Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 300714 times)

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Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #775 on: June 05, 2017, 02:11:52 am »
I managed to "charge" my phone with ultrasonic power transfer...

 
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Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #776 on: June 05, 2017, 05:56:25 am »
I managed to "charge" my phone with ultrasonic power transfer...



Superb stuff Howard, nicely done. I'll likely do a blog post and link to your work here.

Something to note - you can drive the Murata transducers at more than 20Vp-p, I think you can do 60V, maybe even as high as 100V. They in part limit to 20V as that's in the 115 to 120dB range which is the limit in almost every country in the world for ultrasound (and likely the US as well, OSHA have changed the public numbers since 2015 from 145 dB to 115). No idea about longevity at those amplitudes, piezo materials break down at some point, and if >80% of the power is lost as heat, that's not going to be good. Also note that if an ASIC is used, the node chosen will impact maximum supported voltage so can only go so high.
 

Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #777 on: June 05, 2017, 05:58:43 am »
Remember this?
Whatever happened to tripling  the staff?
Isn't the new HQ practically empty?



According to LinkedIn, all the staff who were in that office (3 of them) left at the end of last year. None had even made it a full year at the company. It appeared to be an 8500 sqft office, and when I last drove past it was not occupied.

They may even have left in January this year. Why would they leave when the company is on the verge of this awesome success?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 06:37:23 am by PaulReynolds »
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #778 on: June 05, 2017, 10:52:30 am »
It seems a bit odd that they're still playing with early prototypes, when they've been gearing up for mass production for nearly 2 years.  :horse:

From the brightness of the LEDs on the panel I'd guestimate the recovered power varies between about 0.3W and 0.8W, - nearly enough to charge a phone if you turned it off and held it up in a funny way for 6 hours.  :)

3178 views:
vimeo.com/218093800

Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #779 on: June 05, 2017, 12:19:32 pm »
It seems a bit odd that they're still playing with early prototypes, when they've been gearing up for mass production for nearly 2 years.  :horse:

From the brightness of the LEDs on the panel I'd guestimate the recovered power varies between about 0.3W and 0.8W, - nearly enough to charge a phone if you turned it off and held it up in a funny way for 6 hours.  :)

3178 views:
vimeo.com/218093800

You don't understand! It's a new paradigm! Stop thinking like an engineer and free yourself from that box you are in! It's not about charging faster than a wire, it's about trickle charge!

It must be nice for everyone in the press to forget what you claimed you had 2 years ago, get to keep working, then deliver a fraction of what was claimed and say "See I was right!"

In the USA Today article the head of their tech advisory board literally admits they had far less than this 18 months ago, same time the company was claiming "faster than a wire" and "ramping to production". And it looks like they are using off the shelf transducers (or simple variation thereof) and not anything groundbreaking.

The video is interesting - in the first few seconds it's "charging" at an angle of incidence far more steep than they claim is possible. There's a noticeable lag between the phone moving and the beam catching up - who gets insonified during that time it's not on the phone?



 
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #780 on: June 05, 2017, 03:44:06 pm »
This weekend I realised that by necessity, it will need a reasonably large aperture to harvest enough energy, which explains to a large degree the size of the brick attached to the phone.

Even if all the other planets aligned and the other practicalities and regulatory issues were dealt with, increasing the footprint of the phone sufficiently for the aperture, and having to have the device oriented towards the energy source enough to make it "charge" (i.e., face down, and nothing covering the aperture), alone makes this application a non-starter.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #781 on: June 05, 2017, 04:13:38 pm »
This weekend I realised that by necessity, it will need a reasonably large aperture to harvest enough energy, which explains to a large degree the size of the brick attached to the phone.
Even if all the other planets aligned and the other practicalities and regulatory issues were dealt with, increasing the footprint of the phone sufficiently for the aperture, and having to have the device oriented towards the energy source enough to make it "charge" (i.e., face down, and nothing covering the aperture), alone makes this application a non-starter.

Anyone could see that from day 1.
People put their phones down flat on the bench most of the time. You know, right were you put a $5 Qi charging pad that is vastly more efficient and cheaper.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #782 on: June 05, 2017, 09:00:53 pm »
This weekend I realised that by necessity, it will need a reasonably large aperture to harvest enough energy, which explains to a large degree the size of the brick attached to the phone.
Even if all the other planets aligned and the other practicalities and regulatory issues were dealt with, increasing the footprint of the phone sufficiently for the aperture, and having to have the device oriented towards the energy source enough to make it "charge" (i.e., face down, and nothing covering the aperture), alone makes this application a non-starter.

Anyone could see that from day 1.
People put their phones down flat on the bench most of the time. You know, right were you put a $5 Qi charging pad that is vastly more efficient and cheaper.

There were two important additional facets that affect user acceptance, and I hadn't fully realized until now, and I'm not at all sure were obvious, at least not to me anyway.

Firstly, and yes, obvious now we've seen the uBeam demonstrations, seriously affects usability and user acceptance: the phone needs to be face down for ceiling-mounted uBeam power transfer to work, so the touch screen and display can't be used while charging. If, instead, the uBeam transmitters are wall mounted, then you'd either need to hold the phone by the edges only, or have it resting on its side on the table. None of these options would be reasonable use cases in my view.

Secondly, I'd not figured out until experimentation that key to the scheme is a sufficiently large area on the handset not only for the energy harvesting to collect enough energy, but also to mitigate localized energy nulls. This part is a non-negotiable part of the design. Until I'd experimented myself, I hadn't realized what importance this had. I don't believe that the energy collection area on the handset can be significantly reduced by technological improvements alone, this is a practical physics problem.
 
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Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #783 on: June 07, 2017, 12:11:34 am »
The 1st post on the 1st page of this thread is worth a re-read occasionally.

So, what's the latest guestimate of the power efficiency of the latest versions.
I still guestimate it at about 0.03%. LOL.
Ed. Nearly forgot!  :horse:
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 12:14:16 am by StillTrying »
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #784 on: June 07, 2017, 10:14:01 pm »
Internship Opportunity: Electrical and Medical
If you are looking for an internship for the summer, uBeam may have an opportunity for you. We are looking for interns within these areas:

1. Mechanical Engineering
2. Electrical Engineering

https://www.workable.com/j/9FF7785215

There's a few copies of it out there, don't know if it's real or not. :horse:

Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #785 on: June 08, 2017, 04:30:18 pm »
The 1st post on the 1st page of this thread is worth a re-read occasionally.

So, what's the latest guestimate of the power efficiency of the latest versions.
I still guestimate it at about 0.03%. LOL.
Ed. Nearly forgot!  :horse:

Remember the easy dodge on efficiency questions - it all depends on conditions.  Distance, orientation play a role, as does output power once you're in the nonlinear regime. Most actual use cases are likely to be far from ideal.
 

Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #786 on: June 08, 2017, 04:51:16 pm »
Internship Opportunity: Electrical and Medical
If you are looking for an internship for the summer, uBeam may have an opportunity for you. We are looking for interns within these areas:

1. Mechanical Engineering
2. Electrical Engineering

https://www.workable.com/j/9FF7785215

There's a few copies of it out there, don't know if it's real or not. :horse:

You missed the best bit on the main page. https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/ - also advertising for a Director of Strategic Marketing but here's the company description:

uBeam is an innovation that will breed innovation. Ubiquitous wireless power will lead to a world with smaller batteries and thinner, lighter devices. With wires virtually eliminated, TVs can sit in the middle of a room cord-free and light fixtures will become “stick-on” without the need for routed power. uBeam is also a universal standard, making those bulky travel adapters a thing of the past. Imagine charging your phone, laptop or even your hearing aid virtually anywhere, without any effort. This is life powered by uBeam.

I'm not even going to comment on the first sentence. Now, TV's powered cord free? Hmmm. OK, so let's take a 50 Watt TV, and the pre-2015 OSHA limit of 145 dB, which was around 300W/m^2. That means on the receive side, with a very generous 33% efficiency (random number) that you need 0.5 m^2 to get the 150W power, so a panel around 70 cm on each side. This is the size of about 100 phones, and let's be generous and say each phone size part needs $3 of materials, so can sell for ~$10 (obviously ridiculously low, you can barely sell a phone case that's just plastic for that) then that's $1000 right there. Let's assume a generous 50% efficiency from the transmitter you have to have, that implies it needs to be around 1 m^2, so now that's $2000 there.  (Let's ignore the battery added to deal with potential interruptions in the beam). $3000 to not have to plug your TV in, along with the increased electricity bill? Hmmm, niche product.

I didn't realize uBeam is a universal standard. Did they run this past the IEEE and get a new standard done? And the regulatory limit for ultrasound outside the US is definitively 115 dB or less (0.3 W/m^2) so might be a problem there a travel adapter is OK with.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 05:16:18 pm by PaulReynolds »
 

Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #787 on: June 08, 2017, 04:55:53 pm »
Internship Opportunity: Electrical and Medical
If you are looking for an internship for the summer, uBeam may have an opportunity for you. We are looking for interns within these areas:

1. Mechanical Engineering
2. Electrical Engineering

https://www.workable.com/j/9FF7785215

There's a few copies of it out there, don't know if it's real or not. :horse:

Wait... "Medical"?

Bwahahaha. Someone didn't proof read their copy and notice that's not how you spell "Mechanical".
 

Online coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #788 on: June 08, 2017, 06:03:29 pm »
Internship Opportunity: Electrical and Medical
If you are looking for an internship for the summer, uBeam may have an opportunity for you. We are looking for interns within these areas:

1. Mechanical Engineering
2. Electrical Engineering

https://www.workable.com/j/9FF7785215

There's a few copies of it out there, don't know if it's real or not. :horse:

Wait... "Medical"?

Bwahahaha. Someone didn't proof read their copy and notice that's not how you spell "Mechanical".
Mayve there's an expectation that you'll soon be sick of the place.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #789 on: June 08, 2017, 06:05:13 pm »
You missed the best bit on the main page. https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/ - also advertising for a Director of Strategic Marketing but here's the company description:

uBeam is an innovation that will breed innovation. Ubiquitous wireless power will lead to a world with smaller batteries and thinner, lighter devices. With wires virtually eliminated, TVs can sit in the middle of a room cord-free and light fixtures will become “stick-on” without the need for routed power. uBeam is also a universal standard, making those bulky travel adapters a thing of the past. Imagine charging your phone, laptop or even your hearing aid virtually anywhere, without any effort. This is life powered by uBeam.

How can you have a statement so demonstrably technically retarded that takes a minute of back of the envelope calcs to prove it's not possible, and hold your head up high?
 

Offline Kean

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #790 on: June 08, 2017, 06:16:03 pm »
How can you have a statement so demonstrably technically retarded that takes a minute of back of the envelope calcs to prove it's not possible, and hold your head up high?

By never actually shipping anything?  And giving engineers the middle finger of course!
Mind you, like Batteriser it is actually mostly* possible, just incredibly inefficient and nothing like people imagine it to be (big, bulky, impractical).

* maybe not the hearing aid - I've not much experience with those, but that seems to stretch things the limits a bit too far
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #791 on: June 08, 2017, 06:29:29 pm »
How can you have a statement so demonstrably technically retarded that takes a minute of back of the envelope calcs to prove it's not possible, and hold your head up high?

By never actually shipping anything?  And giving engineers the middle finger of course!

Always worth repeating!

 

Offline Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #792 on: June 08, 2017, 08:33:38 pm »
Quote
You missed the best bit on the main page. https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/ - also advertising for a Director of Strategic Marketing but here's the company description:

With wires virtually eliminated, TVs can sit in the middle of a room cord-free and light fixtures will become “stick-on” without the need for routed power.

How can you have a statement so demonstrably technically retarded that takes a minute of back of the envelope calcs to prove it's not possible, and hold your head up high?

(Ignoring that fact that nobody wants to multiply their electricity bill by 100)

How will they power the uBeam transmitters? Will they be "stick on" too?

It's turtles all the way down.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #793 on: June 08, 2017, 10:17:03 pm »
How can you have a statement so demonstrably technically retarded that takes a minute of back of the envelope calcs to prove it's not possible, and hold your head up high?

By never actually shipping anything?  And giving engineers the middle finger of course!

Always worth repeating!




Eeew, that hits 11 on the cringeworthy scale. She's completely blinded by her own arrogance. I'm still very jealous of her ability to shaft over $28m out of her rather gullible backers. I wonder if she still really believes this is a practical solution for device charging, or she's just thankful for the remaining days of her bubble, however many they may be.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #794 on: June 08, 2017, 11:15:11 pm »
Maybe Tek can sell her one of their shiny new scopes- nothing like a new toy to spend all that money on, and it would look so impressive in the photos of their lab....
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #795 on: June 09, 2017, 01:02:39 am »
Eeew, that hits 11 on the cringeworthy scale. She's completely blinded by her own arrogance.

Have you watched the whole thing?
I dare you to sit through it all

 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #796 on: June 09, 2017, 01:50:45 am »
Have you watched the whole thing?
I dare you to sit through it all

That's the kind of dare that ought to be backed up with a bet involving a shiny new scope, or several cases of cold beer.

I used to have the pain tolerance to hang off rock faces by little more than my fingernails. I don't have the pain tolerance to watch that the whole way through...
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #797 on: June 19, 2017, 10:16:18 am »
vimeo.com/218093800


"The vision system is picking up the pattern on the phone"
Look at the PC display of the moving phones, the transmitter somehow knows how much energy each receiver transducer picks up and is displaying it on the screen. It even seem to have a graded display based on how much energy at each transducer.
How is the data being sent back from the receiver?
 :-//

You can also see how little energy is being received by each transducer on the phone! At several points in the video the phone is receiving practical nothing on the transducers.
If you are going to release a video like this, at least have it showing the phone receiving all of the possible acoustic energy  :palm:

This all is technically very cool of course, but it is still the most retarded product idea in history.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 10:29:04 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #798 on: June 19, 2017, 11:34:18 am »
"The vision system is picking up the pattern on the phone"

I get the impression the vision system just looks for a 1 X 2 white rectangle, the LED viewer is made up of 2.

"the transmitter somehow knows how much energy each receiver transducer picks up and is displaying it on the screen."

Guesswork based on the size of the white rectangle ?

Twitter is questioning the efficiency:

Eric Hittinger? @ElephantEating Jun 16
I second the efficiency question. For 1st gen, I would be happy if it only wasted half of the consumed energy.

:-DD   :horse:
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 11:36:02 am by StillTrying »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #799 on: June 19, 2017, 12:50:52 pm »
The video is interesting - in the first few seconds it's "charging" at an angle of incidence far more steep than they claim is possible. There's a noticeable lag between the phone moving and the beam catching up - who gets insonified during that time it's not on the phone?

Look at the video from 50sec onwards, there are clearly huge side lobes of wasted energy extending out a large distance. Maybe 25% of the energy at best is being focused into an iPhone size receiver?
And that's of course before all the massive losses in the ultrasonics itself.
And that's at what, maybe 1m?
There own videos shows how inefficient this will be. It's why they don't put a power meter on the phone receiver. Laughable.
 


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