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Online Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #200 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.
 

Offline Delta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #201 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
 

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #202 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.
 

Offline timb

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #203 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.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Offline GNU_Ninja

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #204 on: December 11, 2015, 02:55:16 AM »
Looks like they're hiring. http://ubeam.com/career/ Anybody feel up to the 'challenge'  >:D
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #205 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 ;)
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Offline Delta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #206 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...)
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #207 on: December 11, 2015, 05:01:04 PM »
I don't understand uBeam well enough to comment too deeply but I could see that perhaps they could develop new more efficient transducers or antennas or amplifiers. Who really knows? They basic idea may be impractical but if they have a core of smart people and money something may come of it.

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

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

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

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

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #208 on: December 11, 2015, 05:08:59 PM »
So looks like I'm not getting an invite antime soon....

I'm special too:
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #209 on: December 11, 2015, 05:30:36 PM »
It's not just a problem of the transducers.  It's not just the energy lost in the conversion of electricity to sound and back to electricity.  That's actually the least of uBeam's worries.  Their big problem is that 93% to 97% of ultrasonic energy is absorbed by 12 feet of air!  That's a fundamental physics barrier that can never be crossed.  Of the remaining 3% to 7% energy, most of that gets lost in the conversion to and from sound.
Even if all the above problems did not exist, uBeam has the fundamental usability issue of the requirement for a clear line-of-sight.  Nobody wants to use a product that requires a bulky receiver that forces the screen to face down.

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

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


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

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #210 on: December 11, 2015, 05:46:25 PM »
Yup. It's plainly and demonstrably impractical to anyone with a clue.
But there continues to be believers.

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


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

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

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #211 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.
 

Offline timb

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The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #212 on: December 11, 2015, 08:06:47 PM »
Perhaps they may find a way to remotely fry bacon using ultrasonic technology (SonicBacon(TM) *Patent Pending*) or as a weapon that would literally burn the flesh off of Merideth's adversaries (MerryDeath Ultra Beams(TM) *Patent Pending*). It's doubtful though.

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

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #213 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.
 

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #214 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?
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #215 on: December 11, 2015, 11:36:25 PM »
Actually, I'm not arguing. I'm just participating in the discussion. You have simply allowed your biases to cloud your comprehension of what I said.

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

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

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

Offline mikerj

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #216 on: December 12, 2015, 12:28:38 AM »
Actually, I'm not arguing. I'm just participating in the discussion. You have simply allowed your biases to cloud your comprehension of what I said.

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

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

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #217 on: December 12, 2015, 03:00:34 AM »
I don't think you can defend the utter stupidity of this dead end project by claiming that perhaps something interesting/useful might be discovered before it's canned.

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

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #218 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. :)
 

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #219 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.

 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #220 on: December 12, 2015, 11:18:30 AM »
Do you want to live in a world where you can claim with absolute certainty that that cannot happen? I sure as hell don't. That would be a world without hope.
I'd be quite happy to live in world where common sense rules, and that ideas that can be clearly be demonstrated as being impractical for multiple reasons - technical, logistical and business, are called out as the bullshit they are.

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

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #221 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.
 

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #222 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. 
 

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #223 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.

 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #224 on: December 12, 2015, 12:28:22 PM »
They would have more success in vibrating the tables at the ultrasound frequency and resting the phone on the table.

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

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


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