Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 288650 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #800 on: June 19, 2017, 12:52:47 pm »
"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 ?

I don't think so. The PC screen seems to show the intensity data mapping as seen on the LED receiver panel.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #801 on: June 19, 2017, 01:23:52 pm »
I think I'm going to include this as part of my 1000th video  ;)

Running back of envelope calcs:
Assuming absolutely no losses in the transducers, temperature, humidity, air pressure/altitude, no non-linear effects or pressure saturation, no tilt on the phone etc.
Best case you are going to get half your power lost every meter off the bat.
And based on their practical demo video (50sec mark onwards) maybe only 25% of that energy at best would be received in an iPhone sized receiver due to the large side lobe losses that are obvious in their LED panel demo.
So right there you are down to 12.5% efficiency IDEAL BEST CASE at 1m.
That’s 6.25% at 2m, 3% at 3m, and 1.5% at their claimed 4m BEST CASE!
 
So at 145-155dB (316W/sqm - 3000W/sqm) or 0.03W/sqcm - 0.3W/sqcm
iPhone at 100sqcm assuming best case circular packing density
 
@1m 3W - 30W * 12.5% eff = 0.75W to 7.5W
@2m 3W - 30W * 6.25% eff = 0.18W to 1.8W
@3m 3W - 30W * 3.125% eff = 0.09W to 0.9W
@4m 3W - 30W * 1.56% eff = 0.04W to 0.4W

Once again all best case with zero losses apart from distance and what their own hardware lobes are showing.

We'll stop at 4m because that is their claimed distance.
Obviously if you tilt the phone or use it in any practical real world usage, it just drops to impractical levels at only 2m (approx ceiling height)
And that's not taking into account cost of this boondoggle of a system.
And of course that doesn't include the fact that the recommended safety limits are only 110-115dB in most countries. They want to use up to 155dB  :scared:

It's a complete dead duck.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 01:38:09 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #802 on: June 20, 2017, 03:38:56 am »
1.5% at their claimed 4m BEST CASE!

So?

There's plenty of folks out there who think that looking at electricity/fuel bills is something poor people do.

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #803 on: June 20, 2017, 06:48:21 pm »
1.5% at their claimed 4m BEST CASE!
So?
There's plenty of folks out there who think that looking at electricity/fuel bills is something poor people do.

Ok, I won't argue that at all, I could, but I won't.

Let's looks at the absolute showstoppers that make this product impractical, any one of which is enough to entirely sink the product.

- Safety. Even if it currently legal in the US, it's not anywhere else in the world. Even their minimum 145dB SPL is well outside limits.
- Cost. I don't think there is any escaping the inevitable cost of all those transducers. These are already made in mass volume for cars and they are not cheap. This thing needs hundreds and hundreds of them.
- Size. You just can't make the transducers thin enough across the entire surface of a phone to be anything anyone would want. No one wants a brick on the back of their phone.
- The inescapable fact that people use phones lying on the table, or holding with their hand and at an angle etc. This is the thing that should have stopped the project right at the back of the napkin stage.
If you have to put the phone in some ideal position to charge it, just put the thing on a $5 Qi charging pad that is already built into your phone, takes up almost no space, has no safety effects, is efficient, and cheap.
 
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #804 on: June 20, 2017, 06:53:00 pm »
just put the thing on a $5 Qi charging pad that is already built into your phone, takes up almost no space, has no safety effects, is efficient, and cheap.
..and even Qi still isn't very widely used in public venues. I've seen way more USB sockets in cafes, hotels etc.
So anything more expensive and less widely supported stands zero chance of being adopted anywhere.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #805 on: June 20, 2017, 06:58:59 pm »
just put the thing on a $5 Qi charging pad that is already built into your phone, takes up almost no space, has no safety effects, is efficient, and cheap.
..and even Qi still isn't very widely used in public venues. I've seen way more USB sockets in cafes, hotels etc.
So anything more expensive and less widely supported stands zero chance of being adopted anywhere.

Very true.
If I was running a cafe or whatnot I'd have Qi chargers all over the place, but can't say I've ever seen one anywhere.
uBeam would be a dead duck even if it was practical.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #806 on: June 20, 2017, 09:47:12 pm »
There's plenty of folks out there who think that looking at electricity/fuel bills is something poor people do.

Ok, I won't argue that at all, I could, but I won't.

Let's looks at the absolute showstoppers that make this product impractical, any one of which is enough to entirely sink the product.

- Safety. Even if it currently legal in the US, it's not anywhere else in the world. Even their minimum 145dB SPL is well outside limits.
- Cost. I don't think there is any escaping the inevitable cost of all those transducers. These are already made in mass volume for cars and they are not cheap. This thing needs hundreds and hundreds of them.
- Size. You just can't make the transducers thin enough across the entire surface of a phone to be anything anyone would want. No one wants a brick on the back of their phone.
- The inescapable fact that people use phones lying on the table, or holding with their hand and at an angle etc. This is the thing that should have stopped the project right at the back of the napkin stage.

Yep. I'm just saying "argument from efficiency" won't sway many potential investors.

Pointing out it's a total brick and can't be made smaller will be 1000x more effective.

If you have to put the phone in some ideal position to charge it, just put the thing on a $5 Qi charging pad that is already built into your phone, takes up almost no space, has no safety effects, is efficient, and cheap.

Bottom line: Qi can be built into Starbucks' tables for a fraction of the cost of uBeam.

And it will work.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #807 on: June 22, 2017, 09:20:25 pm »
Might have been posted already, but plenty of close-ups of the tech here:


So it seems they have two demo devices. A small thin one that doesn't seem to beam form, and then a big hulking prototype looking beast down in the basement  lab that does the tracking and beam forming.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #808 on: June 22, 2017, 09:21:34 pm »
Searching for uBeam on Youtube I note a complete absence of any rebuttal videos, so I might upload just that portion of my latest debunking video onto my 2nd channel so it gets some SEO keyword love.
 

Online djos

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #809 on: June 22, 2017, 09:29:07 pm »
Searching for uBeam on Youtube I note a complete absence of any rebuttal videos, so I might upload just that portion of my latest debunking video onto my 2nd channel so it gets some SEO keyword love.

Nice work on the 1000th video today Dave, loved the uBeam snack down, just so much fail in one startup!  :palm:
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

Visit my Tindie store for Tandy 1000 Adapters for EX, HX, SX, SL, TX & TL etc
 

Offline Magnets

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #810 on: June 22, 2017, 09:46:54 pm »
It's just crazy that people invest and spend time on something like this. I get the feeling some like to push the whole women in tech angle a bit too much.
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #811 on: June 23, 2017, 12:05:33 am »
... and then a big hulking prototype looking beast down in the basement  lab...

Now Ms. Perry may not be the most prepossessing creature, but I don't think you ought to talk about her like that.  :P
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline Mukrakiish

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #812 on: June 23, 2017, 01:15:13 am »
... and then a big hulking prototype looking beast down in the basement  lab...

Now Ms. Perry may not be the most prepossessing creature, but I don't think you ought to talk about her like that.  :P
I audibly laughed at that one.  :-DD
 

Offline max_torque

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #813 on: June 23, 2017, 04:35:41 am »
The thing with all "Charging" technologies, from phones to cars, is that they miss a significant human factor.  Namely, us humans have to recharge too. In fact, we spend something like 1/3 to 1/2 (lazy students ;-) ) our entire lives ASLEEP.  And when we sleep, our electronic devices are free to charge as we can't be using them at the same time.

The only reason to need 'wireless' charging for anything is when someone works out how to keep us humans awake for the full 24hr period (and no, i don't mean lots of Vodka RedBulls.......   :-DD  )

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #814 on: June 23, 2017, 10:20:28 am »
Check out the wizz-bang tracking tech, just some white tape on the back of the huge brick!  :-DD

And some info on the asic that might be readable. But it's clear it's a transmitter ASIC that likely handles the beamforming.

But they have two prototypes, and the small desktop one is a dog'n'pony show one without beamforming or tracking (she basically admits that, and it's clear on the LED panel demo), and the basement one that is huge that has visual tracking (Using and NVIDIA Jetson) and the beamforming.
And they claimed to the production ready like a year ago  :-DD
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #815 on: June 23, 2017, 10:22:07 am »
The only reason to need 'wireless' charging for anything is when someone works out how to keep us humans awake for the full 24hr period (and no, i don't mean lots of Vodka RedBulls.......   :-DD  )

If there was such a massive desperate need for wireless charging at Cafe's etc, why don't Starbucks et.al have Qi chargers built into the table (cost would be trivial compared to uBeam)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #816 on: June 23, 2017, 10:26:22 am »
I just extracted the uBeam part from #1000 and added a little bit more stuff, should it go on the main channel as #1001, or just on the 2nd channel?
 

Offline helius

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #817 on: June 23, 2017, 10:53:50 am »
#1001 obviously should be a long digression in the midst of a story which is itself a reflection on a tale of a minor point about a side issue of a digression in the midst of a story etc...
(Those that didn't get the joke should read The Arabian Nights)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #818 on: June 23, 2017, 11:18:30 am »
I bet they aren't :-DD now, they are likely going  :palm:



 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #819 on: June 23, 2017, 11:19:23 am »
Here we go, it should now get the SEO love it deserves.
EDIT: After a few minutes it's already at #10 for searching "uBeam"

« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 11:22:04 am by EEVblog »
 
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #820 on: June 23, 2017, 12:47:00 pm »
This thing is actually kinda scary, I'm no doctor but I'm pretty sure that much sound, even if you can't hear it, has to be bad for the ears.   It would probably also be very bad for certain creatures. 

I kinda want to see what would happen if the transducer array was put inside a big tub and you filled it with diet coke.  Would need to be able to tune the frequency so you can slowly ramp it up until you hit the resonant one.

As a side note, am I the only one that does not have such a need for charging my phone everywhere?  I plug my phone in the charger at home and sometimes at work.  it lasts at least a day, so as long as I charge it at home once a day I never have to charge it anywhere else.  There seems to be this odd craze about being able to charge on the go. 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 12:49:08 pm by Red Squirrel »
 

Offline timb

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The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #821 on: June 23, 2017, 01:08:37 pm »
The only reason to need 'wireless' charging for anything is when someone works out how to keep us humans awake for the full 24hr period (and no, i don't mean lots of Vodka RedBulls.......   :-DD  )

If there was such a massive desperate need for wireless charging at Cafe's etc, why don't Starbucks et.al have Qi chargers built into the table (cost would be trivial compared to uBeam)

Here in the US, Starbucks in the larger markets do have Qi transmitters built into the tables, along with power outlets for laptops. I've also see power outlets with built-in USB ports at other coffee shops and cafes as well (they typically have one three-prong 120VAC receptacle and two USB ports on them; they're commercially available and not too expensive these days).
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #822 on: June 23, 2017, 01:12:41 pm »
I am amazed that the people in the uBeam video demonstrating the prototypes do not appear to be wearing ear protection. This is prototype equipment  - people should have protection.

When you look at the surveys of research into 60Khz exposure, there is very little actual research data so no-one can actually say what levels are safe. Basically, it is probably impossible to find workers that have been exposed to constantly high levels of 60Khz sound so there is no hearing loss data. There are ultrasonic cleaners working up to  80kHz, but these produce lots of sound at lower frequencies as well, and for operators, you are looking at less then 80dB of noise in the different frequency bands.

Apparently the mechanical resonant frequency of the human brain is about 15kHz, 39kHz for cats so 60kHz may be pretty disastrous for smaller pets like birds. At 20kHz, 145dB can kill a shaved mouse.

The guidelines of the Association of German Engineers in the workplace (8 hours per day) for 40kHz is 110db maximum level, but 107dB for pregnant women and 105dB for young people in the workplace. Since these are workplace figures, there is no recommendation for children.  I would assume that for a home, you would want at least 30dB below the maximum rating for continual industrial exposure - and there is no continual exposure rating simply as no-one right now gets exposed to continuous high levels of ultrasonic noise.

It is scary when the person saying the uBeam is totally safe boasts in her TED talks that she is not an expert, and that she does not respect the advice of experts as they are "linear thinkers". All you have to do to make uBeam safe is to think about it in a different way apparently.

 

Offline BrianHG

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #823 on: June 23, 2017, 01:26:22 pm »
Dave, I feel your pain...
__________
BrianHG.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #824 on: June 23, 2017, 01:33:30 pm »
 ::)
How about the 4th option of simply putting power meters on it and showing the efficiency  |O
Let's be real, she knows the efficiency sucks. She knows it doesn't work in practical situations. Yet continues with the facade.
Although it must be so embarrassing and humiliating to realise deep down your idea and $30M funded product that had the best people in the world working on it will never work as intended. And not just as intended, but at all in any practical usage case you envisaged.
The sooner this whole thing is shut down or the tech spun off to some niche company for pennies on the dollar, the better it will be for everyone.

 


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