EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

Electronics => Projects, Designs, and Technical Stuff => Topic started by: georgesmith on October 12, 2015, 10:08:53 AM

Title: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on October 12, 2015, 10:08:53 AM
(I was going to post this on my own site. But more people might be interested here, since there's already a long uBeam thread. @Mods, feel free to move if this is the wrong forum.)

Version 1.11 - Last updated 2016-05-17

Disclaimer: The author is not affiliated with uBeam, or any uBeam competitor.

1. What is uBeam?


uBeam[1] is a hardware startup, founded in 2011 by Meredith Perry[2] and Nora Dweck[3]. uBeam aims to create "a world without wires", where almost all electronics are powered by uBeam's wireless ultrasound technology[1].

2. Why is uBeam controversial?

Wireless power has always been a dream of electrical engineers, ever since Nikola Tesla's experiments in the early 20th century[4]. However, it faces many serious obstacles. Many people have questioned whether uBeam can overcome these obstacles, and produce a commercially practical device.[5][6][7] This FAQ aims to answer some of those questions.

3. How much is known about uBeam?

Very little. uBeam has never shipped a product, and has never exhibited a prototype (unlike some competitors, who demonstrated their tech at CES 2015 [8][9]). uBeam has also never released basic technical specs, such as range, efficiency, and amount of power delivered. uBeam says they have a working prototype, but even uBeam investor Mark Cuban says he never saw it before investing[29].

4. Why is uBeam so secretive?

No one really knows. uBeam has said that "like all technology companies in the product development process, with critical intellectual property, at this time, we cannot release our full technical specifications to the public".[1] However, the accuracy of this explanation is questionable. uBeam competitor WiTricity, which is also pre-launch, has not only released technical specs but sells a demonstration kit for $995 [10]. Further, unlike most "stealth" startups (eg. [11]), uBeam has started a large-scale PR campaign, with over 750 Google News hits as of late 2015 [12]. uBeam's website says that "since uBeam owns the entire ultrasonic wireless power space from an IP perspective, the world will have to leverage uBeam’s technology", so the need for secrecy is unclear when uBeam feels they already have strong patent protection.

5. How intense is uBeam's ultrasound?

Very intense. A TechCrunch article says that uBeam "is still keeping some technical details such as the acoustic intensities involved under wraps"[13], but uBeam's patent applications describe intensities of "up to about 155 dB"[14]. The dB (decibel) scale can be deceptive, because it's a logarithmic scale, not a linear scale. Adding another 10 dB means the sound becomes ten times as loud. An 80 dB sound isn't twice as loud as a 40 dB sound; it's ten thousand times as loud.

Here are two graphs for illustration:

(http://i.imgur.com/Xl2j9oM.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/LLosdZo.png)

155 dB is incredibly loud. It's about five times louder than standing four feet away from a jet engine. It's about 300,000 times louder than using a jack hammer.[15] Humans can't normally hear ultrasound, but at that intensity, other problems start to arise (as this FAQ discusses later). The blog post at [6] describes a worker's experience with 155 dB ultrasound:

"The transducer was so loud, I could only use it after normal business hours, with a 24 hour advance email warning to everyone on the floor, putting signs on the lab doors, making foam earplugs available to everyone in my lab area, and making sure that no one was doing small animal work at the times when it would be on."

uBeam claims that it "operates at a frequency and power level broadly similar to that of other commercial systems such as Holosonic's "Audio Spotlight"" [1]. However, that seems fairly implausible. Holosonic's devices are widely described as operating in the 80-100 dB range[16][17], but that'd be much too weak to transmit power, as discussed in Question #9.

6. What is uBeam's range?

uBeam hasn't said. However, we can make some estimates from the physical properties of ultrasound.

Sound is a wave moving through a medium, like air or water. The molecules of the medium are constantly in motion. When this motion is random, we call it "heat" - hot objects have faster motion than cold ones. When the motion is organized in a wave pattern, we call it "sound".

As a sound wave moves outward from its source, the motion of the wave becomes less organized - some of the wave motion becomes random motion, or heat. This is called "attenuation". Attenuation is a different effect from sound "spreading out" as it travels - the sound energy is absorbed by the medium it travels through, in addition to spreading out more. Energy losses from spreading out increase with the square of the distance, while losses from attenuation increase exponentially with distance [18].

Generally, attenuation is stronger at higher frequencies. Here's a graph of sound attenuation in air [19]:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/89/Atmospheric_sound_absorption_coefficient_2.svg/640px-Atmospheric_sound_absorption_coefficient_2.svg.png)

uBeam claims that their system "will not affect pets or animals"[1]. Some common animals, such as cats and mice, can hear frequencies up to 80 kHz[20]. To be safely above the hearing threshold of most animals, uBeam would have to operate around 100 kHz. However, attenuation in air is strong at these high frequencies. According to [19], the attenuation at 100 kHz would be about 3-4 dB per meter. If we assume that the transmitter is 100% efficient, the receiver is 100% efficient, the beam is 100% straight, the receiver is perpendicular to the beam, there are no obstacles between the receiver and transmitter (discussed in Question #8), and there are no nonlinear effects (discussed in Question #10), uBeam will still be only about 20% efficient at a distance of 2 meters (6-7 feet). An iPhone charger delivers 5 watts [21], so the uBeam transmitter would have to draw 25 watts at 2 meters away, even given the previous unrealistic assumptions. Since attenuation increases exponentially - ~125 watts would be needed at 4 meters, ~625 watts at 6 meters, and so on - it's clear that uBeam wouldn't be practical beyond about 1.5 meters/5 feet. uBeam themselves don't appear to dispute this, saying that "ultrasound levels decay very rapidly beyond a few meters"[1].

7. Is ultrasound safe?

That's not really the right question. The real question is, "what level of ultrasound is safe"?

A fundamental principle of toxicology is "the dose makes the poison".[22] At a low enough level, everything is safe. The element selenium is poisonous, but in trace amounts it's essential to human life[23]. On the other hand, too much of anything will hurt, even oxygen[24] and water[25].

uBeam says that "ultrasound is all around us in our day-to-day lives in car parking sensors, fluorescent lighting, directional speakers, automatic door sensors, and alarm systems"[1]. uBeam investor Mark Suster adds that "[ultrasound] is just an inaudible soundwave being transferred – as in the kind also used for women during pregnancy. It also happens to be how your car likely tells the distance to objects when you park or if you have a side assist whether you can change lanes safely"[26]. That's perfectly true. However, those applications involve lower levels of ultrasound. At higher levels, ultrasound is also used to destroy tissue during surgery[27], and can artificially cause infertility[28].

[30] discusses the limits that different agencies have proposed on human exposure to ultrasound. These limits are summarized in this table:

(http://i.imgur.com/auffu9i.png)

The highest level listed is 115 dB, which is ten thousand times less than the highest uBeam level of 155 dB (from Question #5). In 2003, the US's OSHA broke from international standards, and voted to raise their exposure limits to 145 dB (ten times less than 155 dB), when "there is no possibility that the ultrasound can couple with the body by touching water or some other medium"[31]. The meaning of this phrasing is unclear[31], and an independent 2005 review recommended that "sound pressure levels should be less than 110 dB above 25 kHz, regardless of the exposure duration, to prevent the undesirable subjective effects of ultrasound."[31]. [30] takes the position (in section 4.2.1) that 110 dB may be exceeded in a work environment, but only if the intensity can't be feasibly reduced, all workers have ear protection, and the intensity level is still kept below 137 dB, about 1.5% of 155 dB.

uBeam claims that the "air coupled ultrasound method used by uBeam cannot, even if focused directly on a person for a continuous period, cause any noticeable heating."[1] But for sound levels of 165 dB, which would be needed for larger appliances (Question #9) or longer ranges (Question #6), the literature reports that "local heating in the crevices between fingers caused burns almost instantly at these levels. Painful heating occurred after several seconds of exposure of broader surfaces such as the palm of the hand." ([30], citing [32]). Skin heating has been observed at levels as low as 140 dB, roughly 3% of the stated highest uBeam level of 155 dB ([30], citing [33]).

Moreover, even if true, this claim by uBeam might not be relevant. As intensity increases, the first biological effect of ultrasound isn't skin heating, but a subjective "ultrasound sickness" which "involv[es] manifestations of nausea, headache, tinnitus, pain, dizziness, and fatigue".[30] Exposure limits in the 110-115 dB range exist in part to prevent this "ultrasound sickness"[30][31]. This effect isn't thought to cause serious harm, but is still concerning for what's essentially a luxury product, especially if it affects innocent bystanders. A more serious, though less certain, concern is permanent hearing loss, which the literature review at [35] discusses: "For ultrasonic components 20 kHz and above, DRCs [Damage Risk Criteria] were specified to avoid hearing damage in the audible (lower) frequencies. Such damage would take the form of Temporary Threshold Shift on a daily basis, possibly leading to permanent NIHL [Noise Induced Hearing Loss] over years of occupational exposure. However, the maximum acceptable one-third-octave band levels of 105-115 dB had been demonstrated to produce no hearing deficit. Without information to suggest that the band levels are over-protective, there seems little reason to relax the DRCs."

Anecdotally, [6] also reports other effects at 155 dB: "Human keratinocytes become damaged in a way that’s incompatible with life in a matter of minutes due to mechanical stress. You should care about this because keratinocytes are the most plentiful type of cell in your skin, and they produce keratin, a structural protein that helps hold all your insides together. They’re strong little bastards, and if they’re hurt by ultrasound, you can bet that less structurally focused cells will suffer too. Mechanical damage... think of a scrape, just larger. Like large swaths of your skin. I don’t want to even contemplate eyeball damage."

uBeam's design uses a focused beam system with active receiver tracking[1], which lowers human exposure to ultrasound. However, this safety system will fail sometimes, and even when it doesn't, some amount of sound will always "leak out" of the beam into surrounding air. It's likely that regulators don't even know what failure and leakage rates would be acceptable, as historically "such high sound-pressure levels [between 145 and 155 dB] have never been encountered in either commercial or industrial applications."[30]. As of 2001, high-power ultrasound in air was so rare that there might have only been a few hundred workers exposed to it in the entire UK ([35], pg. 48). If uBeam became popular, this blank spot on the regulatory map would get filled in fast.

uBeam also claims that "the power levels beamed are more than 50 times lower than the lowest ultrasound imaging exposure limits set by the FDA for medical imaging"[1]. It's unclear what this refers to, as the uBeam website cites no source[1]. Nevertheless, it's likely to be irrelevant. Medical imaging is done on human tissue, which is mostly water. Water is roughly 800 times denser than air, and its characteristics as a sound medium are totally different. In particular, most medical ultrasound uses frequencies in the megahertz range ([34], table 3.2), which are so high that air becomes basically opaque due to extremely strong attenuation[34]. Sound in water doesn't even use the same intensity scale as sound in air; a 67 dB noise in water is considered barely audible[36], while in air 67 dB would be as loud as an electric mixer[15].
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on October 12, 2015, 10:09:12 AM
8. How convenient would uBeam be?

Not very. Unlike WiFi, which uses radio, uBeam's ultrasound can't penetrate obstacles. It requires a continuous line-of-sight between the transmitter and receiver. uBeam themselves say that "uBeam’s system functions only in the “line of sight”", and ultrasound "[does] not penetrate walls, doors, or windows"[1]. But more importantly, it doesn't penetrate clothes, bags, furniture, or fingers. This severely limits its potential.

According to uBeam, when their first product launches, the receiver will be on the outside of a phone case[1]. When not being used, a smartphone is usually in a purse, bag, pocket, or other container, and any container obscures the receiver's line-of-sight. When a phone is being used, its back (and hence the uBeam receiver) is usually pointed down, facing the floor, and partially covered by the user's hands. Looking at stock photos from Google Images:

(http://i.imgur.com/Ixf2qz1.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/0DZcL8U.jpg)

Ignoring the hands problem, putting transmitters in the floor (facing the phone) means running new wires across it, and transmitters would inevitably get stepped on, especially in public places. Putting transmitters in the lower wall avoids the stepping problem, but the signal will likely get blocked by legs, bags and furniture. For example, this is a stock photo of a coffee shop:

(http://i.imgur.com/Xh089I2.jpg)

The left wall, and probably also the back wall, is obscured by chairs, tables, legs, and bags. The lower right wall has a clear line-of-sight, but is too far away from most tables, given the range limits discussed in Question #5 (this room is likely about 22 ft/7 m across). The upper walls and ceiling have a clear line-of-sight, but putting transmitters there requires turning phones so their back side faces up, making a phone very annoying to use during charging.

uBeam hasn't said if a single transmitter can support more than one receiver. However, a very large number would be needed to cover a significant area. A single WiFi transmitter can connect about fifty devices[37], and can cover many rooms by itself. If attached to the wall, one uBeam transmitter with a 2 meter range (Question #5) could cover about 6 square meters (~65 square feet).[38] Hence, assuming perfect geometry, one would need about 20 transmitters to cover a 120 square meter house. An average US grocery store is about 46,000 square feet [39], and would need about 700 transmitters.

9. How much power can uBeam deliver?

uBeam hasn't said, but again, we can guess based on physics.

At uBeam's assumed maximum intensity of 155 dB (from Question #5), sound has a power density of about 0.3 watts per square centimeter[6][40]. Apple's iPhone 6, a typical smartphone, has a height of 13.8 cm and a width of 6.7 cm [41], for a total surface area of 92.46 cm^2, which is realistically about 90 (to account for rounded corners, edges, etc). Hence, under ideal conditions - receiver right next to transmitter, all parts are 100% efficient, no obstacles - uBeam's total power will be about 90 * 0.3 = 27 watts. That's definitely enough to charge the phone, since a standard iPhone charger draws 5 watts[21]. So, under very good conditions, ultrasound will charge an iPhone at the sound intensity uBeam describes.

However, there are several limitations. The first, already discussed in Question #5, is range. At 100 kHz, sound intensity drops by about a factor of 5 every two meters. Two meters away, uBeam will only deliver 5.2 watts, about the same as the iPhone charger. At four meters (13 feet), uBeam will deliver 1.08 watts, which is close to useless.

The second limitation is that uBeam can't use a less intense beam to address the safety concerns in Question #7. At 140 dB, the lowest limit of skin heating, uBeam will only deliver 0.85 watts - not enough to keep a phone charged. At 115 dB, a standard international safety limit, uBeam delivers a negligible 2.7 milliwatts.

The third limitation is that this calculation assumes 100% efficiency. If the transmitter is inefficient, one can just feed it more power (if one doesn't mind the electric bill). But if the receiver is inefficient, the power can't be increased without sending more than 155 dB of sound, which is intense enough. uBeam hasn't released efficiency numbers, but if the receiver is (say) 30% efficient, that would reduce the maximum power to 8.1 watts.

The fourth limitation is that 27 watts assumes the phone is perpendicular to the beam. The "effective area" (receiver area facing the beam) is proportional to sin(theta), where theta is the angle between the beam and receiver. At a 90 degree angle (perpendicular), one gets 100% power; at a 45 degree angle, one gets 70%; at a 30 degree angle, 50%; and at a 15 degree angle, just 26%.

The fifth limitation is that we assumed no "beam spread"; ie., the beam is perfectly parallel, and perfectly focused on the receiver. If part of the beam misses the receiver, that energy is lost.

The sixth limitation is that this calculation assumes no obstacles. From Question #8, under realistic conditions, one's hand will cover part of the phone while one is using it. If (a big if) the uBeam transmitter can intelligently avoid fingers for safety reasons, they're still obstacles that lower the power available. If one's hand covers half of the back, that reduces the power by 50%. (Another thing, that hasn't been mentioned yet, is that phones take a lot of abuse - they get dropped, scratched, abraded, and so on, for years at a time. Since uBeam hasn't released a prototype, it's unclear how well an ultrasonic receiver can take this wear and tear without breaking.)

Finally, all of these limitations "stack" - each one adds to the others. If the transmitter is two feet away, and the beam power is reduced to 152 dB for safety reasons, and the receiver is only 50% efficient, and the phone is at a 30-degree angle, and half of the beam misses the phone, and fingers cover half the phone's back... each effect reduces the power by 50%, for a combined total of 63/64 = 98.4%, and a final power of ~0.4 watts. By itself, each problem would be manageable, but together they make charging impractical.

uBeam's website also describes uBeam powering other electronics, such as "hearing aids, tablets, sensors, light bulbs, computers, and flat screen TVs"[1]. Some of these use less power than smartphones, but others use far more. A typical large, flat-screen TV (eg. [42]) will draw about 60 watts. Since a TV is usually mounted in one place, some of the limitations get easier, but not all - if the TV is two feet (60 cm) from the wall, and the receiver is 40% efficient, that's still about 80% losses. To transmit 300 watts at 0.3 W/cm^2, one has to have a 1,000 cm^2 transmitter, a bit over a foot on each side (31.6 cm). One could make the transmitter smaller (100 cm^2, or 4 inches/10 cm across) by increasing the intensity to 165 dB, a level that causes burns "almost instantly" (from Question #7), but that seems unwise. Since most power outlets are near the floor, and the TV probably isn't, one would still have to run a cord to the transmitter. And uBeam takes 240 watts of electricity, about a dozen light bulbs' worth, and dumps it into the air for no real reason. That's not good for the environment. Or the power bill. Or the air conditioning - all that heat makes the room hotter.

10. What are nonlinear effects?

According to [6], air becomes a nonlinear medium in an intense ultrasound beam, which causes additional problems. Since [6] is only a blog post, it's not really a reliable source, but the discussion is included for completeness. More reliable sources here would be welcomed. [6] says:

"If you’re in a room with a focused ultrasound beam, and that beam is strong enough, the medium through which it’s traveling (air in uBeam’s case) becomes nonlinear, the oscillations of which causes beams of widely ranging frequencies to be generated, and because they have different wave propagation speeds due to dispersion, they don’t focus, and instead propagate in all different directions. Air becomes a dispersive medium at frequencies greater than 28 kHz thanks to the presence of CO2. These propagating beams are hard to predict and control, and given that they’re going to be at lower frequencies than the original beam (because physics), they will probably drop into the audible human range (upper bound is around 23 kHz) and will be at the very least annoying as hell. Factors that influence this phenomenon is [sic] air temperature, pressure, altitude, CO2 concentration... controlling this is well-nigh impossible."

(Note: Former uBeam engineer Paul Reynolds has written a detailed explanation of non-linearity here (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/acoustic-nonlinearity.html).)

11. Has anyone done due diligence on uBeam?

As of October 2015, uBeam has received $23 million in funding from 37 investors [2]. For some of them, the level of due diligence is questionable - Mark Cuban invested without seeing uBeam's claimed prototype, and Marissa Meyer invested after just a 15-minute meeting [29]. But despite that, it's probably safe to assume that, with 37 investors, a few have done some due diligence. In particular, Mark Suster says he investigated many of uBeam's claims[26].

Unfortunately, in the world we live in, receiving VC funding doesn't show a company's science is sound. Famously, even BlackLight Power has received tens of millions in funding - BlackLight claimed it could get energy from putting hydrogen atoms into a state below the ground state, which is prohibited by freshman quantum mechanics [43]. Not surprisingly, BlackLight Power has failed to ship a product since it was started in 1991 [43].

Even more worringly, the quantum computing company D-Wave has received over $100 million in funding [44]. Its investors included Goldman Sachs, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the CIA, and Jeff Bezos [45], and its customers include Google, NASA, and Lockheed Martin [46]. But in 2013, quantum computing professor Scott Aaronson reported that a team lead by Matthias Troyer proved D-Wave's $20 million computer was no faster than a laptop [47]. D-Wave's computer outperformed off-the-shelf software by focusing on one particular subproblem, but when a laptop's software was focused in the same way, it ran faster than D-Wave's machine.

12. Who are uBeam's competitors?

uBeam claims they have no real competitors; their website states that "[ultrasound] is the only type of energy that can safely and reliably transmit energy wirelessly; thus it's the only type of energy that can be used for over-distance wireless power transmission."[1]. However, this isn't very plausible. The companies WiTricity and Energous, among others, also say they've solved the wireless energy problem. Unlike uBeam, both WiTricity and Energous have shown prototypes at CES 2015 [8][9], where "dozens of companies [were] demonstrating wireless power devices"[48].

WiTricity was founded in 2007 at MIT[48]. They deliver wireless power through magnetic resonance technology, and in 2013 published a booklet describing the technical details and physics behind their device [49]. They sell a demonstration kit for $995 [10], and plan to start shipping in 2016 by integrating wireless charging technology into laptops [4]. uBeam's website says that magnetic resonance "require [sic] gigantic transmitters and receivers" [1], but WiTricity has demonstrated powering a light bulb from seven feet away with much smaller coils [48], and their slide decks say their coils are compact enough to fit inside a phone[50].

Energous is a publicly traded company (stock symbol WATT). Their website describes a charging technology called WattUp, which transmits power via radio waves[51]. Energous's website says that each WattUp transmitter can reach a range of 15 feet, and charge 12 devices at once[51]. Energous has signed a partnership agreement with a "tier one consumer electronics company"[52], likely Apple or Samsung[53], to include its technology in cellphones. uBeam's website claims that "RF [radio] and microwaves also both require impractically large transmitters and receivers to send power over distances greater than a meter"[1], but this appears to have been proven false by Energous's CES demonstration[8].

(Note: Electrical engineer Paul Reynolds has since given some reasons (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/those-other-guys-pt-1.html) to be skeptical of Energous.)

WiTricity, Energous, and the other companies in wireless power all have their own technical problems. It's unclear if any of them will succeed in the market. However, they are in many ways further along than uBeam, and it's misleading for uBeam to dismiss their technologies as impossible. It's doubly misleading when uBeam director Mark Suster [54] wrote a long, emotional essay declaring that some startup founders were "backbenchers [who] never do anything. They get to sit in the back of the room, snicker, criticize and yet enjoy the benefits of our efforts. They aren’t just free riders – they are negative with no personal ideas for how to make things better", because they had dismissed uBeam's technology as impossible [55].

What is clear is that USB Type-C, a new charging cable, is being adopted fast. It can deliver 100 watts of power, twenty times more than an iPhone charger [21], and enough to power laptops and other electronics [56]. Apple and Google are both using it [56], and faster charging will reduce the need for wireless power of all kinds.

13. So what? Who cares?

Thousands of startups have technical problems. Why uBeam? Why make this FAQ?

Investors have given uBeam over $23 million [2]. But that's not a big problem. It's their money, they can spend it how they want, and they can afford to lose it.

It's likely that uBeam's product will fail, if it ever launches. But that's not a problem either. Plenty of other companies take unlikely chances (eg. [11]), and on the whole, we're better off for it. We can't succeed without failures along the way.

The problem is that uBeam's CEO, Meredith Perry, has turned the wireless power industry into a vehicle for her own self-promotion. uBeam, which has never demoed a prototype, lead Forbes to proclaim "Is this woman the next Elon Musk?"[29], among hundreds of other press hits [12]. uBeam constantly stresses their need for secrecy, to avoid discussing any technical details [1][55], while at the same time doing photoshoots for fashion magazines that say Meredith Perry "is the real-life version of Tony Stark"[57]. When someone else in the ultrasound industry criticized uBeam [7], uBeam director Mark Suster didn't show his math was wrong, even when it was. His rebuttal had not a single number, no diagrams, no graphs, no references to the literature on ultrasound. Instead, it sounded like the victim of a personality cult[55]:

"Meredith Perry is 25. She has withstood 2+ years of backbenchers questioning what she’s working on. My experiences with her have been amazing. She never lost enthusiasm for her pursuit. She never lost confidence in the team’s ability to innovate and execute. She never got distracted from her core mission. She has never given up despite setbacks. The determination, grit & pluck are inspirational. I wish I had 20% of her confidence, focus and leadership skills at 25."

But at least Suster is an investor, so he's supposed to be biased. The same can't be said for the tech press:

"It's not a stretch to imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when Meredith Perry gets a Nobel Prize."[58]

"Perry and her potentially world-changing startup are a breath of fresh air -- for women, New Yorkers and entrepreneurs everywhere. For being only 22, Perry is unbelievably driven. Her impressive list of investors (Google's Marissa Mayer, Andreessen Horowitz, and FF Angel etc) must think so too. She knew nothing about electrical engineering when she started working on uBeam. Still, she built a working prototype merely by conducting research on Google and Wikipedia. (...) New York needs more hardware and tech companies like uBeam. Women in tech should be more like Perry."[59]

"Obviously [Perry's] ability to do power transmission wirelessly through sound was something that was fundamentally new."[60], quoting investor Scott Nolan

Of course, Perry didn't really invent ultrasonic power transmission. There have been patents in the area since at least 2003:

"A method and apparatus for converting electrical power from a wall outlet to electronically focused ultrasound, and converting the electronically focused ultrasound back to electrical power at a compatible receiving device is provided. The compatible receiving device may be cell phone, PDA, or a notebook computer or other suitable devices. (...) A power unit is provided in which it electronically scans the available space looking for a compatible receiving device (a cell phone, a PDA, or a notebook computer outfitted with the embodiment of this invention). Once the compatible receiving device is located, the power unit focuses its beam on the compatible receiving device, thereby delivering power thereto." [61]

There's nothing wrong with fame, just like there's nothing wrong with making money. But if one makes money by selling gadgets that can't do what they say they can, that's called "fraud". The same principle applies here.

14. Are additions/corrections welcome?

All suggestions, additions, corrections and comments are appreciated. However, please provide sources, especially for any controversial claims.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on October 12, 2015, 10:09:58 AM
References

[1] Perry, Meredith. A new age of power. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://ubeam.com/ (http://ubeam.com/)
[2] uBeam. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/ubeam (https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/ubeam)
[3] Borison, Rebecca. (2014, August 22). 2 Women Who Were College Roommates Founded uBeam, One Of Tech's Hottest Startups - And Promptly Sued Each Other. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/college-roommates-founded-hot-tech-startup-and-sued-each-other-2014-8 (http://www.businessinsider.com/college-roommates-founded-hot-tech-startup-and-sued-each-other-2014-8)
[4] Mims, Christopher. (2015, October 5). Soon, Power Will Be Delivered to Your Device by Air. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/soon-power-will-be-delivered-to-your-device-by-air-1444017661 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/soon-power-will-be-delivered-to-your-device-by-air-1444017661)
[5] Jones, Dave. (2014, August 7). UBeam Ultrasonic Wireless Charging – A Familiar Fish Smell. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.eevblog.com/2014/08/07/ubeam-ultrasonic-wireless-charging-a-familiar-fish-smell/ (http://www.eevblog.com/2014/08/07/ubeam-ultrasonic-wireless-charging-a-familiar-fish-smell/)
[6] Boer, Miriam. (2014, November 3). Ultrasound, thermodynamics, and robot overlords. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://independentscience.tumblr.com/post/101728968844/ultrasound-thermodynamics-and-robot-overlords (http://independentscience.tumblr.com/post/101728968844/ultrasound-thermodynamics-and-robot-overlords)
[7] Rogers, Danny. (2014, October 31). How putting $10M into UBeam illustrates everything that is wrong with tech investing today. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://lookatmeimdanny.tumblr.com/post/101432017159/how-putting-10m-into-ubeam-illustrates-everything (http://lookatmeimdanny.tumblr.com/post/101432017159/how-putting-10m-into-ubeam-illustrates-everything)
[8] Energous Corporation Demonstrates Wire-free Charging during CES In a Future Home Environment. (2015, January 5). Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.energous.com/energous-corporation-demonstrates-wire-free-charging-during-ces-in-a-future-home-environment/ (http://www.energous.com/energous-corporation-demonstrates-wire-free-charging-during-ces-in-a-future-home-environment/)
[9] Ewalt, David. (2015, January 8). WiTricity’s wireless power connects at CES. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.betaboston.com/news/2015/01/08/witricitys-wireless-power-connects-at-ces/ (http://www.betaboston.com/news/2015/01/08/witricitys-wireless-power-connects-at-ces/)
[10] Prodigy - WiTricity Corporation. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://witricity.com/products/prodigy/ (http://witricity.com/products/prodigy/)
[11] Stone, Maddie. (2015, August 26). A Startup With No Website Just Announced a Major Fusion Breakthrough. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://gizmodo.com/secretive-energy-company-claims-fusion-power-breakthrou-1726782476 (http://gizmodo.com/secretive-energy-company-claims-fusion-power-breakthrou-1726782476)
[12] Personal search on http://news.google.com/ (http://news.google.com/) for "uBeam" "perry", conducted October 11, 2015. The term "perry" was included to avoid extraneous hits.
[13] Constine, Josh. (2015, October 8). UBeam Finally Reveals The Secret Of How Its Wireless Charging Phone Case Works Safely. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/08/how-ubeam-works/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/08/how-ubeam-works/)
[14] Perry, Meredith. (2012, November 29). Patent Application US20120299540 A1 - Sender communications for wireless power transfer. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://www.google.com/patents/US20120299540 (https://www.google.com/patents/US20120299540)
[15] Examples taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure#Examples_of_sound_pressure. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure#Examples_of_sound_pressure.) Of course, these numbers are only approximate. More reliable sources appreciated.
[16] http://www.holosonics.com/brochure/Audio_Spotlight-Brochure.pdf (http://www.holosonics.com/brochure/Audio_Spotlight-Brochure.pdf)
[17] http://avlelec.com/HoloSonic.htm (http://avlelec.com/HoloSonic.htm)
[18] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attenuation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attenuation.) More reliable sources would be appreciated here, if any are online.
[19] Engineering Acoustics/Outdoor Sound Propagation. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Engineering_Acoustics/Outdoor_Sound_Propagation (https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Engineering_Acoustics/Outdoor_Sound_Propagation)
[20] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Animal_hearing_frequency_range.svg (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Animal_hearing_frequency_range.svg)
[21] Bonnington, Christina. (2013, December 18). Choose the Right Charger and Power Your Gadgets Properly. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.wired.com/2013/12/charging-devices-faq/ (http://www.wired.com/2013/12/charging-devices-faq/)
[22] http://ei.cornell.edu/teacher/pdf/ATR/ATR_Chapter1_X.pdf (http://ei.cornell.edu/teacher/pdf/ATR/ATR_Chapter1_X.pdf)
[23] Selenium. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/selenium#toxicity (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/selenium#toxicity)
[24] Jenkinson, S.G., Oxygen toxicity. New Horiz, 1993. 1(4): p. 504-11. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8087571 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8087571)
[25] DiLonardo, Mary Jo. (2014, August 14). When You Drink Too Much Water Too Fast, What Can Happen? Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/water-intoxication (http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/water-intoxication)
[26] Suster, Mark. (2014, October 30). The Audacious Plan to Make Electricity as Easy as WiFi. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2014/10/30/the-audacious-plan-to-make-electricity-as-easy-as-wifi/ (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2014/10/30/the-audacious-plan-to-make-electricity-as-easy-as-wifi/)
[27] MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MR-gFUS). Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/radiology/medical-imaging-research/research-1/Focused-Ultrasound/Focused-Ultrasound-Surgery (http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/radiology/medical-imaging-research/research-1/Focused-Ultrasound/Focused-Ultrasound-Surgery)
[28] Therapeutic ultrasound as a potential male contraceptive: power, frequency and temperature required to deplete rat testes of meiotic cells and epididymides of sperm determined using a commercially available system. James K Tsuruta, Paul A Dayton, Caterina M Gallippi, Michael G O’Rand, Michael A Streicker, Ryan C Gessner, Thomas S Gregory, Erick JR Silva, Katherine G Hamil, Glenda J Moser and David C Sokal. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2012, 10:7 doi:10.1186/1477-7827-10-7. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.rbej.com/content/10/1/7/abstract (http://www.rbej.com/content/10/1/7/abstract)
[29] Roberts, Daniel. (2015, July 29). Is this woman the next Elon Musk? Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://fortune.com/2015/07/29/ubeam-meredith-perry-wireless-charging/ (http://fortune.com/2015/07/29/ubeam-meredith-perry-wireless-charging/)
[30] Guidelines for the Safe Use of Ultrasound: Part II. (2008, September 15). Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/radiation/safety-code_24-securite/index-eng.php (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/radiation/safety-code_24-securite/index-eng.php)
[31] Howard, C., Hansen, C., & Zander, A. (2004, September 8). A review of current airborne ultrasound exposure limits. Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand 01/2005; 21(3):253-257. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/235923211_A_review_of_current_airborne_ultrasound_exposure_limits (http://www.researchgate.net/publication/235923211_A_review_of_current_airborne_ultrasound_exposure_limits)
[32] Allen, C.H., Frings, H., Rudnick, I. (1948). "Some Biological Effects of Intense High Frequency Airborne Sound." J. Acoust. Soc. Am., vol. 20, pp. 62-65. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/20/2/10.1121/1.1916916 (http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/20/2/10.1121/1.1916916)
[33] Acton, W.I. (1974). "The Effects of Industrial Airborne Ultrasound on Humans." Ultrasonics, May, pp. 124-128. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0041624X74900699 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0041624X74900699)
[34] Health Effects of Exposure to Ultrasound and Infrasound: Report of the Independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation. London; Chilton, Didcot: Health Protection Agency; Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335014/RCE-14_for_web_with_security.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335014/RCE-14_for_web_with_security.pdf)
[35] Lawton, B.W. (2001) Damage to human hearing by airborne sound of very high frequency or ultrasonic frequency, London, Health & Safety Executive, 77pp. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_pdf/2001/crr01343.pdf (http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_pdf/2001/crr01343.pdf)
[36] Renzo Mora, Sara Penco and Luca Guastini (2011). The Effect of Sonar on Human Hearing, Sonar Systems, Prof. Nikolai Kolev (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-345-3, InTech. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/18878.pdf (http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/18878.pdf)
[37] http://serverfault.com/questions/451516/how-many-access-points-do-i-need. (http://serverfault.com/questions/451516/how-many-access-points-do-i-need.) More precise sources appreciated.
[38] Area covered = pi * r^2 / 2, since the transmitter's line-of-sight forms a semicircle. r = 2 meters, so area = 3.14159 * 4 / 2 ~= 6.28318 m^2. Rounded down to 6 because this ignores 3D effects; if the transmitter and receiver are at different heights, that adds extra distance.
[39] Tuttle, Brad. (2011, January 25). Fewer Choices, More Savings: The New Way to Buy Groceries. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://business.time.com/2011/01/25/fewer-choices-more-savings-the-new-way-to-buy-groceries/ (http://business.time.com/2011/01/25/fewer-choices-more-savings-the-new-way-to-buy-groceries/)
[40] Calculation in [6] double-checked, via http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/acoustic/invsqs.html#c3 (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/acoustic/invsqs.html#c3)
[41] IPhone 6 - Technical Specifications - Apple. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.apple.com/iphone-6/specs/ (http://www.apple.com/iphone-6/specs/)
[42] 2015 VIZIO E-Series 50. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.vizio.com/e50c1.html (http://www.vizio.com/e50c1.html)
[43] Lynch, Michael. (2015, June 1). Warning Signs For Energy Technology Investors 3: Yes, They Can Be That Stupid. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2015/06/01/warning-signs-for-energy-technology-investors-3-yes-they-can-be-that-stupid/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2015/06/01/warning-signs-for-energy-technology-investors-3-yes-they-can-be-that-stupid/)
[44] D-Wave Systems. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/d-wave-systems (https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/d-wave-systems)
[45] D-Wave Systems - Investors. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/d-wave-systems/investors (https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/d-wave-systems/investors)
[46] Customers. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.dwavesys.com/our-company/customers (http://www.dwavesys.com/our-company/customers)
[47] Aaronson, Scott. (2013, May 16). D-Wave: Truth finally starts to emerge. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1400 (http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1400)
[48] Moore, Galen. (2015, January 8). Wireless Charging Is About to Explode and WiTricity Has a Shot at Owning It. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/01/08/wireless-charging-ces2015-wont-set-the-standard-technology/ (http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/01/08/wireless-charging-ces2015-wont-set-the-standard-technology/)
[49] Kesler, Morris. (2013). WiTricity Highly Resonant Wireless Power Transfer: Safe, Efficient, and over Distance. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.witricity.com/assets/highly-resonant-power-transfer-kesler-witricity-2013.pdf (http://www.witricity.com/assets/highly-resonant-power-transfer-kesler-witricity-2013.pdf)
[50] Greene, Catherine. Understanding WiTricity. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.radford.edu/~nsrl/creu1011/PowerPoints/WiTricityGreene1.pdf (http://www.radford.edu/~nsrl/creu1011/PowerPoints/WiTricityGreene1.pdf)
[51] Product Overview. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.energous.com/overview/ (http://www.energous.com/overview/)
[52] Energous Corporation Reports First Quarter 2015 Results; Hosts Corporate Update Call Today. (2015, March 4). Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.energous.com/energous-corporation-reports-first-quarter-2015-results-hosts-corporate-update-call-today/ (http://www.energous.com/energous-corporation-reports-first-quarter-2015-results-hosts-corporate-update-call-today/)
[53] Padnos, Benjamin. (2015, March 26). What's Up With Energous After First Development, Licensing Agreement Announcements? Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://seekingalpha.com/article/3030986-whats-up-with-energous-after-first-development-licensing-agreement-announcements (http://seekingalpha.com/article/3030986-whats-up-with-energous-after-first-development-licensing-agreement-announcements)
[54] Swisher, Kara. (2014, October 30). Wireless Power Startup uBeam Raises $10 Million in Funding. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://recode.net/2014/10/30/wireless-power-startup-ubeam-raises-10-million-in-funding/ (http://recode.net/2014/10/30/wireless-power-startup-ubeam-raises-10-million-in-funding/)
[55] Suster, Mark. (2014, November 5). The Case for Optimism and Risk at Startups. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2014/11/05/the-case-for-optimism-and-risk-at-startups/ (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2014/11/05/the-case-for-optimism-and-risk-at-startups/)
[56] Edwards, L., & Betters, E. (2015, March 13). USB Type-C is here: Faster charging, quicker data, smaller mobiles and the death of AC laptop chargers. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/130338-usb-type-c-is-here-faster-charging-quicker-data-smaller-mobiles-and-the-death-of-ac-laptop-chargers (http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/130338-usb-type-c-is-here-faster-charging-quicker-data-smaller-mobiles-and-the-death-of-ac-laptop-chargers)
[57] Tafoya, Angela. (2013, July 16). S.F.'s Rising Stars: 30 Under 30. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.refinery29.com/30-under-30-san-francisco#page-21 (http://www.refinery29.com/30-under-30-san-francisco#page-21)
[58] Moss, Jennings. (2015, February 10). Meredith Perry — uBeam. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://upstart.bizjournals.com/entrepreneurs/hot-shots/2015/02/10/upstart100-meredith-perry.html (http://upstart.bizjournals.com/entrepreneurs/hot-shots/2015/02/10/upstart100-meredith-perry.html)
[59] Shontell, Alyson. (2012, July 12). Meredith Perry, Thank You For Breaking All New York And Female Founder Stereotypes. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/open-letter-to-meredith-perry-and-ubeam-2012-7 (http://www.businessinsider.com/open-letter-to-meredith-perry-and-ubeam-2012-7)
[60] Hitt, Jack. (2013, August 17). An Inventor Wants One Less Wire to Worry About. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/technology/an-inventor-wants-one-less-wire-to-worry-about.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/technology/an-inventor-wants-one-less-wire-to-worry-about.html)
[61] Charych, Arthur. (2003, June 19). Patent US6798716 - System and method for wireless electrical power transmission. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://www.google.com/patents/US6798716 (https://www.google.com/patents/US6798716)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on October 12, 2015, 10:22:04 AM
Crikey. And the detailed post of the day award goes to georgesmith!  :-+
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: nctnico on October 12, 2015, 10:44:19 AM
I'll throw in a lifetime achievement award nomination. Maybe the Wikinazis would even allow it on their holy Wikipedia!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on October 12, 2015, 10:51:44 AM
Have we ever had a post citing 61 references before?  :o
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Daniel_Reyes on October 12, 2015, 10:58:30 AM
Glad this post was nipped early on. Hahaha

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: djacobow on October 12, 2015, 01:44:04 PM
Ummmm, hot damn!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on October 12, 2015, 04:08:45 PM
Someone please enlighten me how (assuming the transitter part works) "the beam" will work through phone protective cases huge variety of which exists. Do i need to strip my phone off its protective case and put on some sort of a receiver shell that i"ll be given at the door as i walk into a coffee shop? I cant get past this stupid part each time i read abt ubeam.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on October 12, 2015, 05:26:31 PM
Someone please enlighten me how (assuming the transitter part works) "the beam" will work through phone protective cases huge variety of which exists.

It won't.

Quote
Do i need to strip my phone off its protective case and put on some sort of a receiver shell that i"ll be given at the door as i walk into a coffee shop?

Yep, you need a uBeam phone cover.
But of course they'll be lusting after getting some phone company to try and integrate it like they have the Qi wireless charging, but of course they would do real technical due-diligence...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mexakin on October 12, 2015, 07:56:59 PM
indeed great work, I thought ubeam is dead by now, checked their page last time like a month ago, and because of the post I did check it again, and it seems they still alive :)

What bothers me the most is that there still exist people who really believe in this technology, and then again we are the ones who more or less understand it, for others with non engineering background maybe they just want to believe...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on October 12, 2015, 08:44:01 PM
indeed great work, I thought ubeam is dead by now, checked their page last time like a month ago, and because of the post I did check it again, and it seems they still alive :)

Sees they have only just ran out of the initial VC money.
They usually don't fold until the money is all spent. But seems they had enough smoke'n'mirrors to convince them to part with more money.

Quote
What bothers me the most is that there still exist people who really believe in this technology, and then again we are the ones who more or less understand it, for others with non engineering background maybe they just want to believe...

That's how the game work. VC's will never admit they bought into a turkey until it's well and truly cooked.
The VC game is to pick pie-in-the-sky schemes like uBeam and bet big, because, you know, they are the smart ones  ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on October 12, 2015, 09:19:43 PM
Please DONT make this product a reality. You also said:
Quote
Exposure limits in the 110-115 dB range exist in part to prevent this "ultrasound sickness"[30][31]. This effect isn't thought to cause serious harm, but is still concerning for what's essentially a luxury product, especially if it affects innocent bystanders. A more serious, though less certain, concern is permanent hearing loss, which the literature review at [35] discusses: "For ultrasonic components 20 kHz and above, DRCs [Damage Risk Criteria] were specified to avoid hearing damage in the audible (lower) frequencies. Such damage would take the form of Temporary Threshold Shift on a daily basis, possibly leading to permanent NIHL [Noise Induced Hearing Loss] over years of occupational exposure. However, the maximum acceptable one-third-octave band levels of 105-115 dB had been demonstrated to produce no hearing deficit. Without information to suggest that the band levels are over-protective, there seems little reason to relax the DRCs.
We dont know how high level ultrasound affects people on the long term. We dont know, how it damages the body. It is quite possible that hearing loss happens in your ear, even if you dont hear it.
You have a complex system in your ear, multiple stages. Second stage is a low pass filter, you damage the first one with the high level high frequency ultrasound.
Accustic beat happens and high frequency signals suddenly are audible. Imagine that a 23KHz and a 22KHz 155 dB signal meets, and you have a 1KHz signal which deafens someone. 
Animals will be affected more than humans. Imagine my dog will start barking and crawl under the bed every time two block away someone starts charging.
Or birds can be affected by ultrasound, they hate it. Imagine the bullfinch (hears up to 25 KHz) go extinct because of this. Can you really live with that?

Please dont do this. Even if possible. Please. Because my neighbor will buy it, and I cannot do anything about it.

In doctor who they are using sonic technology and they almost destroy two universes, and they bring deadly cybermen to the Earth. You dont want that, dont you?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: funkyant on October 12, 2015, 09:32:55 PM
Great post.

I'd just like to make a correction. 10dB gain is not 10 times louder. Perceived loudness is a whole other ball game, but to be correct, 3dB of gain is equal to double the energy of the waveform.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Psi on October 12, 2015, 09:36:52 PM
Ever stuck you finger in the hole of one of those ultrasonic underwater fog generators while its running?

Well don't!
It really hurts.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: eneuro on October 12, 2015, 09:41:43 PM
... the detailed post of the day award goes to ...
Do you know this guy (maybe girl >:D)  personally, while maybe you suported u  :bullshit: Beam unintencionally ?  :-DD

BTW: If we remove u  :bullshit: Beam useless in practice references than this list becomes much shorter ;)

Anyway, probbaly within a few weeks I will have my own WPT device almoust for free, so u  :bullshit: Beam no longer needed and this is my last comment on u  :bullshit: Beam regardless what happends to this project :--
I will never ever use u  :bullshit: Beam ... I won't risk my health and my animals , while I prefere to have bats in my garden fighting moskitos in the summer  :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on October 12, 2015, 09:53:00 PM
Great post.

I'd just like to make a correction. 10dB gain is not 10 times louder. Perceived loudness is a whole other ball game, but to be correct, 3dB of gain is equal to double the energy of the waveform.
The discussion is about energy levels, so perceived loudness is not relevant. Actual loudness is, and +10dB means a 10 times increase in energy level, so 10 times as loud..
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: crispy_tofu on October 12, 2015, 10:32:13 PM
Thank you, great post!!  :) Very nice, the explanations are very detailed.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: ralphd on October 13, 2015, 01:55:55 AM
The D-wave reference brings your objectivity into question.  Quantum computing is real, not comparable some zero-point energy quackery.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: DanielS on October 13, 2015, 03:46:09 AM
Ever stuck you finger in the hole of one of those ultrasonic underwater fog generators while its running?
I did it when I was a kid. I was puzzled about how I burnt the tip of my finger in seemingly cold water.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on October 13, 2015, 04:05:23 AM
The D-wave reference brings your objectivity into question.  Quantum computing is real, not comparable some zero-point energy quackery.

Sorry, I'm not sure I understand the argument. Quantum coherence and ultrasound are both real, they're just both very impractical to use commercially. In a hundred years, we might have a better shot at practical quantum computing than practical ultrasound, but that's irrelevant to what's plausible as a viable business today. In 2015, we're just orders and orders of magnitude away from a quantum computer that's plausibly cost-competitive with classical computing.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jakeypoo on October 21, 2015, 04:31:18 AM
But of course they'll be lusting after getting some phone company to try and integrate it like they have the Qi wireless charging, but of course they would do real technical due-diligence...

Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: ConKbot on October 21, 2015, 05:22:37 AM
But of course they'll be lusting after getting some phone company to try and integrate it like they have the Qi wireless charging, but of course they would do real technical due-diligence...

Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?

It works great.  At work I have crap service, and I'm back and forth from my desk a lot.  Crap service = phone drains the battery quickly as it runs the TX power way up to communicate with the tower.  I can lay the phone on the pad on my desk and it keeps it charged up, without having to plug in a microUSB 10 x per day. It also would make sense in a car situation, lightly padded slot you can drop your phone in, still see the indicator light, and charge the phone.  Extra points for NFC tag to turn on bluetooth and start up your music of choice.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Electric Gypsy on October 21, 2015, 11:57:03 AM
But of course they'll be lusting after getting some phone company to try and integrate it like they have the Qi wireless charging, but of course they would do real technical due-diligence...

Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?

I am designing a product with Qi ICs at the moment. So far it seems quite nice, and rather handy. 1A at 5V, this is not bad, and I understand we can go to 2A (though this seems to fall outside the whole idea of Qi as I understand it). Also to be fair, I am holding complete judgement of the wireless charging systems until we begin the fully functional prototype testing.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: tec5c on October 21, 2015, 01:26:25 PM
(http://i62.tinypic.com/2ir6o2e.png)

666 guests viewing the thread???  :wtf:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: crispy_tofu on October 21, 2015, 01:34:18 PM
(http://i62.tinypic.com/2ir6o2e.png)

666 guests viewing the thread???  :wtf:

611 now... must be very popular?   ???
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on October 21, 2015, 09:08:06 PM
(http://i62.tinypic.com/2ir6o2e.png)

666 guests viewing the thread???  :wtf:

611 now... must be very popular?   ???
Someone is generating traffic to this particular forum, for SEO, which is also a FAQ. So as far as I'm concerned we arrived to the deep $#%#$% of the internet age again, payed dislikes, clicks and stuff.
I guess uBeam has to go on the top on google search.
That probably explains what kind of "innovators" we are dealing with.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: DeuxVis on October 21, 2015, 10:58:14 PM
(http://i62.tinypic.com/2ir6o2e.png)

666 guests viewing the thread???  :wtf:

611 now... must be very popular?   ???
Someone is generating traffic to this particular forum, for SEO, which is also a FAQ. So as far as I'm concerned we arrived to the deep $#%#$% of the internet age again, payed dislikes, clicks and stuff.
I guess uBeam has to go on the top on google search.
That probably explains what kind of "innovators" we are dealing with.

Don't get paranoid  :) The traffic possibly comes from the fact this post have been hack(aday)ed : http://hackaday.com/2015/10/20/the-curious-case-of-ultrasonic-power-transfer/ (http://hackaday.com/2015/10/20/the-curious-case-of-ultrasonic-power-transfer/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on October 21, 2015, 11:34:10 PM
Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?

I just got one for my phone, and it's completely flakey. Granted, it was a cheapie.
I'm actually planning on some experiments in this area.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on October 22, 2015, 03:09:13 AM
Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?

I just got one for my phone, and it's completely flakey. Granted, it was a cheapie.
I'm actually planning on some experiments in this area.
A lot of them are a stupid shape, so the phone won't stay in the right place easily, and a tablet has almost no chance.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on October 22, 2015, 03:13:16 AM
Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?

I just got one for my phone, and it's completely flakey. Granted, it was a cheapie.
I'm actually planning on some experiments in this area.
A lot of them are a stupid shape, so the phone won't stay in the right place easily, and a tablet has almost no chance.

A good inductive power surface should be orientation and position free. I saw 12 years ago a 10" square prototype with 70% efficiency that did it and supported multiple phones. This didn't get to the market for non technical reasons.

Free positioning constructive surfaces can achieve even 95% efficiency.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on October 22, 2015, 05:15:19 AM
Don't get paranoid  :) The traffic possibly comes from the fact this post have been hack(aday)ed : http://hackaday.com/2015/10/20/the-curious-case-of-ultrasonic-power-transfer/ (http://hackaday.com/2015/10/20/the-curious-case-of-ultrasonic-power-transfer/)
or that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on October 22, 2015, 06:57:12 PM
Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?

I just got one for my phone, and it's completely flakey. Granted, it was a cheapie.
I'm actually planning on some experiments in this area.
A lot of them are a stupid shape, so the phone won't stay in the right place easily, and a tablet has almost no chance.

A good inductive power surface should be orientation and position free. I saw 12 years ago a 10" square prototype with 70% efficiency that did it and supported multiple phones. This didn't get to the market for non technical reasons.

Free positioning constructive surfaces can achieve even 95% efficiency.
How well do these position free inductive systems of yours work when the phone has fallen on the floor. I suspect they were slightly less position free than you are letting on. Most QI charger gadgets are small. Phones are big. They just slide off.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on October 26, 2015, 09:36:14 AM
Dave (or anyone else who wants to share their opinion), what are your thoughts about Qi or other inductive wireless charging products for mobile phones?

I just got one for my phone, and it's completely flakey. Granted, it was a cheapie.
I'm actually planning on some experiments in this area.
A lot of them are a stupid shape, so the phone won't stay in the right place easily, and a tablet has almost no chance.

A good inductive power surface should be orientation and position free. I saw 12 years ago a 10" square prototype with 70% efficiency that did it and supported multiple phones. This didn't get to the market for non technical reasons.

Free positioning constructive surfaces can achieve even 95% efficiency.
How well do these position free inductive systems of yours work when the phone has fallen on the floor. I suspect they were slightly less position free than you are letting on. Most QI charger gadgets are small. Phones are big. They just slide off.

Sorry, I don't understand what you are asking. Willing to rephrase?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jurge24pez on November 06, 2015, 03:28:26 AM
Winning a book on most detail ever published - what are you trying to do, land a job with them.  No, you are disputing them so not the case.  Are you with a competitor and merely want to take them out or whats the agenda here?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dongulus on November 06, 2015, 04:34:38 AM
Winning a book on most detail ever published - what are you trying to do, land a job with them.  No, you are disputing them so not the case.  Are you with a competitor and merely want to take them out or whats the agenda here?

I think point #13 sums up OP's reasons quite well.

Your agenda, however, I'm not so sure of as you are a brand new user on this forum who just happened to choose this thread to make a first post. Are you a supporter and merely want to overlook OP's valid points by questioning his motives?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikerj on November 06, 2015, 04:37:13 AM
Winning a book on most detail ever published - what are you trying to do, land a job with them.  No, you are disputing them so not the case.  Are you with a competitor and merely want to take them out or whats the agenda here?

He is giving detailed technical information on why the entire scheme is doomed to failure.  Could you state what your agenda is please?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jazon on November 09, 2015, 01:58:30 AM
A pretty good follow up to this post. Experts say the same thing...

uBeam's Problems with Efficiency, Practicality and Cost Makes Experts Skeptical

http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/nov/08/skeptics-zap-wireless-charging/ (http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/nov/08/skeptics-zap-wireless-charging/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: tombola on November 09, 2015, 04:49:56 AM
uBeam have given Techcrunch (whose owner runs CrunchFund, investors in uBeam) some new information:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/)


They claim "The information here about focused beams, frequency, and decibel level dispels many of the rumors about uBeam being too inefficient or unsafe. " with a link to this page behind 'rumors'.

They speak to Matthew O'Donnell: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/portfolio-items/odonnell/ (http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/portfolio-items/odonnell/)
and Babur Hadimioglu https://www.linkedin.com/pub/babur-hadimioglu/8/799/b53 (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/babur-hadimioglu/8/799/b53)

Would be fascinated to see a response from George Smith

(ps yes this is my first post, long-time lurker & youtube video watcher, first time poster)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: andy o on November 09, 2015, 09:36:27 AM
I read earlier that article at the LA Business Journal linked above, and it makes a pretty apt comparison with Theranos, which I've been fascinated about for the past several weeks. How did it get to this point in the first place? These two are based on cult of personalities, and these two CEOs are behaving in very similar ways when confronted with criticism.

By the way, I've known this site and forums for some time now, but got here from the rather credulous latest Tech Crunch article, which btw, links this thread as "blind cynicism", making the good old skeptic/cynic fallacy and pulling the "I'm the real open minded skeptic" schtick at the same time.

The curious thing is that Theranos has been reported neutrally (which is not really as critical as some of us would like, but it's not too bad either) by Tech Crunch. I guess this time they're getting the scoop directly from the company, so something's gotta give. Reminds me of all the credulous reporting from tech sites who were given access to the Healbe Gobe, including big names like Engadget.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2015, 09:58:59 AM
By the way, I've known this site and forums for some time now, but got here from the rather credulous latest Tech Crunch article, which btw, links this thread as "blind cynicism", making the good old skeptic/cynic fallacy and pulling the "I'm the real open minded skeptic" schtick at the same time.

It's very important to know that Tech Crunh's founder is an investor in Ubeam
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2015, 10:05:35 AM
uBeam have given Techcrunch (whose owner runs CrunchFund, investors in uBeam) some new information:
http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/)

It's crap like this that is precisely what is wrong with UBeam:

Quote
Dr. Matt O’Donnell, PhD is one of the world’s leading experts in ultrasonics, and is the Professor and Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Washington. He writes:
“If uBeam can continuously deliver 145-155 dB of ultrasound successfully to a cell phone, then it may be possible to charge a phone with at least a few watts. There is multiplicative risk in getting all of this together to work, but it may be possible. If uBeam can deliver that amount of power to a phone with reasonable efficiency, reception, and electronic management, then their system does not violate the laws of physics.”
While he can’t vouch that the technology does work, he concludes that given the specs, it’s not infeasible. It will just be very tough to execute.

 :palm:

OF COURSE it can work!
No critic has ever said it can't work!
The problem is with the practicality of it. You know, that annoying stuff that engineers like to deal with to make a product actually work in the real world to be reliable, safe, and meet the claimed performance specs over a whole host of environmental and other factors.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2015, 10:17:16 AM
http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/nov/08/skeptics-zap-wireless-charging/ (http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/nov/08/skeptics-zap-wireless-charging/)

Sounds like this researcher would know:

Quote
Ultrasound has been used to transmit energy before, said Henry Scarton, a mechanical engineer and director of the Laboratory for Noise and Vibration Control Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. Scarton has built systems that project ultrasonic energy through metal submarine hulls to underwater listening devices and through oil-carrying pipe to sensors.
But under closely controlled conditions, those systems only generate a maximum of 50 percent efficiency, he said.
“In air, it would be ridiculously small. Not practical,” Scarton said.

And that's a huge problem for Ubeam
Even if it does everything they claim, it's ultimately still going to be horribly inefficient. So it's not going to be something that we should be using on a mass global scale. Because, you know, we are trying to actually  save energy, not piss it away. It's the whole reason behind the Energy Star scheme.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: andy o on November 09, 2015, 10:23:40 AM
By the way, I've known this site and forums for some time now, but got here from the rather credulous latest Tech Crunch article, which btw, links this thread as "blind cynicism", making the good old skeptic/cynic fallacy and pulling the "I'm the real open minded skeptic" schtick at the same time.

It's very important to know that Tech Crunh's founder is an investor in Ubeam

Yeah, missed that bit of info in the last post, got it from the hackaday post after I'd posted.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 09, 2015, 10:24:14 AM
One of the major issues with high-power ultrasonics is sub-harmonics.  There is no shortage of items that will resonate at a fraction of the fundamental frequency of the transducer.  It usually results in a screeching that is just incredibly obnoxious.  It's hard to imagine a system that has enough power to overcome the free-space path loss, still can impart a meaningful amount of power to a device, and *not* cause unintentional resonance with an ever-changing set of random objects in its field. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2015, 02:40:58 PM
  • uBeam can charge multiple devices simultaneously within a range of up to a 4 meter radius from a single transmitter

So by their own admission is become effectively useless at greater than 4m?
That tells you a lot.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jurge24pez on November 09, 2015, 03:33:09 PM
Winning a book on most detail ever published - what are you trying to do, land a job with them.  No, you are disputing them so not the case.  Are you with a competitor and merely want to take them out or whats the agenda here?

I think point #13 sums up OP's reasons quite well.

Your agenda, however, I'm not so sure of as you are a brand new user on this forum who just happened to choose this thread to make a first post. Are you a supporter and merely want to overlook OP's valid points by questioning his motives?

There is no agenda; merely doing research on the topic and was surprised at the number of detailed analyses by one individual. It made me wonder if they were working for a competitor, or maybe even used to work for ubeam. I was referred to this site by a fellow researcher.  One has to assume that the fellow putting so much effort into the analysis is wanting to compete, join, or debunk the company?

The recent LABJ article  might do that for him if the goal is debunking since the CEO is now being compared to Theranos who'd technology was also kept secret too long for critics.  But the details of the specs that ubeam released do offer some indications that there are a lot of huge risks ahead if ubeam ever hopes to bring a product to consumers at a reasonable price point.  The comparative data for Energous also makes one question their validity of claims, and yet they don't get the amount of blog criticisms. 
Aren't they, and for that matter, all new wireless power transmission endeavors including witriity destined to fail in the minds of those who aren't in the deep day to day engineering that each of the companies is chasing?  It is a new technology and has to overcome challenges or it wouldn't be worth inventing.  Conceding though that the challenges are fairly dominating in the timeframe they claim to be launching. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on November 09, 2015, 03:37:12 PM
  • uBeam has developed a high-powered air-coupled ultrasonic transducer to transmit and receive sound waves at a single frequency within the range of 45kHz to 75kHz with an output of 145dB to 155dB (or 316 W/m2 – 3kW/m2)

Im just hoping those places will have signs displayed so i can avoid going there.

Quote
  • At launch, uBeam plans to... both sell the receiver phone cases and work with partners to loan them out to patrons of places with transmitters installed.

To me practicality ends here.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2015, 04:07:44 PM
There is no agenda; merely doing research on the topic and was surprised at the number of detailed analyses by one individual. It made me wonder if they were working for a competitor, or maybe even used to work for ubeam. I was referred to this site by a fellow researcher.  One has to assume that the fellow putting so much effort into the analysis is wanting to compete, join, or debunk the company?

The great thing about facts and data and research is, it doesn't matter what angle you come from.

This forum is full of engineers who just love to "debunk" stuff for no reason other than the fun of it, and/or an intellectual exercise.
Engineers hate wild marketing claims, with a passion.

Quote
Aren't they, and for that matter, all new wireless power transmission endeavors including witriity destined to fail in the minds of those who aren't in the deep day to day engineering that each of the companies is chasing?  It is a new technology and has to overcome challenges or it wouldn't be worth inventing. 

uBeam is not new technologies, it's just a foolish upstart trying to get blood from an engineering stone.
They have already extracted money from the stone, and that in itself is a very impressive feat. But I suspect that's as far as they'll ever get. They'll ever die, or if they are clever, will find a niche market application.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2015, 04:08:29 PM
  • uBeam has developed a high-powered air-coupled ultrasonic transducer to transmit and receive sound waves at a single frequency within the range of 45kHz to 75kHz with an output of 145dB to 155dB (or 316 W/m2 – 3kW/m2)
Im just hoping those places will have signs displayed so i can avoid going there.

And don't bring your cat.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 09, 2015, 04:10:46 PM
  • uBeam has developed a high-powered air-coupled ultrasonic transducer to transmit and receive sound waves at a single frequency within the range of 45kHz to 75kHz with an output of 145dB to 155dB (or 316 W/m2 – 3kW/m2)
Im just hoping those places will have signs displayed so i can avoid going there.

And don't bring your cat.
Surely its best to bring your cat. Its time the canaries got their own back.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: FrankenPC on November 09, 2015, 04:39:49 PM
Frankly, I'd rather like to see someone build a universal laminate that can be applied to any surface that can be powered to provide a coupled charger anywhere you put devices.  I just want to set my device down anywhere and have it charge.  I don't need something like ubeam. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 09, 2015, 08:32:43 PM
UBeam has not addressed a single fundamental criticism on this FAQ.  We have Josh Constine of TechCrunch attacking this UBeam FAQ as "blind cynicism" because it dared assume that UBeam would want to avoid injuring dogs and cats so the FAQ ran estimates based on 100 KHz.  But Josh Constine said "gotcha", this FAQ wrongly assumed that UBeam cared about cats and dogs and they're actually going to use 45 to 75 KHz.
I was surprised to see 45kHz-75kHz being talked about in a new article. Wasn't there something from uBeam which actually said they have raised their frequency to something beyond 100kHz, because of issues caused by their original lower frequency?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: itdontgo on November 09, 2015, 08:38:16 PM
Sounds efficient.  Is it really that hard to plug your phone in?  Where isn't there a USB port these days?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2015, 09:36:17 PM
With the UBeam system, you'd have to put the phone face down if you wanted to use overhead transmitters.  If you're going to do that, just shine a bright spotlight onto the phone and put a photovoltaic cell on the back.

Or just sit it on a Qi charging pad  ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 09, 2015, 11:32:52 PM
We haven't even started talking about the problem of sub-harmonics damaging dogs, cats, and humans.

I already brought up the sub-harmonics issue.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikerj on November 10, 2015, 06:29:30 AM
How about beating between transmitters?  If you walked away from one 100kHz transmitter and towards another at typical walking speed (1m/s), you'd get a shift of about -300Hz on the you are walking away from and +300 on the one you are walking towards.  That seems like it would cause audible beating even if the transmitters were frequency locked together.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: eneuro on November 10, 2015, 08:00:24 AM
With the UBeam system, you'd have to put the phone face down if you wanted to use overhead transmitters.  If you're going to do that, just shine a bright spotlight onto the phone and put a photovoltaic cell on the back.

Or just sit it on a Qi charging pad  ::)
Or cut toroid core at half, put one part with a few turns of high frequency AC in transmiter, while second half install at the bottom of your celphone with synchronous rectifier diodes and voltag regulator to charge or provide live current for your phone when those toroid parts are touched to close magnetic circuit with air gap as small as possible ;)

No bloody u  :bullshit: Beam needed, never ever...
They loose their life for such stupid things-better they watch this and forget about this stupid ultrasound pink girl dreams ;)
Universe is driven and powered by gravity and nuclear reactions, creating huge magnetic fields, electricity, but not ultrasound... better use human power and gravity to run high eficiency electric motor to charge something rather than bloody ultrasound...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a0FbQdH3dY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a0FbQdH3dY)

BTW: in this latest article about his mind change they reused Nicola Tesla lab photo which is huge progress-they will use WPT based chargers anyway, but of course not ultrasonic but, using high frequency magnetic circuits, which has benefit over RF resonant circuts, that while magnetic circuit i closed radio noise is greatly reduced and additionally we have galvanic insuation between transmiter windings and receiver ;)

https://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/wireless-power.png?w=738 (https://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/wireless-power.png?w=738)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2015, 08:37:22 AM
We haven't even started talking about the problem of sub-harmonics damaging dogs, cats, and humans.
I already brought up the sub-harmonics issue.

I bought that up in my original blog article too.
It's how directional speakers and sound weapons work.
Not just on a single unit and the environment, but when they flood a Starbucks with dozens of units as they boast they want to do.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 10, 2015, 09:58:47 AM
We haven't even started talking about the problem of sub-harmonics damaging dogs, cats, and humans.
I already brought up the sub-harmonics issue.

I bought that up in my original blog article too.
It's how directional speakers and sound weapons work.
Not just on a single unit and the environment, but when they flood a Starbucks with dozens of units as they boast they want to do.

I'm just floored that anyone that's actually worked with ultrasonics at any meaningful power level doesn't know about the sub-harmonics issue. It's more than just a minor nuisance. More than a few ultrasonic welders are stuffed into acoustic enclosures for this very reason.

You'd think that someone who had millions at her disposal could buy ultrasonic power supplies and transducers from Dukane or Branson and quickly realize the many problems with this booby hatch.

20/30/40 and 50kHz systems are all off the shelf technology.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on November 10, 2015, 09:59:20 AM
I bought that up in my original blog article too.
It's how directional speakers and sound weapons work.
Not just on a single unit and the environment, but when they flood a Starbucks with dozens of units as they boast they want to do.

Just boost the power by 100 and do time sharing between 100 devices at 100 different points. It's just as impractical as the rest of their design.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wijowa on November 10, 2015, 11:04:47 AM
There is an IEEE Spectrum article on this that just came out too:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype (http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype)

I find it most hilarious that the TechCrunch article quotes two physicists basically saying "Well, if they can make it work, they can make it work" and Spectrum reaches out to those physicists in their article.

Now that they are saying they are working at 40-75 khz and their site still says "uBeam operates at such a high frequency that even animals, such as dogs, are not sensitive to its transmission." Because of the focused, directional nature of the beams.  it's becoming clear the level of flim-flammery this company is executing. 

Clearly they have a somewhat-valuable trademark and IP and are developing some technology that could find a niche.  Conceivably the effort can pay off for those early investors either as a pump and dump scheme or in a quick sale of the niche technology and trademark.  It might be interesting to try and conceive of other niche applications this could find its way into.

Adding to this:

For example, one might make a VR "Holodeck" with Oculus Rift type face masks, where the front of the face mask is receiving power so as not to require wires.  This would be a constrained situation that would possibly make the issues worthwhile.  In this particular case, Facebook is acquisition-prone and could easily shell out the cash to buy out Ubeam to integrate into the Oculus product.  John Carmack was quoted somewhere as saying wires were the biggest challenge of making VR seamless, so could definitely see something like this being the ultimate fate of ubeam's technology. Even if for all commercial intents it's impractical even for constrained situations like that, and ultimately never sees practical implementation outside of CES or E3.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: SaintGimp on November 10, 2015, 01:02:43 PM
IMHO, the most damaging piece of information in that IEEE Spectrum article is this:

Quote
The company appears to have suffered an exodus of technical talent. With the exception of Perry, none of the engineers listed on uBeam’s patents are still at the company, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

The engineers always know when it's not going to work, and they vote with their feet.  Unless and until uBeam coughs up a working prototype, this is the clearest signal we have about how product development is actually going.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2015, 01:23:56 PM
IMHO, the most damaging piece of information in that IEEE Spectrum article is this:
Quote
The company appears to have suffered an exodus of technical talent. With the exception of Perry, none of the engineers listed on uBeam’s patents are still at the company, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
The engineers always know when it's not going to work, and they vote with their feet.  Unless and until uBeam coughs up a working prototype, this is the clearest signal we have about how product development is actually going.

 :-DD
And totally unsurprising.
Ubeam will be lucky if it doesn't implode.

And just remember Merideth's classic bitch slap to engineers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2015, 01:28:09 PM
No reviews for Ubeam on GlassDoor yet...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2015, 01:31:23 PM
There is an IEEE Spectrum article on this that just came out too:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype (http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype)

Big shoutout in that article to this thread and George's comprehensive FAQ
Quote
Perhaps the most devastating critique was a 3,000 word post on EEVblog Electronics Forum, which, among other things, says that a large room will require dozens of transmitters to provide full coverage. What is striking about that last post is the nearly universal praise it has received for accuracy, with the endorsements coming both from persons familiar with uBeam as well as highly-credentialed outside experts. Several from the former category said they couldn't find any mistakes. “He did a very good job with it,” said one.
:-+
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2015, 01:39:00 PM
Huge  :-+ to Lee Gomes for that IEEE article
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype (http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype)
Thoroughly professional, researched, and pulls no punches. Exactly what you'd expect from the IEEE.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 10, 2015, 02:21:13 PM
Quote
In an e-mailed response, a uBeam spokesperson said the questions had “a negative slant,” and added, “If you want to write about real science, for a scientific audience, you would reach out to us and work with us in a collaborative rather than offensive way.”

"Real science."

Wow.

On that note, the "careers" section of uBeam's website is curiously missing.   ;D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2015, 02:27:47 PM
On that note, the "careers" section of uBeam's website is curiously missing.   ;D

Last update:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150928054829/http://ubeam.com/careers/ (https://web.archive.org/web/20150928054829/http://ubeam.com/careers/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on November 10, 2015, 02:38:32 PM
As mentioned in the IEEE article, Ms uBeam tweeted “You just can't win with people that want to bring you down,” and then added “but I got news for you guys. I'm a resilient SOB and you're going to have to nuke me to kill me.”

FFS.  We are a bunch of engineering geeks.  It isn't a battle or even a debate, just show some data or working prototype and that's that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 10, 2015, 02:51:31 PM
The ubeam.com web site now refers to http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041624X15001973 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041624X15001973) , which is a genuinely interesting experiment in ultrasonic charging. The article is about charging medical devices under the skin of a pig, using ultrasonic power directly applied to its skin. That sounds like a potentially useful idea, although I didn't see mention of why it might be an better alternative to the inductive coupled charging currently used for medical implants.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 10, 2015, 03:12:44 PM
The ubeam.com web site now refers to http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041624X15001973 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041624X15001973) , which is a genuinely interesting experiment in ultrasonic charging. The article is about charging medical devices under the skin of a pig, using ultrasonic power directly applied to its skin. That sounds like a potentially useful idea, although I didn't see mention of why it might be an better alternative to the inductive coupled charging currently used for medical implants.

Ultrasound works great through water.  Sonar transducers are how a few of the big ultrasonics companies got their start.  Between the favorable medium and short transmission distance, that's a form of ultrasonic charging that I would actually buy into. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: itdontgo on November 10, 2015, 03:48:05 PM
Oh my this woman is deluded and her investors do not understand anything.  What the planet really does not need are billions of 3W mobile chargers being replaced by billions of inefficient 3kW chargers doing the same job!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34604843 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34604843)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wijowa on November 10, 2015, 03:58:59 PM
As mentioned in the IEEE article, Ms uBeam tweeted “You just can't win with people that want to bring you down,” and then added “but I got news for you guys. I'm a resilient SOB and you're going to have to nuke me to kill me.”

Her tweets seem to reveal more information about the product development, quoting:

Quote
2/Some challenges we had 2 overcome to make @uBeam viable: impedancemismatch/aircoupling/beamforming/acoustic losses/low power rectification

3/Thru yrs of development & hard work, our team of brilliant engineers/scientists developed& realized solutions to the following challenges:

4/Built novel high powered air-coupled ultrasonic txt, operates btwn 45-75 kHz, output btwn 145dB – 155dB (=316 W/m2 – 3kW/m2). Took 3 yrs

5/Built phased array transmitter w 1000s of individually addressable & controllable elements that enable us to beam power over 1-4m radius

6/ Develop a detection and tracking system to precisely locate receiving electronic devices in air in real-time

7/ Develop beamforming algorithms that can shape & steer multiple focused beams to several moving devices based on their loc & size in space

7/Build receiver that harvests & convert acoustic power w multiple focused beams hitting Rx @ multiple angles, while Rx itself is in motion


I think this was brought up much earlier, but in a phased array type system, isn't there going to be substantial noise and harmonics in the negative space? Kind of how a fourier approximation can't quite perfectly make a step function, it has fuzzy noise at the corners.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2015, 04:01:19 PM
It seems that Mark Suster (big investor in Ubeam http://www.businessinsider.com.au/startup-ubeams-10-million-debate-2014-11 (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/startup-ubeams-10-million-debate-2014-11) ) is tad upset at the article.
He's going to town on Twitter
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on November 10, 2015, 04:16:21 PM
Winning a book on most detail ever published - what are you trying to do, land a job with them.  No, you are disputing them so not the case.  Are you with a competitor and merely want to take them out or whats the agenda here?

I think point #13 sums up OP's reasons quite well.

Your agenda, however, I'm not so sure of as you are a brand new user on this forum who just happened to choose this thread to make a first post. Are you a supporter and merely want to overlook OP's valid points by questioning his motives?

There is no agenda; merely doing research on the topic and was surprised at the number of detailed analyses by one individual. It made me wonder if they were working for a competitor, or maybe even used to work for ubeam. I was referred to this site by a fellow researcher.  One has to assume that the fellow putting so much effort into the analysis is wanting to compete, join, or debunk the company?

The recent LABJ article  might do that for him if the goal is debunking since the CEO is now being compared to Theranos who'd technology was also kept secret too long for critics.  But the details of the specs that ubeam released do offer some indications that there are a lot of huge risks ahead if ubeam ever hopes to bring a product to consumers at a reasonable price point.  The comparative data for Energous also makes one question their validity of claims, and yet they don't get the amount of blog criticisms. 
Aren't they, and for that matter, all new wireless power transmission endeavors including witriity destined to fail in the minds of those who aren't in the deep day to day engineering that each of the companies is chasing?  It is a new technology and has to overcome challenges or it wouldn't be worth inventing.  Conceding though that the challenges are fairly dominating in the timeframe they claim to be launching.

FWIW, I don't work for uBeam, and I also don't work for any uBeam competitor. I've never worked for uBeam, and I've never worked for a uBeam competitor. I'm not being compensated in any way. I have no financial interest at all here, and never have.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 10, 2015, 04:17:11 PM
uBeam is "not in the market"??!!  Are they kidding?  They're marketing this perfumed bilge water in hopes of spinning it in an IPO.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on November 10, 2015, 05:03:16 PM
uBeam have given Techcrunch (whose owner runs CrunchFund, investors in uBeam) some new information:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/)

  • uBeam has developed a high-powered air-coupled ultrasonic transducer to transmit and receive sound waves at a single frequency within the range of 45kHz to 75kHz with an output of 145dB to 155dB (or 316 W/m2 – 3kW/m2)
  • uBeam can charge multiple devices simultaneously within a range of up to a 4 meter radius from a single transmitter
  • uBeam is designed to deliver a minimum of 1.5 watts of electricity to smartphones, or enough to keep a phone from losing battery life even when being heavily used. Depending on the number of devices being charged simultaneously by a single transmitter, and depending on the distance of those devices to the transmitter, uBeam could charge devices at comparable rates to a wire, or faster.
  • uBeam has 30-plus filed patents and 6 issued ones. At the core of its technology is the transducer the company invented, which it believes can deliver more power at the right frequency than any other.
  • The patents also cover technologies including its ultrasonic phased array transmitter that includes thousands of individually addressable and controllable elements, its beamforming algorithms that can shape and steer multiple beams to multiple moving devices, and the receiver that can harvest acoustic power from these beams coming in from multiple angles.
  • At launch, uBeam plans to both sell its transmitters and work with partners to install them in public places like restaurants, hotels, or cafes. It will also both sell the receiver phone cases and work with partners to loan them out to patrons of places with transmitters installed.

They claim "The information here about focused beams, frequency, and decibel level dispels many of the rumors about uBeam being too inefficient or unsafe. " with a link to this page behind 'rumors'.

They speak to Matthew O'Donnell: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/portfolio-items/odonnell/ (http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/portfolio-items/odonnell/)
and Babur Hadimioglu https://www.linkedin.com/pub/babur-hadimioglu/8/799/b53 (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/babur-hadimioglu/8/799/b53)

Would be fascinated to see a response from George Smith

(ps yes this is my first post, long-time lurker & youtube video watcher, first time poster)

Hey tombola. That article by Constine was both funny and a little depressing. A few weeks ago, Meredith Perry tweeted (https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/656377376394227712):

"Going dark until product launch. I'll tweet about other things, but uBeam's back in the vault. No press. Heads down & focused until launch."

I admired her for making the right decision: cutting down the PR hype. But one week later, she did an on-camera interview with the BBC, including a tour of the uBeam offices:

Could we soon charge our phones through the air? (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34604842)

And then two weeks later, that TechCrunch piece came out.  :palm:

The funny thing is that TechCrunch/Constine act like they're debunking skeptics, and then go on to confirm almost everything the skeptics said. Extremely high intensities: confirmed. (In fact, uBeam now claims to have the most powerful in-air transducers ever built.) Limited to line-of-sight: confirmed. Short ranges: confirmed.

The only thing different is the frequency. I assumed 100 kHz in my calculations, while TechCrunch quotes a range of 45 to 75 kHz. A lower frequency does give uBeam a somewhat longer range. But those frequencies are well within cat hearing range (cats top out at ~80 kHz), and the longer range also means stray noise travels farther. Going back to uBeam's website, it's interesting how they brush that under the rug:

"As for animals, only bats, cats, whales, and a few other animals could possibly detect the ultrasound that uBeam creates. We love aquatic animals but it is unlikely that uBeam would be used in the water! As for bats, these animals would hear uBeam only if it were used outside. Because uBeam uses "locked on" directional focused beams, only animals that carried a uBeam receiver would be able to "hear" the uBeam. uBeam's system will not affect pets or animals." (emphasis added)

They explain why bats and whales (mostly) aren't a problem, but appear to forget about cats. There are ~160 million cats in the US, so that's a significant oversight. It's a focused system, yes, but if it transmits 155 dB, and the goal is to keep noise leaks below "very loud" (~85 dB), the beam has to keep losses, reflections, dispersion, etc. under 0.00001%. That's just not practical.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on November 10, 2015, 05:10:42 PM
George Smith, you really need to question Energous' claims.

Quote
Energous is a publicly traded company (stock symbol WATT). Their website describes a charging technology called WattUp, which transmits power via radio waves[51]. Energous's website says that each WattUp transmitter can reach a range of 15 feet, and charge 12 devices at once[51]. Energous has signed a partnership agreement with a "tier one consumer electronics company"[52], likely Apple or Samsung[53], to include its technology in cellphones. uBeam's website claims that "RF [radio] and microwaves also both require impractically large transmitters and receivers to send power over distances greater than a meter"[1], but this appears to have been proven false by Energous's CES demonstration[8].

Here is the only article raising questions.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3024956-energous-more-reasons-to-be-dubious (http://seekingalpha.com/article/3024956-energous-more-reasons-to-be-dubious)

Energous claims 16W at 5 feet using 5.7 GHz.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/energous-wattup-wireless-charging-haier,27944.html (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/energous-wattup-wireless-charging-haier,27944.html)

Even assuming 100% efficiency and zero inverse square loss, the FCC transmit max is 1 watt and we all know EIRP doesn't actually mean more energy. If Energous did focus the energy, they'd have to drop 1 dB transmit power for every 3 dBi antenna gain. Either way they're likely going to face more than 99.99% beam spread loss.

Energous seems to be pulling the same stunt as RCA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8s3Xjeg0sk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8s3Xjeg0sk)

I haven't done in-depth investigation of Energous, so I can't speak to whether they exceed safety limits in that part of the radio spectrum. However, their device was recently tested by UL (link (http://ir.energous.com/press-releases/detail/540)), and the results showed 4-5 watts at 5 feet, not 16 watts. Energous's stated design goal was 4 W at 5 feet, 2 W at 10 feet and 1 W at 15 feet.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 10, 2015, 05:22:42 PM
I think this was brought up much earlier, but in a phased array type system, isn't there going to be substantial noise and harmonics in the negative space? Kind of how a fourier approximation can't quite perfectly make a step function, it has fuzzy noise at the corners.
Phased arrays won't necessarily give a lot of noise and harmonics. That's mostly an issue of the quality of the circuitry and transducers. However, practical arrays do give a lot of sidelobes, and the main lobe is not the kind of hard edged thing some of the descriptions of phased arrays seem to paint a picture of. To get the peak of the energy impinging on a small target across the room still leaves considerable energy going to all the wrong places.

I find it interesting that they keep emphasising how safe ultrasonic energy is, but also keep emphasising how safety concious the system is in cutting off power the moment something obstructs the beam. Seems like the are oscillating between two messages.  ;)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on November 10, 2015, 05:52:52 PM
The recent IEEE Spectrum article stated:

"With the exception of Perry, none of the engineers listed on uBeam’s patents are still at the company, according to their LinkedIn profiles."

IIRC, someone on Twitter replied (sadly can't find the source) that the engineers in question were contractors, not employees, and so were never expected to be at uBeam long-term. I looked up their LinkedIn profiles, and that seems to be accurate. In fact, uBeam looks like it had no full-time employees at all (other than Perry) before raising $10 million in October 2014. Article from Dec. 2014 (http://fortune.com/2014/12/30/meredith-perry-ubeam/):

"Well, back in 2012, we had raised a bunch of money, I had this whole plan planned out, but it was extremely difficult because I was working with only contractors. Up until a few months ago, even. Until we raised our Series A [funding round, totaling $10 million and led by Upfront Ventures] we didn’t have any full-time employees except me."

There's nothing wrong with that, per se. It's good to hire slowly in the early stages of a startup. But back in 2012, a Pando article said (https://pando.com/2012/07/10/ubeam-raises-750k-from-ff-angel-andreessen-horowitz-and-crunchfund-and-angels/):

"The company was created by Perry, a recent University of Pennsylvania grad and student ambassador at NASA. The idea? Enabling gadgets to recharge wirelessly via ultrasound transmitters. Perry plans to move her operation from New York to California. uBeam plans to launch a functional product by next year." (emphasis added)

Now that's just weird. Did Perry, uBeam's investors, and/or the media expect her to design, build, test, manufacture, and distribute a complex hardware product all by herself, with no other full-time employees? It just sounds strange.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: eneuro on November 10, 2015, 05:55:22 PM
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype (http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/can-ubeams-throughtheair-phone-charging-system-live-up-to-the-hype)
Thoroughly professional, researched, and pulls no punches. Exactly what you'd expect from the IEEE.

Now, we know why it looks like she doesn't know what she is talking about  :-DD
"In a TED speech from 2012, Perry seems to brag that she knew nearly nothing of physics before starting the company—not even how a TV remote control worked."

Today, with decent amount of money invested someone can  scam internet with nothing and maybe even make living on this for short time, but without any knowledge in the field, she will be only pink girl.
It is nice when someone comes from scientific research he made with someone else, and starts company, while he knows ehether it may work or not and push things in correct direction, but Mrs Perry after three years when started to learn something about ultrasound at least will undertand she was wrong.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 10, 2015, 06:00:28 PM
I haven't done in-depth investigation of Energous, so I can't speak to whether they exceed safety limits in that part of the radio spectrum. However, their device was recently tested by UL (link (http://ir.energous.com/press-releases/detail/540)), and the results showed 4-5 watts at 5 feet, not 16 watts. Energous's stated design goal was 4 W at 5 feet, 2 W at 10 feet and 1 W at 15 feet.

I'm not saying it's is impossible to receive 4 watts at 5 feet, but your 5.7 GHz transmitters would have to be sending enormous amounts of energy, at least an order of magnitude greater than the energy received.  Since when does the FCC allow you to transmit 40+ watts on unlicensed 5.7 GHz?  The FCC max is 1W and you're only allowed to use 6 dBi gain when transmitting at max 1W.  You may use 30 dBi gain, but you must reduce transmit power by 8 dBm to use such a high gain antenna.
The FCC maximum applies to a single transmitter. They don't prevent you using numerous transmitters. Any large office is doing so, with multiple 802.11 APs in the 5GHz band. Energous seem to be using arrays to achieve their goals.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 10, 2015, 06:39:01 PM
I haven't done in-depth investigation of Energous, so I can't speak to whether they exceed safety limits in that part of the radio spectrum. However, their device was recently tested by UL (link (http://ir.energous.com/press-releases/detail/540)), and the results showed 4-5 watts at 5 feet, not 16 watts. Energous's stated design goal was 4 W at 5 feet, 2 W at 10 feet and 1 W at 15 feet.

I'm not saying it's is impossible to receive 4 watts at 5 feet, but your 5.7 GHz transmitters would have to be sending enormous amounts of energy, at least an order of magnitude greater than the energy received.  Since when does the FCC allow you to transmit 40+ watts on unlicensed 5.7 GHz?  The FCC max is 1W and you're only allowed to use 6 dBi gain when transmitting at max 1W.  You may use 30 dBi gain, but you must reduce transmit power by 8 dBm to use such a high gain antenna.
The FCC maximum applies to a single transmitter. They don't prevent you using numerous transmitters. Any large office is doing so, with multiple 802.11 APs in the 5GHz band. Energous seem to be using arrays to achieve their goals.

I did consider this, but now we're talking about using 40 transmitter+antenna pairs just to charge one phone!  And that's if you can actually deliver 0.1 watts with a single transmitter+antenna which is highly doubtful.  Dave Jones' video shows how absurd the whole idea is.
There is a video of one 5GHz power transfer demo (I think its Witricity) where the transmitter is hidden behind a curtain. However, at one point the curtain is moved, and you can see a huge array of PCBs making up the transmitter. These types of thing may be economically unrealistic for anything but specialist applications, but why let practically spoil the fun.  :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on November 10, 2015, 07:21:35 PM
Are any regulatory bodies really going to allow 155dB of sound (at any frequency) in public places?  Surely not?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 10, 2015, 07:42:02 PM
Are any regulatory bodies really going to allow 155dB of sound (at any frequency) in public places?  Surely not?
Is there anything to stop that right now, or would fresh regulation be required? The health and safety legislation in most places only seems to specify maximum sound intensities for frequencies up to 6kHz or 8kHz. This seems weird, as a machine putting out 155dB at 10kHz is definitely a problem.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 10, 2015, 09:35:07 PM
Are any regulatory bodies really going to allow 155dB of sound (at any frequency) in public places?  Surely not?
Is there anything to stop that right now, or would fresh regulation be required? The health and safety legislation in most places only seems to specify maximum sound intensities for frequencies up to 6kHz or 8kHz. This seems weird, as a machine putting out 155dB at 10kHz is definitely a problem.

Ultrasonics are regulated in the US primarily due to the sub harmonics issue:

https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/noise/health_effects/ultrasonics.html (https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/noise/health_effects/ultrasonics.html)

155 dB is totally out of the question. That is not a permissible exposure level at any frequency being discussed.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: eneuro on November 10, 2015, 11:26:07 PM
Ultrasonics are regulated in the US primarily due to the sub harmonics issue:

https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/noise/health_effects/ultrasonics.html (https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/noise/health_effects/ultrasonics.html)

155 dB is totally out of the question. That is not a permissible exposure level at any frequency being discussed.

Isn't this the first thing someone wanting to bring something "fantastic" to the market should check?  :palm:

Nice, I do want check how ultrasound is regulated in Euroean Union countries, to ensure this bloody u  :bullshit: Beam will never ever will be available there ;)

It must be regulated somehow, while giant wind turbine farms can make ultrasound too,  while its wing end passes the air at huge speeds, so there must be some limits and measures to ensure that tens of such huge wind turbines placed close together will not make too much ultrasonic issues (nois) and I'm interested in this more since those turbines are commercially available and sometimes govenments approves building such huge wild turbines too close to human houses, hoping nobody will punish them for high noise levels and landscape devastation  :--

It looks like, u  :bullshit: Beam is done, while hopefully they will not be able follow this quote  which could help them to handle those ultrasound issues :-DD
Quote
If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 11, 2015, 05:46:05 AM
Here's the chart for those who dislike linking:

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=181206;image)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 11, 2015, 05:54:20 AM
Are any regulatory bodies really going to allow 155dB of sound (at any frequency) in public places?  Surely not?
Is there anything to stop that right now, or would fresh regulation be required? The health and safety legislation in most places only seems to specify maximum sound intensities for frequencies up to 6kHz or 8kHz. This seems weird, as a machine putting out 155dB at 10kHz is definitely a problem.

The chart I posted is an international standard, so I believe that for the North America and Europe, the sound level you question is clearly prohibited. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on November 11, 2015, 06:27:05 AM
It must be regulated somehow, while giant wind turbine farms can make ultrasound too,  while its wing end passes the air at huge speeds

Nope. Wind turbines aren't giant propellers. The blades aren't pushing on the air, the air is pushing on the blade. You'd be surprised how quiet they are when you stand right under one.

The whole 'wind farms make me sick' brigade pretty much belongs in the same camp as the "wifi makes me sick' brigade. Attempts have been made to record any sound at all in the houses of the affected but I don't think anybody's managed it yet.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 11, 2015, 06:34:15 AM
uBeam is ultrasound-based.

Wind turbine noise is supposedly classified as "infrasound."

They are two totally opposite ends of the sound "spectrum" as it were.  Let's not clutter this thread up with wind turbine debates.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: eneuro on November 11, 2015, 07:52:14 AM
Wind turbine noise is supposedly classified as "infrasound."
Nope, it dependa how far away and wind turbine manufacture details:

PDF: Ultrasound emissions from wind turbines as a potential attractant to bats: a preliminary investigation (http://www.batsandwind.org/pdf/ultrasoundem.pdf)

Quote
This preliminary investigation recorded ultrasound from only a limited sample of wind turbines.
...
Potential sources of ultrasound from wind turbines include 1) ultrasound generated like a whistle from rotors moving through the air, 2) electronic components, and 3) mechanical components. The transmission and generator components of wind turbines do not turn with rotational speeds at which the generation of ultrasound would be expected. However, loss of lubrication on moving surfaces could occasionally result in ultrasound generation, but the maintenance schedules of the turbines would limit or avoid such occurrences.

Now imagine, ultrasound levels in u  :bullshit: Beam ... reflected from so many places where its bloody devices operates... disaster for bats population  :--
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on November 11, 2015, 01:28:46 PM
New followup article by Garrett Reim: UBeam’s Disclosure Raises New Questions, Doesn’t Answer Old Ones (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/nov/10/ubeams-disclosure-raises-new-questions-doesnt-answ/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 11, 2015, 02:07:30 PM
From:
New followup article by Garrett Reim: UBeam’s Disclosure Raises New Questions, Doesn’t Answer Old Ones (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/nov/10/ubeams-disclosure-raises-new-questions-doesnt-answ/)

Quote
Furthermore, if uBeam’s receiver is not perpendicular to the ultrasonic beam, additional energy would fall out of focus and be wasted, experts said. In the TechCrunch blog post, uBeam also acknowledged it could not transmit through cloth or human flesh, meaning it would have difficulty charging a cellphone in your pocket or in hand.

“Presumably, the receiver surface is on the back of the phone where your hand is, so that’s going to cover that up,” said Pompei.

In essence, it appears an uBeam-equipped cellphone could only receive a trickle charge while flipped face down in your hand or on a table. That might make the system less useful than a PowerMat or Qi near-field wireless charging system, which charge face up.

And therein lies the major problem. Even if it is safe, efficient, low cost etc, no one is going to want have to charge their phone face down.
It's just a completely flawed idea that is forever being pushed backward into a never ending pocket of impracticality.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on November 11, 2015, 03:23:56 PM
And therein lies the major problem. Even if it is safe, efficient, low cost etc, no one is going to want have to charge their phone face down.

Don't say such things before you've seen the secret prototype:

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=181258;image)

There's plenty of surface area there for transducers and the display is perfectly visible while sitting on the table. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JimRemington on November 11, 2015, 03:33:00 PM
I believe there is a possible "green" aspect to the proposed technology that has not been discussed.

Given the rather large expenditure of power involved in transmitting the ultrasonic beams (offsetting the losses to air) perhaps coffee shops that embrace the technology would not have to heat their establishments in winter.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 11, 2015, 04:52:40 PM
I believe there is a possible "green" aspect to the proposed technology that has not been discussed.

Given the rather large expenditure of power involved in transmitting the ultrasonic beams (offsetting the losses to air) perhaps coffee shops that embrace the technology would not have to heat their establishments in winter.
Where I live coffee shops don't heat their establishments in winter, and they might need to uprate their air cons to deal with ubeams in the spring, summer and autumn.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: eneuro on November 11, 2015, 08:55:18 PM
I believe there is a possible "green" aspect to the proposed technology that has not been discussed.
Yep, they could use their breakthrougth ultrasound transducers tracking technolgy to... kill mosquitos from the sky at the yard like this laser :-DD

New laser zaps mosquitoes out of the air
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH_x3kpG8Z4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH_x3kpG8Z4)

But this is my idea disclousued right now at EEVBlog, so I think it can be used as prior art if Mrs Perry wanted patent this, so she have to have another great dream if she wants make profit, else the only way to earn something on u  :bullshit: Beam will be The 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony (http://www.improbable.com/ig/2015/)

Quote
"The 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners - Each has done something that makes people laugh then think"

But hey showed results of his work to win this price, so there is huge difference and probably no chance for u  :bullshit: Beam win even this  :palm:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on November 13, 2015, 12:23:47 PM
Nope. Wind turbines aren't giant propellers. The blades aren't pushing on the air, the air is pushing on the blade. You'd be surprised how quiet they are when you stand right under one.

The whole 'wind farms make me sick' brigade pretty much belongs in the same camp as the "wifi makes me sick' brigade. Attempts have been made to record any sound at all in the houses of the affected but I don't think anybody's managed it yet.

You should watch Windfall. Last time I checked it was on Netflix.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:17:32 PM
Their website now suggests charging on planes.
Yeah, that's going to work a treat...  :palm:

(http://i.imgur.com/9VHdSuL.png)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 04, 2015, 02:22:44 PM
Their website now suggests charging on planes.
Yeah, that's going to work a treat...  :palm:

(http://i.imgur.com/9VHdSuL.png)
There's a lot of vibrational energy on a plane, you know. Its amazing how they can shake electronics to pieces given a few years.  :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:24:22 PM
And this guy is the VP of engineering:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler)

Will be interesting to see if he's still there when the ship sinks.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:46:04 PM
More Jobs:
http://ubeam.com/career/ (http://ubeam.com/career/)

Quote
Vice President, Electrical Engineering
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

uBeam is seeking a VP of Electrical Engineering to oversee and manage the design and build of uBeam transmitter and receiver electronics from prototype to production. The VP of EE will have experience in driving at least one consumer electronic device from concept to production. The candidate will understand the requirements for volume production and the tradeoffs that make fast prototypes possible. The candidate will be responsible for overseeing the design, integration, and qualification of the electronics systems. The ideal candidate has designed high volume, high power, high-quality consumer electronics products with a consistent focus on product design as well as attention to detail. The candidate will work closely with in-house and contract engineering teams (EE, Acoustic) to develop complete solutions.

They will work with the rest of the team to design, develop, and bring the products from concept to production. The candidate will also be responsible for building out the team to fit its needs as the company grows.

Desired Skills and Experience

Electrical engineering design/engineering/build/test
Acoustic transducer driver (or low frequency power amplifier) & interface electronics
Electronics simulation (eg SPICE), design optimization, and model iteration using experimental data
Mixed signal (analog & digital) ASIC design
Battery charging and power management electronics
Microcontroller programming and architecture
PCB design, engineering, build, and test experience
Key differentiator is specific experience in all common methods of PCB fabrication and assembly (etch/mill/stencil/pick-place/etc)
Design AND build experience with high density PCBs
Chip-on-board & flex circuit design experience
Consumer electronics design experience
ASIC Design & ASIC House Selection
Electronics production and manufacturing experience
 Experience in selecting EE components, writing detailed electrical specification of the system interface, and test plan documents
Communication of design requirements to fabrication houses
Define Design for Manufacturing (DFM) guidelines
Prototype build, test, and debugging
Working with vendors/suppliers/manufacturing partners
Experience in analyzing trade-offs between performance, manufacturability and cost
Clearly articulate, track, and drive project objectives in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
Accurately summarize and communicate project status, risks, and mitigation plans to other departments and to executive management
Identify and resolve project dependencies and issues quickly and efficiently
Own all scheduling and logistics for a project
Develop and maintain strong working relationships with internal and external resources
Guide the team in accomplishing the roadmap, from both a product and a technical perspective
Ensure that timelines are met
Ensure that each phase of product development process is carefully managed and adhered to
Leadership Experience

Performance, scalability, reliability and capacity planning
Hardware and Software Interoperability
Ability to effectively work and collaborate across groups boundaries
An influential leader who get things done
Experience in hiring, mentoring and building a team from the start
Excellent communication skills
Education/Experience

BS EE/CE degree required, MS/PhD desired
15+ years industry experience
ABOUT YOU

Given the future growth trajectory, uBeam is building the necessary bench strength to propel the company into the future. As much as technical qualifications, and leadership excellence are key to your success, you manifest the fundamental values of our company culture that are critical to our ability to eventually power the world seamlessly:

If it doesn’t break the laws of physics, it can be done
Take “charge” of your destiny. Think around corners. Always have 3 backup plans.
Make and beat commitments

Quote
Senior Vision Scientist
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

The senior vision scientist will be responsible for the object detection and tracking component of the uBeam power delivery system. They will use their knowledge in the field of object detection to identify and catalog mobile devices within the uBeam environment. They will also develop practical models to enable tracking (and predictive tracking ) of those devices. They will also develop methods to estimate the pose of the device.

Responsibilities

Prototype hardware and software solutions for tracking, detection and modeling
Develop creative computer vision and tracking software
Build novel real-time 3D object detection techniques and systems
Research and prototype techniques and algorithms for object detection and recognition
Contribute research that can be applied to uBeam product development
Devise data-driven models of human movement and behavior within the uBeam environment
Develop robust software to integrating multiple sensors and tracking systems
Research and prototype techniques and algorithms for moving object detection, segmentation, or and recognition
Assist with the translation of these algorithms and techniques to an embedded system and understand the tradeoffs required.
Requirements

PhD in Computer Science / Engineering or Electrical Engineering with a focus on Computer Vision and/or Machine Learning
3+ years experience in computer vision and machine learning
Competence with computer vision/machine learning libraries such as OpenCV, Matlab, or Torch
Hands-on experience with object detection and tracking, and optical flow
Fast prototyping skills, including comprehensive feature integration during all cycles of development
Practical knowledge of machine learning, Bayesian filtering, information theory, and 3D geometry
Demonstrated experience in a high level language (C++ /C# / Python etc)
Collaborative, positive, team-oriented mindset
Excellent technical writing and problem solving skills.

Quote
Engineering Projet Manager
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

The Engineering Project Manager will manage and lead a cross functional team of skilled EE, Acoustic, SW and ME engineers. This role manages and tracks schedules and communicates risks and priorities. The successful candidate will be following up on day to day activities with the engineering team having the top level project goals in sight at all times.

The uBeam EPM role is highly technical. The uBeam EPM will utilize a solid EE/CE background to understand technical details of cross-functional issues and risks. This will enable you to set the proper priorities and put risk mitigation plans in place.

Key Qualifications

BS EE/CE degree required, MS/PhD desired
5+ years of industry experience
5+ years of project management experience
Excellent communication skills verbally and written
Experience with portable consumer electronics devices
Strong technical background
Experienced in setting up project schedules and work breakdown structures
Description

Lead cross-functional development teams
Management and tracking of development schedules
Identify and prioritize project tasks and risks
Drive engineering teams, managers, and suppliers, to integrate their deliverables and schedules into the project
Collaborate with contract manufacturers
Interaction with cross-functional team including Electrical Engineering, Firmware, Acoustics, and Mechanical Engineering
Communicating status and the big picture to the project team and management
Project risk assessment
Clearly articulate, track, and drive project objectives in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
Accurately summarize and communicate project status, risks, and mitigation plans to other departments and to executive management
Identify and resolve project dependencies and issues quickly and efficiently
Own all scheduling and logistics for a project
Develop and maintain strong working relationships with internal and external resources
Guide the team in accomplishing the roadmap, from both a product and a technical perspective
Ensure that timelines are met
Ensure that each phase of product development process is carefully managed and adhered to
Education

BS EE/CE degree required, MS/PhD desired

ABOUT YOU

Given the future growth trajectory, uBeam is building the necessary bench strength to propel the company into the future. As much as technical qualifications, and leadership excellence are key to your success, you manifest the fundamental values of our company culture that are critical to our ability to eventually power the world seamlessly:

If it doesn’t break the laws of physics, it can be done
Take “charge” of your destiny. Think around corners. Always have 3 backup plans.
Make and meet commitments
Break Boundaries
You are a renegade of technology. You look at complex engineering projects with grit and an obsessive desire to execute. You plan for success and you plan for failures.   Attention to detail is critical, and managing and mitigating risk are core to your DNA. You have a unique ability to manage and motivate very smart leading edge thinkers – to inspire excellence, quality and creativity.

You have been there, done that, and love to coach, teach and train, but with a sense of urgency in driving to milestones. Having led many a team from concept to mass production, the obstacles ahead still excite you as you apply those learnings to a new technology.

The uBeam mission:

uBeam is a disruptive wireless power company whose products beam electricity through the air to wirelessly charge electronic devices via bleeding edge and novel ultrasonic energy transmission and harvesting technology.  It is the wireless charging analog to WiFi.

uBeam is the world’s first & only commercially viable true wireless power technology that can charge consumer electronics over the air safely, without interfering with communication systems, and without enormous transmitters/receivers.   uBeam will charge the gamut of electronic devices – everything from hearing aid batteries, to smartphones, to flat screen TVs.

Our engineering team is comprised of world-class multidisciplinary inventors, where the word “impossible” is not part of our lexicon.  We take pride in solving the most difficult and complex technological problems quickly, across many fields.  At uBeam, we go from PowerPoint to prototype in a month or less.  We’re on a mission to untether the world, and we’re in search of a hands-on, seasoned, dedicated engineering leader who is driven to push the boundaries of technology.  We’re looking for someone who wants to leave their boring 9-to-5 desk job and come join uBeam to make tectonic shifts in the world of electricity.

We’re extremely well capitalized with backers including Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel, Upfront Ventures, Marissa Mayer, Mark Cuban and others.

Quote
Transducer Acoustics Engineer
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

uBeam is seeking candidates with physics/EE background focused on electromechanical transduction devices, specifically, design, test, simulation and construction of piezoelectric transducer systems to work on high power airborne ultrasonic phased array transmission systems. Candidate will work with EEs and Acoustic Transducer engineers to design, model, and test optimal systems.

Desired Skills and Experience:

Applicant must have demonstrated experience in the following core responsibilities:

Electromechanical Transducer Design:

Fundamentals of electromechanical device design, sensors and/or actuators. Piezoelectric devices a plus
Phased arrays, 2D phased array experience a plus
Beamforming methods, implementation and optimization
Experience of integration of design into mass produced product
Multi-industry experience desirable
Acoustics or energy harvesting knowledge desirable
Transducer/Acoustic Numerical Simulation

Fundamentals of calculations for standard device metrics and beam calculation
Experience in FE codes

ANSYS, Simulia, COMSOL, PZFlex and other specialist codes such as Field II and general codes such as MATLAB and Octave, CAD such as SolidWorks or Pro-E.
Small Scale or MEMS Device Manufacture

Hands on experience in construction of transduction devices, millimeter or smaller scale
Bonding, alignment, wiring
Familiar with basic clean rooms, cleaners, ovens, wire/blade saws
Test Experience

Experience in standard ultrasound testing equipment:
Impedance analyzers, vibrometers, hydrophones etc.
Analysis and presentation of large quantities of test data, and validation of simulation results.
Materials knowledge of fundamentals of constituent components

Piezoelectric knowledge a plus
Programming

Knowledge of basic scripting languages such as Python, LabView
Experience in numerical coding of physical phenomena a plus
Educational Background

7-10+ years experience or equivalent
Engineering or Physics degree required
ABOUT YOU

Self-starter, ability to work in a cross disciplinary team in a rapidly growing company.
This is an ideal position for an experienced and talented engineer looking for the opportunity to make a major contribution to a ground-breaking technology product.  May be individual contributor growing to manager role or above
Candidate must be able to work in the U.S.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:48:57 PM
and more jobs:
Quote
Digital Hardware Engineer
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

The Hardware Digital Design engineer will design, implement and bring-up high-speed digital boards. They will use their experience in microprocessor and FPGA based systems to realize a commercially viable product. Leveraging their experience to achieve a cost competitive layout. They should be familiar with the typical control and signaling protocols of high speed microprocessors and systems.

Responsibilities:

They will own the Transmitter Controller Board from design through EVT, DVT and to production. Including regulatory testing and approvals.

Requirements:

10+ years of experience in hardware digital design engineering.
Proven experience with board level design and FPGA
Proven success in building high speed digital boards with Application Processor, DDR3, Flash memory, Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth
Experience in designing with standard interfaces such as PCIe, I2C, SPI, MMC and JTAG.
Experience in designing with DC/DC buck/boost converter, LDO and other power regulators used on PCB.
Experience working with a team on PCB layout.
Experience working with the software team on debugging and problem resolution.
Involvement with regulatory testing activities.

Quote
Electrical/Mechanical Super-Technician
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

uBeam is seeking an experienced technician to assist engineering staff in the development of a consumer electromechanical product, with responsibility for developing and testing solutions to solve technical problems in research and development, and manufacturing.

The technician will be responsible for conducting procedures and tests, maintains and repairs electrical/electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems and components. The position applies knowledge of electrical/electronics and mechanical principles in diagnosing equipment malfunctions and applies skills in restoring equipment to operation, and provides skilled mechanical and electrical/electronic support to all areas of manufacturing.

Our major requirement: Resourceful and creative solutions to complex technical problems in electrical and mechanical areas.

Can read schematics for both electronic and mechanical drawings.
Ability to debug both electronic systems and mechanical systems.
Assist engineers and scientists as they create, modify, and test products and processes.
Perform extensive research and development during creation phase of product.
Inspect products and processes for flaws and identify areas of improvement.
Conduct tests and collect data.
Assist in product design, development, and production.
Build and set up equipment.
Prepare and conduct experiments.
Calculate or record results during experiments.
Create prototypes of equipment.
Utilize computer-aided design and drafting equipment during design phase.
Calibrate test equipment.
Familiar with basic prototyping and machining equipment such as lathes, mills, 3D printers, laser micromachining etc
Experience with standard software packages for mCAD and eCAD
Experience transferring designs to manufacture
5+ years relevant experience
This is an ideal position for an experienced and talented engineer looking for the opportunity to make a major contribution to a ground-breaking technology product.

Candidate must be able to work in the U.S.

Quote
Electrical Engineer- Digital Engineer
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

uBeam is seeking Digital Signal Engineers to work on uBeam transmitter and receiver systems.  Senior level candidates should have experience / qualifications matching the majority of requirements

EE candidates will be responsible for the design, integration, and qualification of the electronics systems.  The ideal candidate has designed and brought up digital high speed boards and high volume, high power, high-quality consumer electronics products with a consistent focus on product design as well as attention to detail.  The candidate will work closely with in-house and contract engineering teams (EE, Acoustic) to develop complete solutions.  They will work with the rest of the team to design, develop, and bring the products from concept to production.

Applicant are desired with experience in the following areas:

5+ years experience in design and bring up of digital high speed boards.
Design experience of standard interfaces such as USB, SPI, I2C etc.
Experience in uProcessor layout and routing,
FPGA break out and routing
Power supplies and power supply sequencing for the above
Memory modules, and high speed interfaces between both FPGA, uP and memory
Familiarity with integration of bluetooth/ wifi modules and ethernet PHY
Additionally, candidates should have demonstrated success with uP layouts and fabrication (requirement). Understanding of the requirements and constraints of high speed memory and bus layout and routing critical.
Some understanding of firmware a plus (Linux, FreeRTOS, etc)
BS EE/CE degree required, MS/PhD desired
7+ years industry experience
You manifest the fundamental values of our company culture that are critical to our ability to eventually power the world seamlessly:
If it doesn’t break the laws of physics, it can be done
Take “charge” of your destiny. Think around corners. Always have 3 backup plans.
Make and meet commitments
Break Boundaries

Quote
Electrical Engineer- Mixed Signal
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

uBeam is seeking Electrical Engineers to work on uBeam transmitter and receiver systems.  Senior level candidates should have experience / qualifications matching the majority of requirements

EE candidates will be responsible for the design, integration, and qualification of the electronics systems.  The ideal candidate has designed high volume, high power, high-quality consumer electronics products with a consistent focus on product design as well as attention to detail.  The candidate will work closely with in-house and contract engineering teams (EE, Acoustic) to develop complete solutions.  They will work with the rest of the team to design, develop, and bring the products from concept to production.

Applicant are desired with experience in the following areas:

Electrical engineering design/engineering/build/test
Acoustic transducer driver (or low frequency power amplifier) & interface electronics
Electronics simulation (eg SPICE), design optimization, and model iteration using experimental data
Mixed signal (analog & digital) ASIC design
Battery charging and power management electronics
Microcontroller programming and architecture
PCB design, engineering, build, and test experience
Key differentiator is specific experience in all common methods of PCB fabrication and assembly (etch/mill/stencil/pick-place/etc)
Design AND build experience with high density PCBs
Chip-on-board & flex circuit design experience
Consumer electronics design experience
Electronics production and manufacturing experience
Experience in selecting EE components, writing detailed electrical specification of the system interface, and test plan documents
Communication of design requirements to fabrication houses
Define Design for Manufacturing (DFM) guidelines
Prototype build, test, and debugging
Working with vendors/suppliers/manufacturing partners
Experience in analyzing trade-offs between performance, manufacturability and cost
BS EE/CE degree required, MS/PhD desired7+ years industry experience
You manifest the fundamental values of our company culture that are critical to our ability to eventually power the world seamlessly:
If it doesn’t break the laws of physics, it can be done
Take “charge” of your destiny. Think around corners. Always have 3 backup plans.
Make and meet commitments
Break Boundaries
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:50:00 PM
and even more jobs!

Quote
High Speed Digital Engineer
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

uBeam is seeking High Speed Digital Signal Engineers to work on uBeam transmitter and receiver systems. Senior level candidates should have experience /qualifications matching the majority of requirements. EE candidates will be responsible for the design, integration, and qualification of theelectronics systems. The ideal candidate has designed and brought up digital highspeed boards and high volume, high power, high-quality consumer electronics products with a consistent focus on product design as well as attention to detail. The candidate will work closely with in-house and contract engineering teams (EE, Acoustic) to develop complete solutions. They will work with the rest of the team to design, develop, and bring the products from concept to production.

Desired Skills and Experience

10+ years experience in design and bring up of digital high speed boards.
Design experience of standard interfaces such as USB, SPI, I2C etc.
Experience in uProcessor layout and routing,
FPGA break out and routing
Power supplies and power supply sequencing for the above
Memory modules, and high speed interfaces between both FPGA, uP andmemory
Familiarity with integration of bluetooth/ wifi modules and ethernet PHY
Candidates should have demonstrated success with uP layouts and fabrication (requirement)
Understanding of the requirements and constraints of high speed memory and bus layout and routing critical.
Some understanding of firmware a plus (Linux, FreeRTOS, etc)
Education

BS EE/CE degree required, MS/PhD desired
5+ years industry experience
About You

You manifest the fundamental values of our company culture that are critical to our ability to eventually power the world seamlessly:

If it doesn’t break the laws of physics, it can be done
Take “charge” of your destiny. Think around corners. Always have 3 backup plans.
Make and meet commitments
Break Boundaries
Characteristics Sought:

Self starter
Looking for opportunity for growth
Able to work in fast-paced, deadline driven environment Team environment
Ability to work immediately within US

Quote
Mathematical Physicist
SANTA MONICA, CA AND SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

uBeam is seeking a mathematician, physicist, or engineer comfortable with the fundamental analysis of physical systems. Requires the ability to quickly learn the basic phenomena of a physical system (e.g. electrical, mechanical, acoustic etc) and reduce the system effectively to a mathematical/analytical representation that allows for detailed understanding. This can either be from first principles, or via adaptation of existing work to the specifics of uBeam. Further, the candidate will be able to use this representation to quickly demonstrate key behavioral characteristics of the system, and make statements as to the general effect of changes and assist in the optimization of the system for device needs. Candidate must be competent in programming the developed analytical representation into an efficient software format and presenting results.

Skills

Analytic model development
Control theory optimization
Finite Element and/or numerical simulation experience
Mechanical / Electro-mechanical analysis
Ideal Experience

Beamforming (radar/cell phone/acoustics/WiFi/SONAR)
Numeric algorithm optimization
Low-level programming experience (C/Asm)
Parallelization experience
Mathematical modeling from first principles
MEMS/sensor/actuator experience Education/Experience
Minimum Bachelors in a hard science, engineering, mathematics. MS/PhD desired
Computer Science, 5-7+ years or equivalent experience. Specific Tool Knowledge
Desirable Python/NumPY
C/Asm
MATLAB Extra
LabVIEW Any major FE package VHDL/Verilog
Characteristics Sought

Self starter
Looking for opportunity for growth
Able to work in fast-paced, deadline driven environment Team environment
Ability to work immediately within US
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 04, 2015, 02:50:51 PM
Interesting job descriptions. They are looking at vision based methods of finding the target devices to beam at? That sounds a rather weird approach, but it does help with ensure unobstructed line of sight beaming, I guess.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:52:14 PM
Those jobs are worded like they are almost starting from scratch again  :-//
Doesn't sounds like job descriptions for extra people to get over the last hurdle into production.

My favourite quote is:
Quote
Think around corners. Always have 3 backup plans.
Yeah, you need backup plans when you realise that your whole fundamental concept is impractical in the real word
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 04, 2015, 02:55:41 PM
Those jobs are worded like they are almost starting from scratch again  :-//
Doesn't sounds like job descriptions for extra people to get over the last hurdle into production.

My favourite quote is:
Quote
Think around corners. Always have 3 backup plans.
Yeah, you need backup plans when you realise that your whole fundamental concept is impractical in the real word
They certainly don't sound like jobs to grow a team. They sound more like they have lost everyone, and are recruiting a replacement team.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:57:36 PM
Interesting job descriptions. They are looking at vision based methods of finding the target devices to beam at? That sounds a rather weird approach

It sounds like a getting desperate approach to me.
Their biggest problem (among many) is efficency. Efficiency is practically zero unless you know precisely where the phone is at least several meters away and you can steer your beam toward it. And then because people are pesky and move around all the time and block your beam, you need to be able to have multiple transmitters and now perhaps vision system to see if the phone is line of sight, and then switch transmitters as required.

Ubeam has to be the ultimate project that has fallen down the rabbit hole of impracticality.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 02:58:37 PM
They certainly don't sound like jobs to grow a team. They sound more like they have lost everyone, and are recruiting a replacement team.

Yup, sounds precisely like that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: miguelvp on December 04, 2015, 03:17:05 PM
but... dreams can come true right?  :-//

You only need to have a vision and it all can be achieved (by hiring a brand new team)

 :-DD
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 04, 2015, 04:39:15 PM
Here Ted presentation is the last Ted video I ever watched.  I did respect it until then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 04, 2015, 04:42:17 PM
Here Ted presentation is the last Ted video I ever watched.  I did respect it until then.
Did you notice that was a TEDx talk, and not a real TED one? I don't know if they make any attempt to control quality for those external events, but most of the truly iffy talks are TEDx ones.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 04:56:24 PM
Poor Meredith seems a bit on edge:
http://fortune.com/2015/12/02/meredith-perry-ubeam-criticism-science/ (http://fortune.com/2015/12/02/meredith-perry-ubeam-criticism-science/)
Video:
http://for.tn/1TvzoBs (http://for.tn/1TvzoBs)

Nobody is claiming it "breaks the laws of physics"   :palm:
They (we) are claiming that it's not a viable practical solution (except perhaps in niche use scenarios)

A quote from the article:
Quote
If it’s real, Mark Cuban believes it is “a zillion-dollar idea.” Yes, there are wireless charging mats, but they require you to lay your phone on a surface. What Perry has said uBeam will do is “true” wireless charging, where your phone’s battery can charge from across a room, sans wires.

Err, no it's not  :palm:
UBeam can't be used with your phone sitting face up on the table. And It can't be used while you are holding it. About as far from "true" wireless power as you can get!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 04, 2015, 05:10:36 PM
Here Ted presentation is the last Ted video I ever watched.  I did respect it until then.
Did you notice that was a TEDx talk, and not a real TED one? I don't know if they make any attempt to control quality for those external events, but most of the truly iffy talks are TEDx ones.

It's like having CERNx promoting astrology. Still the same brand as CERN.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 04, 2015, 05:20:37 PM
Poor Meredith seems a bit on edge:
http://fortune.com/2015/12/02/meredith-perry-ubeam-criticism-science/ (http://fortune.com/2015/12/02/meredith-perry-ubeam-criticism-science/)
Video:
http://for.tn/1TvzoBs (http://for.tn/1TvzoBs)

Nobody is claiming it "breaks the laws of physics"   :palm:
They (we) are claiming that it's not a viable practical solution (except perhaps in niche use scenarios)
That Fortune article references this http://independentscience.tumblr.com/post/101728968844/ultrasound-thermodynamics-and-robot-overlords (http://independentscience.tumblr.com/post/101728968844/ultrasound-thermodynamics-and-robot-overlords) as something supporting the viability of ubeam. Try reading it. Its quite amusing in how it tears the idea to pieces.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 04, 2015, 06:57:05 PM
I might apply for the job of "Super Technician"!  Is it an Americanism for "Supervising Technician", or just a tech who is absolutely super at their job?  O0
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 04, 2015, 07:00:06 PM
I might apply for the job of "Super Technician"!  Is it an Americanism for "Supervising Technician", or just a tech who is absolutely super at their job?  O0
I think a Super Technician is someone who reports to a Super Duper Technician.

I miss the old days when people from Apple would give you a business card with a job title like "Hardware Wizzkid".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 04, 2015, 07:46:00 PM
I wonder why the previous incumbants left?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TRTkCHE1sS4
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 04, 2015, 08:24:11 PM
Quote
Any theories supporting or questioning uBeam’s science are only theories until there’s an actual concrete product.

Where have we heard that before...?  :palm:

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: GNU_Ninja on December 04, 2015, 08:46:43 PM
It's like having CERNx promoting astrology. Still the same brand as CERN.


Patterns in this proton proton collision indicate romance is in the air, avoid the use of 22 kohm resistors and PNP transistors in your next project. Do not wear a hat next Tuesday.

Mystic CERN predicts  ;)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 09:15:10 PM
And if you want to know Ms Perry’s views on physics and the laws of thermodynamics, here you go:
http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/106297094145/a-brief-negation-of-time (http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/106297094145/a-brief-negation-of-time)

Quote
Like the question of time, all things we know about the universe are only theories.
And yes folks, she has a science degree.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Artlav on December 04, 2015, 09:40:08 PM
Funny thing is, she is not wrong.
In the same sense that it's not wrong to say that you can win a jackpot a 100 times in a row.
Or not wrong to say that all the air in a room can spontaneously move to one side of the room.

Now, how would you explain to common folks that "not wrong" is not the same as "can be expected to ever happen"?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 04, 2015, 09:43:20 PM
And if you want to know Ms Perry’s views on physics and the laws of thermodynamics, here you go:
http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/106297094145/a-brief-negation-of-time (http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/106297094145/a-brief-negation-of-time)

Quote
Like the question of time, all things we know about the universe are only theories.
And yes folks, she has a science degree.
As Tim Minchin says of that twisting of the word theory: Gravity is only a theory. Maybe she'll just float away.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 04, 2015, 10:46:40 PM
Funny thing is, she is not wrong.
In the same sense that it's not wrong to say that you can win a jackpot a 100 times in a row.
Or not wrong to say that all the air in a room can spontaneously move to one side of the room.

Now, how would you explain to common folks that "not wrong" is not the same as "can be expected to ever happen"?

A good lie is built around a kernel of truth. People assume naively that if a part is true then so is the rest. If we can practically transfer 1uw by ultrasound, we can also do the same with 10w.

Looking at the TEDx video, all the signs of a con man and her investors fell for it. Suckers.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2015, 11:00:37 PM
Looking at the TEDx video, all the signs of a con man and her investors fell for it. Suckers.

I think it's clear that she deeply believes it is practical, so it's not a con.
But yes, they are suckers for believing it is practical, she sold them a good story. All they had to do was a bit of real due diligence like Lee Gomes did in his excellent IEEE article and it should have given them more than enough to be highly skeptical. But the investors are believers too, they work in a world where hey only need the slightest hint of "plausible" in order to roll the dice on a massive pay day wet dream.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 05, 2015, 12:32:16 AM
Looking at the TEDx video, all the signs of a con man and her investors fell for it. Suckers.
I think it's clear that she deeply believes it is practical, so it's not a con.
Yep, I actually believe that she thinks that anything that isn't denied by the laws of physics is just an engineering problem.

Find the right engineer? Problem solved!

It hasn't occurred to her that the laws of physics can rule things out purely in terms of practicality, eg. the warp engine for spaceships or brute forcing 128 bit encryption. Both of those are possible on paper, neither will ever happen in practice no matter who attempts them.

It looks like she currently believes a high intensity 'beam' of ultrasound could be aimed at a phone using some sort of optical tracking. Making that work is just another engineering problem.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: andy o on December 05, 2015, 12:44:00 AM
Well, she did read A Brief History of Time, you know.

Quote
After re-visiting Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”, I was inspired to revisit some of my own theories about time

That has got to be the mostest Dunning-Krugerest sentence I've read in a while.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 05, 2015, 01:05:21 AM
We use to have something in this country called "Outcome Based Education" In short it was all about teaching to pass the test.


I think this person, the one who came up with this idea has been a victim of OBE...
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance. This beats the Batterizer for stupid project of the Decade.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 05, 2015, 01:16:57 AM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.

Prove it.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: GNU_Ninja on December 05, 2015, 01:29:37 AM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.

Prove it.  :popcorn:

If you can hear it. Work is being done on your eardrum :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 05, 2015, 01:30:37 AM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.
Prove it.  :popcorn:
If you can hear it. Energy is doing some work on your eardrum  :)

Proof that sound can do work at a distance!

Everything else is just engineering (and thinking outside the box, obviously!)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 05, 2015, 02:51:40 AM
Looking at the TEDx video, all the signs of a con man and her investors fell for it. Suckers.

I think it's clear that she deeply believes it is practical, so it's not a con.

Some people are wired differently than most of us. They can lie with conviction and confidence (hence the 'con' in con man) and don't have the normal qualms that most people have. They are not evil, just wired differently. Don't fall for that over confidence.

I worked once very closely with a person like that and it was an eye opener for me. All the normal assumptions about human behavior and minimal decency don't apply, and when I saw that Ted video many red flagged popped up. I am sure that the people that worked with her and now left the company have many interesting stories to tell.

Gomes put in in nice words but basically it's about lying:
Quote
.. people familiar with the situation say that uBeam engineers felt pressured by management to describe the technology in more optimistic terms than they were comfortable with.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 05, 2015, 03:48:27 AM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.

Prove it.  :popcorn:
It won't be doing enough work to charge a battery at any reasonable rate.
Common sense requires no proof...
Want butter for that popcorn??
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 05, 2015, 03:50:38 AM
I wonder what the health effects are from long term exposure to ultrasound are.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 05, 2015, 03:58:15 AM
I wonder what the health effects are from long term exposure to ultrasound are.

(http://doctorspiller.com/images/Dentures/FlexibleFace.JPG)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dongulus on December 05, 2015, 04:40:15 AM
I wouldn't mind relocating up to Santa Monica. Maybe I should apply and get a share of some of that VC money.

Who knows? When uBeam becomes the next revolution in charging technology I may stand to boatload a lot of money.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 05, 2015, 05:46:10 AM
I heard they are also working on cold fusion and an economical process for turning led into gold.

Here is a song for all the U Beam fans, you and Batterizer mavens...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtx4ZJ1cwI0 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtx4ZJ1cwI0)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on December 05, 2015, 08:14:07 AM
When the whole project finally collapses on her, I predict she'll pull the "I wasn't allowed to be successful because I'm a *woman* in engineering" card. She's already setting up for it.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 05, 2015, 08:22:00 AM
When the whole project finally collapses on her, I predict she'll pull the "I wasn't allowed to be successful because I'm a *woman* in engineering" card. She's already setting up for it.

I have no respect for a female who pulls that without la few pounds of evidence, a lawyer and witnesses to back her up.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 05, 2015, 08:51:46 AM
Looking at the TEDx video, all the signs of a con man and her investors fell for it. Suckers.

I think it's clear that she deeply believes it is practical, so it's not a con.

I'm not sure she understands that  practicality is way more important than whether it's possible.
If she can show that it's possible, she'll think she's proved she was right, and the subsequent failure will be down to the business side of things and then start whinging on about being a victim.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 05, 2015, 09:10:18 AM
I'm not sure she understands that  practicality is way more important than whether it's possible.

She has to by now at least understand of difficulty of executing this in practice, but she obviously thinks that any practicality problem is solvable and that it will be as  amazing s revolution as she thinks it must be. Because, you know, she thought of it, and she's a "Technology innovator"  ::)

Quote
If she can show that it's possible, she'll think she's proved she was right, and the subsequent failure will be down to the business side of things and then start whinging on about being a victim.

The ultimate failure and the blame game will be funny to watch.
They do have an "out" here, as they no doubt have some interesting ultrasound tech that might be spun off into some niche app. Heck, someone might even want to buy it for that.
But this thing was supposed to be the next VC "unicorn" (A billion dollar startup) because it was supposed to revolutionise the world. So I think this one will go completely bust.

And it must go bust, because anyone with any technical sense knows it can't be practical. Heck, UBeam have practically admitted it by saying it can't work through clothes or bodies etc. And the thing is supposed to be a clip on phone cover, so it obviously can't work flat on the bench face up, or while holding it. And the idea will die if it's a dongle people have to carry.
There is simply no way this can succeed as promised. It's done.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dongulus on December 05, 2015, 09:31:29 AM
When the whole project finally collapses on her, I predict she'll pull the "I wasn't allowed to be successful because I'm a *woman* in engineering" card. She's already setting up for it.

I have no respect for a female who pulls that without la few pounds of evidence, a lawyer and witnesses to back her up.

Ahem... Carly Fiorina
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 05, 2015, 12:20:48 PM
When the whole project finally collapses on her, I predict she'll pull the "I wasn't allowed to be successful because I'm a *woman* in engineering" card. She's already setting up for it.

And I predict that a few years after this company will fold she will have another startup and have new investors. There are always new suckers.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 07, 2015, 08:14:06 AM
When the whole project finally collapses on her, I predict she'll pull the "I wasn't allowed to be successful because I'm a *woman* in engineering" card. She's already setting up for it.

I have no respect for a female who pulls that without la few pounds of evidence, a lawyer and witnesses to back her up.

Ahem... Carly Fiorina

That Scank.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: skipjackrc4 on December 07, 2015, 11:36:07 AM
I'm thinking about starting a competing company--aquaBeam.

Rather than installing ultrasound transducers on phones, we'll use water wheels.  A high pressure stream of water will be directed toward the phone from an overhead charging station, thus spinning the wheel and charging the phone.  Worried that a stream of water won't have enough power to charge your power hungry laptop?  No worries!  Select locations will be equipped with a fire hose capable of delivering many watts of power.

You may be thinking that the use of water wheels will not lead to anything practical.  Let me remind you that, according to some, Nikola Tesla once said "The water wheel is the most efficient form of power conversion known to mankind".  If Tesla might have believed in it, so should you!

 O0
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 07, 2015, 04:16:29 PM

I have no respect for a female who pulls that without la few pounds of evidence, a lawyer and witnesses to back her up.

Ahem... Carly Fiorina

That Scank.

Stay classy AF6LJ.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on December 07, 2015, 06:39:20 PM

I'm thinking about starting a competing company--aquaBeam.

Rather than installing ultrasound transducers on phones, we'll use water wheels.  A high pressure stream of water will be directed toward the phone from an overhead charging station, thus spinning the wheel and charging the phone.  Worried that a stream of water won't have enough power to charge your power hungry laptop?  No worries!  Select locations will be equipped with a fire hose capable of delivering many watts of power.

You may be thinking that the use of water wheels will not lead to anything practical.  Let me remind you that, according to some, Nikola Tesla once said "The water wheel is the most efficient form of power conversion known to mankind".  If Tesla might have believed in it, so should you!

 O0

You could change things really fast this way as there's no risk of overheating! I'd like to invest $10 Million. Let's make this shit happen!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 07, 2015, 07:22:16 PM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.
Prove it.  :popcorn:
It won't be doing enough work to charge a battery at any reasonable rate.
Common sense requires no proof...
What won't? What's "it"?

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 10, 2015, 08:08:37 AM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.
Prove it.  :popcorn:
It won't be doing enough work to charge a battery at any reasonable rate.
Common sense requires no proof...
What won't? What's "it"?

The ultrasound what did you think?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikerj on December 10, 2015, 09:46:44 AM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.
Prove it.  :popcorn:
It won't be doing enough work to charge a battery at any reasonable rate.
Common sense requires no proof...
What won't? What's "it"?

Could be way off, but since this entire thread is about uBeam I'm pretty sure 'it' is uBeam.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on December 10, 2015, 09:48:28 AM
Obligatory Simpson's reference:

(http://d.justpo.st/media/images/2014/07/f3307ea5b8ad908d893cd029288d6465.jpg)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on December 10, 2015, 10:29:03 AM
I'm thinking about starting a competing company--aquaBeam.

Rather than installing ultrasound transducers on phones, we'll use water wheels.  A high pressure stream of water will be directed toward the phone from an overhead charging station, thus spinning the wheel and charging the phone.  Worried that a stream of water won't have enough power to charge your power hungry laptop?  No worries!  Select locations will be equipped with a fire hose capable of delivering many watts of power.

You may be thinking that the use of water wheels will not lead to anything practical.  Let me remind you that, according to some, Nikola Tesla once said "The water wheel is the most efficient form of power conversion known to mankind".  If Tesla might have believed in it, so should you!

 O0
I want that technology, my phone is waterproof and my budgie smugglers are on.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2015, 05:38:00 PM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.
Prove it.  :popcorn:
It won't be doing enough work to charge a battery at any reasonable rate.
Common sense requires no proof...
What won't? What's "it"?

The ultrasound what did you think?
I'm just clarifying...

So your claim is: It (ultrasound) cannot, ever, charge a battery. Not with any technology.

My response was: "Prove it!"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 06:06:22 PM
Sound waves no matter how new and improved, or ultra won't get any work done at a distance.
Prove it.  :popcorn:
It won't be doing enough work to charge a battery at any reasonable rate.
Common sense requires no proof...
What won't? What's "it"?

The ultrasound what did you think?
I'm just clarifying...

So your claim is: It (ultrasound) cannot, ever, charge a battery. Not with any technology.

My response was: "Prove it!"
This sloppiness and shifting sands is as bad as the people from uBeam:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2015, 06:16:30 PM
Common sense (at least an experienced engineer's common sense) says this is obviously rubbish.
...but who knows?[/li][/list]

  • The later statement was that ultrasonic could not charge a battery at a reasonable rate. This is probably also false. Pump enough energy out and you could probably charge a phone battery quite fast.
So ... you're not saying it CANNOT be done?

If it's not ruled out by physics then it's just an engineering problem. All we need is somebody smart enough.

Collateral damage might be a problem though. Charging a phone battery at a reasonable rate without crazy energy levels in the air is where it gets interesting. Doing it with a reasonable electric bill also makes it interesting. None of this seems deducible from common sense, though. You need to do the analysis and run the numbers to see just how very serious a challenge this is. So, this claim was on the right track, and was not sufficiently qualified with wording about safety, efficiency and cost to be accurate.[/li][/list]

They used to think similar things about Gamma-ray bursts (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst).

Then somebody really smart figured out they must be narrowly focused beams, not spherical blasts of energy.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 06:22:46 PM
Common sense (at least an experienced engineer's common sense) says this is obviously rubbish.
...but who knows?[/li][/list]

  • The later statement was that ultrasonic could not charge a battery at a reasonable rate. This is probably also false. Pump enough energy out and you could probably charge a phone battery quite fast.
So ... you're not saying it CANNOT be done?

If it's not ruled out by physics then it's just an engineering problem. All we need is somebody smart enough.
What idiot came up with that stupid idea? I keep hearing it used more and more.
Quote
Collateral damage might be a problem though. Charging a phone battery at a reasonable rate without crazy energy levels in the air is where it gets interesting. Doing it with a reasonable electric bill also makes it interesting. None of this seems deducible from common sense, though. You need to do the analysis and run the numbers to see just how very serious a challenge this is. So, this claim was on the right track, and was not sufficiently qualified with wording about safety, efficiency and cost to be accurate.[/li][/list]

They used to think similar things about Gamma-ray bursts (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst).

Then somebody really smart figured out they must be narrowly focused beams, not spherical blasts of energy.
This is the first time I've heard anyone say anything like that about gamma ray bursts, but if you are determined to just make stuff up.....
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2015, 06:37:02 PM
Quote from: fungus
They used to think similar things about Gamma-ray bursts (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst).

Then somebody really smart figured out they must be narrowly focused beams, not spherical blasts of energy.
This is the first time I've heard anyone say anything like that about gamma ray bursts, but if you are determined to just make stuff up.....

Huh?

http://w.astro.berkeley.edu/research/grbs/grbinfo.html (http://w.astro.berkeley.edu/research/grbs/grbinfo.html)

"For a long time, it was believed that GRBs must come from within our own Galaxy. It seemed impossible that they could be much more distant: for a gamma-ray burst to have come from a distant galaxy, it would have to be incredibly powerful to explain its observed brightness."

"We believe them to be beamed - the energy does not escape from the explosion everywhere equally, but is focused into a narrow jet"


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 06:47:42 PM
Quote from: fungus
They used to think similar things about Gamma-ray bursts (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst).

Then somebody really smart figured out they must be narrowly focused beams, not spherical blasts of energy.
This is the first time I've heard anyone say anything like that about gamma ray bursts, but if you are determined to just make stuff up.....

Huh?

http://w.astro.berkeley.edu/research/grbs/grbinfo.html (http://w.astro.berkeley.edu/research/grbs/grbinfo.html)

"For a long time, it was believed that GRBs must come from within our own Galaxy. It seemed impossible that they could be much more distant: for a gamma-ray burst to have come from a distant galaxy, it would have to be incredibly powerful to explain its observed brightness."

"We believe them to be beamed - the energy does not escape from the explosion everywhere equally, but is focused into a narrow jet"
That's very poorly written. Even Wikipedia describes things better, saying most hypotheses were based on these events originating in our own galaxy because of the high energy levels. Beamed events from distant sources, like pulsars, were known about long before the origins of gamma ray bursts were figured out. It was well know that nature could produce massive output in narrow beams, so that always had to be one of the options.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2015, 07:25:35 PM
It was well know that nature could produce massive output in narrow beams, so that always had to be one of the options.

Right... so why can't uBeam?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 10, 2015, 07:35:41 PM
It was well know that nature could produce massive output in narrow beams, so that always had to be one of the options.

Right... so why can't uBeam?

Because it would damage anything that got in the way, such as your flesh.

Are you taking the piss out of uBeam, playing Devil's advocate, old fashioned trolling, or just being an imbecile?  I genuinely can't work it out!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2015, 07:42:19 PM
Are you taking the piss out of uBeam, playing Devil's advocate, old fashioned trolling, or just being an imbecile?  I genuinely can't work it out!

I'm trying to see if anybody can prove that uBeam is impossible.

eg. We can prove mathematically and experimentally that Batteriser is impossible, what about uBeam? Do we have the same degree of certainty or is it just "very unlikely"?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on December 10, 2015, 07:48:55 PM

Are you taking the piss out of uBeam, playing Devil's advocate, old fashioned trolling, or just being an imbecile?  I genuinely can't work it out!

I'm trying to see if anybody can prove that uBeam is impossible.

eg. We can prove mathematically and experimentally that Batteriser is impossible, what about uBeam?

It's impossible to do efficiently and safely (the frequency and power output required would harm bats, cats, dogs and human hearing at the very least), not to mention the serious practical problems (doesn't work through clothing, while holding the phone or with it laying on a desk).

The detailed explanations have been stated over and over again in this thread. I suggest reading it before making yourself look even dumber.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 07:52:03 PM
It was well know that nature could produce massive output in narrow beams, so that always had to be one of the options.

Right... so why can't uBeam?
They do beam the energy. They actually say that much of their development work has been to build a high performance dynamic phased array beam forming system. They say they steer the beam continuously to focus on the target, with continuous feedback from the target to assist in this process. They also say they will cut the beam if anything gets in the way.

Physics (or maths, if you want to look at it that way) places limits on how much you can focus a beam, and the extent of the sidelobes you will get. This is a path trotten heavily by engineers in the sonar field for more than half a century, so most of the constraints are well understood - although better understood for water as a medium than air. However, it is engineering that places the final constraints. Engineers might find health and safety people annoying, but it would be a very poor engineer who doesn't build things to be safe and healthy to use. High levels of acoustic energy in the air are problematic for humans, and physics says too much of the energy will miss the target for engineers to consider this safe. Physics says this type of charging will be inefficient, but still allows us to use kilowatts to charge a phone. Engineering says the resulting energy bills would only allow the rich to use such a system. Some engineering constraints just won't go away with additional work.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on December 10, 2015, 08:47:03 PM

Are you taking the piss out of uBeam, playing Devil's advocate, old fashioned trolling, or just being an imbecile?  I genuinely can't work it out!

I'm trying to see if anybody can prove that uBeam is impossible.

eg. We can prove mathematically and experimentally that Batteriser is impossible, what about uBeam?

It's impossible to do efficiently and safely (the frequency and power output required would harm bats, cats, dogs and human hearing at the very least), not to mention the serious practical problems (doesn't work through clothing, while holding the phone or with it laying on a desk).

The detailed explanations have been stated over and over again in this thread. I suggest reading it before making yourself look even dumber.
Thank you! Finally people with some sense.
I'll repeat myself: Even if it is possible, it shouldn't be made.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 09:04:06 PM
Are you taking the piss out of uBeam, playing Devil's advocate, old fashioned trolling, or just being an imbecile?  I genuinely can't work it out!
I'm trying to see if anybody can prove that uBeam is impossible.
eg. We can prove mathematically and experimentally that Batteriser is impossible, what about uBeam? Do we have the same degree of certainty or is it just "very unlikely"?

 |O
The uBeam defenders don't get it, including Meredith Perry, so I'll use big bold font to make it clear:

1) uBeam is NOT impossible
2) uBeam does NOT break any laws of physics.


So what's the problem?

uBeam is IMPRACTICAL.
An idea that is caught in an impracticality death spiral into a black hole from which there is no escape.
Although just like black holes emit Hawking radiation, uBeam will always emit marketing wank and little cries of the hopes and dreams of VC's chasing unicorns.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 09:11:06 PM
Are you taking the piss out of uBeam, playing Devil's advocate, old fashioned trolling, or just being an imbecile?  I genuinely can't work it out!
I'm trying to see if anybody can prove that uBeam is impossible.
eg. We can prove mathematically and experimentally that Batteriser is impossible, what about uBeam? Do we have the same degree of certainty or is it just "very unlikely"?

 |O
The uBeam defenders don't get it, including Meredith Perry, so I'll use big bold font to make it clear:

1) uBeam is NOT impossible
2) uBeam does NOT break any laws of physics.


So what's the problem?

uBeam is IMPRACTICAL.
An idea that is caught in an impracticality death spiral into a black hole from which there is no escape.
Although just like black holes emit Hawking radiation, uBeam will always emit marketing wank and little cries of the hopes and dreams of VC's chasing unicorns.
That's an odd choice of words. Almost everything in high volume manufacture today was impractical once upon a time. It it were merely impractical it would be just the kind of thing engineering resources should be put into.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 09:32:25 PM
Here is neat easy infographic that explains uBeam

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=186507;image)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 09:43:32 PM
Here is neat easy infographic that explains uBeam
You like to use the metaphor of VCs chasing unicorns, as though its the height of unrealistic behaviour. Well, we still have some white rhinos in this world. If there's a big enough market its quite plausible that some VC funding could get them genetically engineered to be truly white.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 09:46:24 PM
That's an odd choice of words. Almost everything in high volume manufacture today was impractical once upon a time. It it were merely impractical it would be just the kind of thing engineering resources should be put into.

Oh please.
Not every idea has a practical viable engineering solution, no matter how many resources you put into it.

uBeam has spent 10's of millions of dollars, hired the best people in the business, and no doubt created some great tech in upon itself. But they have admitted they can only get 1.5W @ 4m maximum (almost certainly under the best case ideal conditions - remember these are marketing numbers!) at some ridiculous sound pressure level, using some no doubt ridiculously complicated tracking system for the beam forming that can't go through clothing or any other object, can't use it with the phone face up on a table or while being held in the hand, and no doubt have ridiculously small level of efficiency, and you want to tell me it's just matter of more engineering resources.
 :palm:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 09:51:49 PM
That's an odd choice of words. Almost everything in high volume manufacture today was impractical once upon a time. It it were merely impractical it would be just the kind of thing engineering resources should be put into.

Oh please.
Not every idea has a practical viable engineering solution, no matter how many resources you put into it.

uBeam has spent 10's of millions of dollars, hired the best people in the business, and no doubt created some great tech in upon itself. But they have admitted they can only get 1.5W @ 4m maximum (almost certainly under the best case ideal conditions - remember these are marketing numbers!) at some ridiculous sound pressure level, using some no doubt ridiculously complicated tracking system for the beam forming that can't go through clothing or any other object, can't use it with the phone face up on a table or while being held in the hand, and no doubt have ridiculously small level of efficiency, and you want to tell me it's just matter of more engineering resources.
 :palm:
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 10, 2015, 10:05:44 PM
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".

If VC's want to spend money on further development, let them. They're not crowdfunding backers who need defending.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 10:09:29 PM
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".

Oh please, people know what impractical means.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 10, 2015, 10:12:24 PM
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".

I think you need to look up "impractical" in the dictionary.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 10, 2015, 10:15:08 PM
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".

If VC's want to spend money on further development, let them. They're not crowdfunding backers who need defending.

How do you think these VCs get their money? It's pretty likely to be your pension pot.

http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-09-23/are-public-pensions-inflating-a-venture-capital-bubble (http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-09-23/are-public-pensions-inflating-a-venture-capital-bubble)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 10, 2015, 10:15:20 PM

If VC's want to spend money on further development, let them. They're not crowdfunding backers who need defending.

I don't take the line that all VCs are evil and nasty-wasty amd horrid, so I don't like to see them waste money any more than crowdfunders.  For one, That could be your pension they are investing, and for two, every penny wasted on bullshit like this is a penny that can't be invested in the next decent project to come along.

Although one would hope that VCs would do a bit more investigation of claims than some idiot hipster sat in front of IGG...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 10:22:21 PM
I don't take the line that all VCs are evil and nasty-wasty amd horrid, so I don't like to see them waste money any more than crowdfunders.  For one, That could be your pension they are investing, and for two, every penny wasted on bullshit like this is a penny that can't be invested in the next decent project to come along.

+1

I'll fight for a VC firms right to invest in any batshit crazy idea they like, provided it's their money.
But it may very well be innocent people's money who rely on them to do proper due diligence though, and cut losses when they know they have a turkey on their hands.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on December 10, 2015, 10:25:29 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/clyNLtB.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/DXXXM99.png)

(that's not a Photoshop; Perry actually made that card)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2015, 10:25:58 PM
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".
I think you need to look up "impractical" in the dictionary.
Maybe you should look it up. Its far too broad a word to be using the way Dave does. He has specific intent, and he needs to express that. Some of us try to.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 10, 2015, 10:29:06 PM

If VC's want to spend money on further development, let them. They're not crowdfunding backers who need defending.

I don't take the line that all VCs are evil and nasty-wasty amd horrid, so I don't like to see them waste money any more than crowdfunders.  For one, That could be your pension they are investing, and for two, every penny wasted on bullshit like this is a penny that can't be invested in the next decent project to come along.

Although one would hope that VCs would do a bit more investigation of claims than some idiot hipster sat in front of IGG...

Yes, they should be "sophisticated" investors. I don't think VC's are bad. I just don't think they need defending. They take risks, some pay off, most don't.
I take a sort of organic view of VC investment, it is a bit like a genetic mutation, try things and see what comes of it. It could be that in the process of failing they develop another thing that takes them into a completely new direction.

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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 10:30:19 PM
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".
I think you need to look up "impractical" in the dictionary.
Maybe you should look it up. Its far too broad a word to be using the way Dave does. He has specific intent, and he needs to express that. Some of us try to.

Excuse me for not being a linguistical poet ninja and master of the Queens English.
How about you amaze us with the word you'd use?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 10:35:22 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.

That is the only exit for them. To spin off the tech into some niche app before the whole mobile phone charging idea goes belly-up.
I suspect they won't be able to do that with Perry in charge though, she's the true believer.
Either way someone will likely gobble up the tech, maybe for pennies on the dollar.
They have a class 100 clean room apparently, and no doubt some leading edge ultrasonic beamforming tech.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 10:36:52 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/clyNLtB.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/DXXXM99.png)

(that's not a Photoshop; Perry actually made that card)

She did indeed offer me a tour.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 10, 2015, 10:37:45 PM
Excuse me for not being a linguistical poet ninja and master of the Queens English.
How about you amaze us with the word you'd use?

"linguistic" might get you closer to an exhalted level of "master of the Queen's English"  ;)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 10, 2015, 10:39:03 PM
Kickstarter to send Dave to LA?  :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 10:43:25 PM
Kickstarter to send Dave to LA?  :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

I'd probably immediately get that same nauseous feeling I get when I enter a church.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 10, 2015, 10:44:55 PM
So looks like I'm not getting an invite antime soon....
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 10, 2015, 10:45:39 PM
Kickstarter to send Dave to LA?  :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

I'd probably immediately get that same nauseous feeling I get when I enter a church.
And doubtles a ridiculous NDA...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 10, 2015, 10:45:53 PM
Take something to settle your stomach and accept her offer.  Come on Dave, call her bluff.  It's a win all round.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 10:48:33 PM
I do find it very convenient timing that mere minutes after I tweet that I'm thinking about doing a debunking video on uBeam, that she contacts me being all nice with an offer of a tour.
If I was cynical I'd say she's a tad nervous about a debunking video going out to 300,000 subscribers  ;D
Don't blame her though, uBeam copped a public flogging in Lee Gomes's excellent IEEE article.
If I was her I'd be in firefighting mode.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 10, 2015, 11:38:54 PM
Dave, is just just having a lie down and deciding to not bother an option? Yeah, it will be popular and get lots of views and that's fine, but in the end you will have debunked something that has been debunked enough already. If it too good a sport to resist then please add something new to the issue. Flogging this nag to death is starting to seem cruel.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 11:43:40 PM
Dave, is just just having a lie down and deciding to not bother an option?

Yeah, it's a real option. The video would actually require a lot of work researching various stuff and would be a big editing effort. Not something I could complete in day, which is my usual enthusiasm bar for videos. A lot more than just a blab with me shouting it's a load of bunk.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 10, 2015, 11:47:35 PM
I think the only remaining angle is "Ubeam could work but is still stupid"
Start with "ultrasonic charging is completely possible" and show a simple demo with 2 U/S transducers, charging a small capacitance to flash a LED.
Then go through all the reasons why it doesn't scale, including that even if all the tech could be made to work, other issues like needing a dongle because phone makers will never build it in make it pointless.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2015, 11:54:05 PM
Then go through all the reasons why it doesn't scale, including that even if all the tech could be made to work, other issues like needing a dongle because phone makers will never build it in make it pointless.

And then the dongle doesn't work phone face up on the table, or held in your hand, and at best under ideal totally clear line of sight conditions based on the best marketing numbers they can muster, can only deliver 1.5W at 4m at a ridiculously low efficiency that would destroy the planet if it was used on a global scale.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 10, 2015, 11:59:15 PM
What relevance does that have to what I said? This idea has deep seated problems that won't go away. Most engineers can see that. However, when you use words like "impractical", and talk about "chasing unicorns" most people don't hear "ridiculous". They hear "needs further development".
I think you need to look up "impractical" in the dictionary.
Maybe you should look it up. Its far too broad a word to be using the way Dave does. He has specific intent, and he needs to express that.
I did. There's no doubt in what's being said in context, but evidentially for some reason best known to yourself I can only conclude that you're being deliberately vexatious and deliberately misconstruing what's being said.
Quote
Some of us try to.

Well, you're not doing a very good job of it, the only obvious thing I can see you expressing is deliberate misunderstanding.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 11, 2015, 12:06:07 AM
Dave, is just just having a lie down and deciding to not bother an option?

Yeah, it's a real option. The video would actually require a lot of work researching various stuff and would be a big editing effort. Not something I could complete in day, which is my usual enthusiasm bar for videos. A lot more than just a blab with me shouting it's a load of bunk.

OTOH it might be good if tech journals had a regular go-to place for debunking.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: GNU_Ninja on December 11, 2015, 12:39:55 AM
Some links for your amusement and edification ... The Spectrum article is somewhat critical of uBeam's claims, the other links are just some general stuff on ultrasound power delivery. Enjoy  :)

https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/opticalandsemidev/Public/Publications/Ultrasonic%20vs.%20Inductive.pdf (https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/opticalandsemidev/Public/Publications/Ultrasonic%20vs.%20Inductive.pdf)

http://phys.org/news/2013-12-method-wirelessly-recharging-medical-device.html (http://phys.org/news/2013-12-method-wirelessly-recharging-medical-device.html)

http://www.ktu.lt/ultra/journal/pdf_50_1/50-2004-Vol.1_09-A.Vladisauskas.pdf (http://www.ktu.lt/ultra/journal/pdf_50_1/50-2004-Vol.1_09-A.Vladisauskas.pdf)

http://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/experts-still-think-ubeamrsquos-throughtheair-charging-tech-is-unlikely (http://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/experts-still-think-ubeamrsquos-throughtheair-charging-tech-is-unlikely)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on December 11, 2015, 01:01:39 AM
I do find it very convenient timing that mere minutes after I tweet that I'm thinking about doing a debunking video on uBeam, that she contacts me being all nice with an offer of a tour.
If I was cynical I'd say she's a tad nervous about a debunking video going out to 300,000 subscribers  ;D
Don't blame her though, uBeam copped a public flogging in Lee Gomes's excellent IEEE article.
If I was her I'd be in firefighting mode.
Firefighting mode only works when you can put the fire out.

She has a fire in a coal mine and the smart thing to do is to admit it is not practical and walk away. (maybe pick up a year's worth of physics classes at the local JC.)

The idea of wireless charging and power distribution is sexy but isn't going to happen with our current knowledge of physics, maybe not at all but who knows..
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 11, 2015, 01:03:38 AM
Is there any way to make some money from the inevitable failure of this ludicrous project?
Like those crazy stock market dudes do when they short-sell shares?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 11, 2015, 01:13:32 AM
Is there any way to make some money from the inevitable failure of this ludicrous project?
Like those crazy stock market dudes do when they short-sell shares?

It's a private company, so.... no.

Not unless you can find somebody willing to make a private bet against you.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 11, 2015, 01:17:01 AM
Is there any way to make some money from the inevitable failure of this ludicrous project?
Like those crazy stock market dudes do when they short-sell shares?

It's a private company, so.... no.

Not unless you can find somebody willing to make a private bet against you.

Can I interest anyone in a private bet?  :-DD
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 11, 2015, 01:30:04 AM
I think the only remaining angle is "Ubeam could work but is still stupid"
Start with "ultrasonic charging is completely possible" and show a simple demo with 2 U/S transducers, charging a small capacitance to flash a LED.
Then go through all the reasons why it doesn't scale, including that even if all the tech could be made to work, other issues like needing a dongle because phone makers will never build it in make it pointless.

Actually this could be interesting. If you use the "lead a horse to water" technique. Show how it works (in principle) and let people draw their own conclusions. Might be both effective and educational. Your time would be much better spent. The less specific details on uBeam the better.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on December 11, 2015, 02:31:05 AM

So looks like I'm not getting an invite antime soon....

That's a great picture of her. She has that desperate look of quite contemplation and fear that only someone about to have a barbed pine cone removed from their ass could muster.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: GNU_Ninja on December 11, 2015, 02:55:16 AM
Looks like they're hiring. http://ubeam.com/career/ (http://ubeam.com/career/) Anybody feel up to the 'challenge'  >:D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 11, 2015, 03:28:42 AM
Quote
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 ;)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 11, 2015, 05:53:37 AM
Quote
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...)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur 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%.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2015, 05:08:59 PM
So looks like I'm not getting an invite antime soon....

I'm special too:
(http://i.imgur.com/30hPgpJ.png)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog 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 :
(http://i.imgur.com/NgzOqP5.png)

It's outright disgusting to champion a power technology with such wastage!
They should change that slogan to "Waste At 100%"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur 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 :
(http://i.imgur.com/NgzOqP5.png)

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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 11, 2015, 06:54:53 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?

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.
Title: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 11, 2015, 09:51:28 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?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet 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)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikerj 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 12, 2015, 09:43:35 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.

Thank you. :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 12, 2015, 10:18:35 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.

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)
Distilling out all reference to the uBeam I am just passing comment on being accused of failing to listen to the broad debate by someone who is unable or unwilling to comprehend what I am trying to say. To me that is just ironic. I'd already admitted on a couple of occasions that I accepted the idea as impractical.

There are lots of accidental discoveries from Penicillin, Microwave ovens, Teflon and who can overlook Viagra that spring forth from clever people trying to solve other problems. It is immaterial that the other problem was or was not impractical. Even if nothing comes of uBeam the engineers involved will carry a body of experience to their next project and who knows what happens next.

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.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff 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. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 12, 2015, 11:48:28 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.

I've still moved on from uBeam. I'm only interested in the serendipitous accidental discoveries or small technical advances that get thrown up when smart people,and I mean the working engineers, are employed to solve problems. There would be quite a few gaining useful experience, knowledge and employment. None of them need be greedy, delusional or lacking in technical knowledge and common sense.

I know uBeam will never work but what of it? Lots of people work on things that never see the light of day for all sorts of reasons. I am just saying that the engineer developing the ultrasonic transducers, or whatever small part, is not necessarily wasting their time. There are very few Einsteins or Turings in the world who invent something completely new. Most developments occur in small incremental steps. Like any journey, in getting to the destination you can see a lot on the way. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 12, 2015, 12:18:54 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.

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.

Well, yes, that is the depressing big picture view.  That's the reality of the world we live in. No amount of ranting will change it.
I don't quite agree that the money is only "yours and mine". Sure it is not theirs but to the extent that they (uBeam) have persuaded VC's to part with money they have available I'm OK with it. VC are supposed to not be gullible or ignorant (of risk) ordinary people. They are answerable to the people who give them money to back risky ventures. Those people one hopes are also not stupid and not unaware of the risk involved.

In the world of business smart people need money and money needs smart people. I'll say it again uBeam is impractical and won't work but until the money runs out a lot of good engineers will do the best they can.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: miguelvp 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: DutchGert 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
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: SL4P on December 15, 2015, 11:58:33 PM
Can we nail a Batteriser on to uBeam, and get 5x the range?  :-/O
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur 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/ (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: helius 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog 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/ (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/)

Woah!
Where is their crowd funding campaign?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong 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/ (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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur 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!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur 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"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta 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"

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2015, 05:54:30 PM
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/ (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/)
Quote
UBeam’s crowdfunding efforts have so far raised $2.6 million of its $4.7 million target, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That amount was raised from 95 investors, who each invested a minimum of $10,000. The crowdfunding effort began in July and is being facilitated by crowdfunding platform OurCrowd of Jerusalem.

So they found another 95 suckers to fleece >$10K out of.
Got to give them an A for effort.
The question is though why do they need it?
Didn't they just get another $10M option from the original investors?
http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/ubeam-wireless-charging-funding/ (http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/ubeam-wireless-charging-funding/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 19, 2015, 10:54:10 PM
And how exactly can you piss away $30m and have nothing to show for it...?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 19, 2015, 11:03:31 PM
And how exactly can you piss away $30m and have nothing to show for it...?
I see you've never worked on a defence contract. :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2015, 11:28:04 PM
And how exactly can you piss away $30m and have nothing to show for it...?
I see you've never worked on a defence contract. :)

True indeed.
I've worked on military projects that have pissed away >$10M and never saw the light of day. And that's chicken feed.

But in the case of uBeam, from what I have gathered, it seems they have set up their own class 100 cleanroom, their own transducer manufacturing facilities, all the latest high end manufacturing toys etc. Not to mention the high end staff for several years etc.
Wouldn't be too hard to spend that money if you bet big time by designing and setting up high volume custom manufacturing based on faith that it's all going to work as intended.
The 30 odd patent also would have cost a pretty penny, probably half a mil right there.
So they certainly won't have "nothing to show for it", they'd have considerable asset that could be sold off. or combined with the patents and know-how of whatever staff is left holding the bag, it would be worth something to a buyer for a niche application.
Odds are though it'll all be sold for pennies on the dollar when the merry-go-round eventually stops.

They are obviously starting the death spiral. All the signs are there:
a) Apparent loss of significant staff
b) Starting what sounds for all the world like a major R&D and production staff reboot
c) Going for the crowd funding after having raised $30M (and presumably spent with nothing publicly to show for it)
d) Both Meredith and one the key investors personally looking for and putting out potential media fires on twitter recently.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 19, 2015, 11:48:26 PM
But in the case of uBeam, from what I have gathered, it seems they have set up their own class 100 cleanroom, their own transducer manufacturing facilities, all the latest high end manufacturing toys etc. Not to mention the high end staff for several years etc.
Where did you find that? Sounds like an interesting read. The key to success doing anything really new is to only solve one major problem. Setting up the production of piezo devices, rather than going to existing experts in the field, like Morgan, seems insane.
The 30 odd patent also would have cost a pretty penny, probably half a mil right there.
Not cheap, but spending on patents is exactly where you need to put your money when you are trying to start something you hope will become big.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 20, 2015, 12:22:23 AM
But in the case of uBeam, from what I have gathered, it seems they have set up their own class 100 cleanroom, their own transducer manufacturing facilities, all the latest high end manufacturing toys etc. Not to mention the high end staff for several years etc.
Where did you find that?

LinkedIn profiles.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeaguerra (https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeaguerra)
Oops, class 10,000 sorry

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=188175;image)

They are doing their own $1M+ ASIC too:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler)
(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=188312;image)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikerj on December 20, 2015, 03:13:40 AM
Odds are though it'll all be sold for pennies on the dollar when the merry-go-round eventually stops.

Or the Merrideth-go-round in this case.

Why are people still investing significant sums of money into a technology that's not only unproven, but has negligible chance of success?  Is common sense now an endangered commodity, or is there some other angle to this?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 20, 2015, 03:47:58 AM
But in the case of uBeam, from what I have gathered, it seems they have set up their own class 100 cleanroom, their own transducer manufacturing facilities, all the latest high end manufacturing toys etc. Not to mention the high end staff for several years etc.
Where did you find that?

LinkedIn profiles.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeaguerra (https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeaguerra)
Oops, class 10,000 sorry

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=188175;image)

They are doing their own $1M+ ASIC too:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler)
That doesn't really say they are making transducers, although the clean room hints at it. What startup put so many resources into the ability to make their own PCBs? Its as wacky as building an ASIC when they don't have mature demos built with off the shelf stuff, like FPGAs.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 20, 2015, 08:51:48 AM
Quote
That doesn't really say they are making transducers, although the clean room hints at it. What startup put so many resources into the ability to make their own PCBs? Its as wacky as building an ASIC when they don't have mature demos built with off the shelf stuff, like FPGAs.
This seems to me to sum up the level of cluelessness involved - doing this sort of thing in-house is just insanity, and can only distract from developing the core techology.
I'm sure there are plenty of companies with decades of experience in ultrasonics who could have produced prototypes.
I wonder if maybe that's what they tried first and when told that it wasn't doable, ignored that advice in their unfounded belief that they could do better.
Or maybe they were just paranoid about people stealing their "new ideas"
Some people just won't take advice.
I have no doubt whatsoever that when it all eventually implodes, Meredith will blame everyone but herself and refuse to acknowledge that the idea was just plain bad.

There are some people that just won't be told they're wrong.

 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 20, 2015, 10:43:29 AM
UBeam likely started making transducers after every commercial transducer manufacturer told them to piss off.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 20, 2015, 11:29:34 AM
That doesn't really say they are making transducers, although the clean room hints at it. What startup put so many resources into the ability to make their own PCBs? Its as wacky as building an ASIC when they don't have mature demos built with off the shelf stuff, like FPGAs.

Because that's what "big" companies with "big" funding and with "big" ideas are supposed to do, to, you know, make them look and sound "big".
Practical risk-mitigating development methodologies are tossed out the window.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 20, 2015, 11:38:00 AM
This seems to me to sum up the level of cluelessness involved - doing this sort of thing in-house is just insanity, and can only distract from developing the core techology.
I'm sure there are plenty of companies with decades of experience in ultrasonics who could have produced prototypes.
I wonder if maybe that's what they tried first and when told that it wasn't doable, ignored that advice in their unfounded belief that they could do better.

The odds of that are high.
Although the advice of the people you hire also plays a big part. What happens when you have almost unlimited deep pockets, and a likely easy to convince CEO with no practical experience or knowledge in the field who dreams nothing but big "I'm a technology innovator" dreams.
The engineers and scientists they hired would be champing at the bit to get all the cool gear they possibly can and will spin stories as to why the need it. It would have bee like shooting fish in a barrel. Manufacturing people you hire will gladly will tell you in-house is the way to go. The scientists you hire will see the blank cheque and start salivating.
This is when you need adult supervision.

They (the investors) also would have wanted a quick return, so would have pushed hard for an impressive development schedule. So that means hire everyone from every disciple and go to work on parallel development. Risk, why worry about that when you have media darling CEO and a hacked together prototype that shows it clearly "works". it's just a matter of money to bring it to scale  ::)

Quote
I have no doubt whatsoever that when it all eventually implodes, Meredith will blame everyone but herself and refuse to acknowledge that the idea was just plain bad.

No doubt.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 20, 2015, 11:39:43 AM
UBeam likely started making transducers after every commercial transducer manufacturer told them to piss off.

They probably happily took their money and gave them to best they could.
But then uBeam found that the leading edge wasn't good enough, so hey, just develop your own, because everyone knows ultrasonic power transmission "works"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 20, 2015, 12:04:37 PM
UBeam likely started making transducers after every commercial transducer manufacturer told them to piss off.

They probably happily took their money and gave them to best they could.
But then uBeam found that the leading edge wasn't good enough, so hey, just develop your own, because everyone knows ultrasonic power transmission "works"

I work in the power industry, so I get to talk to "free energy" types more than I would like. Unless your business is selling prototypes, there isn't real money to be had with onesy twosey stuff. Those jobs are looked as bets one takes that hopefully work out commercially.  We generally take very few of those types of bets unless the business climate is really bleak.  uBeam type of projects really are a huge distraction and unless the energy balances looked good on paper, the phone conversation was more along the lines of, "no Meredith ... uh no Meredith. Sorry, it doesn't work that way....no...no...no. Gotta run. Bye. (Click)"

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 20, 2015, 01:27:26 PM
It would have bee like shooting fish in a barrel. Manufacturing people you hire will gladly will tell you in-house is the way to go. The scientists you hire will see the blank cheque and start salivating.
Sorta reminds me of the Gold Rush - the people who made the real money are those that sold the equipment, ran the bars & whorehouses....

Those new jobs at ubeam could be tempting for any techies at a loose end for a month or two right now, just as long as they get NDAs preventing ubeam ever revealing they worked for them to avoid future embarrassment. Hell it might be fun just to go to an interview to see how bad/delusional  things really are
 

 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 20, 2015, 02:27:22 PM
That doesn't really say they are making transducers, although the clean room hints at it. What startup put so many resources into the ability to make their own PCBs? Its as wacky as building an ASIC when they don't have mature demos built with off the shelf stuff, like FPGAs.

Because that's what "big" companies with "big" funding and with "big" ideas are supposed to do, to, you know, make them look and sound "big".
Practical risk-mitigating development methodologies are tossed out the window.
Isn't the current fashion still for "big" companies to outsource everything?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 20, 2015, 02:33:19 PM
There are some people that just won't be told they're wrong.
I have experience of watching a non-technical businessman who thought they'd had a brilliant idea cling to that through thick and thin. Its quite strange to watch as they completely misidentify what is important in developing and protecting that idea. If you watch carefully, however, it can tell you some interesting things about how their minds work.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2016, 07:22:22 PM
Are some people suffering as a result of increasing mass exposure of the public to ultrasound in air?
http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/472/2185/20150624 (http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/472/2185/20150624)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: helius on January 28, 2016, 03:48:33 AM
"Existing guidelines are based on an insufficient evidence base, most of which was collected over 40 years ago by researchers who themselves considered it insufficient to finalize guidelines, but which produced preliminary guidelines. This warning of inadequacy was lost as nations and organizations issued ‘new’ guidelines based on these early guidelines, and through such repetition generated a false impression of consensus. The evidence base is so slim that few reports have progressed far along the sequence from anecdote to case study, to formal scientific controlled trials and epidemiological studies."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woozle_effect
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: tombola on February 05, 2016, 04:47:55 AM
November 2015, Techcrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/#.md3tlp:Q7n1):
"Still, most people can’t look at this info and conclude if uBeam is plausible. So I spoke with two experts in the space that have reviewed these details to get their thoughts.
Dr. Matt O’Donnell, PhD is one of the world’s leading experts in ultrasonics, and is the Professor and Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Washington. He writes:<snip>...their system does not violate the laws of physics.”"

January 2016, uBeam Press Release:  (http://ubeam.com/ultrasonic_experts_join_beam/)
"We’re very excited to announce today that we’ve added two distinguished experts in acoustics to head uBeam’s engineering. <snip> Matthew O’Donnell, Ph.D., currently Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Washington... has joined uBeam as Chairman of our Technical Advisory Board."

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on February 05, 2016, 06:52:18 AM
November 2015, Techcrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/#.md3tlp:Q7n1):
"Still, most people can’t look at this info and conclude if uBeam is plausible. So I spoke with two experts in the space that have reviewed these details to get their thoughts.
Dr. Matt O’Donnell, PhD is one of the world’s leading experts in ultrasonics, and is the Professor and Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Washington. He writes:<snip>...their system does not violate the laws of physics.”"

January 2016, uBeam Press Release:  (http://ubeam.com/ultrasonic_experts_join_beam/)
"We’re very excited to announce today that we’ve added two distinguished experts in acoustics to head uBeam’s engineering. <snip> Matthew O’Donnell, Ph.D., currently Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Washington... has joined uBeam as Chairman of our Technical Advisory Board."

That is a complete coincidence.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 05, 2016, 09:14:34 AM
January 2016, uBeam Press Release:  (http://ubeam.com/ultrasonic_experts_join_beam/)
"We’re very excited to announce today that we’ve added two distinguished experts in acoustics to head uBeam’s engineering. <snip> Matthew O’Donnell, Ph.D., currently Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Washington... has joined uBeam as Chairman of our Technical Advisory Board."

Interesting development.
"Chairman of our Technical Advisory Board" is juts what is sounds like though, an advisory role. i.e. "Spend the money here, because that's more viable" etc.
Doesn't change the real world practicality of the technology though.
Maybe the whole thing is going tits-up, and this is the investors last ditch effort to find out what's really going on and see if it's still viable? He'll happily take the pay cheque to advise I'm sure.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on February 05, 2016, 09:32:45 AM
<snipped>
But maybe he will advise them to move more into a niche application?

Very possible. They may use him as a face-saving tool to redirect the companies activities. A way to avoid publicly admitting themselves that they were heading along a fruitless path. It doesn't necessarily need to be niche though.

I was recently reminded that Edison when he invented the phonograph was firmly of the view that it was a valuable business tool for applications such as dictation. However when recorded music was suggested he was dismissive, thinking it devalued his invention. Only later did he concede recorded music was overwhelmingly the "killer app".

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jazon on February 05, 2016, 11:11:24 AM
UBeam Hires Two Ultrasound Veterans (LA Business Journal article)

http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2016/feb/04/ubeam-hires-two-ultrasound-veterans (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2016/feb/04/ubeam-hires-two-ultrasound-veterans)/

Sections highlighted below:

Quote
Former ultrasonic medical imaging consultant Paul Chandler has been hired as the company’s vice president of acoustics. Matthew O’Donnell, dean emeritus of engineering at the University of Washington, will be chairman of the company’s technical advisor board.

Quote
A number of ultrasonic experts, physicists and electrical engineers told the Business Journal in November that the proposed uBeam system would be inefficient, costly and infeasible.

At the time Perry declined to be interview by the Business Journal, but instead opted to release technical details to tech industry blog TechCrunch. One of the sources for that article, was Matt O’Donnell, now chairman of uBeam’s technical advisor board. In the article, O’Donnell said:

“There is multiplicative risk in getting all of this together to work, but it may be possible. If uBeam can deliver that amount of power to a phone with reasonable efficiency, reception, and electronic management, then their system does not violate the laws of physics.”

Quote
IEEE Spectrum reported that O’Donnell said he was contacted by uBeam prior to the TechCrunch article and asked if he would provide statements for reporters. When the Business Journal reached out to O’Donnell, he declined to be interviewed, but emailed back a statement:

“I am not expert in the details of this system. I was quoted (in the TechCrunch article) because there was a question about the basic ultrasound physics. I am a biomedical guy and know virtually nothing about the details of the wireless power space. I have no idea whether uBeam’s system is practical or not.”
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 05, 2016, 11:38:40 AM
The more I think about this, the more I come to conclusion that this is a panic move.
Why only bring in these experts now after 3+ years of development?
If the product worked as claimed why would they need these experts?
They certainly wouldn't need them for publicity, they's just demo the tech and people would go wild and throw money at them.
They can't need them for technical direction at this late stage of development.

I can only think of 3 scenarios:

1) The tech "kinda-sorta" works, but efficiency is crap (as everyone expects). They need them to tweak it and/or try some new tricks (futile of course, but hey, let's run with that)

2) Things are starting to go to shit, the investors are getting frustrated, so they finally bought in some adult technical supervision.

3) The wheels have completely fallen off the billy cart and the investors have bought in some brains to figure out if there is any salvageable technology that can be spun off (I think there is likely some things of niche worth there)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on February 05, 2016, 11:39:33 AM
UBeam Hires Two Ultrasound Veterans (LA Business Journal article)

http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2016/feb/04/ubeam-hires-two-ultrasound-veterans (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2016/feb/04/ubeam-hires-two-ultrasound-veterans)/

Quote
IEEE Spectrum reported that O’Donnell said he was contacted by uBeam prior to the TechCrunch article and asked if he would provide statements for reporters. When the Business Journal reached out to O’Donnell, he declined to be interviewed, but emailed back a statement:

“I am not expert in the details of this system. I was quoted (in the TechCrunch article) because there was a question about the basic ultrasound physics. I am a biomedical guy and know virtually nothing about the details of the wireless power space. I have no idea whether uBeam’s system is practical or not.”

"But seeing as uBeam have $23.2m to piss away, and being the open-minded type"

Quote
“I was impressed at the technology they have developed and also their overall approach toward solving a difficult, but not impossible, technical challenge. I am also very impressed with the team that Meredith has put together. Given this, I was excited to get involved and help them address the technical challenges moving forward.”

"The offer of a 6 figure sweetener has nothing to do with my sudden change of heart, where do I sign?" :-J  that's a tongue in cheek emoticon for the lawyers.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 05, 2016, 12:30:13 PM
Quote
“I was impressed at the technology they have developed and also their overall approach toward solving a difficult, but not impossible, technical challenge. I am also very impressed with the team that Meredith has put together. Given this, I was excited to get involved and help them address the technical challenges moving forward.”

"The offer of a 6 figure sweetener has nothing to do with my sudden change of heart, where do I sign?" :-J  that's a tongue in cheek emoticon for the lawyers.

There is no major downside to taking the money and getting involved. He wouldn't know anything until he signs on the dotted line, and if it all goes tits-up he can claim he didn't know until he joined and then investigated it all, and that it seemed "not impossible" at the time.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on February 05, 2016, 06:45:38 PM
Quote
There is no major downside to taking the money and getting involved. He wouldn't know anything until he signs on the dotted line, and if it all goes tits-up he can claim he didn't know until he joined and then investigated it all, and that it seemed "not impossible" at the time.

Everyone knows this project is fail.
He must realise he's throwing away his integrity, and going to be wasting his time.

I guess I might do the same too, for a certain price. Though I'm pretty sure my price is lower than the Dean Emeritus.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on February 05, 2016, 10:12:17 PM
Are some people suffering as a result of increasing mass exposure of the public to ultrasound in air?
http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/472/2185/20150624 (http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/472/2185/20150624)
Yes. And the infra sounds, generated by heavy machinery and upstairs neighbours who didn't learn how to walk properly. If anything this planet needs is less artificial noise.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: chris_leyson on February 05, 2016, 10:33:33 PM
Low frequency, 10s of kHz, ultrasound propagates reasonably well in air, old fashioned TV remote control for example, however, at 1MHz and above the attenuation in air is too high, you would be lucky to get 1m range. Found this paper which uses ultrasound in the 200kHz to 400kHz range. http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/2517/1/WRAP_Li_Short_Range.pdf (http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/2517/1/WRAP_Li_Short_Range.pdf).
I can't see how you could make an effective communications system using ultrasound, I think the guys at uBeam should have done some research.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on February 05, 2016, 11:15:23 PM
I think the guys at uBeam should have done some research.

If you apply common sense to it then you won't make the team (with all the VC-funded perks...)


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: dan3460 on February 06, 2016, 01:00:51 AM
I have not read the whole post and probably my rant have been discussed before: Why is this people proceed with this kind of projects, is this just to be able to keep receiving a paycheck with money they swindle from naïve investors? If you are transmitting on the air you are propagating the energy all around from the transmitting point, this energy (light, sound, heat, magnetic) will dissipate at the inverse of the square of the distance (I think I got this right) and it does this all over the space, wasting most the energy somewhere else but charging the phone. This is the same kind of crap from the makers of the free energy motor or the new evidence of the existence of bigfoot.   
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 06, 2016, 01:04:43 AM
I have not read the whole post and probably my rant have been discussed before: Why is this people proceed with this kind of projects

This will explain everything, here is the founder and "technology innovator"  ::)
TRIGGER WARNING: This video may cause engineers to go postal, or kill a puppy or something

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 06, 2016, 01:08:03 AM
If you are transmitting on the air you are propagating the energy all around from the transmitting point, this energy (light, sound, heat, magnetic) will dissipate at the inverse of the square of the distance (I think I got this right) and it does this all over the space, wasting most the energy somewhere else but charging the phone.

Correct. Even the best blue sky estimate at ridiculously close range gets 90%+ loss. Probably 99%+ loss in practice.
And they think this can revolutionise the world and everyone will be using it  :palm:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: chris_leyson on February 06, 2016, 01:30:01 AM
I had forgotten all about Meredith Perry, wireless charging indeed, more bad science and someone else who hasn't got a clue.

Since my Android phone got updated to Android 6 it now says "Charging Slowly" instead of "Charging" when I put it on top of my cheap knock of Qi compatible wireless charger. Sorry that should be near field or magnetic induction charger. I guess they didn't reverse engineer a real Qi charger very well or they got the sofware wrong. Anyway for £3.00 I've got some nice ferrite with a coil of Litz wire, still a lot cheaper than buying them from Wurth. Freescale Semiconductor Application Note AN4701 "Demodulating Communication Signals of Qi-Compliant Low-Power Wireless Charger Using MC56F8006 DSC", must give that another read.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Buriedcode on February 06, 2016, 02:07:35 AM
Ok, first time I bothered to watch that video.  I won't be killing any puppies but I did find my eyes rolling a lot and fist clenching as often happens when I'm patronized.

I remember a similar talk was given at my school, about innovation, engineering, and science - when I was 10.  It still amazes me that it is often talks like this which gain investment, full of fluff, rather than actual demonstration.  I think that is really the massive divide between 'Engineer' and 'salesman/marketing/businessman.  If only I could ignore my principles and bullshit my way into wealth!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StuUK on February 06, 2016, 02:36:35 AM
The more I think about this, the more I come to conclusion that this is a panic move.
Why only bring in these experts now after 3+ years of development?
If the product worked as claimed why would they need these experts?
They certainly wouldn't need them for publicity, they's just demo the tech and people would go wild and throw money at them.
They can't need them for technical direction at this late stage of development.

I can only think of 3 scenarios:

1) The tech "kinda-sorta" works, but efficiency is crap (as everyone expects). They need them to tweak it and/or try some new tricks (futile of course, but hey, let's run with that)

2) Things are starting to go to shit, the investors are getting frustrated, so they finally bought in some adult technical supervision.

3) The wheels have completely fallen off the billy cart and the investors have bought in some brains to figure out if there is any salvageable technology that can be spun off (I think there is likely some things of niche worth there)

I put money on (3). I was one of those 'brains' brought in to see if anything was salvageable on a VC/DOTCOM fail, basically you sign a NDA and get paid a decent check to trawl over the shite that they've spent millions on with no oversight or 'grown ups' making sure it's all sensible. At the end of it you struggle to deliver any good news back to the VC and basically deliver the 'nope it really is shite' message...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on February 06, 2016, 05:56:35 AM
Ugh, I just saw her "respond to criticism" with a ridiculous explanation of her technology:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nReXqE-cEwQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nReXqE-cEwQ)

Besides wasting money on something that isn't feasible, I can't help cringe thinking about what a poor example she's setting for women in tech. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 06, 2016, 09:34:52 AM
Besides wasting money on something that isn't feasible, I can't help cringe thinking about what a poor example she's setting for women in tech.

She claims to support women in tech, but last I checked, not a single female engineer employed at Ubeam.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2016, 09:40:52 AM
Besides wasting money on something that isn't feasible, I can't help cringe thinking about what a poor example she's setting for women in tech.

She claims to support women in tech, but last I checked, not a single female engineer employed at Ubeam.
Maybe they're too smart to want to work on a hopeless cause
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on February 06, 2016, 09:41:11 AM
Ugh, I just saw her "respond to criticism" with a ridiculous explanation of her technology:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nReXqE-cEwQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nReXqE-cEwQ)

Besides wasting money on something that isn't feasible, I can't help cringe thinking about what a poor example she's setting for women in tech.

With a performance like that I can just see how she managed to raise $23.2m from a VC who takes due diligence so seriously. I am sooo in the wrong job.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 06, 2016, 09:48:25 AM
She claims to support women in tech, but last I checked, not a single female engineer employed at Ubeam.
Maybe they're too smart to want to work on a hopeless cause

There are (for whatever reason) less women in tech, so odds of finding one gullible enough to work on Ubeam is much lower than male engineers I guess.
But maybe they are just less gullible and smarter in general. They watched her TED Talk and went NOPE.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on February 06, 2016, 10:04:53 AM
I have not read the whole post and probably my rant have been discussed before: Why is this people proceed with this kind of projects

This will explain everything, here is the founder and "technology innovator"  ::)
TRIGGER WARNING: This video may cause engineers to go postal, or kill a puppy or something
Hey, they are using it for weapons! Lets commercialize it, and give it to people so they can charge their stupid phones. I like the way she described, how she became completely ignorant to reality. And people kept telling her: bad idea, dont do it, jet, she thinks somehow managed to find the holy grail of technology.
You know, I will not feel bad for her, when she gets the boot after the money runs out. Or even worse, when the first lawsuits of injured people will come. Because she kept repeatedly, time after time insulting us professionals, just in ten minutes.
And that, lady, makes you an ignorant censored.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: djacobow on February 06, 2016, 10:25:14 AM
TRIGGER WARNING: This video may cause engineers to go postal, or kill a puppy or something

Thanks for that. These videos do make me want to scream. And yet, I'm drawn to them because .... I dunno. I have to figure out how the hell she has gotten to this place. It isn't "stupidity" for sure, and if it is pure "fraud," she certainly seems to believe it herself, unless she is a fantastic actor.

My current theory is that it is a toxic mix of willful ignorance combined with innumeracy. Yes, wireless power is everywhere, and sound is fine .... but about numbers: some are very big and some are very small, and numbers cannot be arbitrarily substituted for one another. Are light and sound perfectly safe and non-carcinogenic? I know some will be surprised to hear ... it depends! Gee!

As for role models for young women, yes, I want to see more videos from thoughtful female engineers and scientists, particularly those who are not pitching.


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 06, 2016, 10:39:36 AM
Thanks for that. These videos do make me want to scream. And yet, I'm drawn to them because .... I dunno. I have to figure out how the hell she has gotten to this place. It isn't "stupidity" for sure, and if it is pure "fraud," she certainly seems to believe it herself, unless she is a fantastic actor.

She in't acting, she really does believe it will work, she is a true believer. She's also passionate about it, enthusiastic, and assertive.
There was also some early luck in big media exposure.
Combine that with people who want to believe, VC's who are desperately looking for Unicorns, and bingo, there you have it, $22M in funding.
The funding wouldn't have happened if she was shy and timid.

Quote
As for role models for young women, yes, I want to see more videos from thoughtful female engineers and scientists, particularly those who are not pitching.

Yes, unfortunately in this case Meredith was pitching, well, Meredith.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 08, 2016, 03:53:15 PM
It seems that Ms Perry was/is being sued by her former co-founder:
http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/12d0733p.pdf (http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/12d0733p.pdf)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dubbie on February 08, 2016, 05:34:24 PM
I think they settled a year or two ago.
I think Dweck may have dodged a bullet there!


Sent from my phone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on February 08, 2016, 05:41:38 PM
I wonder what the issue was exactly, from the PDF it seems like Dweck resigned from uBeam:

On June 6, 2011, Dweck told Perry that she had decided to resign to accept a job in Los Angeles, California.

Maybe she still owned a percentage of the business?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on February 08, 2016, 05:46:14 PM
Hmm, I just noticed this press release on her Twitter*: https://twitter.com/meredithperry (https://twitter.com/meredithperry):

http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2016/feb/04/ubeam-hires-two-ultrasound-veterans/ (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2016/feb/04/ubeam-hires-two-ultrasound-veterans/)

Interesting to see that uBeam denied all their requests for an interview... not hiding anything there eh?

Also this meeting between O'Donnell and Perry sounds pretty interesting:

Quote
O’Donnell said he decided to become involved with uBeam after meeting with Perry at the company’s headquarters for a day.

I'm guessing she just pointed to a big stack of VC money and O'Donnell thought of all the nice things he could buy with it. It's nice that Perry overlooked the fact he's a filthy ENGINEER and is allowing him to screw up her baby with all his logic and thinking ;D

*Note: I don't recommend reading her tweets unless you want to listen to the self-glorifying verbal diarrhea of a 20-something hambeast**

** I don't mean this in a purely derogatory sense --  I probably would say "meatball" but hambeast sounds better.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 08, 2016, 10:46:36 PM
Quote
Perry told the Business Journal in September that uBeam would have a wireless charging product to market by this year backed by “massive multi-million (unit) production.”

Quote
Matt O’Donnell, now chairman of uBeam’s technical advisor board. In the article, O’Donnell said:
"There is multiplicative risk in getting all of this together to work, but it may be possible."

Shipping millions of something that "may be possible" :-DD


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 08, 2016, 11:38:31 PM
Interesting to see that uBeam denied all their requests for an interview... not hiding anything there eh?

Of course not. They'll only talk to their vested buddies at Tech Crunch, other people are annoying and ask hard questions  ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 20, 2016, 03:48:23 PM
Check this out:
http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2016/02/15/so-what-is-the-right-level-of-burn-rate-for-a-startup-these-days/ (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2016/02/15/so-what-is-the-right-level-of-burn-rate-for-a-startup-these-days/)

Mark Suster who funded uBeam to the tune of $10M, odds are he's talking about uBeam here:
Quote
If on the other hand we have committed $10 million and if you don’t have 3 other investors around the table and if you’re burning $800k / month (implying you need $10 million more to fund one-year’s operations or nearly $15 million to fund 18 months) – we’re simply “over our skis” in order to help you because we wouldn’t put $25 million in one company at our size fund. So even if we LOVE your business you are stretching our ability to fund you in tough times.

He invested $7.5M, the "biggest cheque he's ever written", and $800k/month churn rate sounds about right for a company the size of uBeam.
Obviously using uBeam as a case example here even though he's not saying it. And he says "It’s a very personal topic "

And rumour has it they aren't showing real hardware demo's to anyone, even under NDA. Glad I didn't take Perry up on her offer of a tour, that would have been a waste of a 24,000km trip
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on February 20, 2016, 04:40:03 PM
Like the names for the little lessons to learn
"Tragedy of the Commons", "Pottery-Barn Rule", "free rider problem" and "in over our skis"
but I didn't see in Mr Suster's list any mention of "make sure the technology isn't bullshit". I now implore him to put that item in.

I think my grandfather had a better system for picking winners at the dog racing than this guy has at picking viable companies.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on February 20, 2016, 05:49:47 PM
And rumour has it they aren't showing real hardware demo's to anyone, even under NDA. Glad I didn't take Perry up on her offer of a tour, that would have been a waste of a 24,000km trip

Shoulda sent Dave #2 aka David :)

BTW: Rumor around my apartment is she just makes you watch while she eats an entire ham (after signing an NDA).
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on February 20, 2016, 11:57:46 PM

And rumour has it they aren't showing real hardware demo's to anyone, even under NDA. Glad I didn't take Perry up on her offer of a tour, that would have been a waste of a 24,000km trip

Shoulda sent Dave #2 aka David :)

BTW: Rumor around my apartment is she just makes you watch while she eats an entire ham (after signing an NDA).

Hey, don't knock it. Some guys will pay a kingly sum to fap it to a plus sized beauty eating an entire ham. An entire ham.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on February 21, 2016, 07:59:26 AM
Yes, "hamming" is taking America by storm!

I didn't actually mean anything against her directly, I was going for the absurdity of signing an NDA, having your top technical people arrive at their headquarters and being led into a room where there is something covered by a sheet on a table. Perry arrives and gives a 15 minute speech about how awesome she is and then the moment of truth... the sheet is whipped away and it's.... a ham? The doors lock and everyone looks around nervously as Perry takes the ham with both hands and takes a large bite. She continues to talk about their technical advances but no one can anything over the sound of ham! "I ache with embarrassment" says one of the Japanese backers. "I wonder if that's honey ham" says one of your finest EEs. After nearly an hour of hamming someone speaks up "Uh, is that all? We were expecting to see a prototype...". Perry throws the ham bone at the group and they turn to run. "Make a prototype outta that!" she yells while smacking on the last of the ham.

<end scene>

 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on February 22, 2016, 10:09:40 AM
Check this out:
http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2016/02/15/so-what-is-the-right-level-of-burn-rate-for-a-startup-these-days/ (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2016/02/15/so-what-is-the-right-level-of-burn-rate-for-a-startup-these-days/)

Mark Suster who funded uBeam to the tune of $10M, odds are he's talking about uBeam here:
Quote
If on the other hand we have committed $10 million and if you don’t have 3 other investors around the table and if you’re burning $800k / month (implying you need $10 million more to fund one-year’s operations or nearly $15 million to fund 18 months) – we’re simply “over our skis” in order to help you because we wouldn’t put $25 million in one company at our size fund. So even if we LOVE your business you are stretching our ability to fund you in tough times.

He invested $7.5M, the "biggest cheque he's ever written", and $800k/month churn rate sounds about right for a company the size of uBeam.
Obviously using uBeam as a case example here even though he's not saying it. And he says "It’s a very personal topic "

And rumour has it they aren't showing real hardware demo's to anyone, even under NDA. Glad I didn't take Perry up on her offer of a tour, that would have been a waste of a 24,000km trip

$800k/mo seems pretty outrageous to me. That would be at least 50 well paid engineers plus bennies and overhead. Obvious there are some hardware costs in there, but that really smells fishy to me. I'm not saying this is going on a uBeam, but it's not unheard of for the "other people's money" being spent to boomerang back into the execs' pockets in the form of owning the property being leased, making loans to the company at high interest rates, etc.  That just seems like a metric shit ton of cash flowing with nothing to show for it.
Title: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on February 22, 2016, 11:08:08 AM
Check this out:
http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2016/02/15/so-what-is-the-right-level-of-burn-rate-for-a-startup-these-days/ (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2016/02/15/so-what-is-the-right-level-of-burn-rate-for-a-startup-these-days/)

Mark Suster who funded uBeam to the tune of $10M, odds are he's talking about uBeam here:
Quote
If on the other hand we have committed $10 million and if you don’t have 3 other investors around the table and if you’re burning $800k / month (implying you need $10 million more to fund one-year’s operations or nearly $15 million to fund 18 months) – we’re simply “over our skis” in order to help you because we wouldn’t put $25 million in one company at our size fund. So even if we LOVE your business you are stretching our ability to fund you in tough times.

He invested $7.5M, the "biggest cheque he's ever written", and $800k/month churn rate sounds about right for a company the size of uBeam.
Obviously using uBeam as a case example here even though he's not saying it. And he says "It’s a very personal topic "

And rumour has it they aren't showing real hardware demo's to anyone, even under NDA. Glad I didn't take Perry up on her offer of a tour, that would have been a waste of a 24,000km trip

$800k/mo seems pretty outrageous to me. That would be at least 50 well paid engineers plus bennies and overhead. Obvious there are some hardware costs in there, but that really smells fishy to me. I'm not saying this is going on a uBeam, but it's not unheard of for the "other people's money" being spent to boomerang back into the execs' pockets in the form of owning the property being leased, making loans to the company at high interest rates, etc.  That just seems like a metric shit ton of cash flowing with nothing to show for it.

I know where the money is going!

A former executive from Smithfield Foods told me that Meredith Perry is attempting a hostile takeover of the company. She plans on renovating the smoke house so she can live there. Apparently she wants a conveyer belt installed so all the hams produced go directly into her mouth.

(I used to live in Smithfield, VA (Ham Capitol of the World) and on days when the wind was jussst right, you could smell smoked ham. On days the wind was wrong, you'd smell the pig trucks, which was about as bad as you'd imagine.)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 22, 2016, 11:18:55 AM
$800k/mo seems pretty outrageous to me. That would be at least 50 well paid engineers plus bennies and overhead. Obvious there are some hardware costs in there, but that really smells fishy to me.

According to LinkedIn they have 24 employees:
https://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/p?f_CC=3038762&trk=extra_biz_employees_deg_connected (https://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/p?f_CC=3038762&trk=extra_biz_employees_deg_connected)
So maybe double that as everyone is not on Linkedin, or bother to update.

Also, it seems they have a production clean room and all the latest toys. Just their production setup alone would cost a lot, they are making their own transducers apparently.

I have no doubt the facilities and tech would be very impressive if you visited, which is almost certainly the reason Perry invited me (apart from fire fighting and pre-empting my announcement I was thinking about doing a video on it).
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 22, 2016, 11:22:50 AM
I think they settled a year or two ago.
I think Dweck may have dodged a bullet there!

I heard she got a sizeable chunk of the company.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on February 22, 2016, 04:40:56 PM
$800k/mo seems pretty outrageous to me. That would be at least 50 well paid engineers plus bennies and overhead. Obvious there are some hardware costs in there, but that really smells fishy to me.

According to LinkedIn they have 24 employees:
https://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/p?f_CC=3038762&trk=extra_biz_employees_deg_connected (https://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/p?f_CC=3038762&trk=extra_biz_employees_deg_connected)
So maybe double that as everyone is not on Linkedin, or bother to update.

Also, it seems they have a production clean room and all the latest toys. Just their production setup alone would cost a lot, they are making their own transducers apparently.

I have no doubt the facilities and tech would be very impressive if you visited, which is almost certainly the reason Perry invited me (apart from fire fighting and pre-empting my announcement I was thinking about doing a video on it).

I'm certainly cynical about these types of companies, but every picture I've seen is of a lab with gear that's either on par or inferior to what I have in my personal lab.  If I had a high end facility and was dying for cash, I'd showcase the facility.

As for building one's own tranducers, thats just a total headscratcher. Maybe there's an IP issue that drove the decision, but ultrasonics is a technology that's at least seven decades old and well into maturity. So, inventing their own production techniques really strikes me as odd. Typically that's what one has to do after everyone that knows what they're doing tells you to FO. 

If I visited, maybe I would find the production equipment (if it exists, I have my serious doubts) interesting, but I'm not sure about being impressed. I'm more impressed by companies that manage their cash flow toward a self-sustaining future. ;-)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on February 22, 2016, 04:48:27 PM
As for building one's own tranducers, thats just a total headscratcher. Maybe there's an IP issue that drove the decision, but ultrasonics is a technology that's at least seven decades old and well into maturity. So, inventing their own production techniques really strikes me as odd. Typically that's what one has to do after everyone that knows what they're doing tells you to FO.

Maybe the IP is from the steering side? (i.e.) how to locate the other transducer and blast it with nature's finesttm ultra sonic?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on February 22, 2016, 04:52:53 PM
(I used to live in Smithfield, VA (Ham Capitol of the World) and on days when the wind was jussst right, you could smell smoked ham. On days the wind was wrong, you'd smell the pig trucks, which was about as bad as you'd imagine.)

The real danger here is SALTY HAMS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvbvqYGgBqM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvbvqYGgBqM)

Although there is the ham of truth!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Ka2nkIi2I (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Ka2nkIi2I)


Fun Fact: Canadian comedy has been dominated by ham-based jokes for the last 35 years
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 06, 2016, 08:08:48 PM
Meredith tweeted this the other day and them promptly deleted, presumably after someone tapped her on the shoulder and said that's probably not a good idea.
A photo of their first ASIC.
What does that mean? Well it obviously means that they were not close to production if this is their first ever ASIC. It's not even packaged yet, just hot off the wafer line.
And it shows were the money has been going too, ASIC's aren't cheap.
Also, what ASIC is it? The transmitter? The receiver?
It also shows how much further they have to do before actual production.

And of course, more classic Meredith - "Keeping silicon relevant in the valley" as if no one else is doing it  ::)

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=206296;image)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 06, 2016, 08:18:45 PM
I haven't watched it, don't know what's in it, but here are the two amigo's:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwpJsWb-jWM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwpJsWb-jWM)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 06, 2016, 08:27:00 PM
Interesting way he words things at 12:30:
"If this works, and you would say when this works" and that's the guy who funded it  ::)
https://youtu.be/dwpJsWb-jWM?t=12m30s

And then Perry says "You aren't going to lose your money because we have alternate plans, you know that"
So obviously they expect to fail and have planed for that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on March 06, 2016, 08:56:00 PM
Meredith tweeted this the other day and them promptly deleted, presumably after someone tapped her on the shoulder and said that's probably not a good idea.
A photo of their first ASIC.
What does that mean? Well it obviously means that they were not close to production if this is their first ever ASIC. It's not even packaged yet, just hot off the wafer line.
And it shows were the money has been going too, ASIC's aren't cheap.
Also, what ASIC is it? The transmitter? The receiver?
It also shows how much further they have to do before actual production.

And of course, more classic Meredith - "Keeping silicon relevant in the valley" as if no one else is doing it  ::)

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=206296;image)
And WTF are they doing making ASICs before demonstrating anything ? Just pissing more VC money away?
And that die looks huge, way too big for it to be cost-viable in a receiver.
Or it could just be BS
 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on March 06, 2016, 09:03:45 PM
"you'll be able to lift your phone in the air & charge"  :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD
"almost delusional mentality" - well that's about right, minus the "almost"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 07, 2016, 12:05:21 AM
And WTF are they doing making ASICs before demonstrating anything ? Just pissing more VC money away?

Yep, because that's what "vision" people do when they innovate, they go big or go home.
None of this rubbish about really proving the technology first, that amateurs who don't have the balls to be real "innovators". All it takes is an "innovator" with true vision and unwavering belief, and the input of money and it will work  ::)

Of course, if they did actually have something that worked, you can bet your bottom dollar Perry would be on every stage whipping out her phone with the receiver attached and show it charging, preferably with a power meter. Even if it was brick size she'd still be shoving it in everyone's face with a big grin saying "See, I told you it works!"
But of course they have never shown a thing. AFAIK the last demo was Perry's original veroboard proto, and that was never shown actually outputting any useful power.

Quote
And that die looks huge, way too big for it to be cost-viable in a receiver.
Or it could just be BS

Presuming it is the actual die, then yes, it's huge, so best guess is the beamforming transmitter. Their researchers must have had a field day with that one. No wonder they can get people to work for them, spend all you want developing a cutting edge ASIC, all you gotta do is pretend you believe it's going to be a practical product.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 07, 2016, 12:05:59 AM
"almost delusional mentality" - well that's about right, minus the "almost"

I chuckled at that bit  ;D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on March 07, 2016, 12:54:20 AM
Watching the interview it seems to me that this is the start of the end game. How are they going to get out with money, and reputations not too damaged?

They are the ones sowing the doubt here about uBeam. Probably preparing the backers for their eventual failure.
Then glossing things over by implying failure is actually ok in this business.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on March 07, 2016, 02:23:42 AM
If that's a picture of a wafer those are some strange looking die. If you just look at one square it looks more like a lead frame than a chip.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: SeanB on March 07, 2016, 05:26:05 AM
If that's a picture of a wafer those are some strange looking die. If you just look at one square it looks more like a lead frame than a chip.

More like a memory array, with the central high density memory array surrounded by decode logic and support logic.

If it is a power device it must be running at insane power levels if the bonding has to be 100 plus wires to the chip.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on March 07, 2016, 07:02:36 AM
Just had a quick browse through some of the patents.
The feeling I get is they are trying to cover as many possibilities as possible for anything relating to ultrasonic power transfer.
My guess is that that when they realise that it's a complete fail for consumer phone charging  they will try to sell/license the patent portfolio and any manufacturing IP for niche applications.

Of course it could be that they're just trying to throw as many patent applications out there as possible to give some credibility that they've actually achieved something useful. 

 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: dadler on March 07, 2016, 07:06:59 AM
But...but.. She demonstrated real devices right there from her mission impossible briefcase. You just put this on the ceiling and put that on your phone...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on March 07, 2016, 08:28:08 AM
Apparently, when every other aspect of one's plan is in the shitter, building an ASIC is what one does to demonstrate "progress."  It looks impressive - even if it's total horseshit.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 07, 2016, 09:43:47 AM
My guess is that that when they realise that it's a complete fail for consumer phone charging  they will try to sell/license the patent portfolio and any manufacturing IP for niche applications.
Of course it could be that they're just trying to throw as many patent applications out there as possible to give some credibility that they've actually achieved something useful.

Both.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: AF6LJ on March 07, 2016, 09:45:57 AM
My guess is that that when they realise that it's a complete fail for consumer phone charging  they will try to sell/license the patent portfolio and any manufacturing IP for niche applications.
Of course it could be that they're just trying to throw as many patent applications out there as possible to give some credibility that they've actually achieved something useful.

Both.
Indeed this is the modern version of patent medicine.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Khendrask on March 22, 2016, 03:13:45 AM
Now she's claiming that not only will it charge your phone, but provide a "Secure Data Link" as well...

http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-wireless-charging-adds-data-2016-2 (http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-wireless-charging-adds-data-2016-2)

That should be even more fun to hear the explanation on...   Why can't this just go away?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: miguelvp on March 22, 2016, 04:34:57 AM
I guess that was plan B she was referring to.

Data over ultrasound is a no brainer and not even difficult to do, of course the optimal resonant frequency will be affected and you end up with the too many features but master of none.

I guess in the VC world it probably helps them continue research and funding so it's just a way to fail without failing because now it can do even more than anticipated.

If they did an ultrasound wireless data only that will probably will be a good thing in densely populated areas, but of course that means that the device won't be using wifi so less power requirements on the phone since wifi being on will make  their task impossible. With spread spectrum tech it wouldn't be that hard to get a decent data link over ultrasound without your vacuum cleaner interfering.
 
But I think of this announcement as in buying time because the original premise won't work as advertised.
So lets get rid off the wifi since it needs too much power and won't make ubeam feasible.

Edit: so their solution seems to be to cut off all the radios so they might have a chance to trickle charge a device that is using a few mAs, of course that would be for a barebone phone that doesn't have a power consuming GPU, but I guess now they are going to demonstrate that they can make this thing work on a very power efficient dumb phone that no one will use anyways, but it will look like they did achieve their goal by changing the parameters of the device :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: helius on March 22, 2016, 04:55:30 AM
From the starting point of already using ultrasonic power, the data stream comes almost for free because there needs to be a reverse channel anyway to register and track the receivers. But it doesn't make the efficiency look any better, you end up spending much more energy on ultrasonic data (than you would for wifi) with the higher path loss.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on March 22, 2016, 05:15:55 AM
And how do you then get the ultrasonically transmitted data to the phone?

Oh, sorry I forgot, all the phone makers are queueing up to integrate uBeam into their phones  :-DD :-DD

And what sort of data would this be any use for ?

The only "security" aspect I can see is that it won't go through walls as easily as the RF the phone is already equipped for.

The bullshit just keeps flowing.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: ChunkyPastaSauce on March 22, 2016, 05:21:32 AM
I guess that was plan B she was referring to.

Data over ultrasound is a no brainer and not even difficult to do, of course the optimal resonant frequency will be affected and you end up with the too many features but master of none.

I guess in the VC world it probably helps them continue research and funding so it's just a way to fail without failing because now it can do even more than anticipated.

If they did an ultrasound wireless data only that will probably will be a good thing in densely populated areas, but of course that means that the device won't be using wifi so less power requirements on the phone since wifi being on will make  their task impossible. With spread spectrum tech it wouldn't be that hard to get a decent data link over ultrasound without your vacuum cleaner interfering.
 
But I think of this announcement as in buying time because the original premise won't work as advertised.
So lets get rid off the wifi since it needs too much power and won't make ubeam feasible.

Edit: so their solution seems to be to cut off all the radios so they might have a chance to trickle charge a device that is using a few mAs, of course that would be for a barebone phone that doesn't have a power consuming GPU, but I guess now they are going to demonstrate that they can make this thing work on a very power efficient dumb phone that no one will use anyways, but it will look like they did achieve their goal by changing the parameters of the device :)

I think if you needed low power data, you'd just use something like bluetooth ble or something.

This might be useful in places where there is a lot of rfi in the area (and you can't guarantee line of sight for other options), or in areas where you don't want to add rfi, or you want to bypass regulatory stuff for some reason. But I think it would be really niche.

Have no idea what she is talking about being secure (over other tech). Only thing I can think of is if they went the route of only leasing a limited number of units with tight control over who has them. It's possible very few others would have equipment to reliably pickup the data, since everything has to be specifically tuned. Would have to either be extremely expensive (and a market), or rights sold off to entity like gov for any chance of profit.

Nothing I said may have made any sense...  ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: miguelvp on March 22, 2016, 05:51:05 AM
It's easy.

She WANTS to be right so she will do whatever it takes to make something functional even if its not efficient or even desirable by consumers.

So whatever it takes for her to be able to say: "In your face" that's all the motivation that seems to be driving her. It doesn't need to be practical.

So redefine the device to be powered to a simple cell phone with all the radios turned off and without a power hungry display. At this point she will do whatever it takes (as she has always done) just to give the finger to all naysayers even if the ending results has no commercial value.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: rx8pilot on March 22, 2016, 06:25:33 AM
I am now calling this and Batteroo the 'Claims' industry. These people are chewing up $millions on 'claims' that are pulled directly from the anus. It is truly an industry to plant the ideas on the internet with some polished PR and get investors to dive in - big and small.

The work product delivered is the PR itself and not a product intended for sale.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jancumps on March 22, 2016, 07:09:43 AM
If my telephone wants to reply back to the sender with ultrasone signals while it's in my pants,
won't that render me impotent after a few days?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: miguelvp on March 22, 2016, 09:20:34 AM
If my telephone wants to reply back to the sender with ultrasone signals while it's in my pants,
won't that render me impotent after a few days?

Don't concern yourself with details, she just wants to be able to say: "See I proved everyone wrong and got a working prototype"

Plus the prototype probably only can receive data not send it, that would require power they don't have. Unless they use BLE for that part :)

Why not use it bidirectional low energy blue tooth? well that doesn't make her right, so Ultrasound it is for receiving data on the phone to keep investors happy and feeling good about their investment while we know it has no commercial application they don't really care, they'll sell the idea whatever that means.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: vaughn22 on March 26, 2016, 05:32:42 PM
It should be noted that while an iPhone charger provides 5W of power, 5W is not needed to charge a phone in all cases. Looking at the specs for the iPhone 6, we have a 6.9 Wh battery that has a life of up to 14 h while talking on the phone, 50 h while playing music, and 250 h on standby. This means that, while 5 W would be required to breakeven while talking, only 138 mW would be needed while playing music and 27.6 mW would be needed when the phone is on standby, so 1.07 W is hardly "almost useless" in general, and I would argue that even appreciably extending the battery life of your device while you're out and about is an accomplishment worthy of merit.

That said

The idea that a system which consumes hundreds of watts of power to deliver kinda sorta maybe 1 W to your phone sometimes if it's Tuesday and you ate a sesame seed bagel that morning untoasted with cream cheese on the side and you paid with a debit card and the cashier was a green-eyed brunette with a peg leg and a chinchilla named Steve who can recite the periodic table backwards but only if it's greater than 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside could possibly gain widespread commercial use is far more contrived than this paragraph will ever be. It's wasteful, it's stupid, and it's completely undeserving of the recognition uBeam has gained. It's like me using a helicopter to cross the street when I could just walk. Finding an outlet is not anywhere close to inconvenient enough for me to justify such a pointless waste of electricity. Heck, this isn't even considering multiple simultaneous users and the fact that current screenshots indicate that the transmitters are unceremoniously bulky and don't even lend themselves to mounting on walls and ceilings very well.

And then there's the safety component. Let's say that the uBeam website's claims are correct and the beam shuts off if there's an obstruction. What's the response time? Even if it's short, won't my hearing be damaged if I experience this burst many times? (As would be the case if your tech becomes as ubiquitous as you seem to think it will be.) Hearing loss is a cumulative effect after all. What about grating lobes? What about spurious emissions? If two devices are close to one another, what will be the interference effect between their respective beams? This is in addition to all the concerns raised in the FAQ.

And get this, now Perry is saying she wants to use this system to transmit secure data.........

So now you're telling me you want to introduce a whole host of systemic and algorithmic problems that I suspect your current team has no idea how to address all so I can transmit data TO A PERSON THAT HAS TO ALREADY BE IN THE SAME ROOM WITH ME AT A DATARATE THAT IS SLOWER THAN THE INTERNET CONNECTION ON MY OLD FLIP PHONE???

 |O

I think the part that gets me the most is that all of us would shut up about all this if we were just provided with data. You have a working prototype? Show us. You think your tech is viable? Tell us why. All Meredith Perry does is go on and on about how much adversity she is facing and how she'll never give up and how she will succeed despite the laws of physics and common sense. As far as I'm concerned, she's nothing more than a stubborn arrogant half-wit who dug herself into a hole so deep she can't see the light anymore. She needs to be taken down a notch. The utter disrespect she has shown the engineering community is staggering, just watch her TED talk.

I'm sorry this turned ranty, the whole uBeam thing just rubs me the wrong way. Anyway, great FAQ, thanks for posting!

Peace out  O0
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 26, 2016, 06:21:00 PM
I am now calling this and Batteroo the 'Claims' industry. These people are chewing up $millions on 'claims' that are pulled directly from the anus.

The big problem with projects like the Batteriser, uBeam, Solar Roadways, that new scuba mask thingo etc etc is not that they are completely obvious pie-in-the-sky bullshit, even to some engineers, as they all ultimately based on real engineering principles. It's just that they aren't at all practical in the real world. But proving that is quite hard when you are up against the "But all we need is the money and resources to solve the problems" crowd. And it's all too easy to be accused of not having enough "vision" to see the potential, if only you would put money into it and let them do it ::)

Investors think of themselves as people who can sniff out people and ideas with "vision", it's a match made in heaven.

Perry is the classic case though. Declares herself a visionary and "outside the box" thinker, savages the ability of engineers and then realises she must hire them to actually do the work.
And the final act will be the engineers saying "Sorry Dick, it doesn't work" (in-joke for Aussies), and Perry will blame every but the engineering practicality of the idea.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 26, 2016, 06:29:27 PM
It should be noted that while an iPhone charger provides 5W of power, 5W is not needed to charge a phone in all cases. Looking at the specs for the iPhone 6, we have a 6.9 Wh battery that has a life of up to 14 h while talking on the phone, 50 h while playing music, and 250 h on standby. This means that, while 5 W would be required to breakeven while talking, only 138 mW would be needed while playing music and 27.6 mW would be needed when the phone is on standby, so 1.07 W is hardly "almost useless" in general, and I would argue that even appreciably extending the battery life of your device while you're out and about is an accomplishment worthy of merit.

Phone chargers usually don't work like that. You can't just give it a few hundred mW of available power and expect it to start charging.

Quote
The idea that a system which consumes hundreds of watts of power to deliver kinda sorta maybe 1 W to your phone sometimes if it's Tuesday and you ate a sesame seed bagel that morning untoasted with cream cheese on the side and you paid with a debit card and the cashier was a green-eyed brunette with a peg leg and a chinchilla named Steve who can recite the periodic table backwards but only if it's greater than 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside could possibly gain widespread commercial use is far more contrived than this paragraph will ever be. It's wasteful, it's stupid, and it's completely undeserving of the recognition uBeam has gained.

A nice concise summary!
Even if they actually produce a product that works and is safe and everything else, the efficiency of it makes it a complete non-starter. It will never catch on, ever. And even if it would catch on, there should be a law against a charger that is sub 1% efficient. They did it with the legislation for the phone charger standby power thing.

Quote
And get this, now Perry is saying she wants to use this system to transmit secure data.........

Ooh, got a link for this gem?

Quote
So now you're telling me you want to introduce a whole host of systemic and algorithmic problems that I suspect your current team has no idea how to address all so I can transmit data TO A PERSON THAT HAS TO ALREADY BE IN THE SAME ROOM WITH ME AT A DATARATE THAT IS SLOWER THAN THE INTERNET CONNECTION ON MY OLD FLIP PHONE???

But you can get extra development money for new ideas like that  ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on March 26, 2016, 06:42:01 PM
"The same transmitter that we use for power transmission can also be used to transfer highly secure data," Perry said.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/ubeam-wireless-charging-adds-data-2016-2?r=US&IR=T (http://uk.businessinsider.com/ubeam-wireless-charging-adds-data-2016-2?r=US&IR=T)

Oooo let me see now, bandwidth. Hmm, Bandwidth. What sort of bandwidth does she think she'll achieve using ultrasonic?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: miguelvp on March 26, 2016, 07:20:00 PM
Oooo let me see now, bandwidth. Hmm, Bandwidth. What sort of bandwidth does she think she'll achieve using ultrasonic?
The same that you can over a 60/50Hz power line but with more losses at a distance since it transmits via air.

Bandwidth wont be a problem, but distance to the transmitter will be, but not as bad as powering over a distance, so it might have some slight practicality on that end, taking into account of course that it would be all downstream because there is no way they could add a transmitter on the device to suck the little energy they'll be feeding it via ultrasound.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: SeanB on March 26, 2016, 07:49:52 PM
Power line comms uses the lines as a very ( really really in this case, and incredibly so) lossy differential transmission line, and even though almost all of the 5W or so of transmitted power is radiated as RF noise , the frequency used is very much higher than the 50/60Hz the lines are intended for.

Sending data using ultrasonics means either using FSK, AM or some form of QAM to send it, using the base frequency as a carrier.  With that QAM 256 is around the best, you could get up to ( asterisk, only for the absolutely best case condition under controlled conditions with no reflections and no obstructions with a short direct path) 256 bits for every cycle of the 40kHz carrier. Best case 1.2MB/s with no error correction, no interbit pauses and absolutely no return path acknowledgement ( shared spectrum and such inconveniences of a broadcast medium), along with a very high probability of having audible subharmonics that are going to be incredibly annoying. Add to that any form of error correction ,forward error correction or spread spectrum dithering to reduce audible subharmonics and a return signal path and plain bluetooth is starting to look very good in comparison.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on March 26, 2016, 09:47:05 PM
Sure you can transmit data, but why ? No use whatsoever in the phone application. There might be some super-niche applications where it has advantages over radio but even then, optical would often be a better choice.
And if you then narrow down to those applications that need ultrasonic data and power, it's going to take a loooog time to recoup all the VC money.



Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on March 26, 2016, 10:42:19 PM
Power line comms uses the lines as a very ( really really in this case, and incredibly so) lossy differential transmission line, and even though almost all of the 5W or so of transmitted power is radiated as RF noise , the frequency used is very much higher than the 50/60Hz the lines are intended for.

Sending data using ultrasonics means either using FSK, AM or some form of QAM to send it, using the base frequency as a carrier.  With that QAM 256 is around the best, you could get up to ( asterisk, only for the absolutely best case condition under controlled conditions with no reflections and no obstructions with a short direct path) 256 bits for every cycle of the 40kHz carrier. Best case 1.2MB/s with no error correction, no interbit pauses and absolutely no return path acknowledgement ( shared spectrum and such inconveniences of a broadcast medium), along with a very high probability of having audible subharmonics that are going to be incredibly annoying. Add to that any form of error correction ,forward error correction or spread spectrum dithering to reduce audible subharmonics and a return signal path and plain bluetooth is starting to look very good in comparison.

Agreed, although those figures are absolute best possible case.

The upstream will be interesting, or is that out of band, done with RF? In which case, if you have a radio already, why use ultrasonics for radio at all? What benefit does ultrasonics have over RF for data transmission?

In short, I can't see the point, the RF infrastructure already in place (WiFi, 4G, 3G) is pretty mature and ubiquitous, and its performance far outweighs anything you could possibly hope to achieve with ultrasonics.

Disgusting that VCs piss other people's money away on this shit.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 26, 2016, 11:01:14 PM
along with a very high probability of having audible subharmonics that are going to be incredibly annoying.

That was my immediate first thought.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 26, 2016, 11:27:56 PM
In short, I can't see the point

There is no point. It's just Perry brain farting up "visionary" ideas again.
http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/ (http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/)

Surely the money can't last much longer? This impractical merry-go-round must end soon  :popcorn:

Interesting recent post by her:
http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/136374842310/keeponkeepinon (http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/136374842310/keeponkeepinon)

Possible Translation:
Quote
Never, never, never give up (if you believe in what you’re doing and if you’re not breaking the laws of physics).
Never give up until the money runs out. And then blame anything but the impracticality of the idea.

Quote
There will always be unknown unknowns.  Plan for them.
That alternative plan for when the tech doesn't work as advertised might come in handy.

Quote
Every company needs a strong culture and if somebody isn’t a good fit with your culture, it’s best to part ways no matter how smart or successful they are.
Those pesky engineers said it's not practical, so I gave them the arse.

Quote
Sometimes “reinventing the wheel” is actually a great thing to do.
I finally admit I didn't invent ultrasonic wireless charging.

Quote
Make sure there are never any single points of failure in a system and/or organization.
Engineers who leave are a real PITA.

Quote
Skillset + belief in/passion for the mission + tenacity have been the 3 most important things in evaluating a candidate. 
It's all about belief, just like a religion. If you don't pray 5 times a day for this idea to work, it won't work and you will just dragging the team down, we don't want you.

Quote
Always keep some cards in your back pocket.  You never know when you’ll need them.
I've got a new idea for secure data transmission! That'll show the investors how smart I am.

Quote
Always be honest and always act with integrity.  Check your ego at the door and only do what’s best for the company.

That's why I haven't shown a single prototype since the vero board and calling a multimeter a power meter. I've got nothing to show that really works as claimed, so I haven't shown anything.

Quote
As CEO, you’re a big part of the package.  Your hires need to believe in you as much as they believe in the company.  I hire many people twice my age with 2-3x my experience.  Before I bring them on, I make this difference quite clear: “I’m 26 years old and this is my first real job. I’m your boss, and that’s not going to change.”  If they can’t handle that, it ain’t gonna work.

Be in awe of my ability to extract money from investors that will pay your wages.

Quote
When you hire people who have infinitely more experience than you do, your job changes to empowering and embracing those people.
Except if they tell you something won't work.

Quote
If it smells like a fish, looks like a fish, and tastes like a fish, it’s probably a fish.  Background checks are very useful.

I discovered a candidate who hangs out on this EEVblog forum filled with practical engineers who like to speak their mind, lucky we caught that one!  ;D

Quote
As CEO, it’s your fault if something goes wrong in your company.  Either you didn’t plan well, or you didn’t hire well.  Putting the blame on anyone but yourself is pointless.  Do what you need to do to fix it. 

Unless the entire premise of your company is totally impractical, in which case it's not the founders fault and should never be admitted.

Quote
Don’t get excited until it’s signed.

I can't believe they actually gave me more money!

Quote
People aren’t robots.  Touch the heart.

Engineers like cool toys and working on cool tech for the sake of it. Give them that and they'll believe anything you want them too.

Quote
When you’re trying to get a company off the ground, your life is your company.  Sure it’s a marathon, but it’s also a sprint. You’ll probably lose friends, you’ll probably lose some social skills, you’ll probably gain weight, and you’ll definitely lose sleep.  90% of startups fail, and no matter how difficult the startup, they’re life consuming. This is why you should only start a company that solves a meaningful problem, because when shit hits the fan (and it always does), the only way to keep your company from crumbling is your tenacity and passion.

Like that day it finally dawned on me this thing isn't really practical. That was a fun day.

Quote
We live in an era of clicks.  Journalistic integrity ain’t what it used to be.
Stay above the fray.  There’s a lot of really stupid people on the internet.

Like all those pesky engineers on the EEVblog forum. What losers!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: SeanB on March 26, 2016, 11:32:26 PM
along with a very high probability of having audible subharmonics that are going to be incredibly annoying.

That was my immediate first thought.

Which large speaker manufacturer was it that was experimenting with non linear mixing in the ear of ultrasonic energies to make a tweeter that would have an incredible frequency response? These guys might be annoyed at this blatant patent infringement from uBeam.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on March 27, 2016, 12:06:08 AM
Which large speaker manufacturer was it that was experimenting with non linear mixing in the ear of ultrasonic energies to make a tweeter that would have an incredible frequency response? These guys might be annoyed at this blatant patent infringement from uBeam.
The maybe http://www.ultrasonic-audio.com/products/acouspade.html (http://www.ultrasonic-audio.com/products/acouspade.html)
Quote
Never, never, never give up (if you believe in what you’re doing and if you’re not breaking the laws of physics).
The problem is that the laws of physics are only one of many thing you need to consider when determining if a product will work in the real world.
Even if Ubeam worked really well at the physical level, it would still be hopeless as a consumer product.

Case in point - the Upp fuel cell charger does work ( just) , but has no advantages, and multiple disadvantages, over a lithium battery pack. It's just a stupid application of a completely inappropriate technology.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y48wCuC3KcA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y48wCuC3KcA)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: vaughn22 on March 27, 2016, 02:04:55 AM
It should be noted that while an iPhone charger provides 5W of power, 5W is not needed to charge a phone in all cases. Looking at the specs for the iPhone 6, we have a 6.9 Wh battery that has a life of up to 14 h while talking on the phone, 50 h while playing music, and 250 h on standby. This means that, while 5 W would be required to breakeven while talking, only 138 mW would be needed while playing music and 27.6 mW would be needed when the phone is on standby, so 1.07 W is hardly "almost useless" in general, and I would argue that even appreciably extending the battery life of your device while you're out and about is an accomplishment worthy of merit.

Phone chargers usually don't work like that. You can't just give it a few hundred mW of available power and expect it to start charging.


Ah, see I don't know too terribly much about powering electronics (I'm mainly an antenna engineer). I just assumed that if energy in > energy out, then charging (even trickle charging) was theoretically possible, but it now occurs to me that it's probably more complicated than that so I'll take your word for it. Oh look, I admitted I was probably wrong, something Meredith Perry is incapable of doing.

And Howardlong provided the link, but here it is again:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/ubeam-wireless-charging-adds-data-2016-2?r=US&IR=T (http://uk.businessinsider.com/ubeam-wireless-charging-adds-data-2016-2?r=US&IR=T)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: SeanB on March 27, 2016, 07:03:48 AM
Cellphone chargers are funny that way. Provide a small voltage to them over a certain level and the phone wakes up, turns on the charge circuitry and starts trying to charge, polling the voltage and current to see if it is charging. If you never reach the level it starts to charge properly it actually discharges the battery faster by the extra circuitry being active, and the charge controller being out of the deep sleep near zero power state.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 28, 2016, 02:08:10 PM
Ah, see I don't know too terribly much about powering electronics (I'm mainly an antenna engineer). I just assumed that if energy in > energy out, then charging (even trickle charging) was theoretically possible, but it now occurs to me that it's probably more complicated than that so I'll take your word for it. Oh look, I admitted I was probably wrong, something Meredith Perry is incapable of doing.

Well it is theoretically and also practically possible, but only if you design your phone with charging circuitry with that requirement in mind from the start.
The problem is most (all?) phone are not designed that way, they expect a certain minimum power requirement. Not uncommon to see warning against this, like "5V 500mA" charger minimum (as that is the regular USB standard)
Anything less than that and charging operation is usually not guaranteed or even possible. Good products (like some USB charging cameras for example) will detect this and not charge at all.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on March 28, 2016, 03:34:36 PM
As well as the urgently needed low speed ultrasonic data transfer capability, there is another positive claim uBeam can add to this product. Apparently the lethal 20kHz sound level for mice is 144dB  for 10s to 3min through overheating in their body. Probably higher frequencies will have the same effect. Just no end to the benefits!

But we should make allowances for the uBeam developers. According to a study by L. Markiewicz in 1978:
Quote
Workers exposed to noise emitted by ultrasound devices suffered from increased neural excitability, irritation, memory problems and difficulties with concentration and learning
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 30, 2016, 07:41:43 PM
Serious research in a paper by The Royalty Society that weighs in on the safety debate and mentions uBeam specifically which is very telling:
http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/472/2185/20150624 (http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/472/2185/20150624)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 30, 2016, 07:50:25 PM
uBeam Faceook post:

The joke hasn't ended yet, they are expanding!

Quote
uBeam has officially expanded! Our Silicon Valley office opens April 4th, and we're tripling the size of the team over the next 9 months. Hiring electrical engineers, transducer design engineers, ultrasonic physicists, mechanical engineers, and vision engineers.

So after all these years of development and 10's of millions of dollars spent, why do they still need transducer design engineers?
Maybe they couldn't hire people last time? Or they have left maybe?
And "vision engineers" tells you a lot. I recon that means their positional system has failed so they now have to incorporate leading edge image tracking technology in order for the beam forming array to follow the phone.
It's folly down a rabbit hole  :palm:

And why open another office in silicon valley. That tells me the haven't been able to hire good people, and they probably think it's the location in Santa Monica that's the problem, when it's really that good engineers can smell a dead project a mile away.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: rx8pilot on March 31, 2016, 10:00:11 AM
I should see if they will hire me. The pay is probably rather good and I never have to worry if my designs work at all. Take the money and run!  :-DD

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on March 31, 2016, 10:25:55 AM
I should see if they will hire me. The pay is probably rather good and I never have to worry if my designs work at all. Take the money and run!  :-DD

You will have wear industrial grade noise protectors all day for safety. Not sure what will be more dangerous though - the ultrasonic beams or the verbal noise.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 31, 2016, 10:42:48 AM
You gotta wonder if the people at uBeam actually use prototypes to charge their own phones?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on March 31, 2016, 10:57:43 AM
You gotta wonder if the people at uBeam actually use prototypes to charge their own phones?
If someone could film the whole thing inside their labs, this would be a fabulous reality TV show. Imaging the design team meetings, and the look on peoples faces when they measure the power transfer. People trying to pretend that the great big heavy box they attach to the phone is cool.

Edit: Sorry for the mistake - I accidentally said "reality TV show"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 31, 2016, 11:05:03 AM
Edit: Sorry for the mistake - I accidentally said "reality TV show"

Unfortunately it is reality that people are delusional enough to still work on this.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: rx8pilot on March 31, 2016, 11:24:48 AM
It seems so much harder to make real things. This trend toward making a lot of money by simply saying you have a revolutionary idea is awesome. I could fiddle around, get a sweet office, a ton of cool pieces of test gear.  But the real win is that I don't have to work at delivering which is what consumes almost all of my time running a legitimate business. Every time someone gives me money, they expect a product in return and that is a serious hassle.

I have a new product called the cBeam. This revolutionary gadget is a cerebral implant that beams all of your thoughts directly to the cloud where it is stored securely. All of your thoughts are muxed into a single serial data stream so that you will never need to think on your own ever again. Our proprietary analysis algorithm can take all those thoughts and tell you what you are thinking any time you think about thinking. Of course many neurologists said this was totally impossible and futurists have claimed it will be a social disaster. I disagree and with my extensive experience in machining parts and most recently reading about electronics on the internet we can do this if we only have a few deep pocketed investors that want to get in on the ground floor of an amazing opportunity. Seriously - this is serious shit. Send your money now so we can get started (partying) right away.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on March 31, 2016, 11:56:47 AM
Unfortunately it is reality that people are delusional enough to still work on this.
If they are smart, they will be using this money to develop some product or technology that can be marketed - such as making new ultrasonic transducers that are not currently available, an ultrasonic tracking technology, a power transfer ability for hostile environments. Perhaps transferring power to instrumentation on a very noisy HV line right next to a 500KV DC converter. With the amount of money they have, they should be able to get some product out of it. Being smart and being ethical though are two different issues.

With all the money they have, it does mean they can setup a lab with (hopefully) smart people and have a budget to pay for real development work. The truth is we do not know what they actually are working on at all and so I cannot say whether this is delusional or cynical.

A company like Acorn Computers in the UK was never going to be competitive long term in the PC market, but along the way, they did develop the ARM cpu core that is now dominant. Acorn did have real working products of course.

If uBeam are dumb, they will be doing a desperate uBeam or bust strategy. If they are smart, uBeam will probably die, but another company will appear with no debts, and with a marketable technology that is nothing to do with the uBeam concept.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on March 31, 2016, 04:12:43 PM
If uBeam are dumb, they will be doing a desperate uBeam or bust strategy.

It's not about being dumb or not. Meredith has just spent years dissing the geeks, she HAS to prove that she's RIGHT.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on April 01, 2016, 04:14:04 AM
You gotta wonder if the people at uBeam actually use prototypes to charge their own phones?

I am sure they do, but they can't hear you anymore.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on April 01, 2016, 04:24:44 AM
uBeam Faceook post:

The joke hasn't ended yet, they are expanding!

Quote
uBeam has officially expanded! Our Silicon Valley office opens April 4th, and we're tripling the size of the team over the next 9 months. Hiring electrical engineers, transducer design engineers, ultrasonic physicists, mechanical engineers, and vision engineers.

So after all these years of development and 10's of millions of dollars spent, why do they still need transducer design engineers?
Maybe they couldn't hire people last time? Or they have left maybe?
And "vision engineers" tells you a lot. I recon that means their positional system has failed so they now have to incorporate leading edge image tracking technology in order for the beam forming array to follow the phone.
It's folly down a rabbit hole  :palm:

And why open another office in silicon valley. That tells me the haven't been able to hire good people, and they probably think it's the location in Santa Monica that's the problem, when it's really that good engineers can smell a dead project a mile away.

Tripling the staff when all the staff has quit is not an impressive goal.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jancumps on April 04, 2016, 01:37:50 AM
 The company will win the Darwin award though, because anyone who works there will have eggs and egss destroyed by the exposure to the sound waves.
The problem will solve itself. Believers will go as per the dodo.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on April 21, 2016, 10:47:22 AM
More advocacy and lazy "journalism" on uBeam

http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/mark-cuban-backed-ubeam-prove-doubters-wrong.html (http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/mark-cuban-backed-ubeam-prove-doubters-wrong.html)
"Meredith Perry's uBeam raised $25 million for its technology, but the startup still faces a very uphill battle."

Uphill battle?  Does that have anything to do with the fact that they can't produce a working prototype and that they keep backtracking on capability like operating through clothing?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on April 21, 2016, 10:49:23 AM
More advocacy and lazy "journalism" on uBeam
http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/mark-cuban-backed-ubeam-prove-doubters-wrong.html (http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/mark-cuban-backed-ubeam-prove-doubters-wrong.html)
"Meredith Perry's uBeam raised $25 million for its technology, but the startup still faces a very uphill battle."
Uphill battle?  Does that have anything to do with the fact that they can't produce a working prototype and that they keep backtracking on capability like operating through clothing?

Is there any date on that article?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on April 21, 2016, 11:05:41 AM
The article would have to be written just after the 19th April 2016 - that was when Meridith Perry appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Apparently, the talk was about how we would soon be living in a "World without wires" all thanks to uBeam.

https://tribecafilm.com/festival/imagination (https://tribecafilm.com/festival/imagination)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on April 21, 2016, 12:08:51 PM
The article would have to be written just after the 19th April 2016 - that was when Meridith Perry appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Apparently, the talk was about how we would soon be living in a "World without wires" all thanks to uBeam.
https://tribecafilm.com/festival/imagination (https://tribecafilm.com/festival/imagination)

Sharing the same stage as Sir Richard Branson  :palm:
Why won't this turd of an idea die? Surely it doesn't have much run left. But Perry will still be rolled out as a master innovator until the moment the whole thing finally goes bust.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on April 21, 2016, 09:34:12 PM
The article would have to be written just after the 19th April 2016 - that was when Meridith Perry appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Apparently, the talk was about how we would soon be living in a "World without wires" all thanks to uBeam.
https://tribecafilm.com/festival/imagination (https://tribecafilm.com/festival/imagination)

Sharing the same stage as Sir Richard Branson  :palm:
Why won't this turd of an idea die? Surely it doesn't have much run left. But Perry will still be rolled out as a master innovator until the moment the whole thing finally goes bust.

...and even then it won't have been her fault, she'll be paraded as a hero.  It won't be the laws of physics that defeat her, it will be the nasty male chauvinist misogynistic capitalist corporatist racist etcist etcist conspiracy that killed the uBeam.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on April 21, 2016, 11:39:19 PM
To be fair I don't think anyone's saying the concept's blowing away any laws of physics, it's that any implementations will be impractical, and are several orders of magnitude away from being a realistic and widely adopted wireless charging solution for cellphones.

Any "solution" will be hugely innefficient, difficult and expensive to install supporting infrastructure, hugely underdeliver on performance, and has significant safety and regulatory concerns.

Oh, and still nothing's been demonstrated beyond a 1970's remote control transducer moving a meter needle. >$20m for that. No wonder the current "investors" are bigging up this turkey, they want to exit with minimum losses.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on April 22, 2016, 12:47:57 AM
To be fair I don't think anyone's saying the concept's blowing away any laws of physics, it's that any implementations will be impractical, and are several orders of magnitude away from being a realistic and widely adopted wireless charging solution for cellphones.
Any "solution" will be hugely innefficient, difficult and expensive to install supporting infrastructure, hugely underdeliver on performance, and has significant safety and regulatory concerns.

Yes, precisely this.
Anyone who claims this is against the laws of physics is wrong, it works. It's just massively impractical, and that's the mistake Perry has made and continues to make. She thinks that just because the laws of physics aren't being broken, and that it works on a small scale, means that it must work and be practical on a large scale. All it needs is money, absolute belief in the idea, and someone with the plucky tenacity to fight all those engineers who laugh at the idea while waving their stupid back-of-the-envelope practicality calculations.
She wrong, massively wrong, biblically wrong. But sadly she'll never understand that, she is too far down the rabbit hole.

Quote
Oh, and still nothing's been demonstrated beyond a 1970's remote control transducer moving a meter needle. >$20m for that. No wonder the current "investors" are bigging up this turkey, they want to exit with minimum losses.

The money seems to be still flowing?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on April 22, 2016, 01:11:52 AM
I wonder how many failures makes you a "serial entrepreneur"? Until recently, I considered the decription to be one to aspire to, now I'm not so sure, it seems everyone and their dog is one.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on April 24, 2016, 09:34:12 AM
So apparently Ms Perry's dad is a semi famous plastic surgeon who talked up focused ultrasound technology:
http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/arthur-perry-md/fat-removal-without-surgery (http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/arthur-perry-md/fat-removal-without-surgery)
Note the date, it seems to be before Meredith came up with her zillion dollar idea of using ultrasound.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on April 24, 2016, 06:34:19 PM
Good find. 

Looks like the need to bullshit people is hereditary.
And that she got part of the idea from Dad.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mathieumatteomatthew on May 10, 2016, 10:02:05 PM
Hi guys,

I don't know if any of you has come across this yet, so here it is:

http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.de/ (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.de/)

(not the author)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 10, 2016, 10:38:22 PM
Hi guys,
I don't know if any of you has come across this yet, so here it is:
http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.de/ (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.de/)

Nice find. It's an ex-employee who left a few days after the Tech Crunch article.

Quote
Now I need to first comment, that the engineering team was sorely pissed at the idea that we needed whipped into shape by two people who clearly had no idea what to do at a technical startup in the R&D phase. We were almost as pissed as when another article was placed in Techcrunch talking about uBeam achieving the physically impossible, such as charging through a pocket. In my opinion, the addition of these two "C's" marked the end of any hope of the company achieving anything - I left two weeks after that article was published, and I think history is proving my feeling as to what their addition would do to the company was correct.

EDIT: Sounds like the author was the VP of engineering?
Quote
When I left it was an ugly departure, but was reported to the investors as "the VP Engineering left for personal reasons" - personal reasons being "sick of putting up with this bullshit". I wonder what uBeam's excuse for Hushen will be? "Spending more time with her family", "Having achieved everything she had set out to, it was time to move on to other things", or like me has she left for "personal reasons"? I'm betting on the first.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 10, 2016, 10:44:17 PM
Wow, I'm reading through that blog and it ain't pretty!
http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com.au/ (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com.au/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 10, 2016, 11:01:21 PM
The reason engineers went to work for uBeam:
http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/tilting-at-windmills.html (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/tilting-at-windmills.html)

Quote
A question that's often asked on such blogs and forums is "It's never going to work. Why would any engineers work there?" while uBeam themselves point to the fantastic engineers that work there as evidence that they have a solid and viable technology.

So who is right? Well, I can't speak for other engineers, but I can talk about my motivations for doing so. And for me, neither is right, and neither matters - not even considered in my decisions.

As some background to this - I'm very experienced in ultrasound devices and acoustics. It's something I've spent over 20 years working on, am well known in the field, and have encountered pretty much every type of device out there and worked on in one way or another. I'm very good at what I do, and while not wealthy, I'm 'financially stable'. Finding work isn't an issue - but at times finding truly challenging and interesting work is.

So along comes a consulting gig - "Get paid to work on an interesting technical challenge." Of course I'll take it. At this point I start working with the other engineers involved in the project, primarily Marc Berte (the then CTO, who left uBeam in Jan 2015). When you work with a wide range of engineers over the years, you get a feeling for who you want to work with and who you don't. He's very, very sharp, and knows his stuff, and I'm finding I'm learning things from him - and that's pretty uncommon for me - to the point he might be the smartest engineer I've ever worked with.

We're making strides and building things, and sure it's a rollercoaster but this is the sort of thing that just gets to the heart of why you do engineering. Hard challenges, constant learning, being inventive on a tight budget, smart engineering colleagues.

Then the fundraising starts and you're sitting in the offices of big name VC's and rather than the usual 30 minutes of them reading their email as you go through your pitch before "So sorry, maybe in 6 months" it's extending the meeting to two hours and multiple callbacks. Fifteen years living in Silicon Valley and now I'm doing what everyone flocking there is desperate to be.

As an aside - I'd like to think the presence of this engineering team also somewhat swayed the VC's into funding. As the lead investor, Upfront Ventures, commented in a blog post:

"Here is where having Marc Berte and a team out of MIT who have designed systems like this for years gave one confidence we could do something others couldn’t copy and at price points that could make us market leaders over night."

And then you're funded, Series A. Offices by the beach in LA, top-of-the-line equipment you've always wanted, and hiring more great engineers to work with. And why do those great engineers come on? Well from what they all said after - "Hard challenges, smart colleagues to work with and learn from, cool equipment to play with."

Did I join because of the founder CEO and her amazing vision? Her technical savvy? Her management experience and amazing people skills? No, she figured into my decision with the single following factor: "Raises money way better than I can." (More on why engineers struggle to raise money in many future posts).

I joined because of the challenge and the CTO. The next engineer joined because of Marc and I. And so on for pretty much every engineer - and yeah, I ended up speaking for other engineers, so if any uBeam engineers want to pipe up and disagree, feel free.

So if you're looking for someone to blame it all on, blame Marc. :)

And the point of this story? In my opinion, don't take the presence of smart engineers as confirmation of a technology's viability (either way), and don't think the engineers at a company you find questionable aren't smart and are fully aware of the technical issues of what they're working on. They just want to play with fun toys.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on May 10, 2016, 11:28:18 PM
The interesting thing he never says about his work at uBeam is whether he was just taking the money to do interesting work, or if he actually thought there was the possibility of a product somewhere down the road.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 11, 2016, 12:38:31 AM
The interesting thing he never says about his work at uBeam is whether he was just taking the money to do interesting work, or if he actually thought there was the possibility of a product somewhere down the road.

He seems well aware that it can never work (explains it mathematically, with equations).

Bottom line: He just wanted to play with the toys that would let him confirm that (and get paid to do so).

Me? I'd do the same.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 11, 2016, 01:06:41 AM
The interesting thing he never says about his work at uBeam is whether he was just taking the money to do interesting work, or if he actually thought there was the possibility of a product somewhere down the road.
Probably careful wording to avoid breaking any confidentiality agreement.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: bazsa56 on May 11, 2016, 06:59:20 AM
Just finished reading the blog. The entire thing is pretty well written and an amazing read, somewhat funny even if you have a certain type of humor.

If the author ever wrote a book about his experiences I'd love to read the whole thing and it'd probably be an excellent educational piece for engineers just starting out. I've only been in the industry for 3 years and more on the software side of things then the hardware, but I gotta say that even after this relatively short time in the industry nothing about the whole uBeam story really surprises me. Back in university I probably would've thought otherwise and they really do not prepare you to deal with the sort of idiots you'll encounter.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 08:38:54 AM
The interesting thing he never says about his work at uBeam is whether he was just taking the money to do interesting work, or if he actually thought there was the possibility of a product somewhere down the road.

You can read between the lines that he never thought it was possible, at least what Perry was claiming. But maybe he hoped they'd realise that, come to their senses and pivot the project to some niche thing.

Word on the street is that there is no one good left to hire.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 08:46:29 AM
Here is the problem with uBeam (i.e. Perry)
From the job ad for VP of engineering:
http://www.startuphire.com/job/vice-president-electrical-engineering-350972 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/vice-president-electrical-engineering-350972)
This is genuinely what Perry thinks:
Quote
If it doesn't break the laws of physics, it can be done

She doesn't realise it ain't all about physics, there is this pesky thing called engineering reality too  :palm:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: rx8pilot on May 11, 2016, 09:21:02 AM
She doesn't realise it ain't all about physics, there is this pesky thing called engineering reality too  :palm:

Reality has sunk more than one of my dreams before. I learned to admit the defeat, tuck my tail, and move on.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on May 11, 2016, 09:23:59 AM
Heres a line from the new job add.

Quote
Accurately summarize and communicate project status, risks, and mitigation plans to other departments and to executive management

If she can get someone to do this then maybe she could learn from them.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on May 11, 2016, 09:38:35 AM
You can't make this stuff up. I liked that blogpost ( a bit further down) with the Smeagol-Gollum link. I am going to reveal my ignorance here (not for the first time) and ask what the "two C's" means.
I have my initial gut response but I'm not sure.

That job ad just seems to be a collection of every imaginable recruitment phrase. I don't even understand the meaning of the "laws of Physics" line. It seems a bit like the "I could care less" response. Which means the exact opposite of the intended meaning.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on May 11, 2016, 09:48:42 AM
Quote
Prototype build, test and debugging
Yep, this is what VPs usually do.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on May 11, 2016, 09:49:08 AM
I am going to reveal my ignorance here (not for the first time) and ask what the "two C's" means.
I have my initial gut response but I'm not sure.

I'm pretty sure it's from http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/28/electric-liberation/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/28/electric-liberation/)   C as in CFO and COO.
Quote
uBeam’s getting ready to ship its wireless phone chargers, so its 26-year old CEO Meredith Perry has hired some hardware industry veterans to whip the business into shape. Former Apple and Palm finance leader Monica Hushen will be uBeam‘s new CFO, and Cisco, Palm, and Nokia VP Jeff Devine is joining as COO.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 10:04:54 AM
Heres a line from the new job add.
Quote
Accurately summarize and communicate project status, risks, and mitigation plans to other departments and to executive management
If she can get someone to do this then maybe she could learn from them.

It's clear she doesn't want to learn, she wants to be proven right that she is a genius visionary, an outside the box thinker who ignored engineers and experts and made her dream a reality. Because, you know, that's all it takes, belief something will work and it will, if only it doesn't violate the laws of physics (which it doesn't)
Or whatever waffle she said here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c)

It's like believing that you can make a practical car that goes 2000km/h, it doesn't violate the laws of physics. Forget all those closed box thinking engineers talking about friction and wind resistance and down force etc.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on May 11, 2016, 11:46:29 AM
It's clear she doesn't want to learn, she wants to be proven right that she is a genius visionary, an outside the box thinker who ignored engineers and experts and made her dream a reality.

Maybe she's the 100th idiot.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on May 11, 2016, 01:57:12 PM
Here is the problem with uBeam (i.e. Perry)
From the job ad for VP of engineering:
http://www.startuphire.com/job/vice-president-electrical-engineering-350972 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/vice-president-electrical-engineering-350972)
This is genuinely what Perry thinks:
Quote
If it doesn't break the laws of physics, it can be done
She doesn't realise it ain't all about physics, there is this pesky thing called engineering reality too  :palm:
We just need more deregulation. The radium glow in the dark novelty industry was doing fine until those health and safety people got involved.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 03:31:05 PM
It's clear she doesn't want to learn, she wants to be proven right that she is a genius visionary, an outside the box thinker who ignored engineers and experts and made her dream a reality.
Maybe she's the 100th idiot.

Nope, because to to be the 100th idiot you have to actually succeed. uBeam will flop miserably, and fairly shortly.
Although, if the measure of success is being able to convince people to fund you, then yes, a worthy 100th Idiot award winner.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 11, 2016, 05:50:06 PM
Just looking at their job list:

http://www.startuphire.com/search/index.php?searchId=c9231fd8241e5c07058426090048e528 (http://www.startuphire.com/search/index.php?searchId=c9231fd8241e5c07058426090048e528)

Aren't they all basic positions that should already be filled by now?  :popcorn:

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on May 11, 2016, 06:10:28 PM
Just looking at their job list:

http://www.startuphire.com/search/index.php?searchId=c9231fd8241e5c07058426090048e528 (http://www.startuphire.com/search/index.php?searchId=c9231fd8241e5c07058426090048e528)
An interesting list of jobs. Looks like they are going to track the uBeams's position optically. Something like flashing IR led that you must not cover up. Boring! I thought they may be doing it somehow with ultrasonics with a phased array on the transmitter.

So this thing is going to have custom ASICs both ends, a camera to track the receiver, I guess a two axis motorized rotator on the transmitter, who knows what to align the receiver, custom ultrasonic transducers both ends, a powerful ultrasonic amplifier on the transmitter, and a really really pathetic data-over-ultrasound capability.

How much is this monster going to cost? I spend about $10 a year on microUSB charging cables, so I hope it will be cheaper then that.  :-DD

I was thinking that if they are smart, they will use the money to develop useful ultrasonic detection/imaging technology so at least they have something. It doesn't sound like they will end up with any useful technology at all. Perhaps the transducers may have other uses, but it looks like they are still looking for transducer designers. I thought that was the heart of their invention.

Richard
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 11, 2016, 06:24:11 PM
An interesting list of jobs. Looks like they are going to track the uBeams's position optically.
That's the latest idiotic idea, yes.

It won't work, obviously, but the engineers get to play with expensive toys for a while longer and Meredith gets a bit more time as a "visionary".

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 06:43:20 PM
Just looking at their job list:
http://www.startuphire.com/search/index.php?searchId=c9231fd8241e5c07058426090048e528 (http://www.startuphire.com/search/index.php?searchId=c9231fd8241e5c07058426090048e528)
Aren't they all basic positions that should already be filled by now?  :popcorn:

Yep.
Likely because:
a) Everyone keeps leaving
and
b) The tech doesn't work as Meredith thought it would, so, meh, keep trying...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 06:51:20 PM
An interesting list of jobs. Looks like they are going to track the uBeams's position optically. Something like flashing IR led that you must not cover up. Boring! I thought they may be doing it somehow with ultrasonics with a phased array on the transmitter.

IIRC, it went through various incarnations, from no position tech, to "oops, performance is going to suck unless we really beamform and steer this thing", through various techs that didn't work well enough, so, meh try again with some sort of optical tracking. Because, you know, it just has to be a solvable problem, Meredith has deemed it so.

Quote
So this thing is going to have custom ASICs both ends, a camera to track the receiver, I guess a two axis motorized rotator on the transmitter, who knows what to align the receiver, custom ultrasonic transducers both ends, a powerful ultrasonic amplifier on the transmitter, and a really really pathetic data-over-ultrasound capability.

Yep, but it uses beam forming to steer the ultrasonics.
All this bleeding edge tech to replace a $5 Qi charging pad, and at probably 1/50th the efficiency, yeah, winning idea  ::)

Quote
How much is this monster going to cost? I spend about $10 a year on microUSB charging cables, so I hope it will be cheaper then that.  :-DD

You don't have to worry about it, because it will never make it to market  ;D

Quote
I was thinking that if they are smart, they will use the money to develop useful ultrasonic detection/imaging technology so at least they have something. It doesn't sound like they will end up with any useful technology at all. Perhaps the transducers may have other uses, but it looks like they are still looking for transducer designers. I thought that was the heart of their invention.

The people that do/did work there are very smart, but word is that Meredith doesn't want to hear anything but her own fairytale.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on May 11, 2016, 07:15:11 PM
The people that do/did work there are very smart, but word is that Meredith doesn't want to hear anything but her own fairytale.
Sounds like you buy a big supply of ear plugs, start the job, say yes to everything Meridith asks for because she is a visionary, do whatever you want to do in the lab with the toys, and leave when Meridith is highly disappointed in you. It is not like you can actually design the working ultrasonic link. A very weird paid holiday.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 11, 2016, 07:23:33 PM
Sounds like an ideal job for an engineer - If you're one of the experts in the field you can name your price as they have a ton of VC money burning a hole in their pocket, all the fun of experimenting and playing with nice toys, with no prospect of all the boring stuff for production.
And when it all goes titsup, or you leave, it doesn't reflect badly on you when applying for the next job because it was an obviously impossible task.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 11, 2016, 07:24:20 PM
Yep, but it uses beam forming to steer the ultrasonics.
All this bleeding edge tech to replace a $5 Qi charging pad, and at probably 1/50th the efficiency, yeah, winning idea  ::)

Rich people don't mind spending $5,000 per transmitter and having huge electricity bills.

The real problem will be the bulk that the receiver adds to the phone. Nobody with enough money for uBeam wants a half-inch thick phone.

(And if you do huge phone you're probably better off adding more battery instead of some silly charger that only works inside a few specially modified buildings. Double the current battery size would last most people all day).


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 11, 2016, 07:25:32 PM
A very weird paid holiday.

I'd sign up in a heartbeat if I lived over there.

(and was qualified for the job)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 07:56:10 PM
Sounds like an ideal job for an engineer - If you're one of the experts in the field you can name your price as they have a ton of VC money burning a hole in their pocket, all the fun of experimenting and playing with nice toys, with no prospect of all the boring stuff for production.
And when it all goes titsup, or you leave, it doesn't reflect badly on you when applying for the next job because it was an obviously impossible task.

Word has it that they have cycled through every expert in the industry, so yeah, anyone left who does come on board now could probably name their price.
Probably only 6-12 months left in this dead horse though before it all goes tits-up.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 11, 2016, 08:18:41 PM
Probably only 6-12 months left in this dead horse though before it all goes tits-up.

And then you get to take the equipment home...?  :popcorn:

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 11, 2016, 09:08:03 PM
And then you get to take the equipment home...?  :popcorn:

The trick is seeing it coming and conveniently "working from home with the gear" when the axe falls.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 03:03:24 AM
And here we go!
http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/11/charged/?ncid=rss&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter (http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/11/charged/?ncid=rss&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter)
 :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on May 12, 2016, 05:01:02 AM
My opinion, which is being borne out: is that folks take jobs in these questionable ventures for the simple reason that it's a job with a paycheck - which is a damned sight better than no job in between jobs. Most VC startups - particularly in the energy field- are simply cash skimming machines for the money brokers and temporary workfare programs for the employees. Soon, the clouds of suspicion and illegitimacy will blanket all projects, good and bad.

This certainly has not escaped notice on th money side and will eventually lead to a period of time where there is little/no funding for anyone, no matter how viable or beneficial her/his business might be. Get used to bootstrapping folks...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on May 12, 2016, 05:50:51 AM

I'd sign up in a heartbeat if I lived over there.

(and was qualified for the job)

I suspect you wouldn't have to be qualified, just smart enough to write the right CV and then sound 'visionary' enough at the interview. Hell, I expect just sounding fawning enough about how 'visionary' the boss is would probably let you waltz in.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dubbie on May 12, 2016, 08:26:03 AM
Interesting to see that TechCrunch is beginning to wake up to the fact that they got suckered into investing in a box of unicorn wishes.
This is their first critical article.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on May 12, 2016, 08:58:27 AM
Interesting to see that TechCrunch is beginning to wake up to the fact that they got suckered into investing in a box of unicorn wishes.
This is their first critical article.
They certainly have changed their minds.
Here are some examples of ubeam 'selling their story' through Techcrunch.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/30/ubeam-10m-upfront/ (http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/30/ubeam-10m-upfront/)

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/26/kill-the-cord/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/26/kill-the-cord/)

http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/28/electric-liberation/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/28/electric-liberation/)

http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/08/how-ubeam-works/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/08/how-ubeam-works/)

http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/)

Hopefully in future Techcrunch can check with Dave before giving support to such scams.


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: VNFTW on May 12, 2016, 09:04:29 AM
For your judgement:
http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/106297094145/a-brief-negation-of-time (http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/106297094145/a-brief-negation-of-time)

Apologies if repost
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dubbie on May 12, 2016, 10:11:51 AM
Quoted from that load of baloney linked above:
Quote
As we are humans, with brains trapped behind layers of illusion, finding truth about reality is an extremely difficult, if not impossible, task.

I suspect that once uBeam collapses Ms Perry might be a step closer to finding the truth about reality....
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 10:33:34 AM
Interesting to see that TechCrunch is beginning to wake up to the fact that they got suckered into investing in a box of unicorn wishes.
This is their first critical article.

Yes, and it should be noted that Tech Crunch's owner is one of the major investors in uBeam through CrunchFund, hence why techcrunch got the "scoop" on the "proof" article
http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/ (http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/)
Something big has changed in order for Techcrunch to to be allowed to publish this article.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on May 12, 2016, 10:59:42 AM
Quoted from that load of baloney linked above:
Quote
As we are humans, with brains trapped behind layers of illusion, finding truth about reality is an extremely difficult, if not impossible, task.

I suspect that once uBeam collapses Ms Perry might be a step closer to finding the truth about reality....

No way! She sounds like one of those management nitwits who spout endless streams of BS like "perception IS reality".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on May 12, 2016, 11:18:36 AM
It looks like this former uBeam engineer exposed Energous too.
http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2016/04/those-other-guys-pt-1.html (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2016/04/those-other-guys-pt-1.html)

He linked to this story on Energous.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3811296-energous-buy-companys-story-stock (http://seekingalpha.com/article/3811296-energous-buy-companys-story-stock)

"Using the 1 watt as our transmitter power translates to 0.000507 watt (0.507 milliwatts or 507 microwatts) at the receiving end. "

But it's even worse than this!  The FCC does not allow you to transmit at the full 1 watt (30 dBm) if you focus the energy with more than 6 dB gain.  If you want to use a phase array to get 21 dB antenna gain, you must drop your transmit power to 25 dBm or 0.316 watts.  Every 3 dBi of antenna gain must be accompanied by 1 dBm decline in transmit power.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on May 12, 2016, 12:16:14 PM
Something big has changed in order for Techcrunch to to be allowed to publish this article.

Yes, indeed. Nobody shoots down their own investment unless they're absolutely sure it's a lost cause and the money's gone.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 12:46:08 PM
Lee Gomes said there will be another IEEE Spectrum article on uBeam in the coming days.
He smashed it out the park last time, so can't wait.

He has also confirmed the VP of engineering is legit.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 12:46:57 PM
Something big has changed in order for Techcrunch to to be allowed to publish this article.
Yes, indeed. Nobody shoots down their own investment unless they're absolutely sure it's a lost cause and the money's gone.

Word on the street is that key investors have lost confidence.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on May 12, 2016, 02:40:32 PM
Can't wait to see the famous "3 backup plans" activated.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on May 12, 2016, 02:56:30 PM
Something big has changed in order for Techcrunch to to be allowed to publish this article.
Yes, indeed. Nobody shoots down their own investment unless they're absolutely sure it's a lost cause and the money's gone.

Word on the street is that key investors have lost confidence.
This is pretty extraordinary in the world of investing. Even when investors lose confidence, the usual plan is to stay quiet and try to sell the IP or respin the venture to recoup their losses.  I've had investors contact me regarding biofuels projects over the years - trying to figure out what happened to their money.  They have let these projects run/idle/sputter far longer and *still* haven't turned on their CEO. 

Something very big happened between Meredith and her backers, and I'm betting it's about to get a hell of a lot uglier.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: ludzinc on May 12, 2016, 03:12:02 PM
 :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on May 12, 2016, 03:21:26 PM
Things got so bad that engineers were leaving uBeam two weeks before their stocks were vested.
http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-former-engineers-doubt-it-can-work-2016-5?op=1 (http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-former-engineers-doubt-it-can-work-2016-5?op=1)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on May 12, 2016, 03:57:25 PM
Can't wait to see the famous "3 backup plans" activated.  :popcorn:

From another similar bullshitter who probably now wishes they did have a backup plan:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWYAkCBUEAAgHdp.jpg)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 04:39:28 PM
Can't wait to see the famous "3 backup plans" activated.  :popcorn:
From another similar bullshitter who probably now wishes they did have a backup plan:
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWYAkCBUEAAgHdp.jpg)

She'll be lucky if she avoids jail time.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 04:45:13 PM
Things got so bad that engineers were leaving uBeam two weeks before their stocks were vested.
http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-former-engineers-doubt-it-can-work-2016-5?op=1 (http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-former-engineers-doubt-it-can-work-2016-5?op=1)

From that:
Quote
In a tell-all blog, uBeam’s former VP of Engineering, Paul Reynolds, has been harshly criticising the company. He left in October 2015 and didn’t sign a non-disparagement agreement, nor is he sharing proprietary information, he told Business Insider.

And he's right, no law against disparagement, and as long as you don't share proprietary information, nor make deliberately false accusations (slander/libel), you are fine.
Although that may not stop uBeams lawyers
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 12, 2016, 05:08:14 PM
Things got so bad that engineers were leaving uBeam two weeks before their stocks were vested.
http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-former-engineers-doubt-it-can-work-2016-5?op=1 (http://www.businessinsider.com/ubeam-former-engineers-doubt-it-can-work-2016-5?op=1)

From that:
Quote
In a tell-all blog, uBeam’s former VP of Engineering, Paul Reynolds, has been harshly criticising the company. He left in October 2015 and didn’t sign a non-disparagement agreement, nor is he sharing proprietary information, he told Business Insider.

And he's right, no law against disparagement, and as long as you don't share proprietary information, nor make deliberately false accusations (slander/libel), you are fine.
Although that may not stop uBeams lawyers
I think uBeam's lawyers may have more on their mind, like getting paid before the VCs pull the plug & everything goes titsup.
 
My prediction - Meredith will write a book ready for the Christmas sales period, whining about how "the industry" destroyed her vision, and probably pulling the sexism card while she's at it.


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mathieumatteomatthew on May 12, 2016, 06:06:26 PM
Mike beat me to it. It's quite clear what the next step for Perry is: claiming the naughty engineers sabotaged her wonderful vision from the start, and that's why she didn't make it. The sexism card is also likely to be pulled, completely forgetting the fact that her being a young woman was one major aspect of the fairy tale that was pushed around by the press: the drop-out, thinking-out-of-the-box young woman,  having a vision to change the world.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 12, 2016, 07:01:04 PM
Can't wait to see the famous "3 backup plans" activated.  :popcorn:

Plan #1 was "Data Transmission"... charge your phone and transmit data.

Slowly. Much slower than the WiFi you already have.

If that was Plan #1 then I can't wait to see how visionary Plans #2 and #3 are.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 12, 2016, 07:06:46 PM
Mike beat me to it. It's quite clear what the next step for Perry is: claiming the naughty engineers sabotaged her wonderful vision from the start, and that's why she didn't make it.
They didn't sabotage it, they just weren't smart enough to make it work.

The materials needed for the transducers weren't there yet and she ran out of money before they could get make them.

The underlying scientific principles were demonstrably correct so it's clearly not her fault. She can even go back on Ted and explain this.

This leaves her free to start over again on the next project with a clean slate.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 12, 2016, 07:16:34 PM
The really stupid thing is that even if all the tech were entirely feasible, practical and safe, it would STILL fail as a product as phone manufacturers would never build it into phones (how many have even incorporated qi type chargers yet?).

I can understand VC's being uBeamed ( yes I want that to become a verb)  into believing that the tech may be feasible, but it doesn't take much tech knowledge to work out that it had zero chance of widespread market adoption for simple practical reasons.
 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on May 12, 2016, 07:23:16 PM
I can understand VC's being uBeamed ( yes I want that to become a verb) 
 

Probably double meaning too. VCs being like rabbits caught in the beam of car headlights?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on May 12, 2016, 07:36:31 PM
The really stupid thing is that even if all the tech were entirely feasible, practical and safe, it would STILL fail as a product as phone manufacturers would never build it into phones (how many have even incorporated qi type chargers yet?).

Yep. Apple would never add 2mm to the thickness of their phones just for this (even if it worked brilliantly and could be made 2mm thick!).
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on May 12, 2016, 07:56:42 PM
...as phone manufacturers would never build it into phones (how many have even incorporated qi type chargers yet?).
A lot of phones have QI charging built in. They don't come with a QI charger, though, and few people seem to buy them as after market devices. I expect few people have even noticed that their phone has the QI feature. I guess short range wireless charging just isn't that compelling. Would longer range charging be more compelling?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: VNFTW on May 12, 2016, 08:05:07 PM
Mike beat me to it. It's quite clear what the next step for Perry is: claiming the naughty engineers sabotaged her wonderful vision from the start, and that's why she didn't make it.
They didn't sabotage it, they just weren't smart enough to make it work.

The materials needed for the transducers weren't there yet and she ran out of money before they could get make them.

The underlying scientific principles were demonstrably correct so it's clearly not her fault. She can even go back on Ted and explain this.

This leaves her free to start over again on the next project with a clean slate.

If the company said that, then IT would be disparaging the engineers...those agreements typically go both ways.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 08:32:13 PM
My prediction - Meredith will write a book ready for the Christmas sales period, whining about how "the industry" destroyed her vision, and probably pulling the sexism card while she's at it.

I hope she spends her time doing that that instead of trying to do another tech startup.
I recommend another followup TEDx talk as well, given her stellar performance last time. Title it "How Closed Thinking Engineers Ruined My World Beating Innovation"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 08:42:44 PM
I can understand VC's being uBeamed ( yes I want that to become a verb)

It is deemed thus.

Quote
into believing that the tech may be feasible, but it doesn't take much tech knowledge to work out that it had zero chance of widespread market adoption for simple practical reasons.

It took a fairly trivial amount of tech knowledge to see it would never be practical.
It sinks alone on practicality with dicky beamforming, positional trouble, and limited range.
It sinks alone (ironically) on convenience, having to dick around with a positioning system and make sure you don't bock it etc.
It sinks alone on cost.
It sinks alone on potential safety.
It sinks alone on inefficiency, even taking their own figures on their website.
And many more gems.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 12, 2016, 08:45:17 PM
I expect few people have even noticed that their phone has the QI feature. I guess short range wireless charging just isn't that compelling. Would longer range charging be more compelling?

Yes, too bad it's laughable useless and inefficient.
Qi actually works and is pretty efficient and convenient (although mine is very touchy, I much prefer my magnetic charging dock.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on May 12, 2016, 11:34:37 PM
I expect few people have even noticed that their phone has the QI feature. I guess short range wireless charging just isn't that compelling. Would longer range charging be more compelling?

Yes, too bad it's laughable useless and inefficient.
Qi actually works and is pretty efficient and convenient (although mine is very touchy, I much prefer my magnetic charging dock.
Except it chirps like a bird. Which I dont like. And this was an IKEA charger with a Nokia phone, not some noname chinese whatever.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on May 13, 2016, 06:34:48 AM
The sexism card is already flying in this short story devoid of facts.
http://fortune.com/2016/05/12/ubeam-is-not-the-next-theranos/ (http://fortune.com/2016/05/12/ubeam-is-not-the-next-theranos/)

Another Fortune writer also wrote this apologist piece on uBeam that blatantly distorted the story.
http://fortune.com/2015/12/02/meredith-perry-ubeam-criticism-science/ (http://fortune.com/2015/12/02/meredith-perry-ubeam-criticism-science/)

I responded to it last year with these comments in their comment section.

1. Nobody says ultrasonic power transfer is impossible.  What they are saying is that uBeam is so inefficient that it can't even deliver 1/10th of a watt at maximum power levels safe to be near humans, and that it will result in 99% energy loss.

2.  Your article cites the tumbler article as a rebuke of uBeam cynics on the basis that the article acknowledges power transfer is possible, but you missed the part where the same tumbler article estimates that ultrasonic charging will be 100 times slower than plugging the phone in.

3. Critics are actually pointing out that uBeam has back peddled on range claims and the ability to charge a phone while it's in a pocket or purse.  uBeam now admits they can't go through clothing.  That means you'll be forced to use the phone with screen face down when it's charging which makes it impossible to use the phone while charging for anything but listening to audio.

4. TechCrunch owners are early investors in uBeam and their pro-uBeam article fails to disclose this relationship.

5. It doesn't matter how much Mark Cuban or Mark Suster raves about uBeam or Meredith Perry because they're also early investors.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: bazsa56 on May 14, 2016, 06:17:43 AM
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/engineer-and-investor-in-spat-about-wireless-charging-startup-ubeam (http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/engineer-and-investor-in-spat-about-wireless-charging-startup-ubeam)

New IEEE article just posted.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on May 14, 2016, 09:30:25 AM
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/engineer-and-investor-in-spat-about-wireless-charging-startup-ubeam (http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/engineer-and-investor-in-spat-about-wireless-charging-startup-ubeam)

New IEEE article just posted.

I note they refer to a Suster blog https://bothsidesofthetable.com/what-is-it-like-to-wake-up-and-have-the-press-ready-to-torpedo-your-business-351f27ca6d67#.i7pzqinbk where he puts on a brave face. If he truly believes what he's saying then he's an idiot. More likely he's regretting not doing the most basic of due diligence homework, and is trying to minimise his losses, as well as those of his investors, by maintaining what little hope and value he can before getting out.

Somewhat irritating are the swarms of blind sycophants praising his blog entry who appear to believe him... if they are real of course, and not paid shills.

Even more unbelievable is that he says he will continue to invest in the porcine** owning CEO if (when) uBeam fails.

** Meredith owns a pet pig, Albert. Any suggestion of snouts in the trough, or owners resembling their pets are facile and will not be tolerated, not to mention being unfair to Albert who appears to be a perfectly reasonable and trustworthy porker.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: helius on May 14, 2016, 09:43:00 AM
If he truly believes what he's saying then he's an idiot... Somewhat irritating are the swarms of blind sycophants praising his blog entry who appear to believe him...
The assumption that angel investors who have previously made millions in the tech space are blessed with broad and deep business wisdom is a type of Fundamental Attribution Error.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on May 14, 2016, 10:16:18 AM
Quote
I note they refer to a Suster blog https://bothsidesofthetable.com/what-is-it-like-to-wake-up-and-have-the-press-ready-to-torpedo-your-business-351f27ca6d67#.i7pzqinbk where he puts on a brave face. If he truly believes what he's saying then he's an idiot. More likely he's regretting not doing the most basic of due diligence homework, and is trying to minimise his losses, as well as those of his investors, by maintaining what little hope and value he can before getting out

This whole "torpedo your business" thing is horseshit. Suster's "business" is suckering late-to-the-party investors so he can take his "profits" and make an early exit. I don't believe for a nanosecond that Suster had any intention of seeing this ridiculous idea to functional fruition.

Like most of his ilk, Suster's greatest regret is that of being caught before the payout.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 14, 2016, 10:43:51 AM
I note they refer to a Suster blog https://bothsidesofthetable.com/what-is-it-like-to-wake-up-and-have-the-press-ready-to-torpedo-your-business-351f27ca6d67#.i7pzqinbk where he puts on a brave face.

Wow, so much wrong with that blog post I don't know were to start.
What is abundantly clear is that uBeam is now dead in the water. Not that it ever had a chance of sailing unless they hugely pivoted the tech, but probably had another 12 months in it before the money simply ran out. The rats will abandon this ship quick smart now.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 14, 2016, 11:07:28 AM
More heat for Suster:
https://ludwitt.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/what-mark-suster-missed-in-his-blog-post-defending-ubeam/
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 14, 2016, 12:39:04 PM
Once supportive journalists turnign on Theranos
http://fortune.com/2015/12/17/how-theranos-misled-me-elizabeth-holmes/ (http://fortune.com/2015/12/17/how-theranos-misled-me-elizabeth-holmes/)
They will do the same to uBeam, just like TechCrunch took the lead on.
It'll be a bloodbath  :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on May 14, 2016, 02:32:16 PM
No surprise here. As the previous article said:

Quote
Be wary of fawning reporters and press. The same guys who built you up will tear you down to save their asses before moving onto the next thing. There is zero integrity in much of the tech press.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on May 14, 2016, 02:36:00 PM
No surprise here. As the previous article said:

Quote
There is zero integrity in much of the tech press.

This.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on May 14, 2016, 05:24:43 PM
Mark Suster wrote:
Quote
If for any reason we fall short of expectations we have set in the market, I will be the first person in line to admit it and then to immediately fund Meredith’s next company.

So let me get this straight.  You’ve seen every single prototype after millions of dollars over years of research and an army of big name PhDs and you’re already hedging for failure?

Suster keeps talking about passion.  A con man/woman has passion.  Passion is great but it's no substitute for competence.  What Suster means to say is that he saw Meredith Perry as “marketable” to other investors who are late to the party so that he can flip the startup for a quick profit.

Looking at this thing some more, I think this article has more to do with making Suster look like a good supportive investor than him trying to save uBeam.  Hell he's practically written them off already so he is already hedging his bet to save face!  Suster is one of the "superstar" VC celebrities where the mere mention of Suster being a backer will encourage other investors to jump on.   Mark Cuban was so confident in Mark Suster's assessment that he didn't even need to look at uBeam's prototype!

Now Suster is in full spin control mode to save his own reputation and you see the comments praising him for his kind supportive words.  He's already admitting that maybe uBeam will fail but eh so what, you have to take big risks for big rewards and this is just one of those risks that didn't pan out and couldn’t have been predicted no matter how many real engineers told us exactly why this is a nonstarter.  But it's not his fault and it's not Perry's fault.  It's just one of those shitty things that happen to innovative risk takers and it's the vicious sexist media to blame!  ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Raj on May 14, 2016, 10:34:51 PM
sounds gimmicky  :bullshit:
i'll stick to IR, same features but faster
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 15, 2016, 12:20:05 AM
This article has more to do with making Suster look like a good supportive investor than trying to save uBeam.  In fact Suster is already hedging his bet to save face!
Mark Suster wrote:
Quote
If for any reason we fall short of expectations we have set in the market, I will be the first person in line to admit it and then to immediately fund Meredith’s next company.
So let me get this straight.  You’ve seen every single prototype after millions of dollars over years of research and an army of big name PhDs and you’re already hedging for failure?
Suster keeps talking about passion.  A con man/woman has passion.  Passion is great but it's no substitute for competence.  What Suster means to say is that he saw Meredith Perry as “marketable” to other investors who are late to the party so that he can flip the startup for a quick profit.
Suster is part of the elite "superstar" VC crowd where the mere mention of Suster being a backer will encourage other investors to jump on.  In fact Mark Cuban was so confident in Mark Suster's assessment that he didn't even need to look at uBeam's prototype!  Now Suster is in 100% spin control mode and you see the comments praising him for his kind supportive words.  He's already admitting that maybe uBeam will fail but eh so what, you have to take big risks for big rewards and this is just one of those risks that didn't pan out.  But it's not his fault and it's not Perry's fault.  It's just one of those shitty things that happen to good people and the vicious sexist media are to blame!

This.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on May 18, 2016, 08:51:19 AM
Says UBeam got a "bridge round" of investment in 2015 after failing to secure Series B.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on May 18, 2016, 09:54:39 AM
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html) the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/its-all-over-bitcoin-miner-maker-hashfast-to-auction-remaining-assets/) and was convicted of fraud (http://www.coindesk.com/judge-approves-fraud-claims-against-bitcoin-mining-firm-hashfast/) in federal court. (Edit: The company and its executives were sued for fraud, and the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff when the company disputed it. One executive then settled out-of-court, while the other was ordered to personally pay $165,000 in damages. Sources aren't online, but are available via PACER (https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov).)

(Edit: Paul Reynolds, former VP of Engineering at uBeam, has said:

Quote
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Thanks to Paul for all the great material he's posted to his blog. I apologize for using an inaccurate source (http://bravenewcoin.com/news/bitcoin-miner-manufacturer-found-guilty-of-fraud/) here.)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 18, 2016, 10:42:55 AM
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html) the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/its-all-over-bitcoin-miner-maker-hashfast-to-auction-remaining-assets/) and was convicted of fraud (http://www.coindesk.com/judge-approves-fraud-claims-against-bitcoin-mining-firm-hashfast/) in federal court.

And he stayed there to switch off the lights. From his LinkedIn:
Quote
Market pressures came to bear on Hashfast and I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to close the doors after a bankruptcy fight.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on May 18, 2016, 10:57:33 AM
Apple now hiring uBeam engineers (The Verge (http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/17/11671230/apple-hiring-wireless-charging-experts-iphone-ubeam))
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on May 18, 2016, 10:59:45 AM
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html) the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/its-all-over-bitcoin-miner-maker-hashfast-to-auction-remaining-assets/) and was convicted of fraud (http://www.coindesk.com/judge-approves-fraud-claims-against-bitcoin-mining-firm-hashfast/) in federal court.

Does "A US District Judge has approved claims" mean convicted in a US court? But thanks @georgesmith for providing links to your sources. I wish more people would do that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on May 18, 2016, 11:10:47 AM
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html) the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/its-all-over-bitcoin-miner-maker-hashfast-to-auction-remaining-assets/) and was convicted of fraud (http://www.coindesk.com/judge-approves-fraud-claims-against-bitcoin-mining-firm-hashfast/) in federal court.

Does "A US District Judge has approved claims" mean convicted in a US court? But thanks @georgesmith for providing links to your sources. I wish more people would do that.

Thanks. The judge ruled against them, but the suit was then settled before trial, so you're right that "convicted" isn't fully accurate. Post edited, more details here (http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/08/17/bitcoin.pdf).
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 18, 2016, 11:36:36 AM
Apple now hiring uBeam engineers (The Verge (http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/17/11671230/apple-hiring-wireless-charging-experts-iphone-ubeam))

Oh dear, now the true believers will say that vindicates the idea of ultrasonic charging  :palm:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on May 18, 2016, 11:42:49 AM
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html) the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/its-all-over-bitcoin-miner-maker-hashfast-to-auction-remaining-assets/) and was convicted of fraud (http://www.coindesk.com/judge-approves-fraud-claims-against-bitcoin-mining-firm-hashfast/) in federal court.

And he stayed there to switch off the lights. From his LinkedIn:
Quote
Market pressures came to bear on Hashfast and I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to close the doors after a bankruptcy fight.
So uBeam has hired a guy with experience of shutting down a failed business? Sounds like good relevant experience. :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on May 18, 2016, 11:45:19 AM
Apple now hiring uBeam engineers (The Verge (http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/17/11671230/apple-hiring-wireless-charging-experts-iphone-ubeam))

Oh dear, now the true believers will say that vindicates the idea of ultrasonic charging  :palm:
My reaction too. Of course Apple is interested in ultrasonics. Using ultrasonics is a fairly unused method of sensing up to now in phones and tablets so there is a huge of potential. To think that Apple is even slightly interested in 155dB loud charging systems with a 1% efficiency or less is a stupid conclusion.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on May 18, 2016, 12:49:46 PM
HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product and was convicted of fraud in federal court.

Wow, look who ran their finance (quoted from Reddit):

Quote
The company’s new CFO, Monica Hushen.
This woman is the death of hardware personified.
Her career is amazing. She was with Apple during the time when Apple was for all intents and purposes dead, then she went to Iomega right when Zip drives fell out of favor. Afterwards she went to some B2C solution provider not even Wikipedia remembers that was promptly bought and killed by eBay, then she went to work for the smoldering almost-corpse of Palm Inc, which HP finally axe murdered. Noticing a trend she had a brief stint at ECS Refining, which is a recycling company for dead hardware.
And now she's with Hashfast, a hardware "company" floundering dead in the water before it sold its first product..

Can you make a guess who she is with now  ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on May 18, 2016, 12:56:30 PM
Today a friend noticed that Sean Taffler, uBeam's VP of Engineering, was previously (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html) the VP of Engineering at HashFast Technologies. HashFast made Bitcoin mining hardware, but never delivered a product (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/its-all-over-bitcoin-miner-maker-hashfast-to-auction-remaining-assets/) and was convicted of fraud (http://www.coindesk.com/judge-approves-fraud-claims-against-bitcoin-mining-firm-hashfast/) in federal court.

Does "A US District Judge has approved claims" mean convicted in a US court? But thanks @georgesmith for providing links to your sources. I wish more people would do that.

Thanks. The judge ruled against them, but the suit was then settled before trial, so you're right that "convicted" isn't fully accurate. Post edited, more details here (http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/08/17/bitcoin.pdf).

Erm, the judge also ruled for them as well. And "convicted" even if not "fully accurate"? The document you point to is a ruling on a motion to dismiss. It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

You ought to be a lot more careful before making defamatory statements about someone, particularly about criminal misconduct. Do it to the wrong person and you could find yourself with a big legal bill and some nasty damages. More than that it's just plain unkind unless you've got all your facts right and the person either legitimately deserves it or there's a legitimate public interest in advertising their wrongdoing. I should point out that the person you named (Sean Taffler) is not even one of the individuals cited in the case.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: helius on May 18, 2016, 02:27:55 PM
Saying that someone was convicted when they weren't is "libel per se". It can get you in serious trouble. It's not even possible to be convicted in a civil suit.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jurge24pez on May 18, 2016, 03:53:24 PM
Hash fast was in the news due to its founders so the correlation with ubeam continues.  The bigger question is the choices of a talented engineer to go to the likes of these companies, but it appears he's doing the wise act and looking for his self now as when one googles him he's got his resume posted live "Currently I am looking for my next role." And lists ubeam in his repertoire so it is a current post.http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html)  Wonder how many other engineers will be flying the coop now from there? 
 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on May 18, 2016, 06:15:22 PM
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on May 18, 2016, 06:54:30 PM
Saying that someone was convicted when they weren't is "libel per se". It can get you in serious trouble. It's not even possible to be convicted in a civil suit.

The headline of one of the news stories about them was literally "Bitcoin Miner Manufacturer Found Guilty of Fraud" (link (http://bravenewcoin.com/news/bitcoin-miner-manufacturer-found-guilty-of-fraud/)). It's obvious (after reading all the court documents) that that wasn't a fair summary, but no, it's never libel to mistakenly rely on an inaccurate source. (Otherwise, any time a media outlet got something wrong, every reader who told a friend something would be guilty of libel.) I'm sorry I screwed up, and didn't check sources carefully enough.

Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.

Quote
There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Thanks, I'll go back and edit the post. Sorry that your first post here had to be like this...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 18, 2016, 08:14:05 PM
Hash fast was in the news due to its founders so the correlation with ubeam continues.  The bigger question is the choices of a talented engineer to go to the likes of these companies, but it appears he's doing the wise act and looking for his self now as when one googles him he's got his resume posted live "Currently I am looking for my next role." And lists ubeam in his repertoire so it is a current post.http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html)  Wonder how many other engineers will be flying the coop now from there?

That web page has been like that since at lest Feb 19th.
But yeah, Resume shows uBeam, so unlikely he updated his resume and his "currently looking for work" page.
Good chance he's gone.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 18, 2016, 08:21:29 PM
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on May 18, 2016, 09:52:13 PM
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Welcome to EEVBlog!

A very thought-provoking blog, I downloaded it all the other day for my commute. I certainly couldn't understand why any engineer would want to work at uBeam bearing in mind the claims they were making, but I can see how it would attract some if you get to play with the latest toys.

May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on May 18, 2016, 10:07:49 PM
May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
No. It never made any sense.

It makes as much sense as using tracking high powered lasers to charge a phone. Actually, a laser is a much better idea then uBeam. I can claim it will be totally safe by just saying I will have this software that will turn the laser off the instant before any direct or reflected beam hits an eye. It is very easy saying that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: VNFTW on May 18, 2016, 10:24:38 PM
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610)

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on May 18, 2016, 10:28:16 PM
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

Editted to add (and correct one literal above): It just occurs to me that the people who did our libel training were very good. It's many years later and I remember all of it. More importantly, while I was writing I got several companies very angry with me, with good justification on my behalf (i.e. I said that crap products were crap), but we never got sued so I think the training paid off. /Edit

... but no, it's never libel to mistakenly rely on an inaccurate source.

Good luck telling the judge that, he will tell you different. There's no need to prove malice in a libel claim, carelessness or recklessness is quite adequate.

(Otherwise, any time a media outlet got something wrong, every reader who told a friend something would be guilty of libel.)

It's not "libel", it's slander and only then when monetary loss can be proven. And not "guilty" as defamation is a tort, a civil wrong, not a crime.

I'm sorry I screwed up, and didn't check sources carefully enough.

The expressed remorse might take a few quid off, but your last five words probably just doubled the damages. Just imagine counsel for the appellant, at your libel trial, saying: "So, Mr. Smith, before you rushed to accuse my client in print of fraud, did you check your sources? Did you bother to find out the truth before blackening my client's character? Or were you so hell bent on doing him harm that you were completely reckless as to the veracity of your claims?".

A public apology, at least as prominent as the original libel, and a retraction, is actually a defense in a libel action. It might be a good idea to cover your arse and issue one.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on May 18, 2016, 10:30:36 PM
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610)

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603)
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on May 18, 2016, 10:42:45 PM
May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
No. It never made any sense.

Erm, I don't really think it's your place to answer on behalf of those engineers when we've got one here now who can speak for himself and who the question was directed to.

Mind you, if I was him, my reply might be "On advice of counsel I'm declining to answer that question". <- note, no smiley.

Really, uBeam is the kind of thing that ends in court and while we can speculate as wildly as we like, it might be a good idea for one of the participants to choose his public, on the record, words very carefully. I imply no wrongdoing on his behalf, and you should infer none, but it would be in the interests of some parties to share the blame around and some carelessly chosen words might just be enough to do that, even if that flies in the face of the actual facts.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on May 18, 2016, 11:05:36 PM
Erm, I don't really think it's your place to answer on behalf of those engineers when we've got one here now who can speak for himself and who the question was directed to.
Fair enough. My mistake in not realising it was THE Paul Reynolds.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: theatrus on May 19, 2016, 12:27:27 AM
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610)

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603)
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.

The trick with WSJ articles:

Open incognito window
Go to google.com it's self and paste the URL into the search box
Click through to the article from the search results page
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on May 19, 2016, 01:07:20 AM
Wasn't it WSJ who catapulted uBeam into the bright future back then

https://m.facebook.com/meredith.perry/posts/10201377478782470 (https://m.facebook.com/meredith.perry/posts/10201377478782470)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edavid on May 19, 2016, 01:07:54 AM
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

You obviously don't understand the US legal system.  Don't worry, you won't be sued for that  :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on May 19, 2016, 02:05:32 AM
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

You obviously don't understand the US legal system.  Don't worry, you won't be sued for that  :)

Hence the, "in English law", in there. BUT, the US legal system is the closest to the English legal system on the planet outside of jurisdictions that still hold the English courts as their highest courts of appeal - e.g. Jamaica*. In point of fact, past and present precedents from English courts are still held as 'persuasive' in US courts. Both hardly surprising as the US legal system is descended from the English and both are what are known as 'common law' systems as opposed to 'civil law' systems. While the two systems may vary in detail, they have the same DNA and the concepts of jurisprudence in both are near identical.

The English courts have been the international venue of choice for libel claims for many years. (Like the Texas circuit is for patent claims.) It has been quite common for both sides of a libel case in the English courts to have been from outside the UK as long as the libel was 'published**' in the UK. Part of the reason for this was English libel law has allowed one to bundle all sorts of third parties into the action. So you might have the appellant, the writer of an allegedly libellous piece, his editor, his publisher, a printers and a chain of high street newsagents all involved in the action. The writer is penniless, the high street chain is not - thus damages awarded are likely to be actually recoverable. English libel law has recently undergone and is currently undergoing changes to modify this and you can expect less and less cases to make their way to the English courts.

What this adds up to is, if you're defaming someone on the international stage you'd better be prepared to be sued in England. And that means working to English legal definitions and precedents which are frequently not what the general public think they are. For instance, in English law strict factual accuracy is not necessarily a defense in a libel claim. So calling someone a "fat smelly glutton" when they are overweight, malodorous and eat more than they should is risky unless you can show there is 'a public interest' in these facts (which is not the same as 'the public finds this interesting'), or that it is 'fair comment', or 'a genuine and honestly held opinion' and that you didn't publish the facts maliciously. On the other hand calling them a 'motherf******  bloody son of a whore' is OK, because you have a defense that it is merely 'foul mouthed abuse' and it is immaterial whether their mother actually engaged in prostitution or not, whether they used her services or not or indeed whether they were covered in blood.

Of course the latter would, in some US states, fall under 'fighting words' legislation and permit you to kick them senseless without recourse to a libel action. And there, you said I didn't understand the US legal system.  :)

Now we have to determine if, in a discussion between engineers "You obviously don't understand" qualifies as 'fighting words' and what the venue for the subsequent brawl will be.  :) :)


*No, she went of her own accord.

**Which word has a special technical meaning with relation to libel law in England. Essentially something is 'published' if it is written and the writer knew that *anyone* other than the person being libelled would or would be expected to read it. A 'private' letter, dictated to a secretary can libel the addressee, a handwritten letter shown to no-one else can't.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Monadnock on May 19, 2016, 08:01:20 AM
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610)

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603)
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.

The trick with WSJ articles:

Open incognito window
Go to google.com it's self and paste the URL into the search box
Click through to the article from the search results page

Does that loophole still work? Just tried it and it didn't for me.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on May 19, 2016, 09:59:43 AM
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

You obviously don't understand the US legal system.  Don't worry, you won't be sued for that  :)

Hence the, "in English law", in there. BUT, the US legal system is the closest to the English legal system on the planet outside of jurisdictions that still hold the English courts as their highest courts of appeal - e.g. Jamaica*. In point of fact, past and present precedents from English courts are still held as 'persuasive' in US courts. Both hardly surprising as the US legal system is descended from the English and both are what are known as 'common law' systems as opposed to 'civil law' systems. While the two systems may vary in detail, they have the same DNA and the concepts of jurisprudence in both are near identical.

The English courts have been the international venue of choice for libel claims for many years. (Like the Texas circuit is for patent claims.) It has been quite common for both sides of a libel case in the English courts to have been from outside the UK as long as the libel was 'published**' in the UK. Part of the reason for this was English libel law has allowed one to bundle all sorts of third parties into the action. So you might have the appellant, the writer of an allegedly libellous piece, his editor, his publisher, a printers and a chain of high street newsagents all involved in the action. The writer is penniless, the high street chain is not - thus damages awarded are likely to be actually recoverable. English libel law has recently undergone and is currently undergoing changes to modify this and you can expect less and less cases to make their way to the English courts.

What this adds up to is, if you're defaming someone on the international stage you'd better be prepared to be sued in England. And that means working to English legal definitions and precedents which are frequently not what the general public think they are. For instance, in English law strict factual accuracy is not necessarily a defense in a libel claim. So calling someone a "fat smelly glutton" when they are overweight, malodorous and eat more than they should is risky unless you can show there is 'a public interest' in these facts (which is not the same as 'the public finds this interesting'), or that it is 'fair comment', or 'a genuine and honestly held opinion' and that you didn't publish the facts maliciously. On the other hand calling them a 'motherf******  bloody son of a whore' is OK, because you have a defense that it is merely 'foul mouthed abuse' and it is immaterial whether their mother actually engaged in prostitution or not, whether they used her services or not or indeed whether they were covered in blood.

Of course the latter would, in some US states, fall under 'fighting words' legislation and permit you to kick them senseless without recourse to a libel action. And there, you said I didn't understand the US legal system.  :)

Now we have to determine if, in a discussion between engineers "You obviously don't understand" qualifies as 'fighting words' and what the venue for the subsequent brawl will be.  :) :)


*No, she went of her own accord.

**Which word has a special technical meaning with relation to libel law in England. Essentially something is 'published' if it is written and the writer knew that *anyone* other than the person being libelled would or would be expected to read it. A 'private' letter, dictated to a secretary can libel the addressee, a handwritten letter shown to no-one else can't.

Very exciting! Now I get a chance to brag about how great American laws are, that doesn't happen very often :)

The UK's libel laws are so extreme that, in 2008, New York responded by passing the Libel Terrorism Protection Act. (Yes, it was really called that (http://observer.com/2008/04/libel-protection-act-this-law-will-give-new-yorks-journalists-authors-and-press-the-protection-and-tools-they-need/).) This law makes foreign libel judgements void, unless someone can show the same result would have been reached under American libel law, which is extremely difficult. A few years later, the law was extended to the entire US via the SPEECH Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPEECH_Act), which was passed unanimously by both houses of the US Congress.

Here in the US, such lawsuits would be instantly laughed out of court, and the plaintiff would then be forced to pay all the defendant's legal expenses under anti-SLAPP statutes. See, for example, this (https://popehat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/thisissparta.pdf) response to a libel threat brought by a dentist in response to a bad Yelp review.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on May 19, 2016, 10:56:38 AM


Very exciting! Now I get a chance to brag about how great American laws are, that doesn't happen very often :)

I actually think the 'fighting words' laws are quite sensible, if they're applied sensibly. You could try very, very hard to get me to throw the first punch in a fight and you wouldn't normally succeed because my father taught me [you'll have to imagine a northern English accent here]: "Son, in this family the men never start a fight - but we always finish them". But, there are some things you could say to me, some of them in specific situations, that would make me see red and you see stars (and some tweeting birds if anybody from Hanna-Barbera or Warner Bros was handy). Some speech is so provocative that you should expect violence if you use it. The nuanced bit is understanding the speaker, the spoken to and the context.

Quote
The UK's libel laws are so extreme that, in 2008, New York responded by passing the Libel Terrorism Protection Act.

It's not that they are extreme. The basic law itself was well thought out and reasonable and that part of it hasn't changed. The problem was the traditional ability to attach moneyed third parties as respondents and that the law was sufficiently complex* that you had to have representation to defend yourself and that costs money. Hence it was often used for harassment by someone with money and easier access to lawyers against someone with 'lesser arms', as has been the case in the US. A notable UK case of this sort was McDonalds beating up on some animal rights activists leafleting against McDonalds. Recent changes to UK law have been very much along the line of SLAPP but in the opinion of some haven't gone far enough.

*The 'truth is always a defense' line that 99.9% of people believe to be the case points this up. It is quite possible to be 100% truthful and still libel someone if you publish that truth maliciously, that is, with the sole intent of harming the person and no other justification for it. Think back to when homosexuality was legal, but still not generally socially accepted - say 1968. If you published, truthfully, that a public figure (teacher, doctor, policeman, politician) was homosexual you could do them great harm. If you had no justification beyond 'outing' them that publication would be, rightly, considered libellous. God help the layman who has to handle this without professional help.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: georgesmith on May 19, 2016, 12:33:39 PM
Quote
Of course the latter would, in some US states, fall under 'fighting words' legislation and permit you to kick them senseless without recourse to a libel action. And there, you said I didn't understand the US legal system.  :)

Can't tell if that was a joke, but it's certainly not accurate. The "fighting words" exception only ever allowed speech to be punished in court, it never justified initiating violence yourself. While it's never been officially repealed, it's also dead for all practical purposes:

Quote
The very next year, in Gooding v. Wilson, 405 U.S. 518 (1972), the Court cited Cohen and stated that speech that is “vulgar or offensive…is protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.” Then, the very next term, the Court reaffirmed this stance in Hess v. Indiana, 414 U.S. 105 (1973) by finding that the pronouncement “we’ll take the fucking street later” did not constitute fighting words.
 
In assessing the fighting words doctrine at this point, it is important to note the speech involved in Gooding. While assaulting a police officer, Gooding shouted, “White son of a bitch, I’ll kill you.” “You son of a bitch, I’ll choke you to death.” and “You son of a bitch, if you ever put your hands on me again, I’ll cut you all to pieces.” If this speech doesn’t constitute fighting words, one would be hard-pressed to think of speech that would qualify.

Gooding was the nail in the coffin—if the fighting words exception has any real vitality left at all (and many commentators, including Nadine Strossen, think it is essentially dead) the Supreme Court has effectively limited the exception to only include abusive language, exchanged face to face, which would likely provoke a violent reaction.

(Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (https://www.thefire.org/misconceptions-about-the-fighting-words-exception/))
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Zad on May 19, 2016, 01:10:34 PM
Any chance you could continue this fascinating legal discussion in another thread, and we can get back on track?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on May 19, 2016, 01:41:21 PM
Any chance you could continue this fascinating legal discussion in another thread, and we can get back on track?

Sue him.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 19, 2016, 01:48:10 PM
Any chance you could continue this fascinating legal discussion in another thread, and we can get back on track?

Yes, please discontinue the legal talk in this thread and stick to the company and the technology.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Chris Mr on May 19, 2016, 08:35:13 PM
First post so please have a right old go!

I would like to throw into the pool that air is elastic rather than hydraulic.

When you pump up a bicycle tyre you can feel the elasticity; the pressure increases and then when it gets just above the pressure in the tyre, more air goes in.  Same thing happens in an air compressor.  The big difference between these examples and someone like uBeam moving power through air is that they are contained somehow.  Imagine the bicycle tyre scenario with a hole in the end of the pump - the air velocity would need to increase to overcome the pressure in the tyre and the air being lost through the hole before more air went in; the larger the hole the larger the velocity.

Take a microphone (or whatever pickup is involved), with zero load it will flap about in the air nicely.  As you increase the load the elasticity of the air comes into play (it already was in play, this is simplified) and air starts to go in any direction that's easier than pushing on the load.

Another example, but not connected in exactly the same way, is that of a wind turbine generator.  There is a fundamental limit to how much energy you can extract out of wind (which is different in two major respects as it is planar and DC) because the more you try the more the air goes another way.  Betz's law determines this.  Build yourself a turbine out of any old blades and then apply a power tracker.  Adjust the blade angle a bit and see if the power increases or decreases - then keep it in a feedback loop so the power is kept at a maximum.  Now start playing with the number and shape of blades and what do you get - the current design of wind turbine blades!

My 2p  :box:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mathieumatteomatthew on May 19, 2016, 08:46:10 PM
By way of a short break in the thread, imagine someone went to a VC with a power transfer technology that has the following characteristics:

It has a negligible cost with respect to the price of the gadgets it charges.
It is a simple, passive component that does not require specific infrastructure other than power sockets.
It is very light and portable, you can always have one in your handbag or in your pocket.
It allows you to hold your device in any position while it's charging.
It doesn't mind obstacles between the power source and the device.

Despite and in addition to all these practical advantages:

It has negligible losses...
Its efficiency is nearly independent of the distance between power source and device.
Its efficiency is virtually independent of the position in which you hold your device.

Of course you know what I'm referring to: the power cable, unsung hero in this whole discussion, that sets the bar so high. I like to frame the debate in terms of elegant/ugly solutions to fundamental/trivial needs. While it is very old technology, a power cable is still an utterly elegant solution to a fundamental need - transferring power over a distance, as opposed to Ubeam, Energous and co that propose ugly solutions to a trivial issue - the slight inconvenience of having to spend a few seconds plugging a cable into a device, from time to time. Their solutions are ugly because they are complex and yet inefficient.

You might oppose that wireless data transfer supplanted wired data transfer in many cases, so why not for power transfer as well ? But in data transfer the needs are a big deal - you want to be connected all the time as you move around the house or around the street, while the drawbacks are negligible because efficiency is not an issue there - you're not emitting much power and need only a tiny fraction of it to recover your bits on the receiver side, so you don't need all these complex beam steering tricks. I might add that although I use a wifi connection to connect to the internet, I personally still prefer a good old USB connection from my device to my computer than bluetooth or wireless connections - the former is just more fundamentally trouble-free than the latter.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 20, 2016, 02:14:50 PM
Some quotes from the WSJ article:

Scholars Doubt Ubeam Claims;
Pitch Deck Calls Tech ‘Commercially Viable’
Academics are questioning the technology behind Ubeam’s plans for wireless battery charging, which the company said in a pitch deck is “commercially viable.”

Quote
Investors went “gaga” over the story of a young [Mark] Zuckerberg-like personality of uBeam’s founder, Meredith Perry, but other entrepreneurs would likely have faced more due diligence, said Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow with the Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University.

Quote
“This is the flaw in Silicon Valley. They think that young kids with no experience can do amazing things,” said Mr. Wadhwa.
Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund didn't respond to requests for comment.

Quote
Mark Suster, general partner at Upfront Ventures and a director on uBeam’s board, published a blog post last week in response to Mr. Reynolds’ critical posts. Mr. Suster acknowledged that the company was behind schedule on delivering products and yet expressed confidence in uBeam’s team. He didn’t address technical criticisms directly.
“Meredith has made claims that she will deliver a working product and I believe her whole heartedly,” he wrote. He also said Ms. Perry has been prone to “hubris,” but he added that any “claims of falsifying information” are “abjectly false.”
Mr. Suster declined to further comment.

Quote
Based on physics and known techniques, uBeam’s claims are difficult to justify, said Bernhard Boser, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and a co-director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center and the UC Berkeley Swarm Lab. “In particular, it appears that the power level required to meet their claims would be well above accepted and legal safety limits for humans.”

Quote
UBeam was big on promise but limited on technical details in a pitch deck it sent to investors in 2014, according to the documents seen by The Wall Street Journal. In the pitch to prospective investors, the company said that “uBeam is the only commercially viable true wireless power technology that can charge consumer electronics remotely, economically, safely, and without enormous transmitters and receivers.”

Quote
Several venture investors who often invest in hardware and science-based technology startups were pitched by uBeam in the past few years, but quickly passed because of fundamental questions about the startup’s claims, they said. One of the prospective investors said that uBeam emphasized that it already has a number of prominent backers behind it and urged the investor to make a quick decision.

Quote
In its pitch deck, it listed three executives, Ms. Perry, Sean Taffler, then vice president of products and systems, and Mr. Reynolds, the person who has since left and written the series of negative blog posts about the company recently.
The deck said, “imagine a single device that can remotely power electronic devices, communicate with every electronics device in the uBeam environment, collect real-time data about each device. And also locate devices precisely within the uBeam environment, detect -motion -smoke -carbon monoxide, real-time 3-D imaging of the uBeam environment.”

Quote
A Ph.D. recipient who studied under Mr. Boser said such a technical undertaking had many questions. “The math just doesn’t work out. It’s not that it’s impossible per say but it’s impractical,” said Richard Przybyla, a Ph.D. in electrical and electronics engineering from the University California, Berkeley.
Mr. Przybyla said the size of the transmitters and receivers would be hard to make for a consumer product to charge and receive for mobile devices, among other problems. In its deck, uBeam said that an individual model transmitter to power five to 10 devices within a range 0.5 to one meter, would be a square with sides of 10 to 15 centimeters. The receiver, meanwhile could be “nearly any size, shape or color.”

Quote
Lux Capital had looked at the company in 2014, according to Josh Wolfe, managing partner at the firm that is focused on science. Mr. Wolfe didn’t say why the firm decided
“I follow the ‘Feynman rule’: Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature can’t be fooled,” Mr. Wolfe said. He was referring to a famed report by physicist Richard Feynman on the space shuttle Challenger disaster, where he concluded that NASA management underestimated the probability of failure by a thousand times, in part, to secure more funds.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on May 20, 2016, 03:43:20 PM
There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Paul, it's great that you exposed Energous too
http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2016/04/those-other-guys-pt-1.html (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2016/04/those-other-guys-pt-1.html)

You linked to this story on Energous.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3811296-energous-buy-companys-story-stock (http://seekingalpha.com/article/3811296-energous-buy-companys-story-stock)

"Using the 1 watt as our transmitter power translates to 0.000507 watt (0.507 milliwatts or 507 microwatts) at the receiving end."

But it's far worse than this!  The FCC does not permit any product to transmit at the full 1 watt if the antenna gain is greater than 6 dBi.  If you want to use a phase array to get 21 dB gain from constructive interference, you must drop your transmit power to 25 dBm or 0.316 watts.  Every 3 dBi gain must be accompanied by a 1 dBm TX power decline.

Energous is wasting a ton of energy through destructive interference in most directions they transmit. They get 21 dB of gain through constructive interference on the angles they choose to form their peak beams. It would be far more efficient if they used a 21 dB directional antenna because that reflects the energy from a single transmitter rather than trying to using brute wattage and cancelling most of it. But a more efficient antenna gain design still wouldn't improve their max power delivery. They'd still be limited to 0.316 watt transmit power and there would be a lot of dispersion and they'd only get a tiny fraction of the 0.316 watts.

It's also funny that Energous no longer talks about getting their FCC certification and now they're saying it is up to their licensees to get the certification.  It is absolutely comical that Energous expects their "partners" and licensees to get their own FCC certification.  The media is absolutely incompetent that they do not understand this and call him out.  The company that creates the reference design always handles the FCC certifications because it makes it that much easier to license.  Once the reference design is licensed, the licensees only need to do a simpler faster cheaper certification process.  You only need to get the $1,000 "unintentional transmitter" FCC certification and not the $20,000 "intentional transmitter" FCC certification.

Also, this article says they faked the demos and their 10K admits multiple device charging is not possible now.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3960298-stunning-admission-energous (http://seekingalpha.com/article/3960298-stunning-admission-energous)

“On a side note, the diagram above shows that the distance to each of the receivers was 2.5 ft, but Energous press release falsely claims that the distance was 5 ft:”
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mathieumatteomatthew on May 20, 2016, 04:52:32 PM
Interestingly, Mark Suster's latest post is about another startup he's involved in that has many Ubeam/Energous/Theranos-like features:

https://bothsidesofthetable.com/why-solving-big-food-healthcare-problems-will-yield-spectacular-companies-2ba6e410c503#.av98u8ob0 (https://bothsidesofthetable.com/why-solving-big-food-healthcare-problems-will-yield-spectacular-companies-2ba6e410c503#.av98u8ob0)

It's a personal gluten sensor, surfing on the wave of the irrational anti-gluten trend we've seen in the past years (only 1% of people actually have gluten intolerance).
As in the case of Ubeam and Theranos, the founders had no experience in the relevant fields:

Shireen had been studying for her masters in business at MIT and thinking about her own food allergies and Scott was a graduate of the mechanical engineering school at MIT with an emphasis in product design.

Of course, there are grand claims. Like Ubeam, they are "on a mission":

We're on a mission to change living with food allergies, forever.

On their flashy website there is not a trace of peer-reviewed literature, just vague claims about beta testing the product. There is not a single health professional in the team, only two chemists that don't seem to have that much experience:

https://nimasensor.com/team/ (https://nimasensor.com/team/)

It's difficult to find the opinion of a qualified person, probably because they aren't that visible so far, but I stumbled upon this:

http://www.healthnewsreview.org/review/optimistic-coverage-of-portable-gluten-test-lacks-some-key-context/ (http://www.healthnewsreview.org/review/optimistic-coverage-of-portable-gluten-test-lacks-some-key-context/)

which indirectly puts the claims in context by criticizing another press article on the startup.
What proof does Mark Suster have  that the company is trustworthy ? well... Techcrunch !

It seems that many others were impressed as well. Since our initial funding round the company went on to win the TechCrunch Startup Battleground in a head-to-head competition with some very impressive startups.

When Mark Suster points that the reception by the "industry" has been enthusiastic, he links to an article on... Techcrunch again !
What more is there to say ?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on May 20, 2016, 05:01:38 PM
When Mark Suster points that the reception by the "industry" has been enthusiastic, he links to an article on... Techcrunch again !
What more is there to say ?
Well find out soon enough.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: DrTune on May 21, 2016, 02:51:14 AM
Mark Suster's turning out to be an excellent bullshit detector! If he invests in it, it's highly likely to be a con.  :-)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Raj on May 23, 2016, 01:40:14 AM
Seriously, what's wrong people, we should learn to use our own reasoning and take bull$#!t as a pinch of salt (no pun intended  :palm:)

if you really want to implement, try thinking of expenses, a set of ultrasound speaker alone would cost equal to an ir transceiver along with irda encoding chip

ultrasound will be super-slow, will require a lot of encryption, will be no better than ir and have lots of interference problem, while irritating animals, possibly insects too
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 28, 2016, 07:36:56 PM
Perry hasn't tweeted or Facebooked since all this recent stuff went down...
She usually comes out from such things  :box:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on May 29, 2016, 03:14:19 AM
Perry hasn't tweeted or Facebooked since all this recent stuff went down...
She usually comes out from such things  :box:

I'm sure she's busy running the wire bonding machine and plumbing ASICs onto PCBs like there's no tomorrow.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: bazsa56 on May 29, 2016, 03:41:06 AM
Perry hasn't tweeted or Facebooked since all this recent stuff went down...
She usually comes out from such things  :box:

I'm sure she's busy running the wire bonding machine and plumbing ASICs onto PCBs like there's no tomorrow.

It's probably all over at this point. I don't see them getting another round of funding, at least nothing as big as they got till now.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on May 29, 2016, 04:39:35 AM
Perry hasn't tweeted or Facebooked since all this recent stuff went down...
She usually comes out from such things  :box:

I'm sure she's busy running the wire bonding machine and plumbing ASICs onto PCBs like there's no tomorrow.

It's probably all over at this point. I don't see them getting another round of funding, at least nothing as big as they got till now.

Sorry, sarcasm without emojis does translate well occasionally. That was not a serious comment.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on May 29, 2016, 11:21:08 AM
She's probably to busy laying in a pool full of banknotes with the BatterBros and laughing at idiot investors.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on May 29, 2016, 11:47:54 AM
It's probably all over at this point. I don't see them getting another round of funding, at least nothing as big as they got till now.

That was clear when they got desperate enough to crowd fund their last round, taking $10k+ from almost 100 suckers last year.
That made the VC press by being an almost unprecedented and desperate move.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jurge24pez on June 03, 2016, 04:02:05 PM
Perry hasn't tweeted or Facebooked since all this recent stuff went down...
She usually comes out from such things  :box:

I'm sure she's busy running the wire bonding machine and plumbing ASICs onto PCBs like there's no tomorrow.

It's probably all over at this point. I don't see them getting another round of funding, at least nothing as big as they got till now.

Rumor has it that they are working on a new strategy since the old one didn't work.  Press has died down so she won't respond until it picks back up as she's only one to pick a battle out of arrogance.  They're money is bound to run out since they lost their finance head and engineers continue to leave and nobody can invest until they prove they work.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on June 03, 2016, 06:57:01 PM
Rumor has it that they are working on a new strategy since the old one didn't work.

I get the impression she'll never give up, she'll go down kicking and screaming before she changes pivots direction on the product.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on June 04, 2016, 02:16:19 AM
she'll go down kicking and screaming before she changes pivots direction on the product.

I think she'll protect her name at all costs but the new subject of "wireless data transmission" already seem like a potential pivot.

I'm holding out that she will announce lightening fast ham cooking with UBeHam (eat your heart out Ronco!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG43jyZ65R8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG43jyZ65R8)

 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on June 04, 2016, 05:08:36 AM
she'll go down kicking and screaming before she changes pivots direction on the product.

I think she'll protect her name at all costs but the new subject of "wireless data transmission" already seem like a potential pivot.

Yep, because nobody has "wireless data transmission" covered.

It's a huge gap in the market and a great opportunity for early investors.  :popcorn:


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on June 04, 2016, 03:49:09 PM
she'll go down kicking and screaming before she changes pivots direction on the product.

I think she'll protect her name at all costs but the new subject of "wireless data transmission" already seem like a potential pivot.

Yep, because nobody has "wireless data transmission" covered.

It's a huge gap in the market and a great opportunity for early investors.  :popcorn:
But this new method offers security, because you know the signal won't get very far. :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on June 05, 2016, 03:25:55 AM
Yep, because nobody has "wireless data transmission" covered.

It's a huge gap in the market and a great opportunity for early investors.  :popcorn:
But this new method offers security, because you know the signal won't get very far. :)
Of course! I never thought of that. The limited range they're achieving in the laboratory is a feature!

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Buriedcode on June 05, 2016, 09:47:25 AM
Don't forget the relatively slow datarate.  But then again, that gives 'gadget lovers' time to talk about all their other startups/'art'/charityeventstheyareattendingbutnotactuallygivinganymoneyto whilst they exchange selfies.  Perhaps the app could provide links to tumblr for 6 minutes it'll take to send a 15 megapixel jpg of a pug?

 :rant:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on June 05, 2016, 12:51:51 PM
I think she'll protect her name at all costs

Her name will always be mud as long as that infamous TEDx talk video exists  ;D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: d-smes on June 06, 2016, 05:01:39 AM
I enjoyed Paul Reynolds take on uBeam and comparison to Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos.  Interesting Forbes article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2016/06/01/from-4-5-billion-to-nothing-forbes-revises-estimated-net-worth-of-theranos-founder-elizabeth-holmes/#523aff1f2f29 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2016/06/01/from-4-5-billion-to-nothing-forbes-revises-estimated-net-worth-of-theranos-founder-elizabeth-holmes/#523aff1f2f29)  The link says it all...  Holmes and Perry seem to be crashing and burning at the same time.   "Peas in a pod" as the saying goes.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: chris_leyson on June 06, 2016, 07:43:38 AM
Anyone who has worked with ultrasound will tell you it doesn't propagate any distance through air, I know this from designing medical blood flow transducers, I've got practical hands on experience. I wouldn't waste time considering power transmission though air, as for data maybe you could get a few kbits/s. From a coupling point of view, magnetic coupling is probably better and there are some crazy projects out there that claim or aim for coupling over a few meters distance. What the hell is wrong with a Qi charger. I sometimes think  that the people developing this sort of shit are really lacking in terms of intelligence just like the the free energy over unity nuts. I could shout PHYSICS 101 but stupid blinkered people would filter that out. Rant over and back to normallity.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on June 06, 2016, 12:21:54 PM
I enjoyed Paul Reynolds take on uBeam and comparison to Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos.  Interesting Forbes article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2016/06/01/from-4-5-billion-to-nothing-forbes-revises-estimated-net-worth-of-theranos-founder-elizabeth-holmes/#523aff1f2f29 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2016/06/01/from-4-5-billion-to-nothing-forbes-revises-estimated-net-worth-of-theranos-founder-elizabeth-holmes/#523aff1f2f29)  The link says it all...  Holmes and Perry seem to be crashing and burning at the same time.   "Peas in a pod" as the saying goes.

Perry will no doubt be watching Holme's demise with some fear.
Although Perry doesn't have to worry about the potential of criminal charges and/or jail.
The best Perry can hope for now is someone is dumb enough to buy them or their IP (possible for some niche). More investment isn't going to help, it will just prolong the agony. Although any company with any brains that would find their tech useful for something need only wait it out and pick up it all up for cents on the dollar when the receivers move in.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on June 07, 2016, 06:10:41 AM
Anyone who has worked with ultrasound will tell you it doesn't propagate any distance through air, I know this from designing medical blood flow transducers, I've got practical hands on experience. I wouldn't waste time considering power transmission though air, as for data maybe you could get a few kbits/s. From a coupling point of view, magnetic coupling is probably better and there are some crazy projects out there that claim or aim for coupling over a few meters distance. What the hell is wrong with a Qi charger. I sometimes think  that the people developing this sort of shit are really lacking in terms of intelligence just like the the free energy over unity nuts. I could shout PHYSICS 101 but stupid blinkered people would filter that out. Rant over and back to normallity.

Tightly coupled resonating induction charging can indeed go several meters with passable efficiency (50%).  The problem is that the transmitter and receiver need to be very large.  As soon as you go past a few times the diameter of the induction ring, efficiency drops rapidly.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jurge24pez on June 07, 2016, 05:52:25 PM
]

Perry will no doubt be watching Holme's demise with some fear.
Although Perry doesn't have to worry about the potential of criminal charges and/or jail.
The best Perry can hope for now is someone is dumb enough to buy them or their IP (possible for some niche). More investment isn't going to help, it will just prolong the agony. Although any company with any brains that would find their tech useful for something need only wait it out and pick up it all up for cents on the dollar when the receivers move in.
[/quote]

Perry could very well still be liable for a number of criminal charges including outright mismanagement and breach of her responsibilities to investors, not to mention misleading them with her pitch stories that could take 1000 years to ever come to fruition.   And more investment won't come their way without something that works -- how can she continue to pitch "believe me, its taken us only three years and tens of millions and someday it might actually work if you just give me a bit more funds to fuel my darling engineers with".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: helius on June 07, 2016, 08:52:14 PM
How can a private company be subject to "outright mismanagement"? And where has uBeam made deals that privileged some shareholders over others? The uBeam saga is silly enough without adding ridiculous accusations.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on June 07, 2016, 09:23:39 PM
How can a private company be subject to "outright mismanagement"? And where has uBeam made deals that privileged some shareholders over others? The uBeam saga is silly enough without adding ridiculous accusations.
Legally, the officers of a company are supposed to operate it expressly for the benefit of its shareholders. If they take shareholder investment and flush it down the toilet that would appear to be outright mismanagement of a private company - unless perhaps the investors want the money flushed away for some obscure tax accounting purpose.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: helius on June 07, 2016, 10:33:47 PM
Legally, the officers of a company are supposed to operate it expressly for the benefit of its shareholders. If they take shareholder investment and flush it down the toilet that would appear to be outright mismanagement of a private company - unless perhaps the investors want the money flushed away for some obscure tax accounting purpose.
The key here is that private companies make their own rules and decide the powers and duties they will operate under. Unlike publicly traded companies, they aren't subject to regulations that require them to do business in a particular way (such as making financial reports). That's because "the public" isn't involved in the business and cannot be affected by changes in the price of the stock. Any misdeeds of management can only be remedied in private civil claims, which can be very difficult to bring. In particular for Delaware corporations, which uBeam is.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on June 07, 2016, 11:51:38 PM
Legally, the officers of a company are supposed to operate it expressly for the benefit of its shareholders. If they take shareholder investment and flush it down the toilet that would appear to be outright mismanagement of a private company.

So? Companies are allowed to go broke through management stupidity.

It's also not against the law for you to go out on the town and spend all your money. Go figure.

The only rule that applies to people who invest in a private company is "caveat emptor".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on July 01, 2016, 03:14:57 PM
For all her self-promotion and "success" she's only managed to re-tweet two stories since Reynolds uncovered her greasy scheme...

https://twitter.com/meredithperry

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: jurge24pez on July 08, 2016, 05:02:06 PM
apparently the little miss has been busy traveling to some islands with her COO from a staff report.  self promoting in a different way now?  the company exodus continues as two more engineers ready to resign according to same individual.  they have gone silent because there is nothing more to say. investors were duped and now have to wait for the miracle.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on July 08, 2016, 05:04:12 PM
apparently the little miss has been busy traveling to some islands with her COO from a staff report.  self promoting in a different way now?  the company exodus continues as two more engineers ready to resign according to same individual.  they have gone silent because there is nothing more to say. investors were duped and now have to wait for the miracle.
I'm amazed they still have any engineers left. Maybe some lame-asses hanging on for the paycheck because they can't get work elsewhere
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on July 08, 2016, 05:44:47 PM
I'm amazed they still have any engineers left. Maybe some lame-asses hanging on for the paycheck because they can't get work elsewhere

It's probably a cushy job with plenty of benefits. Why would you leave?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on August 12, 2016, 05:52:06 PM
It's been pretty quiet around here.

Has anyone else noticed the delicious irony of the uBeam home page, regarding the practicalities of operating ultrasonic devices in the vacuum of space?

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on August 12, 2016, 06:07:56 PM
It's been pretty quiet around here.

Has anyone else noticed the delicious irony of the uBeam home page, regarding the practicalities of operating ultrasonic devices in the vacuum of space?

In space, no one can hear your investors scream.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on August 12, 2016, 07:06:06 PM
I'm amazed they still have any engineers left. Maybe some lame-asses hanging on for the paycheck because they can't get work elsewhere
It's probably a cushy job with plenty of benefits. Why would you leave?

And maybe cushy jobs that pay really well aren't that common in the ultrasonic space? Just keep cruising until the ideal job comes along.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on August 12, 2016, 08:58:24 PM
It's been pretty quiet around here.

Has anyone else noticed the delicious irony of the uBeam home page, regarding the practicalities of operating ultrasonic devices in the vacuum of space?

In space, no one can hear your investors scream.

Ha Ha Ha. That's funny.


Still chuckling. Ha Ha Ha.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on September 10, 2016, 10:50:34 AM
An update from Perry
https://medium.com/@meredithperry/former-hp-and-tektronix-engineering-executive-larry-pendergrass-joins-ubeam-b08597f45a24#.f33v4otnq (https://medium.com/@meredithperry/former-hp-and-tektronix-engineering-executive-larry-pendergrass-joins-ubeam-b08597f45a24#.f33v4otnq)

Former HP and Tektronix Engineering Executive, Larry Pendergrass, joins uBeam - What a sucker! I hope he's being paid well.
(http://i.imgur.com/rGJzfFQ.png)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on September 10, 2016, 01:19:48 PM
"Engineering Executive" , not an Engineer.   :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on September 11, 2016, 12:11:22 PM
uBeam isn't happy about this article apparently
http://epicmagazine.com/silicon-is-just-sand/ (http://epicmagazine.com/silicon-is-just-sand/)
Start at Part 8 "The Genius".

Choice quotes:
Quote
Meredith tells me, “I think the reason I can tackle complex technology is because I’m good at breaking down complex problems and explaining them to other people.”

I nod, but I still don’t actually understand how an ultrasonic transducer works.

“My approach has always been top-down,” Meredith says. “I get interested in crazy complex scientific problems, then I learn everything I need to know in order to solve them. Part of that is ADD. I don’t want to have to go to four years of electrical engineering school.”

Quote
Meredith takes me for a tour of the office. For a hot company with tons of funding, it’s surprisingly underpopulated. In the hallway there are a handful of employees tapping on laptops at a long table, but most of the rooms are empty. She gives me a tour of workshops full of hardware, but there are no engineers. She shows me the progressions of prototypes, with tiny silver caps inside. These are the new, smaller ultrasonic transducers, less like bullets and more like flat birdshot. In the largest workshop, back near the entrance, we stand around the workbench, just me, Meredith, and the publicist.

Quote
And just like that, the publicist’s phone call changed me from a believer to a skeptic. Meredith surely seems brilliant. And believes in what she’s doing. But reading further through the transcripts, I’m struck by an absurd optimism, a pathological confidence that’s brought people west for more than a hundred years, first for gold, then for fame. Maybe that’s why Silicon Beach landed here in Los Angeles, where the motto has always been “Fake it till you make it.”
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on September 11, 2016, 12:17:36 PM
And rumor has it that Paul Chandler who replaced Paul Reynolds as VP of Acoustics is now gone after 7 months or so. Not even on his LinkedIn profile.
https://ubeam.com/ultrasonic_experts_join_beam/
Seems they don't have a single acoustics expert left at the company?

You've got to ask why a top acoustics person would not put the hottest and most high profile acoustics company on the planet on their LinkedIn profile?
A tad embarrassed maybe?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on September 11, 2016, 12:44:07 PM
You've got to ask why a top acoustics person would not put the hottest and most high profile acoustics company on the planet on their LinkedIn profile?
A tad embarrassed maybe?
He's having a  :palm: moment.

They've been heads down gearing up for mass production for nearly a year now. Surely they've got one prototype working by now, just how long does it take to rewrite the laws of physics.
 :horse:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Buriedcode on September 11, 2016, 12:47:19 PM
They've been heads down gearing up for mass production for nearly a year now. Surely they've got one prototype working by now, just how long does it take to rewrite the laws of physics.
 :horse:

Now there's that negative thinking again, it holds back technology and stifles progress!  As we've heard many times, anything is possible if you just believe! *clutches rose quartz close to chest*
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on September 13, 2016, 09:05:56 AM
You've got to ask why a top acoustics person would not put the hottest and most high profile acoustics company on the planet on their LinkedIn profile?
A tad embarrassed maybe?
He's having a  :palm: moment.

They've been heads down gearing up for mass production for nearly a year now. Surely they've got one prototype working by now, just how long does it take to rewrite the laws of physics.
 :horse:

"Ya kn'not rewrite the laws of physics, captain!" -Scotty
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on September 28, 2016, 10:23:02 AM
They're hiring!
"Director of HR & Culture"  :-DD

Because they haven't been able to hire any acoustic experts any more, they think a HR droid will work magic  :horse:

https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/jobs/339784
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on September 28, 2016, 10:29:15 AM
Here is the uBeam crew, all happily shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic
(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/the-ubeam-faq/?action=dlattach;attach=258766;image)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on September 28, 2016, 11:02:30 AM
They're hiring!
"Director of HR & Culture"  :-DD

Because they haven't been able to hire any acoustic experts any more, they think a HR droid will work magic  :horse:

https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/jobs/339784

Quote
uBeam is seeking a hands-on, eager...

I would think that "hands-on, eager" would be the qualities one was *not* looking for in an HR manager.  You just can't make this stuff up.   :palm:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Phoenix on September 28, 2016, 01:18:45 PM
They're hiring!
"Director of HR & Culture"  :-DD

Because they haven't been able to hire any acoustic experts any more, they think a HR droid will work magic  :horse:

https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/jobs/339784

Quote
uBeam is seeking a hands-on, eager...

I would think that "hands-on, eager" would be the qualities one was *not* looking for in an HR manager.  You just can't make this stuff up.   :palm:

But they need to be hands to create their market leading uniforms...

Quote
and defining the couture best able to position the organization as the leader in the market place
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: The_Next_Theranos on October 08, 2016, 12:53:44 PM
Because they haven't been able to hire any acoustic experts any more, they think a HR droid will work magic  :horse:

Of course. The whole ubeam project is about magic, not science. They even say so themselves!

Quote from: http://ubeam.com/team/
This isn’t a science project – we‘re executing on a rigorously mapped vision that will change the world. (http://ubeam.com/team/)

There you have it. The science doesn't matter! It's the rigorously mapped vision that matters!

It's also amusing that the "team" page above shows only the "leadership" team and the investors, but not anybody who's actually making anything. Those people aren't part of "the team"? On second thought, seeing as how the real corporate mission seems to be fleecing investors based on a physically-impossible and rigorously mapped vision, then maybe all those pesky people with engineering degrees and Aspergers are just dead weight after all.
link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukgnU2aXM2c)

To quote the CEO in her own words:
Quote from: MEREDITH PERRY'S BRAIN
If it smells like a fish, looks like a fish, and tastes like a fish, it’s probably a fish. (http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/136374842310/keeponkeepinon)

Perhaps that should become their new corporate motto?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on October 08, 2016, 04:13:52 PM
To quote the CEO in her own words:
Quote from: MEREDITH PERRY'S BRAIN
If it smells like a fish, looks like a fish, and tastes like a fish, it’s probably a fish. (http://meredithperry.tumblr.com/post/136374842310/keeponkeepinon)

Wasn't the expression about Anatidae?

Perhaps that should become their new corporate motto?

Seems like a good choice for a company owned by somebody who'd take a common expression and replace a well defined family of Anseriformes with an entire Phylum in an attempt to show how she thinks "out of the box".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on October 08, 2016, 04:27:20 PM
It's also amusing that the "team" page above shows only the "leadership" team and the investors, but not anybody who's actually making anything.

I don't think there is anyone left actually making anything  :-//
Also, uBeam can't be the next Theranos, because Theranos actually shipped something that people used.

Quote
Those people aren't part of "the team"? On second thought, seeing as how the real corporate mission seems to be fleecing investors based on a physically-impossible and rigorously mapped vision, then maybe all those pesky people with engineering degrees and Aspergers are just dead weight after all.

Of course all you need is vision, engineers just get in the way  ::)

Quote
Perhaps that should become their new corporate motto?

Doesn't matter, they'll fold soon enough. The charade can't keep going much longer.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Holmes34 on October 14, 2016, 02:01:22 AM
Whilst it seems obvious you're not going to be able to provide anywhere near enough power to charge the beasts we carry around in our pockets without going full Samsung on the user, it may be they have just targeted the completely wrong problem area? It's always the way with blue-sky thinking, the dreamers get fixated on the wrong application for their technology. Just look at organic solar cells as an example, and tell me when was the last time you saw a commercial one?  :-DD Turns out organic semi's are much more useful in sensors!

If ultrasonic power transmission is feasible but only with lower power applications, what about bioimplants (http://ldcn-mechatronics.net/ultrasonic-energy-transmission-and-conversion-using-a-2d-mems-resonator/) and niche applications where rogue magnetic fields (inductive charging) are unwanted? Are there any interesting inflection points where ultrasonic beats inductive?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on October 26, 2016, 11:08:36 AM
You know it's going to be bad when the article starts with a homeless guy peeing on a mural of Meredith Perry.  It even goes into the story about Meredith's brother who goes by the name "Penis Bailey" who sees himself as the savior of Hollywood and wears a large penis shaped necklace.

http://epicmagazine.com/silicon-is-just-sand/ (http://epicmagazine.com/silicon-is-just-sand/)

Paul Reynolds also talks about the Energous scam where the CTO and his parents have sold off all their stock.
http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/ (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 08, 2016, 05:25:06 PM
Looks like the last remaining tech stallwart Sean Taffler left in October.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler)

Looks like poor new sucker Larry Pendergrass hasn't got any engineering department left to manage?
Must be lonely shuffling the empty deck chairs on this Titanic.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on November 08, 2016, 07:33:12 PM
Sean is probably scanning Indiegogo for more "Blue Sky opportunities".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on November 08, 2016, 07:57:31 PM
Looks like the last remaining tech stallwart Sean Taffler left in October.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler)

Looks like poor new sucker Larry Pendergrass hasn't got any engineering department left to manage?
Must be lonely shuffling the empty deck chairs on this Titanic.

It can't have long to go now before it implodes with nothing more than a few patents. Those investors conned by the VC BS, and all their VCs' thorough due diligence (not) must surely be asking how to get out.

It's going to be difficult for the VCs to make anything on this one I'm sure, there's almost nothing to sell on, but they only have themselves to blame for loss of reputation. I live in hope they've actually learned something, that pissing away other people's money has reputational consequences. Regrettably I doubt it, they are thick skinned, they'll put it down to the numbers game rather than actually change their ways.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 08, 2016, 08:22:33 PM
I live in hope they've actually learned something, that pissing away other people's money has reputational consequences. Regrettably I doubt it, they are thick skinned, they'll put it down to the numbers game rather than actually change their ways.

Nope, the likes of Suster will never learn:
https://bothsidesofthetable.com/what-is-it-like-to-wake-up-and-have-the-press-ready-to-torpedo-your-business-351f27ca6d67#.pzee23vgz

They will never admit an idea was brain dead from the start and they just didn't see it.
They will always think that all you need is the vision, tenacity and resiliency and you can do anything.

And ironically, their two big hitting PhD's names in that article are now gone.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on November 08, 2016, 10:18:19 PM
There has to be an entertaining book to be written about this whole saga. (Apart from the one Meredith will probably write when the VC wages run out)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on November 09, 2016, 01:51:39 AM
Sean Taffler's time there was very successful. :) :bullshit:  :horse:

Thought leader on technology and strategy for system and ultrasonic transducer assembly

Whilst reporting directly to the CEO, grew the team of engineers and scientists and ran the development of the power delivery and reception system from white board to prototype and EVT.

Translated business requirements into achievable product visions and timelines that were actionable
Designed the overall system architecture and responsible for the realization of that vision.

Managed departmental resources, staffing and mentoring to enhance and maintain a world-class engineering team whilst motivating them to realize the product.

http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on November 09, 2016, 02:02:08 AM
Managed departmental resources, staffing and mentoring to enhance and maintain a world-class engineering team whilst motivating them to realize the product.
http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html)
Did he miss the end off that sentance?  ;)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dubbie on November 09, 2016, 11:33:41 AM
Quote
Did he miss the end off that sentance?  ;)

Yes! here is the rest...

"...is never going to work despite the fervent belief of the founder that if you dream it then it is possible."
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on November 09, 2016, 11:40:22 AM
Managed departmental resources, staffing and mentoring to enhance and maintain a world-class engineering team whilst motivating them to realize the product.[/i]
http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html (http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Resume.html)

Damn, that's funny!  :-DD
You'd think that changing the world would be motivation enough. But not when you are an engineer who knows the product you are working on will never work as claimed, that requires some serious motivational BS
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: The_Next_Theranos on December 03, 2016, 06:14:12 PM
Looks like the last remaining tech stallwart Sean Taffler left in October.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler)

Looks like poor new sucker Larry Pendergrass hasn't got any engineering department left to manage?
But as of November, they're hiring a new manager! https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/jobs/370494 (https://ubeam-inc.workable.com/jobs/370494)

Notice the wording on one of the responsibilities:
Quote
Hire, develops and coaches engineering staff

See how the verb "hire" is lacking the "s" for consistent conjugation, but the other verbs are conjugated with the "s", i.e. "develops" and "coaches"? Could it be that the original requirement simply read "Develops and coaches engineering staff", and then, upon realisation that no engineering staff exists anymore, the word "hire" was tacked on as a last-minute, inconsistently-conjugated afterthought?  ;D

I thought we were supposed to see the uBeam technology in action within this year (https://techcrunch.com/2015/11/07/wireless-power-charger/). Only a few more weeks to go!

On the other hand, perhaps Meredith's recent tweet Goodnight uBeam (https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/803494633124794368) can be interpreted as an admission that the whole thing is nearing critical implosion?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 03, 2016, 06:47:50 PM
See how the verb "hire" is lacking the "s" for consistent conjugation, but the other verbs are conjugated with the "s", i.e. "develops" and "coaches"? Could it be that the original requirement simply read "Develops and coaches engineering staff", and then, upon realisation that no engineering staff exists anymore, the word "hire" was tacked on as a last-minute, inconsistently-conjugated afterthought?  ;D

 :-DD

Quote
On the other hand, perhaps Meredith's recent tweet Goodnight uBeam (https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/803494633124794368) can be interpreted as an admission that the whole thing is nearing critical implosion?

Critical implosion is guaranteed.
No need to waste energy lighting that huge empty engineering space. Turn the lights out until you can hire more with your last remaining VC funding who will then be left to shuffle the deck chairs on the RMS uBeam. Iceberg ahead captain!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 04, 2016, 11:49:21 AM
Her last (I don't mean latest  :) ) appearance didn't seem to get much publicity.

http://sites.ieee.org/ttm/speakers/#perry (http://sites.ieee.org/ttm/speakers/#perry)

https://www.facebook.com/IEEETTM/posts/1199645150108784:0 (https://www.facebook.com/IEEETTM/posts/1199645150108784:0)

I think it's 
G a m e  O v e r.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2016, 12:03:23 PM
I think it's 
G a m e  O v e r.

Who is she going to blame I wonder?
It won't be the practicality of the idea. If only those annoying non outside-the-box engineers had stayed and seen it through with as much vision as her ::)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 04, 2016, 12:43:24 PM

https://origin.ieeetv.ieee.org/conference-highlights/women-making-the-future-panelist-meredith-perry-2016-technology-time-machine?

Surprisingly no sniggers audible from the audience....
 :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 04, 2016, 12:57:28 PM
"Phased array of 26,000 transducers"
I shit you not..... :-DD
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 04, 2016, 01:09:59 PM
What a performance, I can't decide whether it's funny or painful.
Only 4 views!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 04, 2016, 01:19:36 PM
Q&A : skip to 22:50
https://origin.ieeetv.ieee.org/conference-highlights/panel-q-and-a-women-making-the-future-2016-technology-time-machine?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: CaptCrash on December 04, 2016, 01:41:25 PM
In answer to the question relating to, how are you going to get your power receiver into all of these devices that need to receive wireless power.

The answer from Meredith was basically make a module, then an example for phones was given

1. initially make a case for phones to receive power
2. Have the receiver inbuilt into phone

However, In step 2 won't having a case on the phone stop it receiving power?
So both step 1 and step 2 require custom cases of some sort, either with uBeam receiver in the case, or in step 2 somehow the case being transparent to the ultrasonic signal.

Seems like a wonderful technology, so cost effective and practical to implement.   :-DD

In talking about other devices she infers that they would provide a number of receivers for powering things like IoT, TV, stick on lightbulbs etc.  (she talks about powering various item types during the presentation, then gives the example of providing modules when asked how this could be done).
So wireless power to 110V/240V as a plug in module (not a custom module for the device, but a generic IEC or barrel jack/USB)?  Seems way practical to take wireless power -> 110v/240v AC -> device like a TV sitting in the middle of the room with no wires attached.  Really?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 04, 2016, 04:00:51 PM
Her last (I don't mean latest  :) ) appearance didn't seem to get much publicity.

http://sites.ieee.org/ttm/speakers/#perry (http://sites.ieee.org/ttm/speakers/#perry)

https://www.facebook.com/IEEETTM/posts/1199645150108784:0 (https://www.facebook.com/IEEETTM/posts/1199645150108784:0)

I think it's 
G a m e  O v e r.

And this is yet another reason why IEEE continues to shed credibility as an organization.   :--  It was bad enough when IEEE hosted SolarRoadways. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 04, 2016, 05:15:23 PM
https://origin.ieeetv.ieee.org/conference-highlights/women-making-the-future-panelist-meredith-perry-2016-technology-time-machine?

I can't do it, I just can't. The TED talk was about the same length and by half way I was seriously contemplating shoving a hot soldering iron in my ear.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: The_Next_Theranos on December 04, 2016, 05:41:37 PM
Who is she going to blame I wonder?
I recognise the rhetorical nature of your question, but nevertheless shall hazard a guess: It will be easy to blame the tech press. The logic will go something like:

This may be augmented with cop-outs such as "we should have handled the press better" or "we'll still find a way to prove ourselves." And a few years down the road, there might even be a lame attempt to point to some other successful wireless charging product and say "their success validates our failure -- they're just copying us and we would have been successful if only the tech press hadn't torpedoed our business."
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: The_Next_Theranos on December 04, 2016, 08:45:59 PM
https://origin.ieeetv.ieee.org/conference-highlights/women-making-the-future-panelist-meredith-perry-2016-technology-time-machine?

I can't do it, I just can't. The TED talk was about the same length and by half way I was seriously contemplating shoving a hot soldering iron in my ear.
Just getting around to watching it now. It's revealing that the very first thing out of her mouth is to make an excuse that her product won't ship. Not "thank you" to the host, not "pleased to be here", but "uh, about that shipping date..."

Speaking of hot soldering irons, why the **** does the smoke always flow directly into your face?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 04, 2016, 09:12:52 PM

I can't do it, I just can't. The TED talk was about the same length and by half way I was seriously contemplating shoving a hot soldering iron in my ear.
Speaking of hot soldering irons, why the **** does the smoke always flow directly into your face?

Stop sticking it in your ear?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 05, 2016, 09:04:58 AM
214 views now, 200 of those are from here I suspect.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 05, 2016, 09:07:07 AM
Just getting around to watching it now. It's revealing that the very first thing out of her mouth is to make an excuse that her product won't ship. Not "thank you" to the host, not "pleased to be here", but "uh, about that shipping date..."

But she said "we will have some very cool things to show you in 2016", we can't wait.
You know what would be really cool, a power meter on the transmitter, and a power meter on the receiver, and a 10 second video showing the numbers vs distance.
In the last demo she used a voltmeter and called it a power meter. Time for an update...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 05, 2016, 09:10:22 AM
214 views now, 200 of those are from here I suspect.
Actually I think it was 2 or 3 before I found it.
Well done the IEEE, way to do social media.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 05, 2016, 09:17:46 AM
214 views now, 200 of those are from here I suspect.
Actually I think it was 2 or 3 before I found it.
Well done the IEEE, way to do social media.

Big numbers for them.
This slick multi-part production got 17 views:
https://origin.ieeetv.ieee.org/ieeetv-specials/standards-wars-exploring-open-standards-part-5
Part 1 got 11 views:
https://origin.ieeetv.ieee.org/ieeetv-specials/standards-and-the-internet-exploring-open-standards-part-1?rf=series|4
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 05, 2016, 10:08:06 AM
I couldn't make it "umm...uhh...umm...well....umm..." two minutes ....

Why are you so nervous chatting in front of a few EE's, Meredith? 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 05, 2016, 10:41:44 AM
Meredith: "Stick-on lightbulbs"

 :-DD

...at 0.0000000001% of the efficiency of today's light bulbs.

Plus: How about a 2500kW television set? Any takers?

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 05, 2016, 10:52:08 AM
I couldn't make it "umm...uhh...umm...well....umm..." two minutes ....

Why are you so nervous chatting in front of a few EE's, Meredith?
A very few - lots of empty seats there. Maybe she insisted the audience were vetted to only include people who didn't laugh when told who would be speaking.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 05, 2016, 10:53:21 AM
Why are you so nervous chatting in front of a few EE's, Meredith?

Embaressed about calling us all "inside the box" "jaded" thinkers with aspergers" ?
https://youtu.be/ukgnU2aXM2c?t=2m19s

And "linear thinkers" with our "binary approach"
https://youtu.be/ukgnU2aXM2c?t=13m10s

And we are still; waiting for her to give us the middle finger:
https://youtu.be/ukgnU2aXM2c?t=14m2s
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 05, 2016, 01:57:49 PM
Speaking of hot soldering irons, why the **** does the smoke always flow directly into your face?

Because your warm body creates an updraft of air currents and the smoke is drawn in to the lower pressure region between the iron and your body/face.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on December 06, 2016, 06:48:43 AM
Speaking of hot soldering irons, why the **** does the smoke always flow directly into your face?

Because your warm body creates an updraft of air currents and the smoke is drawn in to the lower pressure region between the iron and your body/face.

Heathen! Unbeliever! For your reasonable explanation and wanton disbelief in the laws of the great Murphy the curse of Murphy now lies upon you!  :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Corporate666 on December 06, 2016, 12:13:11 PM
I couldn't make it "umm...uhh...umm...well....umm..." two minutes ....

Why are you so nervous chatting in front of a few EE's, Meredith?

I noticed that... every other sound out of her mouth is ummm and uhhh and errr... painful to listen to.



Dave had a post above about the initial VC guy.  It was also painful to read and really highlights that some people just get lucky and really don't have much intelligence at all.  Or maybe the guy is a lot smarter and just a lot more unethical than I am presuming.  He says uBeam works but glosses over the singular huge issue - efficiency - by saying it would be impossible to refute every point.  Then says he will be the first investor in Perry's next business.  I would like to think he just doesn't want to believe his money is gone... but maybe they're actively looking for additional capital or to sell whatever is left so they can recoup as much of their $$ as possible, and they are slathering as much lipstick on this pig as possible.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 06, 2016, 01:09:59 PM
I couldn't make it "umm...uhh...umm...well....umm..." two minutes ....

Why are you so nervous chatting in front of a few EE's, Meredith?

I noticed that... every other sound out of her mouth is ummm and uhhh and errr... painful to listen to.



Dave had a post above about the initial VC guy.  It was also painful to read and really highlights that some people just get lucky and really don't have much intelligence at all.  Or maybe the guy is a lot smarter and just a lot more unethical than I am presuming.  He says uBeam works but glosses over the singular huge issue - efficiency - by saying it would be impossible to refute every point.  Then says he will be the first investor in Perry's next business.  I would like to think he just doesn't want to believe his money is gone... but maybe they're actively looking for additional capital or to sell whatever is left so they can recoup as much of their $$ as possible, and they are slathering as much lipstick on this pig as possible.

I interpret such statements from VCs as, "I am absolutely confident that I do not want to be sued by all those I fleeced in this donnybrook."
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 06, 2016, 01:14:40 PM
Or maybe the guy is a lot smarter and just a lot more unethical than I am presuming.  He says uBeam works but glosses over the singular huge issue - efficiency - by saying it would be impossible to refute every point. 

And that's the thing. There would not be a single competent engineer on this planet who says it can't actually work, and Perry keeps harping on about how us clueless engineers said it "wouldn't work". If she actually listened to the engineers and was able to comprehend it, what they are saying is that it can't work because it's not practical, it's not anywhere near efficient enough. And by not anywhere near efficient enough I mean by several orders of orders of magnitude.

This is why when engineers come up with concepts like this, they do back of the envelope order of magnitude calculations to see if it's potentially practical. uBeam never ever got close to passing that test, it should never have been funded, and the people who did so are idiots.

Quote
Then says he will be the first investor in Perry's next business.  I would like to think he just doesn't want to believe his money is gone...

He's got to say that, it's the only thing that can help him save face.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: wilfred on December 06, 2016, 01:15:50 PM
Heathen! Unbeliever! For your reasonable explanation and wanton disbelief in the laws of the great Murphy the curse of Murphy now lies upon you!  :)
>:D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 06, 2016, 01:16:27 PM
I interpret such statements from VCs as, "I am absolutely confident that I do not want to be sued by all those I fleeced in this donnybrook."

Yep, because it wasn't his money, it was his investors money.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: djos on December 06, 2016, 02:10:50 PM
Holy crap, I just finished reading George's first few posts, amazing work!

The thing that jumped out at me was the similarity of uBeam to Theranos .... and we all know how that ended up (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/11/the-personal-bloodbath-behind-theranos-rise-and-fall/)!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Corporate666 on December 06, 2016, 02:20:27 PM
I interpret such statements from VCs as, "I am absolutely confident that I do not want to be sued by all those I fleeced in this donnybrook."

Yep, because it wasn't his money, it was his investors money.

It says he put a bunch of money in himself.

Even if what he says in that article/post is true and the tech VP guy never expressed his true level of concern over the feasibility of the product/technology, there must have been a point where he looks at all the people who have jumped ship and says "Ok, this thing is tanking".  And I think that keeping things going at this point and trying to put a positive spin to the public can only mean that they are trying to shop the rotting carcass of this company to whomever they can get some interest from in the hopes that they can recoup some of their investment.  Hence, all of these public-facing statements about "we know it works... we know we still have work to do... we know things were harder than we thought, but every product that was ever worth inventing took longer than expected, and I've never seen a more driven team than these folks" are really just fluff designed to blow smoke up the ass of the poor suckers unlucky enough to open their wallets and sink money into this pig of a company.

I would be genuinely curious what Perry does every day.  She seems to spent much of her time on Twitter and "evangelizing".  It doesn't look like the company actually has any engineers there anymore.  I wonder how many people really show up to their office on a daily basis and what those people do.  I think that if any people actually show up, they probably just mostly sit around and collect a paycheck and perhaps talk about what sort of press releases they can come up with or something.  They have to either be in on the ruse or just resigned to being warm bodies occupying chairs until their job search turns up something else.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 06, 2016, 03:02:45 PM
I interpret such statements from VCs as, "I am absolutely confident that I do not want to be sued by all those I fleeced in this donnybrook."

Yep, because it wasn't his money, it was his investors money.

It says he put a bunch of money in himself.

The question is *when* the money went in and in which subsequent investment round did the VC expect to get out?  The financial returns the early backers receive has effectively zero to do with the performance of the technology and everything to do with the early exit payouts received as part of the subsequent funding rounds.  Startups are the new Ponzi scheme, where early investors are the winners and 2nd through N round investors are the suckers. 

If he still has skin in the game, I'd bet that it's token, paper "skin" and that his true payout came long ago. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 06, 2016, 07:23:40 PM
I may be wrong, but I see no evidence that he personally invested a dime into uBeam. His VC outfit, Upfront Vultures Ventures, did invest $10m of other people's money in series A funding.

As LabSpokane says, the VC landscape is little more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme, an extremely high risk game, although in uBeam's case it's difficult to see how it will ever work other than for the early funders to get out and resell before the final implosion.

There is almost no specific regulation in the VC space (they're not meant to advertise or solicit, which makes TechCrunch interesting because I don't know what else it's for), and absurdly only in the past day or two they've been lobbying Trunp for tax breaks.

https://regmedia.co.uk/2016/12/02/nvca-letter-to-president-elect-trump-final-1.pdf
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 06, 2016, 09:00:27 PM
I would be genuinely curious what Perry does every day.  She seems to spent much of her time on Twitter and "evangelizing".  It doesn't look like the company actually has any engineers there anymore.  I wonder how many people really show up to their office on a daily basis and what those people do.  I think that if any people actually show up, they probably just mostly sit around and collect a paycheck and perhaps talk about what sort of press releases they can come up with or something.  They have to either be in on the ruse or just resigned to being warm bodies occupying chairs until their job search turns up something else.
It's not totally implausible that in the process of chasing the power unicorn  they have made some genuine improvements in transducer tech that might have some value in certain niche markets.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 06, 2016, 09:47:44 PM
It's not totally implausible that in the process of chasing the power unicorn  they have made some genuine improvements in transducer tech that might have some value in certain niche markets.

I've posited that before. And word on the street is that people internal tried to get the company to pivot the tech, but Perry would have none of it. It'll be sold for pennies on the dollar.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 06, 2016, 09:58:01 PM
It doesn't look like the company actually has any engineers there anymore.  I wonder how many people really show up to their office on a daily basis and what those people do.  I think that if any people actually show up, they probably just mostly sit around and collect a paycheck and perhaps talk about what sort of press releases they can come up with or something.  They have to either be in on the ruse or just resigned to being warm bodies occupying chairs until their job search turns up something else.

Word is they have none of the original series funding tech employees left. Or at least anyone of note, i.e. all the big name acoustics experts have jumped ship, and apparently it's impossible to hire any acoustics experts any more because word has gotten around. Even VP of Engineering Sean Taffler has left according to his LinkedIn, and he seemed to have been one of the loyal stallwarts. Although he could still be consulting for them perhaps.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 06, 2016, 10:09:47 PM
One interesting thing from that IEEE vid was the initial aim to transfer one watt, which even at the time would have been useless for phone charging, more so nowadays.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 06, 2016, 10:29:27 PM
One interesting thing from that IEEE vid was the initial aim to transfer one watt, which even at the time would have been useless for phone charging, more so nowadays.

I've got calcs (using proper industry simulation data) that show with a @45KHz 155dB 1500Pa 2900W/sqm source, the likely typical efficiency is:
@1m = 1.8% giving 53W/sqm
@2m = 0.3% giving 8W/sqm
@3m = 0.05% giving 1.6 W/sqm
@4m = 0.01% giving 0.2 W/sqm available

The surface area of a typical iPhone thingo is about 0.01sqm
Assuming 100% efficiency on the receiver, a power density of 100W/sqm is required to charge at 1W
Even at 1m using a massive power hog transmitter and ideal receiver they would barely get 0.5W, quickly dropping to bugger all.
They claim a 4m radius  :-DD

Absolute best case calcs are not much better at distance.
And the more power you pump in, the closer the saturation and nonlinearity happens.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 06, 2016, 10:32:59 PM
One interesting thing from that IEEE vid was the initial aim to transfer one watt, which even at the time would have been useless for phone charging, more so nowadays.

I've got calcs (using proper industry simulation data) that show with a @45KHz 155dB 1500Pa 2900W/sqm source, the likely typical efficiency is:
@1m = 1.8% giving 53W/sqm
@2m = 0.3% giving 8W/sqm
@3m = 0.05% giving 1.6 W/sqm
@4m = 0.01% giving 0.2 W/sqm available

The surface area of a typical iPhone thingo is about 0.01sqm
Assuming 100% efficiency on the receiver, a power density of 100W/sqm is required to charge at 1W
Even at 1m using a massive power hog transmitter and ideal receiver they would barely get 0.5W, quickly dropping to bugger all.
They claim a 4m radius  :-DD

Absolute best case calcs are not much better at distance.
And the more power you pump in, the closer the saturation and nonlinearity happens.

Yeah but they're now using a phased array - antenna gain FTW!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 06, 2016, 10:56:09 PM
Yeah but they're now using a phased array - antenna gain FTW!
They always said they were using a phased array.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 07, 2016, 12:17:33 AM
Yeah but they're now using a phased array - antenna gain FTW!

Shame that the power output from a phased array system varies with the angle though, that pesky Lambert's cosine law ;D
It ain't no magic bullet.

IIRC I believe they have demoed to certain investors a circa 1W output from a meter or something? I don't doubt they can do that straight on with enough input power. Doesn't make a practical system though, not by a long shot.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: The_Next_Theranos on December 07, 2016, 02:06:28 AM
Or maybe the guy is a lot smarter and just a lot more unethical than I am presuming.  He says uBeam works but glosses over the singular huge issue - efficiency - by saying it would be impossible to refute every point. 

And that's the thing. There would not be a single competent engineer on this planet who says it can't actually work, and Perry keeps harping on about how us clueless engineers said it "wouldn't work". If she actually listened to the engineers and was able to comprehend it
On the other hand, maybe Perry is smarter than we are giving her credit for, and maybe she herself understands the difference between "won't work" and "orders of magnitude away from working", but instead made a conscious choice -- like the "smarter and just a lot more unethical" VC investor -- to misrepresent the issue to a gullible public, casting it as an easy-to-understand, "down-to-earth-innovator-vs-those-stuck-up-so-called-intellectuals" type of story. Such a framing of the story might have been a calculated move designed specifically to garner sympathy and funding.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 07, 2016, 07:17:11 AM
Yeah but they're now using a phased array - antenna gain FTW!

Without thinking too deeply, I don't think a transmitting phased array gives any power gain over the inverse square losses.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 07, 2016, 08:19:33 AM
Yeah but they're now using a phased array - antenna gain FTW!

Without thinking too deeply, I don't think a transmitting phased array gives any power gain over the inverse square losses.

Not sure I follow. Aside from non-linearities of fluid medium in extreme scenarios, a phased array of transmitters will work as the reciprocal of a similarly constructed phased array of receivers.

I did some very rough back of the envelope calcs earlier today, for 1m^2 at 45kHz you'd get a half power beamwidth in the far field of about 0.4 degrees and a gain of about 50dB. You'd use of the order of 15,000 transducers at that wavelength in that area and a similar configuration for the receiver to attain equivalent directivity. That's assuming a simple single handset. Problem is this isn't far field: in relation to aperture size it's near field, so it's a 3D not a 2D problem which is going to make life quite a bit harder to track and target the handset.

I'm not clear if they were using ultrasonics bidirectionally, though, although there was some talk of using it for data as well as power. It will need some means of bidirectional communication though in order to configure the phased array for power transfer, but that might be out of band on WiFi instead.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: The_Next_Theranos on December 07, 2016, 12:19:25 PM
I would be genuinely curious what Perry does every day.
Pose for photos like this one, released 8 hours ago?
https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/806190586051133440

There's also a cryptic tweet before that, "December 5, 2016, 3:30pm PT.  Greatest day in uBeam history.  I am so proud of my team."

I wonder what happened to make this the "greatest day in uBeam history" -- did Meredith quit? ;D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 07, 2016, 01:06:24 PM
There's also a cryptic tweet before that, "December 5, 2016, 3:30pm PT.  Greatest day in uBeam history.  I am so proud of my team."

Ooh... Have they shipped something?  :o
Maybe got another round of funding?

(http://i.imgur.com/GD8uJJk.png)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 07, 2016, 01:07:54 PM
Burn:
(http://i.imgur.com/cbQOLGo.png)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 07, 2016, 01:52:24 PM
Not sure I follow. Aside from non-linearities of fluid medium in extreme scenarios, a phased array of transmitters will work as the reciprocal of a similarly constructed phased array of receivers.

Me neither, I just saw phased array and antenna gain in the same sentence and had a thought!

I might be thinking wrong, but I'd say that a phased array of receivers gathers some of the off-beam/out of phase energy and corrects it's phase/timing so that it can be added to the main beam signal.
Simply swapping receiver to transmitter means that as well as the main beam you're now transmitting off-beam/out of phase energy which can never be used by the receiver because the receiver never receives it.

I can imagine a US transducer near the edge of the array where only a very small amount of it's transmitted energy covers the target area, but I can't imagine it needing any less drive power because only a small amount of it's energy is landing in the right spot, how would it know!

Of course, if there's another way of thinking about it....


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 07, 2016, 02:03:25 PM
Perhaps someone has told her that they've finally got the receivers in, and she's misunderstood ?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Corporate666 on December 07, 2016, 02:28:02 PM
Perhaps someone has told her that they've finally got the receivers in, and she's misunderstood ?

LOL!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Corporate666 on December 07, 2016, 02:42:19 PM
I would be genuinely curious what Perry does every day.
Pose for photos like this one, released 8 hours ago?
https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/806190586051133440

There's also a cryptic tweet before that, "December 5, 2016, 3:30pm PT.  Greatest day in uBeam history.  I am so proud of my team."

I wonder what happened to make this the "greatest day in uBeam history" -- did Meredith quit? ;D

She's young... if it wasn't for the fact that I know that SHE knows this technology doesn't work, I would feel bad for her.  I know what it's like to be wrapped up in the whirlwind of a funded company and have it start to go off the rails.  You feel like it was your big shot and you just don't want it to end. 

But the one thing I never did was squander investors money and spend all my time fucking around giving speeches and taking pictures and acting like I believed the hype I was creating instead of actually trying to deliver on the stated goal of the business. 

By spending all of her time trying to be a caricature of a spunky, gutsy CEO that bucks trends and disrupts industries, she is achieving nothing but setting herself up to be a laughing stock when this whole thing implodes.  She will be remembered for being the powerpuff girl CEO's and it will be seen that it was her hubris that caused the whole thing to implode.  Guys like Sutter (or whatever his name is) can say "I will be first to invest in her next company" all he likes, but when he's on the other side of the table at an investment meeting, faced with stroking that check... there's no way he won't look back at this whole sordid affair and all of this shite was just that.  What they needed was an experienced CEO who had run a business, knew the technology, had industry experience and was committed to developing the tech and delivering product - not who was mostly interested in building their brand.

Perry will parlay her brand into a downward spiral of successively less impressive executive jobs until she fades into obscurity within a few years, I think.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 07, 2016, 04:36:09 PM
What they needed was an experienced CEO who had run a business, knew the technology, had industry experience and was committed to developing the tech and delivering product - not who was mostly interested in building their brand.

A CEO that simply listened to the internal experts who wanted to pivot the product and tech would have sufficed. They might have been able to turn this (probably very decent ultrasonic tech) into a some niche win for them. But instead they rode this donkey of a dream all the way into town.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on December 07, 2016, 06:27:13 PM
There's also a cryptic tweet before that, "December 5, 2016, 3:30pm PT.  Greatest day in uBeam history.  I am so proud of my team."

Ooh... Have they shipped something?  :o
Maybe got another round of funding?

(http://i.imgur.com/GD8uJJk.png)
I gather that Ubeam had promised in 2015 that they will be able to show demos to people outside the investors in 2016. So my guess is that with their $23 million dollars (or whatever they have received), they have finally got enough hardware working to do some kind of demo. Probably not the "totally safe" 1.5W at 4 meters they have promised, but we might see the voltmeter come out of retirement.

Over half uBeam's money is in debt, and they haven't had any new funding for a year, so some kind of public demo to "prove" the technology could be a desperate need.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on December 08, 2016, 01:12:10 AM
But the one thing I never did was squander investors money and spend all my time fucking around giving speeches and taking pictures and acting like I believed the hype I was creating instead of actually trying to deliver on the stated goal of the business. 

The other day I heard a 'celebrity' on the TV talking about "building my brand" (he'd released a perfume). Now, all this guy has ever actually done is to be the son of a very famous footballer.

Sometime in the last few years some idiots have decided that a 'brand' is worth something on its own, rather than representing the goodwill acquired over many years by a well operated business. Consequently people talk about 'brand building' as an end in itself, rather than providing a better product, service, working environment etc. Many young people (particularly Americans, especially from the West Coast) have bought into this, not knowing that a 'brand' or reputation once meant something more than mere surface appearance. Furthermore, 'brand' and personal reputation have become conflated as if one's reputation is some sort of commodity. I suspect that Ms Perry has bought into all this and is working hard at 'building her brand' not understanding that for it to be worth anything there has to be some substance underneath the gloss.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 08, 2016, 01:43:02 AM
Shame that the power output from a phased array system varies with the angle though, that pesky Lambert's cosine law ;D
It ain't no magic bullet.

I think the idea is to have an array of these all around the room so you're always square on to one of them.

Just don't hold the phone wrong or put it on a table and you might get a whole Watt of recharge.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 08, 2016, 04:09:35 AM
There's also a cryptic tweet before that, "December 5, 2016, 3:30pm PT.  Greatest day in uBeam history.  I am so proud of my team."

Ooh... Have they shipped something?  :o
Maybe got another round of funding?

(http://i.imgur.com/GD8uJJk.png)

The team decorated the conference room for Christmas party.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Harrkev on December 08, 2016, 05:36:33 AM
Without thinking too deeply, I don't think a transmitting phased array gives any power gain over the inverse square losses.

It does prevent losses.  A phased array is just another fancy name for a directional antenna, except that you can steer it electronically.  A laser manages to beat 1/(r^2) pretty handily by not radiating its energy in all directions.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 08, 2016, 03:46:19 PM
"A phased array is just another fancy name for a directional antenna, except that you can steer it electronically."

Yep, that's what I was thinking. In this case a flat US array about 30cm x 30cm facing a target about 8cm x 7cm about 2m away.

"It does prevent losses."

Nope! After some thinking and googling, I've still come to the same conclusion that a transmitting phased array only produces losses. It doesn't matter how well you focus the main beam on to the target the power there will always only be a fraction of the power you've put in - unlike a parabolic reflector where you can get near 100% of the power into the main beam.
I think the only way to recover more of the transmitted power would be for the receiver to cover all of the steerable area at all times, but then you don't have any steerable area, and it's not the case here.

The wavefronts aren't to scale for US in this wiki, but it shows the affect of how little of each wavefront is actually heading towards the target/focus.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phased_array_beam.svg (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phased_array_beam.svg)

...Still thinking....
http://www.olympus-ims.com/en/ndt-tutorials/intro/advantages (http://www.olympus-ims.com/en/ndt-tutorials/intro/advantages)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 08, 2016, 05:18:30 PM
Nope! After some thinking and googling, I've still come to the same conclusion that a transmitting phased array only produces losses.

That was also my thinking but it requires a proof. The phase shifts and amplitudes of the array elements are chosen to active cancellation on the side beams but this is like canceling heating with air conditioning, the total is neutral but takes a lot of energy.

This is of course a hand waving style explanation and a more rigorous analysis is required. It's possible that the canceling energy from one element actually reduces the power of the other elements by creating synchronized pressure wave that affects the traducers' impedance.

But, even of the phase array has lower efficiency, having the power directed still has safety benefits because it reduces the overall sound energy in the room.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 08, 2016, 07:09:04 PM
After some thinking and googling, I've still come to the same conclusion that a transmitting phased array only produces losses.
That will come as quite a surprise to radar engineers.
unlike a parabolic reflector where you can get near 100% of the power into the main beam.
That will also come as a surprise to radar engineers.

I think it would really shock them to find that all these years of pushing parabolic reflectors (and offset parabolics, cassegrains, etc) aside, in favour of the superior beam forming performance of passive phases arrays was a misdirection.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 08, 2016, 07:13:11 PM
Nope! After some thinking and googling, I've still come to the same conclusion that a transmitting phased array only produces losses.

That was also my thinking but it requires a proof. The phase shifts and amplitudes of the array elements are chosen to active cancellation on the side beams but this is like canceling heating with air conditioning, the total is neutral but takes a lot of energy.
Heat is Gaussian noise. Radar signals from all the nodes of a phased array are coherent. Its a completely different situation. If you think a large amount of energy is lost in the beam forming of a phased array, where does it go? Conservation of energy says it can't just vanish.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 08, 2016, 07:30:21 PM
Heat is Gaussian noise. Radar signals from all the nodes of a phased array are coherent. Its a completely different situation. If you think a large amount of energy is lost in the beam forming of a phased array, where does it go? Conservation of energy says it can't just vanish.

Look at the numbers I posted above. Saturation of the air occurs at quite small distances. It's not just a beam forming problem, the losses are in driving the air molecules.
If it was a simple beam forming problem then uBeam would have been a cake walk and done long ago (Perry wasn't the first with the idea, by several decades)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 08, 2016, 07:35:44 PM
Heat is Gaussian noise. Radar signals from all the nodes of a phased array are coherent. Its a completely different situation. If you think a large amount of energy is lost in the beam forming of a phased array, where does it go? Conservation of energy says it can't just vanish.

Look at the numbers I posted above. Saturation of the air occurs at quite small distances.
If it as that simple then uBeam would have been a cake walk and done long ago (Perry wasn't the first with the idea, by several decades)
Did I dispute that in any way? I responded to someone saying the energy is not focussed into the main beam of a phased array. For suitably low power levels it is. For high power levels, where non-linearities become serious, everything falls apart, regardless of which beam forming technique is used.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 08, 2016, 07:53:56 PM
For high power levels, where non-linearities become serious, everything falls apart, regardless of which beam forming technique is used.

And that's the trick, they are, by necessity, pumping in huge amounts of power.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 08, 2016, 08:00:54 PM
For high power levels, where non-linearities become serious, everything falls apart, regardless of which beam forming technique is used.

And that's the trick, they are, by necessity, pumping in huge amounts of power.
Well, of course. What's your point?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 08, 2016, 08:01:34 PM
I hadn't seen this article before:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bus-ted-true-story-behind-power-over-air-sanjaya-maniktala (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bus-ted-true-story-behind-power-over-air-sanjaya-maniktala)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 08, 2016, 08:09:36 PM
For high power levels, where non-linearities become serious, everything falls apart, regardless of which beam forming technique is used.
And that's the trick, they are, by necessity, pumping in huge amounts of power.
Well, of course. What's your point?

Just validating your point. I'm not trying to argue.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 09, 2016, 04:22:53 AM
I'm surprised ppl are thinking that when out of phase wavefronts meet, the energy just disappears forever. The wavefronts just pass through each other, and eventually after traveling, will meet other in phase wavefronts and become usable energy again.
In the case of RF, at great distance from the transmitter.
In the case of US, after bouncing off the near target surface and filling the room with hotspots and coldspots, I bit like sitting in a microwave oven but without the rotating table - so keep moving.  :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 09, 2016, 04:53:43 AM
In the case of US, after bouncing off the near target surface and filling the room with hotspots and coldspots, I bit like sitting in a microwave oven but without the rotating table - so keep moving.  :)

Keep moving your phone around looking at the charging power on screen. Stand very still when you find a hotspot...  :-+

So much better than those pesky cables! :popcorn:

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 09, 2016, 05:59:22 AM
So the uBeam team has grown, more investors are piling in the money, they have a large team working on it. They've got former HP and Tektronix engineering executive Larry Pendergrass joining in:

(http://ubeam.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Larry-Pendergrass-300x240.png)

And here is their team:

(http://ubeam.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Team-2.png)

So what gives? Do they have something or not? Are they just throwing a dungheap of money (from big investors) at what we call a type of Google "Moon-Shot" wall to see if something sticks? I thought this thing was BUSTED a long time ago? That to deliver the power you are looking at needing to charge a device, you'd fry everyone's eardrums or fry their innards in the process?

I don't get it.... Have people LOST THEIR FRIGGIN' MINDS?  :palm: :-//  Wasn't uBeam already trying to do this for years and failed? This seems to be old news already:

http://www.eevblog.com/2014/08/07/ubeam-ultrasonic-wireless-charging-a-familiar-fish-smell/ (http://www.eevblog.com/2014/08/07/ubeam-ultrasonic-wireless-charging-a-familiar-fish-smell/)

Seems like it's going the same way as Solar Roadways, Airing, Batterizer...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on December 09, 2016, 09:53:13 AM
That to deliver the power you are looking at needing to charge a device, you'd fry everyone's eardrums or fry their innards in the process?
Haven't you read the safety page on the UBeam website?

Quote
Completely safe, even when standing directly in front of the beam

One of the reasons they give is that:

Quote
Unlike radio frequency emissions, ultrasound decays rapidly in the air.

Which is great ... as long as you aren't trying to transmit power via ultrasonics.  |O

The last comment is interesting as the decay is not that rapid at 50kHz or 100khz. Just 1 or 2 dB per meter. Are they thinking of using 1MHz ultrasonics?

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Delta on December 09, 2016, 10:19:26 AM
That's the elephant in Meredith's room:  If there's not enough power in the air to cause harm, then there ain't enough to charge a phone...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on December 09, 2016, 01:10:56 PM


The other day I heard a 'celebrity' on the TV talking about "building my brand" (he'd released a perfume). Now, all this guy has ever actually done is to be the son of a very famous footballer.

Sometime in the last few years some idiots have decided that a 'brand' is worth something on its own, rather than representing the goodwill acquired over many years by a well operated business. Consequently people talk about 'brand building' as an end in itself, rather than providing a better product, service, working environment etc. Many young people (particularly Americans, especially from the West Coast) have bought into this, not knowing that a 'brand' or reputation once meant something more than mere surface appearance. Furthermore, 'brand' and personal reputation have become conflated as if one's reputation is some sort of commodity. I suspect that Ms Perry has bought into all this and is working hard at 'building her brand' not understanding that for it to be worth anything there has to be some substance underneath the gloss.

It's funny that you say this because it looks like Perry is hawking her Dad's snake oil skin care maintenance regime lotion.. stuff..

https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/801891676885110784 (https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/801891676885110784)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 09, 2016, 01:34:57 PM
So the uBeam team has grown, more investors are piling in the money, they have a large team working on it.

I've heard the opposite. Most/all of the original acoustics experts have left. Two VP's of engineering have came and gone.

Quote
They've got former HP and Tektronix engineering executive Larry Pendergrass joining in:

They must have paid him a lot.
Shame there isn't much he can do without acoustics expertise.

Quote
And here is their team:
(http://ubeam.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Team-2.png)

An article a while back who toured their big LA headquarters said it was like a ghost town.

Quote
So what gives? Do they have something or not? Are they just throwing a dungheap of money (from big investors) at what we call a type of Google "Moon-Shot" wall to see if something sticks? I thought this thing was BUSTED a long time ago?

It was. But the investors will never admit that, they can't, they have put other people's money into it. Best they can hope for is it dies of natural causes they can blame on X instead of admit they were duped by a dog'n'pony show.

Quote
Seems like it's going the same way as Solar Roadways, Airing, Batterizer...

It's guaranteed by the laws of engineers and market economics.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on December 09, 2016, 02:24:17 PM
What is that weird structure in the background...?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on December 09, 2016, 02:28:55 PM
Another bout of inspire-arreah from the Scam-a-llama herself!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: djos on December 09, 2016, 02:30:40 PM
Another bout of inspire-arreah from the Scam-a-llama herself!

I think I just puked a little in my mouth!  :palm:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on December 09, 2016, 02:35:20 PM
I think I just puked a little in my mouth!  :palm:

Just your mouth? I wish I were that lucky...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 09, 2016, 02:50:04 PM
That's one crazy Twitter tag line....

Quote
Founder & CEO @uBeam. Power-suckler on the teat of life. Uses a machete to cut through red tape.

See the attachment...  I like the Voyager diagram/schematic she uses as a background.
(https://thethoughtstash.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/pioneer-plaque1.png)

Have you seen this posting?
https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/639891833431162880 (https://twitter.com/meredithperry/status/639891833431162880)

Quote
In hospitals, bacteria can spread via electric outlets. With @ubeam, hospitals will be cleaner & safer for patients.

I give her credit for one thing... She's got some interesting Twitter feed (browse the photo postings for a taste, I've included some screenshots below). Certainly not something you'd expect from a $23 million company CEO. She's flying everywhere, meeting all these famous people.... Presidents, Celebrities, etc. They have a space "manufacturing facility" they call in Santa Monica. It's great to spend other people's money when there is no accountability and you can have lawyers basically set up the corporation so you are not personally liable for anything when it loses all the money. Pictures of her with Bill Clinton, Barak Obama, lots of famous celebrities, lots of her with her pet pig, some selfies, pictures of people charging their phones and saying how uBeam will change all that... and inspirational quotes. She's quite an accomplished person and done a lot of stuff! A bit of NSFW type pictures as well thrown in.  :-DD 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 09, 2016, 03:02:49 PM
Another bout of inspire-arreah from the Scam-a-llama herself!

Still zero information about the result, just about her personal struggles ::)
She wouldn't have had to struggle if she just published results to prove her tech is at least somewhat viable.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 09, 2016, 03:58:41 PM
I've attached some examples of typical stuff from Meredith Perry's Twitter media feed. There's not much in there about the actual progress on uBeam. Judge for yourself. She's having one heck of a time at this stage in her life, globe-trotting and rubbing noses with the rich & famous. I'm sure it's very exciting to be part of a multi-million dollar venture. I'd love to see the development milestones.... Research results... Test cases... More proof of concepts. Are they ever planning on making that available?

Her brother the profane rapper Buckwheat Groats https://www.facebook.com/thegroatsofbuckwheat/ (https://www.facebook.com/thegroatsofbuckwheat/) seems to be quite an interesting character too. He seems to be earning an honest living making music, performing and selling albums. Good on him! http://benperrymedia.weebly.com/bio.html (http://benperrymedia.weebly.com/bio.html)  He sounds like a funny guy if you like that kind of comedy....

(http://benperrymedia.weebly.com/uploads/6/0/0/6/60067941/6182091.jpg)

The addition of HP and Tektronic Engineering executive Larry Pendergrass to the mix builds confidence in the company, but is it only to satisfy investor need? Could they be looking to shift their position in the company or sell their shares perhaps to "pass on the buck" and get out while they can. Here's what Pendergrass writes about uBeam (https://medium.com/@meredithperry/former-hp-and-tektronix-engineering-executive-larry-pendergrass-joins-ubeam-b08597f45a24#.8t8mohuxm (https://medium.com/@meredithperry/former-hp-and-tektronix-engineering-executive-larry-pendergrass-joins-ubeam-b08597f45a24#.8t8mohuxm)):

Quote
“Having looked carefully at the technology and the business, I have every confidence that this company will change the way we think of charging our devices. The progress that has been made is tremendous. The skill level in the team is very impressive. And I am confident that my business, engineering, and science experience will support the development and commercialization of this vital new technology.”

They also add the following:

Quote
We’re also excited to announce a new addition to our Technical Advisory Board, Chaired by Matthew O’Donnell, PhD, a world renowned expert in ultrasound and Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Washington.

I wonder if there is a point where people lose an objective view of reality and start to be surrounded by, or create their own environment that positively reinforces their delusional aspirations even when it flies in the face of rational scientific principles. When investors get involved, "yes"-men start to spout inspirational B.S. and young people start jumping in to milk the ride for money as long as possible... the project takes on a life of it's own and perpetuates in a kind of bubble. I must admit though.... I do give credit to uBeam for *NOT* using crowd-sourcing to obtain funding. It is one thing for investors to give money, it is quite another for crowd-sourced money to be scammed out of people (like Airing, Batteriser, Solar Roadways, etc.).

The uBeam, as crazy as it may sound, at least is operating under established legal frameworks and with parties who should know the risks and were prepared to take them. For that reason, I say if Meredith Perry wants to burn the money... let her burn it for the next 10 years. Maybe they'll discover something else along the way that actually is viable and turn them a profit. Otherwise, I wish her luck and if she wants to stick up her middle finger to all these investors along the way.... serves them right.  :-DD
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 09, 2016, 05:30:19 PM
The addition of HP and Tektronic Engineering executive Larry Pendergrass to the mix builds confidence in the company, but is it only to satisfy investor need? Could they be looking to shift their position in the company or sell their shares perhaps to "pass on the buck" and get out while they can. Here's what Pendergrass writes about uBeam (https://medium.com/@meredithperry/former-hp-and-tektronix-engineering-executive-larry-pendergrass-joins-ubeam-b08597f45a24#.8t8mohuxm (https://medium.com/@meredithperry/former-hp-and-tektronix-engineering-executive-larry-pendergrass-joins-ubeam-b08597f45a24#.8t8mohuxm)):

Quote
“Having looked carefully at the technology and the business, I have every confidence that this company will change the way we think of charging our devices. The progress that has been made is tremendous. The skill level in the team is very impressive. And I am confident that my business, engineering, and science experience will support the development and commercialization of this vital new technology.”

So this guy joins after 5 years of development and all he's got to say between the lines is basically "it has potential"?
Nothing about how he's seen the technology and it's amazing and it works etc, just talk about "progress", "development", and commercialisation"?
You'd expect that kind of talk for a newly founded company, not one that's had 10's of millions of dollars invested over 5 years and some of the best experts in field working for them (now all since left?)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Corporate666 on December 09, 2016, 05:38:19 PM
Haven't you read the safety page on the UBeam website?

Quote
Completely safe, even when standing directly in front of the beam

One of the reasons they give is that:

Quote
Unlike radio frequency emissions, ultrasound decays rapidly in the air.


That's one of the funniest things I've read in a long time....

"Don't worry, our technology is completely safe - it doesn't actually work, so you have nothing to fear!"
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 09, 2016, 05:46:50 PM
Haven't you read the safety page on the UBeam website?
Quote
Completely safe, even when standing directly in front of the beam
One of the reasons they give is that:
Quote
Unlike radio frequency emissions, ultrasound decays rapidly in the air.
That's one of the funniest things I've read in a long time....
"Don't worry, our technology is completely safe - it doesn't actually work, so you have nothing to fear!"

If it's so safe why does the beam switch off when human flesh is in the way?

(http://i.imgur.com/E2wfs4E.png)

And I'd love to know how they are doing that:
(http://i.imgur.com/tO5oyat.png)

So if the receiver is say 4m away from the transmitter, how do they know I put my hand in the way 1m from the transmitter?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on December 09, 2016, 06:19:49 PM
So if the receiver is say 4m away from the transmitter, how do they know I put my hand in the way 1m from the transmitter?

Reminds me of a quote from the movie All the President's Men:

I was at a party once, and, uh, Liddy put his hand over a candle, and he kept it there. He kept it right in the flame until his flesh was burned. Somebody said, "What's the trick?" And Liddy said, "The trick is not minding."

Maybe a new slogan for UBeam?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: The_Next_Theranos on December 09, 2016, 08:08:41 PM
Quote
“Having looked carefully at the technology and the business, I have every confidence that this company will change the way we think of charging our devices. The progress that has been made is tremendous. The skill level in the team is very impressive. And I am confident that my business, engineering, and science experience will support the development and commercialization of this vital new technology.”

So this guy joins after 5 years of development and all he's got to say between the lines is basically "it has potential"?
It has potential to change the way we think about charging our devices. It doesn't have the potential to change how we actually charge our devices.  ;D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amspire on December 10, 2016, 12:30:24 AM
So if the receiver is say 4m away from the transmitter, how do they know I put my hand in the way 1m from the transmitter?
And how much ultrasound will reach your ear when you are talking on the phone while the UBeam is charging it?

Quote
Ultrasound has been in used safely over 100 years. It has been studied extensively ..... There is no risk of a cumulative effect

Trouble is they don't seemed to have actually read the research papers from that 100 years, such as

http://archiwum.ciop.pl/59815 (http://archiwum.ciop.pl/59815)   or   https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/aoa.2013.38.issue-2/aoa-2013-0019/aoa-2013-0019.xml (https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/aoa.2013.38.issue-2/aoa-2013-0019/aoa-2013-0019.xml)

To have a chance of being safe, then have to a make it impossible for you ear to receive something less then 1/100000th of the beam strength. Even if their beam is so perfectly focussed that zero energy leaves the beam, it only takes a tiny object in the beams path to radiate potentially damaging ultrasound levels.

UBeam claim the investors did an extensive safety audit before investing.

It would be great to actually see that audit.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 10, 2016, 02:01:52 AM
In my previous post I praised uBeam for not resorting to crowd-funding, and happy that investors who are fully aware of the risks were only involved. Apparently, I was wrong about that. A google search reveals:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=ubeam+crowd-funding (https://www.google.ca/search?q=ubeam+crowd-funding)

The first two links show $2.6 million raised via crowd-funding platform "OurCrowd":

https://www.crunchbase.com/funding-round/054d7fd8cbaff3d2699b04980f6d3e52 (https://www.crunchbase.com/funding-round/054d7fd8cbaff3d2699b04980f6d3e52)
http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/ (http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/dec/18/maker-wireless-charger-losing-investment-power/)

See links about OurCrowd and security exchange filing, etc. Not sure exactly what all this means, and whether this type of "crowd-funding" is like Kickstarter/IndieGogo or more tuned to "high-end" type investors (I think they ask minimum $10,000 from each one) and therefore actual legal ownership/shares in the company:

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1658187/000146581815000052/xslFormDX01/primary_doc.xml (https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1658187/000146581815000052/xslFormDX01/primary_doc.xml)

http://www.octafinance.com/ourcrowd-investment-in-ubeam-filing-jay-kalish-published-dec-17-sec-form/ (http://www.octafinance.com/ourcrowd-investment-in-ubeam-filing-jay-kalish-published-dec-17-sec-form/)

http://www.newestfilings.com/232850-ourcrowd-investment-in-ubeam-lp (http://www.newestfilings.com/232850-ourcrowd-investment-in-ubeam-lp)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2016, 02:51:51 AM
Reminds me of a quote from the movie All the President's Men:

I was at a party once, and, uh, Liddy put his hand over a candle, and he kept it there. He kept it right in the flame until his flesh was burned. Somebody said, "What's the trick?" And Liddy said, "The trick is not minding."

Maybe a new slogan for UBeam?

It was actually Lawrence of Arabia who said/did that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 10, 2016, 03:27:42 AM
Reminds me of a quote from the movie All the President's Men:

I was at a party once, and, uh, Liddy put his hand over a candle, and he kept it there. He kept it right in the flame until his flesh was burned. Somebody said, "What's the trick?" And Liddy said, "The trick is not minding."

Maybe a new slogan for UBeam?

It was actually Lawrence of Arabia who said/did that.
It was said of Lawrence of Arabia that he did that. Who knows? He was the kind of guy legends build around.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 10, 2016, 03:44:01 AM
In my previous post I praised uBeam for not resorting to crowd-funding, and happy that investors who are fully aware of the risks were only involved.

Venture Capital finding *is* crowd funding. The crowd just breathes a more rarefied air than most.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2016, 03:52:47 AM
Say what you like about Meredith, she's certainly living the life...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 10, 2016, 05:21:19 AM
I just read the entire thread from start to the (current) finish, and I only have to say that Meredith is in good company. After all, a man just got elected President with the vision to "build a wall and make Mexico pay for it", and how is that substantially different than the con being sold as uBeam?

Ummm...let's see: He's promising to be racist with taxpayer money.

Meredith is just spending VC money on making a gadget that doesn't directly hurt people (apart from making them stupider).

Meredith will implode, eventually. Let's hope Trump doesn't take as long.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on December 10, 2016, 06:11:10 AM
MOD: *** politics deleted ***

Meredith is just spending VC money on making a gadget that doesn't directly hurt people (apart from making them stupider).
Meredith will implode, eventually.

I chose acoustic communication as a topic for my Wireless Communications class in college (I wanted something a bit more unusual and exotic than RF), and my cursory googling while doing research for that paper found no consumer applications for it except the old ultrasonic TV remotes. Everything wireless, even short-range stuff, uses EM (either IR or RF). The only current applications I found for sonic communication is through water (submerged networks or medical implants) or through metal (which blocks EM waves), both of which are niche applications.

Which leads me to this thought: the FCC (and equivalent governing bodies in other countries) limits power transmission in the license free ISM bands to a low level, but the rules must be a lot less strict in a licensed band, otherwise you wouldn't be able to have high-power transmitters for radio or TV. How well would this beam-forming technology work if it was done with antennas instead of ultrasonic transducers and they had a spectrum license? Would you still need to transmit power at the level of a microwave oven just to charge a single phone? Would it be more or less dangerous to biological organisms? Or would a directed beam of RF that string cause way too much interference to other electronics?
@Ninja, you just joined an engineering forum and all you had to say is you do not like Trump. Care to post something about your projects? Or your goal is to use the forum to spread your political dislikes?
I will, this is just the monster thread that caught my eye and sucked me into it when I checked this place out. I am very active on the Arduino forum (same user name) so I'm not just a drive-by troll.

I think it's appropriate to point out that this kind of person can become extremely successful if they can tap into the right vein to puff about. The comparison was already made to a recent example in the medical industry (the fall of Theranos), and I added a current political example. This kind of phenomenon is not simply a result of technical illiteracy, but a much more fundamental failing in our psychology that makes us all susceptible to this kind of trap if we are not vigilant against it.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 10, 2016, 06:14:01 AM
Say what you like about Meredith, she's certainly living the life...

True. I wish I thought of this when I was in my 20's.   ;)  No risk, no reward. Everyone knows the stakes and the risks. Meredith got caught up in a wind-storm of excitement on the prospects of this project, encouraged by VC money and the positive media attention (at least initially). She was not going to say no. Obviously the VC's are banking on a big payout so they are willing to risk investing in it. Now that several years have passed and progress has slowed or completely stopped, she has to face the piper. But like all of these projects, they usually fade quietly away. Meredith is only the "face" of uBeam and naive and obviously unsure of the scientific merits of whether the technology is possible, but she paid these engineers who gladly took a salary to try and see if they could make it happen.... I wouldn't say she did any of this with mal-intent. Wireless charging through ultrasound just happens to be a tough nut to crack and a bottomless pit of investment is going to be needed to make it happen.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on December 10, 2016, 07:10:27 AM
True. I wish I thought of this when I was in my 20's.   ;)  No risk, no reward. Everyone knows the stakes and the risks. Meredith got caught up in a wind-storm of excitement on the prospects of this project, encouraged by VC money and the positive media attention (at least initially). She was not going to say no. Obviously the VC's are banking on a big payout so they are willing to risk investing in it. Now that several years have passed and progress has slowed or completely stopped, she has to face the piper. But like all of these projects, they usually fade quietly away. Meredith is only the "face" of uBeam and naive and obviously unsure of the scientific merits of whether the technology is possible, but she paid these engineers who gladly took a salary to try and see if they could make it happen.... I wouldn't say she did any of this with mal-intent.
Except for those pesky things like "ethics" and "integrity" that I'm sure are holding you back. People like Meredith don't get "caught up" in this kind of excitement, they intentionally try to create it so they can ride the wave high without ever bothering to really think ahead about if they'll be able to actually fulfill the promise. They stoke the flames, and won't take responsibility when it flares up and burns them.

You might try and excuse her by saying she was making claims that she did not know were impossible, but I have a different view. She was being incredibly irresponsible by making grandiose claims about things that she had no idea about whether they were possible or not.

I have no medical experience at all, so I why don't I try to pitch the development of a new drug to some VCs, one that will cure all known diseases! After all, life (and therefore disease) is just chemistry, so it should be possible to design a chemical that has any pharmacological effect that I desire. The laws of physics do not prohibit such a drug from existing, so it must be possible. Invest now! Don't mind the fact that I can't tell my ethanols from my methanols, I have vision, determination, and the chutzpah to tell people far more skilled than me that I'm your boss, and don't you dare forget it. That's all an innovator really needs.

I hope that anyone here would be informed enough to know why such a pitch is stupid. Even if the person is well-intentioned and is not a cynical schemer, such careless (some would say reckless) optimism does not deserve to be treated favorably. It supports the person's unrealistic views about the world and leads to wasted effort like this whole mess.

Quote
Wireless charging through ultrasound just happens to be a tough nut to crack and a bottomless pit of investment is going to be needed to make it happen.
It's not just that it's a "tough nut to crack", it's a pointless and dumb nut to crack. Any place like a restaurant that wanted to make it convenient for customers to charge their phones would be better off building inductive chargers into the tables and marking where they are, or building micro USB or USB-C cables into the tables. An idea like uBeam isn't dumb just because it's hard, it's dumb because there are better ways of achieving the same goal.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2016, 08:37:09 PM
I think it's appropriate to point out that this kind of person can become extremely successful if they can tap into the right vein to puff about. The comparison was already made to a recent example in the medical industry (the fall of Theranos), and I added a current political example.

Please do not add politics here, it is one of the subjects that tends to get threads locked and people banned.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 10, 2016, 08:43:56 PM
Wireless charging through ultrasound just happens to be a tough nut to crack and a bottomless pit of investment is going to be needed to make it happen.

No it won't, and it's that thinking that is the cause of this problem with uBeam. It's an idea that should have died after a week or two of brainstorming with some experts in the field. The impracticality of it for the intended purposes is guaranteed by some basic physics and engineering of the medium and technique used.

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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 11, 2016, 12:43:20 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.
Title: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 11, 2016, 01:40:23 AM
So if I am out to scam the media and a bunch of VC's of investment money, isn't some of the blame also on the people who are also not doing their due diligence to see if there is any merit to the company? Or is everyone blinded by raw greed? Yes Meredith may have done her bit to keep this unicorn alive but look at how our system rewarded this behaviour. Media with no objective reporting, paid ads and bait click to get people to click on this " miracle" technology, investors who have not done any homework to see if it is possible and whether it is even practical.

Like I said, Meredith probably did not know enough to maliciously single handedly defraud people. She was just naive and expected other people who are much smarter than her in the field to solve the problem (that isn't even a practical one to solve for this application at least). Just look at her twitter photos feed, she seems to be having the time of her life involved with all this fame and fortune, tied up in meeting after meeting raising money and probably lost total sight of the goal... She was focusing on inspirational talks to young people, appearances on shows, interviews, getting investors, and meanwhile waiting for her engineers back home to actually come up with something.

At the end of the day, if a few more rich greedy  investors lose their money then it's a lesson they learned. It means that the next time some ridiculous idea like this comes along, they might hire a few more independent experts to validate it before investing. Maybe they should consult the EEVBLOG community first and have Dave do a critical assessment early on in the development.

I have more of a problem with solar roadways which is using taxpayer money, Airing which is preying on crowd funding from a medically vulnerable population (sleep apnea) which could potentially kill people. At least batterizer seems to have died, the rational scientific debate won over the hyperbole train, but not before scamming a bunch of people. As bad as uBeam is, I can show you many more examples that are worse. Kind of a sad statement on the whole investment startup scene. Then again, these worst examples tend to get more attention so the may be many success stories we don't focus on.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 11, 2016, 02:32:33 AM
Never say never.

Never.

The level of computing we carry in our pockets these days would be consider physically impossible 200 years ago.

What? Electronic computers weren't even a figment of imagination 200 years ago.

When we 'debunk' stuff, we need to remember to qualify it.

Did you just arrive?

We qualified it! Vibrating air as a medium for power transmission doesn't work in anything like the requirements necessary to charge a cellphone. Not even close.

No possible future technology could vibrate air in a radically different way to the way we can vibrate air today. Focusing and phasing of air vibrations is a well studied discipline, it comes up short by many orders of magnitude for any receptor that would fit in a cellphone or any transmitter with a plausible power consumption.

The power levels needed would also be dangerous.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 11, 2016, 04:19:04 AM
No possible future technology could vibrate air in a radically different way to the way we can vibrate air today.

Well, if you say so.
Title: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on December 11, 2016, 04:30:16 AM
No possible future technology could vibrate air in a radically different way to the way we can vibrate air today.

Well, if you say so.

"Ya' can'ut change the laws of physics, Captain!" -Chief Engineer Scott

The only thing that would make ultrasonic power transfer viable is if we develop some sort of ultra low power smartphone based on some future 3D graphene bio-optical memristor nanotube processor that only used microwatts of power.

However, at that point you could power the whole thing with a tiny indoor amorphous solar cell (or even a passive RF energy harvesting system) anyway, so what would be the point?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 11, 2016, 06:12:07 AM
I've got a better invention, one that may actually work better than uBeam.... I call it uBlow!  :-DD   A few minutes manipulating some Googled images with GIMP on Ubuntu. Just add a large fan to any establishment.... Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Convention, Business Meeting....  and all of your wireless charging problems will be solved! Works with any and all existing smartphones. When everyone thought high-frequency air vibration was the answer, we have found that ultra-low frequency (in fact, no frequency at all) air movement is the secret breakthrough. Our Kickstart/Indie-Gogo crowd-funding campaign is ready to take your money.  CONTRIBUTE TODAY!

PS - Meredith, don't steal my idea! I plan on bringing this to the attention of a number of big venture capitalists, already scheduled a TED talk about innovation, and my technical paper is a back-of-the-coffee-house-napkin calculation showing exactly what kind of sustained wind speed is needed to sustain and charge my phone. My prototype can demonstrate a voltage being generated just by standing outside on a windy day! It has way more power coverage than uBeam, in fact it can get NATURAL ECO-FRIENDLY power just by standing outside, or sticking my phone out the window while I drive!

(http://i68.tinypic.com/311v30g.jpg)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 11, 2016, 06:48:43 AM
"Ya' can'ut change the laws of physics, Captain!" -Chief Engineer Scott

Yes we can and already did several times.

We have plenty of learning ahead of us and that's a good thing.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane on December 11, 2016, 07:39:46 AM
Physical laws are things that we *discover*.  The textbooks and scientific formulae change, the physics is the physics, and been so for quite some time. 
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: l0rd_hex on December 11, 2016, 08:00:01 AM
It was actually Lawrence of Arabia who said/did that.

Mmm I don't think he was in that movie, maybe you're thinking "Lawrence of Arabia" from 1962?

The legend goes back to this ole greek boy, Gaius Mucius Scaevola, I guess he did it to get off the hook for some accident assassinations.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on December 11, 2016, 09:02:17 AM
"Ya' can'ut change the laws of physics, Captain!" -Chief Engineer Scott

Yes we can and already did several times.

We have plenty of learning ahead of us and that's a good thing.

No we can't, and no we never have.

How the air responds to vibrations is set, and the basics are well understood. It responded the same way in 2000 BC, 2011 AD, 2016 AD, and will in 3000 AD. Basic behaviours like how speakers work, how we talk and hear, blast wavefronts, how aircraft are built and even the weather all depend on it remaining the same. We'd definitely notice if it changed. Our understanding of it may improve and become more precise, but it's not 'dark matter' where there are lifetimes of work left to understand it to a basic level - our understanding of how air carries sound will not change to any practical extent. It's like saying gravity might change by an order of magnitude because we study it more.

The air responds to sound how the air responds to sound. Don't even think of stating that it might change or it's not well understood.

What might change is that devices used to generate and receive sound improve in some metrics such as efficiency, size, cost etc - but once that sound is in the air, it's never going to change in how it responds.

Don't start claiming that the laws of physics, such as the second law of thermodynamics, aren't what we think they are. Dumber people than you have tried that and believe me, you do not want to start down that path...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 11, 2016, 09:22:57 AM
No possible future technology could vibrate air in a radically different way to the way we can vibrate air today.
Well, if you say so.

I do say so.

Air is a fairly macroscopic thing that we can study easily. The temperature/pressure/humidity of the air in a room is well known and can't be varied much without cell phone owners complaining/dying.

There's no way we're ever going to vibrate the air in a room in a way that's several orders of magnitude different than we can do it today.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2016, 09:58:29 AM
Never say never.
We qualified it! Vibrating air as a medium for power transmission doesn't work in anything like the requirements necessary to charge a cellphone. Not even close.
No possible future technology could vibrate air in a radically different way to the way we can vibrate air today. Focusing and phasing of air vibrations is a well studied discipline, it comes up short by many orders of magnitude for any receptor that would fit in a cellphone or any transmitter with a plausible power consumption.
The power levels needed would also be dangerous.

This.
By all means put money into research into the area of ultrasonic power delivery, possibly for niche applications, just leave out the ridiculous demonstrably un-doable consumer claims. Or put money into research for some alternative method is fine.
You don't just try and push poo up a steeper hill with an even pointer stick which is exactly what they are doing here.
They have made zero claims about any radically new innovative technology or method, and Perry has said it herself, just "world's most powerful/smallest/most efficient/cheapest etc etc". Having the world's best stick isn't going to work.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: newbrain on December 11, 2016, 10:12:05 AM
The legend goes back to this ole greek boy, Gaius Mucius Scaevola, I guess he did it to get off the hook for some accident assassinations.
Roman (republic), not greek.
Sent to kill king Porsena, he managed to infiltrate the enemy camp but killed the wrong man.
To show his bravery and the lack of fear of roman soldiers, he burnt the hand who had failed the mission on a fire.

He (and his family) only then became Scaevola, from scaevus, left handed.

Sorry for the OT.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 11, 2016, 11:09:22 AM
To show his bravery and the lack of fear of roman soldiers, he burnt the hand who had failed the mission on a fire.

I don't see the link between him and LOA.

(they both had burnt hands, obviously...but for totally different reasons)

It was actually Lawrence of Arabia who said/did that.
Mmm maybe you're thinking "Lawrence of Arabia"

Yes! Yes I was! How on earth did you guess???  :-DD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvQViPBAvPk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvQViPBAvPk)

(promises not to post any more on this subject)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 11, 2016, 11:19:08 AM

Physical laws are things that we *discover*.

We can discover only things that preexisted. The 'laws of physics' are merely man-made models that generalize the results of a final set of observations we have conducted.

They have made zero claims about any radically new innovative technology or method, and Perry has said it herself, just "world's most powerful/smallest/most efficient/cheapest etc etc".

My point was that we shouldn't confuse 'we can't do it with our current level of technology and understanding of physics' with 'it will never be done'. 200 years ago, nobody would imagine the things we do now and they would easily be 'debunked' as physically impossible.

As for Perry, her Ted X presentation lead me to believe that she is an arrogant charlatan.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 11, 2016, 11:50:49 AM
Over 50 viewing this thread. :o Have they released the stick on light bulbs.

I might be the only one(there's always one isn't there!), but I'm still finding that even assuming 100% efficiency and no losses anywhere that it's impossible to get more than a fraction of the inputted power into the 'focussed beam' of a phased array.
There might be a good reason why the energy efficiency of a phased array is not discussed anywhere, and there might be a good reason why no phased array power transfer device exists, no one in their right mind would try to invent one!

Que, someone to say they're very efficient because they 'focus' the beam. Yes, they focus the beam but not the power!

http://www.radartutorial.eu/06.antennas/Phased%20Array%20Antenna.en.html (http://www.radartutorial.eu/06.antennas/Phased%20Array%20Antenna.en.html)

AFAICT RF, radio, and radar are all much the same.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on December 11, 2016, 03:01:00 PM
Que, someone to say they're very efficient because they 'focus' the beam. Yes, they focus the beam but not the power!

http://www.radartutorial.eu/06.antennas/Phased%20Array%20Antenna.en.html (http://www.radartutorial.eu/06.antennas/Phased%20Array%20Antenna.en.html)

AFAICT RF, radio, and radar are all much the same.
How could you focus a beam without focusing the power? The link you quoted shows reasonably well how things work, even if the English reads a big strangely. I assume its a translation.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Corporate666 on December 11, 2016, 04:36:23 PM
Say what you like about Meredith, she's certainly living the life...

How do you know what life she's living?  Investors may have her on a very short leash, especially if there were questions raised about the validity of uBeam's technology.  She is likely earning less than she would otherwise be working for someone else, and she will have to ride this thing into the ground, where it will inevitably end up.

Don't fall for too many (possibly politically derived) delusions about how CEO's live.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Corporate666 on December 11, 2016, 04:45:55 PM
By all means put money into research into the area of ultrasonic power delivery, possibly for niche applications, just leave out the ridiculous demonstrably un-doable consumer claims.

Just out of curiosity, and if you are comfortable saying.... have you ever been contacted by a venture capital group or investor asking your opinion on a product or technology they were looking at investing in?  I'm guessing it must have happened, or possibly happens regularly.  I am quite surprised it doesn't appear to happen all the time (with you or others) - and if it does, I can't understand how companies like uBeam get funding.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Bud on December 11, 2016, 06:44:35 PM
Things can happen if you belong to a certain ethnic group.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on December 11, 2016, 06:47:27 PM

Physical laws are things that we *discover*.

We can discover only things that preexisted. The 'laws of physics' are merely man-made models that generalize the results of a final set of observations we have conducted.

:palm: You clearly just enjoy arguing *or* don't really get what we're saying...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2016, 06:52:42 PM
They have made zero claims about any radically new innovative technology or method, and Perry has said it herself, just "world's most powerful/smallest/most efficient/cheapest etc etc".
My point was that we shouldn't confuse 'we can't do it with our current level of technology and understanding of physics' with 'it will never be done'.

We are not confusing anything, we are talking about the very specific claims uBeam have made, and their method of going about it delivering energy wirelessly. Vibrating air to transfer energy for consumer product charging will never happen on a practical consumer level at the W level. If you don't understand why then I'd hazard a guess that you're in the wrong field.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2016, 07:00:40 PM
By all means put money into research into the area of ultrasonic power delivery, possibly for niche applications, just leave out the ridiculous demonstrably un-doable consumer claims.
Just out of curiosity, and if you are comfortable saying.... have you ever been contacted by a venture capital group or investor asking your opinion on a product or technology they were looking at investing in?  I'm guessing it must have happened, or possibly happens regularly.  I am quite surprised it doesn't appear to happen all the time (with you or others) - and if it does, I can't understand how companies like uBeam get funding.

Not from a VC or other such group, no.
But countless "inventors" have contacted me, and way before the blog and even the internet. I used to get hand written letters in the post asking for help on some crackpot invention.
They are almost always the same:
- I've got this great idea no one has thought of before and I've been working on it for years
- I've thoroughly investigated the market potential and it's worth millions/billions.
- All you have to do is design and build it and we can become partners, I'm the "ideas man".
- I've thought of everything that can possibly go wrong and there is no way this can't work.
Blah Blah.

They get very upset when I destroy their idea with one google search or one calculation, and *insert rant* about the Wright Brothers  ::)

I've been getting this crap for over 20 years.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 11, 2016, 09:38:14 PM
... Vibrating air to transfer energy for consumer product charging will never happen on a practical consumer level at the W level. If you don't understand why then I'd hazard a guess that you're in the wrong field.

Don't be too cocky with your 'never' about our current technology and understanding of physics. Many things that people considered 'never' 300 years ago are possible with today's technology. We have a lot of learning ahead of us.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2016, 10:47:29 PM
... Vibrating air to transfer energy for consumer product charging will never happen on a practical consumer level at the W level. If you don't understand why then I'd hazard a guess that you're in the wrong field.

Don't be too cocky with your 'never' about our current technology and understanding of physics. Many things that people considered 'never' 300 years ago are possible with today's technology. We have a lot of learning ahead of us.

What part of the first part of my paragraph that you snipped did you not understand? :
Quote
We are not confusing anything, we are talking about the very specific claims uBeam have made, and their method of going about it delivering energy wirelessly. Vibrating air to transfer energy for consumer product charging will never happen on a practical consumer level at the W level. If you don't understand why then I'd hazard a guess that you're in the wrong field.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on December 11, 2016, 11:32:16 PM
Just out of curiosity, and if you are comfortable saying.... have you ever been contacted by a venture capital group or investor asking your opinion on a product or technology they were looking at investing in?  I'm guessing it must have happened, or possibly happens regularly.  I am quite surprised it doesn't appear to happen all the time (with you or others) - and if it does, I can't understand how companies like uBeam get funding.

Venture capitalists are no different from the rest of us, if they want free advice (you don't get rich paying for things) they ask people they already know. The pool of 'expertise' they draw from is what you might expect, people they know down the pub/tennis club/country club/whatever and people at firms they've already invested in. Typically they, just like the average person, goes looking for, not a specific domain expert, but some who 'knows a bit about X'. It's a variation on the Dunning-Kruger effect where you don't know enough to judge whether whom you perceive as a 'domain expert' actually has relevant expertise.

When I worked at a company that had funding from a VC fund and two independent private investors about every two months one of the three would turn up looking for free advice on the technology aspects of one of their prospective investments. We were turning out early AI software tools, but they'd come and ask about anything that involved a computer with little regard for whether we had any real relevant expertise.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on December 11, 2016, 11:45:41 PM
But countless "inventors" have contacted me, and way before the blog and even the internet. I used to get hand written letters in the post asking for help on some crackpot invention.
They are almost always the same:
- I've got this great idea no one has thought of before and I've been working on it for years
- I've thoroughly investigated the market potential and it's worth millions/billions.
- All you have to do is design and build it and we can become partners, I'm the "ideas man".
- I've thought of everything that can possibly go wrong and there is no way this can't work.
Blah Blah.

They get very upset when I destroy their idea with one google search or one calculation, and *insert rant* about the Wright Brothers  ::)

I've been getting this crap for over 20 years.

Back in my tech journo days we'd get at least one of these a week sent to the magazine, as Tech Editor they used to land on my desk. There were three tactics used.

If they were amusing enough that we passed them around the office and had a good giggle we'd publish them in the Letters column. If they were run of the mill they got a stock reply will all the usual excuses 'can't offer advice outside of the magazine pages/liability/lawyers foaming at the mouth/publisher would shoot me as he doesn't pay me for that'. If they came on good enough stationery and offered 'dinner at my expense to discuss the matter' I'd see if the Deputy Editor wanted a free dinner somewhere posh.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus on December 11, 2016, 11:57:13 PM
Many things that people considered 'never' 300 years ago are possible with today's technology.

Which things were considered 'never'? Can you provide a list?

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 12, 2016, 02:02:17 AM
... Vibrating air to transfer energy for consumer product charging will never happen on a practical consumer level at the W level. If you don't understand why then I'd hazard a guess that you're in the wrong field.

Don't be too cocky with your 'never' about our current technology and understanding of physics. Many things that people considered 'never' 300 years ago are possible with today's technology. We have a lot of learning ahead of us.

What part of the first part of my paragraph that you snipped did you not understand? :
Quote
We are not confusing anything, we are talking about the very specific claims uBeam have made, and their method of going about it delivering energy wirelessly. Vibrating air to transfer energy for consumer product charging will never happen on a practical consumer level at the W level. If you don't understand why then I'd hazard a guess that you're in the wrong field.
I understood all of it and was commenting on the definite 'never' part.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on December 12, 2016, 05:52:59 AM

Physical laws are things that we *discover*.

We can discover only things that preexisted. The 'laws of physics' are merely man-made models that generalize the results of a final set of observations we have conducted.

They have made zero claims about any radically new innovative technology or method, and Perry has said it herself, just "world's most powerful/smallest/most efficient/cheapest etc etc".

My point was that we shouldn't confuse 'we can't do it with our current level of technology and understanding of physics' with 'it will never be done'. 200 years ago, nobody would imagine the things we do now and they would easily be 'debunked' as physically impossible.

As for Perry, her Ted X presentation lead me to believe that she is an arrogant charlatan.

If you want to know why VCs fund perpetual motion machines it's because of statements like this from engineers and scientists. You're right, we *may* find a way of extracting vacuum energy at zero cost like in sci-fi movies, just like any second now all the air in the room may decide to randomly move in the same direction and you will die of asphyxiation. But the odds are so low that to any practical extent the answer is "no don't be stupid neither of those things is going to happen". When you say "Well, we don't know for sure, it's not 100% certain, so don't be arrogant it might change in the next 100 years" what a VC hears is "Yes it's possible".

People in that type of position never hear the caveats, the "at risk", the concerns, the timelines, or anything like that - all they hear is "Yes" or "No". And engineers hate reducing answers to that level of simplicity yet that is exactly what is demanded by senior executives and money people. Want to know why charlatans or the less technically skilled get to the top in engineering? Because they don't know enough to say anything but "Yes" or "No" and they'll say whichever one the boss or man with money wants to hear.

You're basically asking us to prove a negative, and a future time negative at that. It's not going to happen. Must be nice to have an argument where you've constructed it so you cannot possibly lose no matter what, as long as you stick to your guns. The onus is on *you* to prove that the established data, laws, rules, equations, or what ever you want to call them are not correct, or there are exceptions. The methodology is clear in how to do this. It's called "scientific method" and it doesn't involve stubbornly repeating your statements again and again. That works in politics, not so much in science.

So, to repeat, VCs fund perpetual motion machines because one engineer, somewhere, with some form of credentials, says "Well, there's a slim possibility....". So stop it.

The burden of proof is on you.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 12, 2016, 07:15:10 AM
The burden of proof is on you.

The burden of proof that our understanding of reality evolves over time and that things that were considered impossible are later consider trivial? 

Just look at the last 1000 years and extrapolate.

It's one thing to debunk in the context of our current science and technology. It's another to debunk 'forever'.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 12, 2016, 08:44:25 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 12, 2016, 09:58:11 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.

Sure, that's possible, but who's going to build ultrasonic receiving circuitry into phones to do just this one thing? Let alone everyone installing ultrasonic transmitters everywhere to enable it?
This power transfer/charging thing was the "killer app" enabler for that alternative use. Without that it's not going to happen.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on December 12, 2016, 10:11:27 AM
Physical laws are things that we *discover*.
We can discover only things that preexisted. The 'laws of physics' are merely man-made models that generalize the results of a final set of observations we have conducted.
They have made zero claims about any radically new innovative technology or method, and Perry has said it herself, just "world's most powerful/smallest/most efficient/cheapest etc etc".
My point was that we shouldn't confuse 'we can't do it with our current level of technology and understanding of physics' with 'it will never be done'. 200 years ago, nobody would imagine the things we do now and they would easily be 'debunked' as physically impossible.

As for Perry, her Ted X presentation lead me to believe that she is an arrogant charlatan.

If you want to know why VCs fund perpetual motion machines it's because of statements like this from engineers and scientists. You're right, we *may* find a way of extracting vacuum energy at zero cost like in sci-fi movies, just like any second now all the air in the room may decide to randomly move in the same direction and you will die of asphyxiation. But the odds are so low that to any practical extent the answer is "no don't be stupid neither of those things is going to happen". When you say "Well, we don't know for sure, it's not 100% certain, so don't be arrogant it might change in the next 100 years" what a VC hears is "Yes it's possible".

Absolutely nailed it.

Quote
People in that type of position never hear the caveats, the "at risk", the concerns, the timelines, or anything like that - all they hear is "Yes" or "No". And engineers hate reducing answers to that level of simplicity yet that is exactly what is demanded by senior executives and money people. Want to know why charlatans or the less technically skilled get to the top in engineering? Because they don't know enough to say anything but "Yes" or "No" and they'll say whichever one the boss or man with money wants to hear.

Yes, and that is a major problem with engineers and other technical people. We generally hate saying "no", "not possible" etc, but sometimes we simply have to laugh at people and their stupid impractical idea and tell them a firm "no".
Carl Sagan said it best - It pay to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

Remember, VC's generally fund practical ideas, they want a practical return on their investment in a few years, they do not usually fund general research into new physics etc.
This means that engineers like us have to be very strict and not think "what new physics discoveries might be like in 100 years", instead we have to call bullshit on ideas like uBeam here and now.
I've said, and I'm sure Paul and others would agree that it's important to encourage basic research in these fields, but only when this basic research shows some sort of promise should us engineers come along and go (especially to VC's) "yeah, that might be possible".

Once again uBeam made no claims they were working on or spending any money toward basic acoustics or physics research. They were simply taking an existing concept and seeing if they could beat it with a big engineering hammer to make it practical. It was obvious to any competent engineer from day 1 that it wasn't going to be practical for the application they wanted.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy on December 12, 2016, 10:38:31 AM
Carl Sagan said it best - It pay to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

 :-DD  Oh that is a good one.    :-+

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f0/b9/91/f0b9915524095dbdb1f4f9e813ff4a8c.jpg)


...  and while looking for the above, I found another one pertinent to this discussion ...

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/70/d4/3f/70d43f103b3fa61e668a87629862ee6e.jpg)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb on December 12, 2016, 10:46:02 AM
I understood all of it and was commenting on the definite 'never' part.

The most important part of Dave's quote is this:

Quote from: EEVblog
Vibrating air to transfer energy for consumer product charging will never happen on a practical consumer scale at the watt level.
(Edited for clarity; emphasis mine.)

I already qualified this for you in an earlier reply, but I'll say it again and try to be a bit clearer...

Charging a modern smartphone requires 5 to 10 watts, minimum. Sending that much power through the air with ultrasonic, at a distance of more than a few inches, cannot be done safely, reliably and efficiently in a consumer setting. That will be the same at any time. Today or 300 years from now, it doesn't matter.

There may be some niche industrial uses for ultrasonic power transmission. Perhaps to power sensors on rotating machinery, however that requires less than 1W of power and can be confined to a specific area that wouldn't pose a danger to people and animals.

The only way ultrasonic power transfer would ever be viable, on a consumer level, is if the device only required microwatts of power. Maybe 50 years from now when our phones are all running carbon nanotube bio-organic 3D stacked hyper processors that are 800x more powerful than today's SoC, yet only consume 10uW, it might be practical to power them wirelessly with ultrasonic chargers. Then again, you can get that amount of power from an amorphous solar cell, so it might be pointless.

However, today, in the real world where the rest of us live, it's not physically possible. And 50 or even 300 years from now, it still won't be possible to transmit multiple watts of power via an ultrasonic beam. Nothing we can discover about physics will change that.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 12, 2016, 10:53:57 AM


... Nothing we can discover about physics will change that.

OK.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Zad on December 12, 2016, 12:32:44 PM
An arrogant (charismatic) charlatan? Anyone offering odds that she is going to get the job heading up the country's science research?


Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta on December 12, 2016, 01:39:34 PM
An arrogant (charismatic) charlatan? Anyone offering odds that she is going to get the job heading up the country's science research?
I say zero since she achieved nothing of significance in her career but high probability that when ubeam will close she will blame others.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edy 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?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: sdouble on December 12, 2016, 04:33:26 PM
She may have left for Mexico with a bunch of million bucks.
 :-DD :-DD
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog 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
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus 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?

Title: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timb 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! ~~*
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PA0PBZ on December 13, 2016, 06:55:55 AM
The more you know! ~~*

The later (electronic) ones were also very good at controlling cats!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying 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 (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 (https://www.engadget.com/2011/06/01/ubeam-wireless-power-startup-shows-prototype-at-d9-video-hands)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: edavid 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 15, 2016, 02:19:26 AM
A world without wires. One day all mobile devices will be wirelessly powered this way.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta 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.  ;-)

(http://salestores.com/stores/images/images_747/FX300ES.jpg)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: iaeen 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JimRemington 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: iaeen 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta 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'.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: zapta 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus 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 (https://www.jovoto.com/projects/betacup/ideas/4859)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Fungus 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LabSpokane 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.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja 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?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 19, 2016, 12:01:21 PM
Looks like these clowns have closed down.  :horse:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: djos on December 19, 2016, 12:14:00 PM
Looks like these clowns have closed down.  :horse:

Source?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 20, 2016, 09:35:38 AM
Source?
Just intuition.  ;)

https://twitter.com/garrettreim/status/810964924461555712  :horse:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on December 20, 2016, 12:17:49 PM
Looks like these clowns have closed down.  :horse:

Nope.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dubbie on December 20, 2016, 01:08:28 PM
Interesting watching that video. Seems like some of her original hubris and arrogance has had the corners rubbed off somewhat.
She seemed a lot less confident in what she was talking about than in her original PR videos.

I guess you would be like that if in your heart of hearts, you knew that your earthshattering idea could never work anything like how you originally sold it.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on December 20, 2016, 07:40:20 PM
I hadn't realised the BBC had done a segment about her here from October 2015.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34604842 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34604842)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34604843 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34604843)

No hubris lacking here. At 3:03, there's what looks like an MDO3000 and an Analog Discovery box, with Meredith pointing to a scope screen that may or may not be switched on.

The only ultrasound stuff in the video was the same kit she's been using for 5 1/2 years. Nothing is actually demonstrated, so the modus operandi remains the same in that respect.

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 21, 2016, 02:43:01 AM
The only ultrasound stuff in the video was the same kit she's been using for 5 1/2 years. Nothing is actually demonstrated, so the modus operandi remains the same in that respect.
They've seem to have only publicly demonstrated 2 days worth of work in 5 years, and most of that 2 days would have been waiting for the bits to arrive.  :)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: iaeen on December 23, 2016, 01:49:32 AM
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.

You're still not even close to proving your point.

The cost of energy isn't the only reason to worry about efficiency. You are pretending that the wasted energy just disappears, but it doesn't. It is released into the atmosphere as heat. Someone charging a phone at 5 watts is going to be dumping something like 500W into the room as waste heat. Put 10 people all doing this in the same coffee shop, and the place is going to turn into a blast furnace! A small minded person would argue that that is what the AC is for, but that doesn't get rid of the heat either. It just vents it out into the atmosphere. Looking at a global scale, we would have terawatts of waste heat being dumped into the atmosphere, all for one freaking product! Do you really think that isn't going to have a negative effect on the environment?

Also, you're ignoring the health effects. Early on, it was pointed out that this thing would be louder than a jet engine if it was going to transmit the energy. Sure, the human ear can't actually hear that, but there are still health considerations that have been pointed out several times in this thread. They say they are going to use directional beam forming technology to work around that, but sound is just pressure waves that propagate by molecules colliding with each other. There will always be leakage, and that is unacceptable at these power levels.

Ill say it again. This will NEVER be practical.  :horse:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on December 23, 2016, 03:30:22 AM
There will always be leakage, and that is unacceptable at these power levels.

Ill say it again. This will NEVER be practical.  :horse:
Even before you consider leakage, I think reflections are going to be a bigger issue. How tight would they even be able to make the beam when it's going more than a couple meters? My gob would be smacked if they were able to get it to even a phone sized tightness, much less if they could limit it to the size of the receiving transducer. So probably a lot of the transmitted power, even if it goes the distance, will just pass right on by and scatter off the first hard surface it hits, exposing everyone to loud ultrasonic noise.

You can't just blast that much power out into the ether and give it a "Gandalf" range limit (YOU SHALL NOT PASS). It keeps going until it dissipates into heat or hits something.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on December 23, 2016, 12:44:33 PM
I think reflections are going to be a bigger issue.

I think even the receiving transducer will reflect 50% of the signal, and air currents/draughts will wobble 'the beam' all over the place.

Ill say it again. This will NEVER be practical.
+1e9
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on January 18, 2017, 02:56:15 PM
Are they trying get even more money?

"uBeam: Invested in Series A round valuing it at $57 million; now looking to raise at a $500 million valuation, Pitchbook says — although it has recently been involved in a big controversy."

From http://uk.businessinsider.com/yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-should-be-a-vc-investor-2017-1 (http://uk.businessinsider.com/yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-should-be-a-vc-investor-2017-1) (Published 16 Jan 2017)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on January 20, 2017, 01:42:25 AM
"now looking to raise at a $500 million valuation"   :-DD   :horse:
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on January 20, 2017, 04:40:01 AM
Are they trying get even more money?

"uBeam: Invested in Series A round valuing it at $57 million; now looking to raise at a $500 million valuation, Pitchbook says — although it has recently been involved in a big controversy."

From http://uk.businessinsider.com/yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-should-be-a-vc-investor-2017-1 (http://uk.businessinsider.com/yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-should-be-a-vc-investor-2017-1) (Published 16 Jan 2017)
How can you quote that and not include the immediately following paragraph?
Quote
Of course, startup valuations are sometimes considered vanity numbers that don't always reflect the health of the overall business. Also, Mayer has a horrible acquisition history at Yahoo that calls her eye for good startups into question.
A real winner there.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: thesgoat on February 04, 2017, 12:27:10 PM
uBeam finally shows off its wireless charging tech
https://www.axios.com/ubeam-finally-shows-off-its-wireless-charging-technology-2236385621.html (https://www.axios.com/ubeam-finally-shows-off-its-wireless-charging-technology-2236385621.html)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on February 04, 2017, 02:56:05 PM
uBeam finally shows off its wireless charging tech
https://www.axios.com/ubeam-finally-shows-off-its-wireless-charging-technology-2236385621.html (https://www.axios.com/ubeam-finally-shows-off-its-wireless-charging-technology-2236385621.html)

That crowd sure is easily impressed. A more objective report might be http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.hk/ (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.hk/)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on February 04, 2017, 05:36:13 PM
uBeam finally shows off its wireless charging tech
https://www.axios.com/ubeam-finally-shows-off-its-wireless-charging-technology-2236385621.html (https://www.axios.com/ubeam-finally-shows-off-its-wireless-charging-technology-2236385621.html)

That crowd sure is easily impressed. A more objective report might be http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.hk/ (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.hk/)

Best to link directly to the post, that just links to the latest so will change over time:

http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/02/ubeam-still-all-sizzle.html (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/02/ubeam-still-all-sizzle.html)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on February 08, 2017, 03:07:22 PM
Stupid reporter phrasing from the Axios article:
Quote
It's also controversial, with some having publicly suggested that uBeam's technology defies the laws of physics.
Their technology isn't defying the laws of physics. They're trying to make it defy the laws of physics. There's a big difference in implication between those two phrasings.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 08, 2017, 04:41:34 PM
Stupid reporter phrasing from the Axios article:
Quote
It's also controversial, with some having publicly suggested that uBeam's technology defies the laws of physics.
Their technology isn't defying the laws of physics. They're trying to make it defy the laws of physics. There's a big difference in implication between those two phrasings.

It completely obeys the laws of physics, and yes it does work. It's just the practical limits of the environmental physics that is the show stopper and the reason why it will never, ever, work as advertised.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on February 08, 2017, 05:00:29 PM
Stupid reporter phrasing from the Axios article:
Quote
It's also controversial, with some having publicly suggested that uBeam's technology defies the laws of physics.
Their technology isn't defying the laws of physics. They're trying to make it defy the laws of physics. There's a big difference in implication between those two phrasings.

It completely obeys the laws of physics, and yes it does work. It's just the practical limits of the environmental physics that is the show stopper and the reason why it will never, ever, work as advertised.
uBeam works in the same way that crushing someone's skull stops a headache. The goal may be achieved, but the side effects might be considered undesirable.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on February 09, 2017, 02:20:27 AM
It completely obeys the laws of physics, and yes it does work. It's just the practical limits of the environmental physics that is the show stopper and the reason why it will never, ever, work as advertised.
You're falling into the trap laid by their supporters, isolating the one aspect of their claims that is in their favor and pounding on it.

uBeam doesn't just need to make power transfer through ultrasound. They also need to do it in a way that is safe, efficient, convenient, and useful. If it needed to pump 200 dB of sound into the room, OSHA would never permit it. If it's 0.001% efficient, it's too expensive to be worth operating. If people need to have a bulky adapter and place their phone in a specific position in a specific orientation, it's harder to use. If it only manages 10 mA of charging current, it's useless.

Individual pieces of their goal might be achievable in isolation in specific conditions, but that doesn't mean anything. They're hyping the total combination, and that combination is physically impossible. That's what's defying the laws of physics. Don't let yourself be dragged off of that message by the deluded stooges.

My beef was with the reporter's phrasing. "Their technology defies the laws of physics" implies that they currently have something that defies the laws of physics. That is not true. They're trying to design technology that defies the laws of physics. There's a totally different feel to those two phrasings.

I have the same issue with the way you phrase your Batteroo rebuttals. "Oh course it'll work, it's a boost converter!" Except that's not what they're selling. If Batteroo's pitch was "your toys and flashlights will run more consistently", nobody would give a shit. Their pitch is "8 TIMES LONGER!!!!!". They aren't selling a "battery voltage regulator", they're selling a "battery life extender". The fact that it attempts to do that by boosting voltage is an irrelevant distraction. Almost every test done by you, Frank, and others on here have shown that it reduces battery life.

If a device claims to increase battery life, and it doesn't do that, then it simply doesn't work. It's pointless to argue for or against any other obscure figure of merit when it fails so completely at its main claim.

Quote
uBeam works in the same way that crushing someone's skull stops a headache. The goal may be achieved, but the side effects might be considered undesirable.
This is exactly correct.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: timothyaag on February 09, 2017, 02:53:41 AM
uBeam works in the same way that crushing someone's skull stops a headache. The goal may be achieved, but the side effects might be considered undesirable.

I think that can be considered solidly undesirable.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on February 09, 2017, 04:55:43 AM
uBeam works in the same way that crushing someone's skull stops a headache. The goal may be achieved, but the side effects might be considered undesirable.

I think that can be considered solidly undesirable.
Depends on whose skull it is, I think.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on February 17, 2017, 07:36:56 PM
Disney Research and wireless power transfer.

https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/ (https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/)

"An experimental demonstration shows that a 54 m3 QSCR room can deliver power to small coil receivers in nearly any position with 40% to 95% efficiency. Finally, a detailed safety analysis shows that up to 1900 watts can be transmitted to a coil receiver enabling safe and ubiquitous wireless power."



Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 17, 2017, 08:01:25 PM
Disney Research and wireless power transfer.

https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/ (https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/)

"An experimental demonstration shows that a 54 m3 QSCR room can deliver power to small coil receivers in nearly any position with 40% to 95% efficiency. Finally, a detailed safety analysis shows that up to 1900 watts can be transmitted to a coil receiver enabling safe and ubiquitous wireless power."

Link doesn't work for me?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on February 17, 2017, 08:26:13 PM
It was slow for me but eventually loaded.

This looks like the meat of it, there's an order of magnitude more stuff in this 14 page paper than divulged in five+ years of Meredith's rhetoric.

https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/disneyresearch/wp-content/uploads/20170215220933/Quasistatic-Cavity-Resonance-for-Ubiquitous-Wireless-Power-Transfer-Paper.pdf

Edit: make that two orders of magnitude more stuff.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 17, 2017, 08:39:15 PM
It was slow for me but eventually loaded.
This looks like the meat of it, there's an order of magnitude more stuff in this 14 page paper than divulged in five+ years of Meredith's rhetoric.
https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/disneyresearch/wp-content/uploads/20170215220933/Quasistatic-Cavity-Resonance-for-Ubiquitous-Wireless-Power-Transfer-Paper.pdf
Edit: make that two orders of magnitude more stuff.

I think you are still out by several orders  ;D
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 17, 2017, 08:43:37 PM
Quote
Experimental Results
The above theoretical derivation was experimentally validated using the QSCR wireless power
room shown in Fig 3a. The room has dimensions 160 × 160 × 7.50 (4.9 × 4.9 × 2.3 m) and the
floor, ceiling, and walls are made of painted aluminum sheet metal, bolted to an aluminum
frame (with gray carpet covering the floor).

New homes will have to be Faraday shields!
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 17, 2017, 08:46:14 PM
Quote
Since the magnetic field is invariant with respect to the z-height, the WPT efficiency is also
invariant to the receiver’s z-position. A peak efficiency of 95% occurs when the receiver is
placed near the pole and falls off to about 40% near the walls. This results in approximately
80% of the room’s 54 m3 total volume being able to deliver wireless power to a receiver at over
of 40% efficiency.

So much for the 40% minimum figure. Murphy will ensure you are in that 20% space
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: amyk on February 17, 2017, 09:00:14 PM
Quote
Since the magnetic field is invariant with respect to the z-height, the WPT efficiency is also
invariant to the receiver’s z-position. A peak efficiency of 95% occurs when the receiver is
placed near the pole and falls off to about 40% near the walls. This results in approximately
80% of the room’s 54 m3 total volume being able to deliver wireless power to a receiver at over
of 40% efficiency.

So much for the 40% minimum figure. Murphy will ensure you are in that 20% space
I'm more worried about what happens to the rest of the energy. I saw a mention of 1900W :o

And... Disney Research? I guess this brings a whole new meaning to "Mickey Mouse science (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Mouse#Pejorative_use_of_Mickey.27s_name)"...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on February 17, 2017, 10:02:24 PM
Quote
Experimental Results
The above theoretical derivation was experimentally validated using the QSCR wireless power
room shown in Fig 3a. The room has dimensions 160 × 160 × 7.50 (4.9 × 4.9 × 2.3 m) and the
floor, ceiling, and walls are made of painted aluminum sheet metal, bolted to an aluminum
frame (with gray carpet covering the floor).

New homes will have to be Faraday shields!

So, while you'll be able to charge your mobile phones, you just won't be able to use them.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on February 18, 2017, 01:28:07 AM
And... Disney Research? I guess this brings a whole new meaning to "Mickey Mouse science (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Mouse#Pejorative_use_of_Mickey.27s_name)"...

You've just gotta hope that someone from Disney Research has met someone from NASA at a party.

MMS: So what do you do?

NS: Oh, I'm a rocket scientist. I work at JPL on rocket engine design so I'm literally a rocket scientist. How about you?

MMS: That's an odd coincidence, I'm a research scientist too. I work for Disney... [pauses] Yes, I'm a Mickey Mouse Scientist. [Fx: rimshot] [Dances off stage waving top hat and cane to pit orchestra comedy sting.]
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: LaserSteve on February 18, 2017, 03:59:33 AM
I'm not looking forward to checking into hotel rooms with a pole in the middle, but I am impressed with the Disney study. 


Steve

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on February 19, 2017, 09:19:16 AM
If the physics don't work, then try a different engineer.
http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 19, 2017, 09:39:05 AM
If the physics don't work, then try a different engineer.
http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303)

 :-DD
I gotta tweet that
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 19, 2017, 09:45:35 AM
http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303)

Quote
If it does not break the laws of physics, it can be done.

It's unquestioned faith in statements like this that cause the problem.
There is a huge difference between physics theory and practical application, it's called, umm, engineering.
It's nice (essential) to have that spirit of course, but if you can't temper that with engineering reality then you end up down this uBeam black hole.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on February 19, 2017, 11:00:36 AM
If the physics don't work, then try a different engineer.
http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303)

I'm glad to see my UK spelling of "Modelling" still exists at the company, though I really think someone should proof read those job ads before sending them out, some pretty basic errors in there.

Regardless, clearly this indicates an imminent move to production and scaling for commercial volume sales.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 19, 2017, 11:14:19 AM
Regardless, clearly this indicates an imminent move to production and scaling for commercial volume sales.


How so?
Sounds very researchy to me still, or is my sarcasm detector off today?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on February 19, 2017, 11:15:22 AM
BTW, I was close to starting a uBeam video a few weeks back, but the amount of work required just didn't seem worthwhile
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on February 19, 2017, 11:34:46 AM
Regardless, clearly this indicates an imminent move to production and scaling for commercial volume sales.


How so?
Sounds very researchy to me still, or is my sarcasm detector off today?

Bang the sarcasm detector a few times to get it working again...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Cerebus on February 19, 2017, 11:42:03 AM
Regardless, clearly this indicates an imminent move to production and scaling for commercial volume sales.


How so?
Sounds very researchy to me still, or is my sarcasm detector off today?


Bang the sarcasm detector a few times to get it working again...

Pull the batteries out of it, slip some Batteroos on them and stick 'em back in. That ought to get it working.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on February 19, 2017, 01:19:28 PM
Disney Research and wireless power transfer.

https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/ (https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/)

"An experimental demonstration shows that a 54 m3 QSCR room can deliver power to small coil receivers in nearly any position with 40% to 95% efficiency. Finally, a detailed safety analysis shows that up to 1900 watts can be transmitted to a coil receiver enabling safe and ubiquitous wireless power."
Not ultrasound and the entire room has to be designed with this in mind.
Quote
We introduce quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), which can enable purpose-built structures, such as cabinets, rooms, and warehouses, to generate quasistatic magnetic fields that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile receivers contained nearly anywhere within.

I think that's an appropriate level of tradeoff that most of us here are expecting when they say "not impossible, but highly impractical".
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Maxlor on February 20, 2017, 12:20:23 AM
They even have a short video presentation of their work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn7T599QaN8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn7T599QaN8)

I could see applications for that if it happens to be Qi-compatible or something like that.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on February 20, 2017, 05:11:55 AM
Disney Research and wireless power transfer.

https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/ (https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/quasistatic-cavity-resonance-for-ubiquitous-wireless-power-transfer/)

"An experimental demonstration shows that a 54 m3 QSCR room can deliver power to small coil receivers in nearly any position with 40% to 95% efficiency. Finally, a detailed safety analysis shows that up to 1900 watts can be transmitted to a coil receiver enabling safe and ubiquitous wireless power."
Not ultrasound and the entire room has to be designed with this in mind.
Quote
We introduce quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), which can enable purpose-built structures, such as cabinets, rooms, and warehouses, to generate quasistatic magnetic fields that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile receivers contained nearly anywhere within.

I think that's an appropriate level of tradeoff that most of us here are expecting when they say "not impossible, but highly impractical".

Yep, I'm kinda aware that it's not ultrasound - but your second statement is exactly what I posted the link. There are always tradeoffs in safety, efficiency, cost, charge rate, and practicality with wireless power - this one loses on practicality and maybe cost. So even when safe (though I'd want to dig into that more), somewhat efficient, and with a solid charge rate, there's no route to a large scale commercial product with this. How well does that bode for any other at-distance wireless solution? Disney apparently see that, which is why they published it, and why no-one else, anywhere, is going nuts over it.

I commend them for the detail in which they presented their work, they did a good job.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: DutchGert on February 20, 2017, 05:29:29 AM
If the physics don't work, then try a different engineer.
http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303)

WTF:?:

"Working Conditions

 Must have the ability to stand or sit for an extended period of time
 May require lifting of up to 50 or more lbs.
 Work may include use of chemicals such as solvents and/or epoxies, and others
 The current position is located in Santa Monica but uBeam reserves the right to require work in other locations and/or relocation from Santa Monica
"

Is it normal to put this in a job ad?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on February 20, 2017, 05:46:06 AM
If the physics don't work, then try a different engineer.
http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303 (http://www.startuphire.com/job/mems-modelling-and-simulation-engineer-santa-monica-ca-ubeam-402303)

WTF:?:

"Working Conditions

 Must have the ability to stand or sit for an extended period of time
 May require lifting of up to 50 or more lbs.
 Work may include use of chemicals such as solvents and/or epoxies, and others
 The current position is located in Santa Monica but uBeam reserves the right to require work in other locations and/or relocation from Santa Monica
"

Is it normal to put this in a job ad?
Nothing jumps out as odd for a US job posting. The standing and lifting parts are probably related to if disability accommodations will be needed. I know that "Can you lift more than 50 lbs.?" is a pretty standard question in applications.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Danseur on February 22, 2017, 11:19:31 AM
But uBeam doesn't even meet basic theory if atmospheric absorption reaches 99% after a few meters of air.  uBeam is flat out impossible to get above 1% efficiency at any usable distance.

What you're talking about where something is theoretically possible but totally impractical is Energous (WATT stock).  Energous uses RF to send power which is fine so long as you're willing to run a microwave oven with the doors open and you don't mind accidentally exploding someone's eye.

The only solution that works at a distance is resonance inductance charging.  That's the only technology that can pass through a solid wood table without losing power.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: JiggyNinja on February 23, 2017, 03:15:56 AM
Preaching to the choir here, Dan.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on March 02, 2017, 07:48:00 PM
Looks like the COO has departed.

http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/03/another-one-bites-dust.html (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/03/another-one-bites-dust.html)

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 02, 2017, 08:01:33 PM
Looks like the COO has departed.
http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/03/another-one-bites-dust.html (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/03/another-one-bites-dust.html)

As long as the band keeps playing, everything will be fine...
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on March 02, 2017, 08:24:20 PM
From LinkedIn...

Quote
COO
Company Name uBeam
Dates Employed Sep 2015 – Feb 2017 Employment Duration1 yr 6 mos LocationSanta Monica Ca
Lead the Development and execution of uBeam Operations - including processes/functions associated with Design for X, supplier sourcing/management, IT development and deployment, Demand and supply planning, manufacturing, delivery and logistics, after sales support including installation, warranty, and call center support.

Well, nothing beats a good bullshit on your CV/resume/LinkedIn profile I guess.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 02, 2017, 08:27:36 PM
From LinkedIn...

Quote
COO
Company Name uBeam
Dates Employed Sep 2015 – Feb 2017 Employment Duration1 yr 6 mos LocationSanta Monica Ca
Lead the Development and execution of uBeam Operations - including processes/functions associated with Design for X, supplier sourcing/management, IT development and deployment, Demand and supply planning, manufacturing, delivery and logistics, after sales support including installation, warranty, and call center support.

Well, nothing beats a good bullshit on your CV/resume/LinkedIn profile I guess.

 :-DD

Surely the company is now all but dead?
There doesn't seem to be anyone there doing the technical hard yards, practically every executive and technical head is gone.
And they can't seem to hire anyone new.
Just a slow bleed until the remaining money runs out?
No one would be dumb enough to invest again given almost every high profile person has left.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: coppice on March 02, 2017, 09:06:35 PM
From LinkedIn...

Quote
COO
Company Name uBeam
Dates Employed Sep 2015 – Feb 2017 Employment Duration1 yr 6 mos LocationSanta Monica Ca
Lead the Development and execution of uBeam Operations - including processes/functions associated with Design for X, supplier sourcing/management, IT development and deployment, Demand and supply planning, manufacturing, delivery and logistics, after sales support including installation, warranty, and call center support.

Well, nothing beats a good bullshit on your CV/resume/LinkedIn profile I guess.

"Execution of uBeam Operations" sounds remarkably honest.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: EEVblog on March 20, 2017, 07:57:55 PM
Just checking in, are they still in business?
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Howardlong on March 21, 2017, 02:36:24 AM
Just checking in, are they still in business?

That sounds like a leading question to me.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on March 29, 2017, 03:36:08 PM
Still going, and I'd guess in the midst of a fundraising round just now. Don't be surprised to see another substantial investment round announced in the next two months. That demo will be compelling for those who don't get that the laws of physics don't change over time, and that Moore's Law doesn't apply here. Remember this is a VC world that put $120m into a juicer, and Energous (WATT) has a market cap of $300m. I'd say it's a coin toss as to whether this happens or not, but there's a ton of money out there looking for a home right now, and someone might be dumb enough to use WATT as the benchmark, which would be ironic given the similarities there.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on April 05, 2017, 08:10:41 AM
ubean doing a survey  :-DD
https://twitter.com/ubeam/status/849025411728068608
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: StillTrying on April 10, 2017, 05:16:44 AM
It looks like someone has trademarked the word ubeam, that will help a lot.  :horse:

http://www.trademarkia.com/ubeam-87376934.html (http://www.trademarkia.com/ubeam-87376934.html)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: NANDBlog on April 10, 2017, 07:45:36 PM
ubean doing a survey  :-DD
https://twitter.com/ubeam/status/849025411728068608
I just told them, that I hope they will get brain cancer from their own product.
And I'm dead serious.
They remind me of children, trying to charge phones with loaded machine guns or lasers that can blind you, waving some papers, that none of those things can kill you, because we did a test for 0.01s and the machine gun did not hurt anyone. Trying to install it in public places.
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on April 30, 2017, 09:12:11 AM
That looks to have been uBeam that trademarked it, so not an issue.

However, Energous creating a ton of patents in acoustic wireless power transfer might be...

http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/04/energous-challenge-ubeam-in-ultrasound.html (http://liesandstartuppr.blogspot.com/2017/04/energous-challenge-ubeam-in-ultrasound.html)
Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: PaulReynolds on May 06, 2017, 03:24:59 AM
They're hiring!

https://www.cybercoders.com/jobs/details/258227/ (https://www.cybercoders.com/jobs/details/258227/)

Allow me to summarize:

"If you are a God of Engineering and don't like your $500k+ job with Apple, come work for us for $200k. You get to break boundaries!"

Title: Re: The uBeam FAQ
Post by: Dubbie on May 08, 2017, 06:55:43 AM
Lol!
What a laundry list.
Perhaps they figure it might be cheaper to hire ONE person to: Invent (oops, Meredith already did the hard part), Design, Prototype, Do the industrial design, Develop for production.
A whole team clearly costs too much at this stage!

If I was an investor this would be a frightening advertisement.
Title: