline iaeen

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #687 on: December 15, 2016, 07:01:56 AM »
Quote
We would need some breakthrough in environmental power harvesting technology (solar cells or whatever)
I'm looking forward to the day we can directly harvest the fluctuations of the vacuum state.
In retrospect, I regret including that last sentence. I inadvertently sounded like one of the free energy wackos.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #688 on: December 15, 2016, 07:59:30 AM »
If ultrasonic power delivery starts to "work" because the power requirements of devices shrinks to a level that makes it practical, harvesting RF energy will always be more practical.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #689 on: December 15, 2016, 01:36:13 PM »
If ultrasonic power delivery starts to "work" because the power requirements of devices shrinks to a level that makes it practical, harvesting RF energy will always be more practical.

It might make it "work" but it will never make it "right" or acceptable. Efficiency is still going to pretty terrible. Even if a phone charged at 0.1W, for millions of people to pump in 10W of power to charge that is a very bad idea.
Energy Star and other such efficiency ratings and requirements for plugpacks and chargers exist for a reason.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #690 on: December 15, 2016, 02:36:22 PM »
If ultrasonic power delivery starts to "work" because the power requirements of devices shrinks to a level that makes it practical, harvesting RF energy will always be more practical.

It might make it "work" but it will never make it "right" or acceptable. Efficiency is still going to pretty terrible. Even if a phone charged at 0.1W, for millions of people to pump in 10W of power to charge that is a very bad idea.
Energy Star and other such efficiency ratings and requirements for plugpacks and chargers exist for a reason.

You assume that 10W input will still be an issue in 200 years. Expect many things to change by then. 50 years ago it would consider impractical and not 'right' or acceptable to use 200K active electronic switches to blink a single small red bulb.

Scientific and technological advances also advance our perspective so 'never' is a tricky thing.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #691 on: December 15, 2016, 04:13:04 PM »
If ultrasonic power delivery starts to "work" because the power requirements of devices shrinks to a level that makes it practical, harvesting RF energy will always be more practical.

It might make it "work" but it will never make it "right" or acceptable. Efficiency is still going to pretty terrible. Even if a phone charged at 0.1W, for millions of people to pump in 10W of power to charge that is a very bad idea.
Energy Star and other such efficiency ratings and requirements for plugpacks and chargers exist for a reason.

You assume that 10W input will still be an issue in 200 years. Expect many things to change by then. 50 years ago it would consider impractical and not 'right' or acceptable to use 200K active electronic switches to blink a single small red bulb.

Scientific and technological advances also advance our perspective so 'never' is a tricky thing.

We are not saying, "never will work."  We are saying, "always impractical and ridiculously inefficient."  The losses will be the same 2000 years from now.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #692 on: December 15, 2016, 04:20:33 PM »
We are not saying, "never will work."  We are saying, "always impractical and ridiculously inefficient."  The losses will be the same 2000 years from now.

Zapta is trolling, he is best ignored.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #693 on: December 15, 2016, 05:25:22 PM »
We are not saying, "never will work."  We are saying, "always impractical and ridiculously inefficient."  The losses will be the same 2000 years from now.

Zapta is trolling, he is best ignored.

The inconvenient truth.

You said:  "It might make it "work" but it will never make it "right" or acceptable".

A blinker with 200k electronic switches was unacceptable 70 years ago but these days every arduino kid makes one.

Technological and scientific advances will not stop at our generation and will keep redefining what is technically 'right' and 'acceptable'.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #694 on: December 15, 2016, 05:35:34 PM »
We are not saying, "never will work."  We are saying, "always impractical and ridiculously inefficient."  The losses will be the same 2000 years from now.

Yes, same losses but nobody will care if energy becomes plentiful and dirt cheap.

Disposable cups were impractical 500 years ago but they are now. Expect changes. Awesome things are going to happen.
Drain the swamp.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #695 on: December 15, 2016, 05:55:13 PM »
Disposable cups were impractical 500 years ago but they are now.

Rubbish. The Romans disposed of millions of cups. It was the norm back then.

Even today they still make single-use ceramic cups in places like India. Millions of them every day.

https://www.jovoto.com/projects/betacup/ideas/4859
 

Online Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #696 on: December 15, 2016, 05:56:51 PM »
Even if a phone charged at 0.1W, for millions of people to pump in 10W of power to charge that is a very bad idea.
Energy Star and other such efficiency ratings and requirements for plugpacks and chargers exist for a reason.
Yep. A solar cell would be 100000% better than putting ultrasound transmitters everywhere.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #697 on: December 15, 2016, 07:39:14 PM »
We are not saying, "never will work."  We are saying, "always impractical and ridiculously inefficient."  The losses will be the same 2000 years from now.

Zapta is trolling, he is best ignored.

Agreed. Remind me in 200 years, though. I might have forgotten by then.
 

Offline JiggyNinja

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #698 on: December 16, 2016, 08:38:02 AM »
You can pour in all the money you like, when you are out by several orders of magnitude on decent efficiency no amount of technical PhD hand waving is going to fix it.

Never say never. The level of computing we carry in our pockets these days would be consider physically impossible 200 years ago. Same goes for you talking in Sidney and we hear you in real time all over the world.

When we 'debunk' stuff, we need to remember to qualify it.
Those "impossible" things tend to use new physics, like radio waves or semiconductor electronics.

Is it possible that some new physics would allow wireless charging several devices at several watts each through directed beams of unubtainion particles? Yes it is.

Is it possible that the efficiency of sound propagation through air, which has been thoroughly studied for an extremely long time, is suddenly going to change? No.

We can achieve greater transmission bandwidth through fiber optic cables and copper because those things are constructed with complete control over their properties. Improvements in manufacturing techniques can push their capabilities to the theoretical limits by tightening tolerances and purifying materials.

You cannot do the same with the atmosphere of a large room. You are stuck with what you have. Imagine being forced to only use window-quality glass to make fiber optic cables. No amount of science and engineering is going to get over the fact that window glass sucks, and fiber optic cables would never be able to be more than a couple dozen feet long.
Quote
A blinker with 200k electronic switches was unacceptable 70 years ago but these days every arduino kid makes one.
That is because, unlike the 50's, we don't use relays or vacuum tubes anymore. Miniaturizing computing devices relied on new physics being applied to the problem. You can get microcontrollers in a ridiculous SOT-23-6 package now for under 2 USD, and it's dead simple to program in any arbitrary blinking pattern you want by reprogramming it. If you needed to make something blick 3 times every 2 seconds, does it make more sense to lash together some 555 timers (with associated passives) with glue logic, or toss in a small PIC and spend 30 minutes writing a blinky program?
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #699 on: December 19, 2016, 12:01:21 PM »
Looks like these clowns have closed down.  :horse:


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