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Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 207648 times)

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Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #225 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.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 09:52:54 PM by Danseur »
 

Offline DutchGert

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #226 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
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #227 on: December 15, 2015, 11:58:33 PM »
Can we nail a Batteriser on to uBeam, and get 5x the range?  :-/O
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #228 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/
 

Offline helius

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #229 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #230 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/

Woah!
Where is their crowd funding campaign?
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #231 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/

"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.
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #232 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!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 11:23:39 AM by Danseur »
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #233 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"
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #234 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"

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #235 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #236 on: December 19, 2015, 05:54:30 PM »
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/
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #237 on: December 19, 2015, 10:54:10 PM »
And how exactly can you piss away $30m and have nothing to show for it...?
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Offline coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #238 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. :)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #239 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.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 11:35:12 PM by EEVblog »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #240 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.

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #241 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
Oops, class 10,000 sorry



They are doing their own $1M+ ASIC too:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seantaffler
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 11:50:31 AM by EEVblog »
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #242 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?
 

Offline coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #243 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
Oops, class 10,000 sorry



They are doing their own $1M+ ASIC too:
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.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #244 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.

 
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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #245 on: December 20, 2015, 10:43:29 AM »
UBeam likely started making transducers after every commercial transducer manufacturer told them to piss off.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #246 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #247 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.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 11:48:18 AM by EEVblog »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #248 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"
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #249 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)"

 


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