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Author Topic: The uBeam FAQ  (Read 207412 times)

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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #250 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
 

 
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Online coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #251 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?
 

Online coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #252 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #253 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
 

Offline helius

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #254 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
 

Offline tombola

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #255 on: February 05, 2016, 04:47:55 AM »
November 2015, Techcrunch:
"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:
"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."

 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #256 on: February 05, 2016, 06:52:18 AM »
November 2015, Techcrunch:
"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:
"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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #257 on: February 05, 2016, 09:14:34 AM »
January 2016, uBeam Press Release:
"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.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 09:27:43 AM by EEVblog »
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #258 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".

 

Offline jazon

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #259 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/

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.”
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #260 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)
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #261 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/

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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #262 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.
 

Online HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #263 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.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #264 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
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.
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #265 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.
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.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #266 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...)


 

Offline dan3460

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #267 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.   
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #268 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

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #269 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:
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #270 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.
 

Offline Buriedcode

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #271 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!
 

Offline StuUK

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #272 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...
 

Offline l0rd_hex

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #273 on: February 06, 2016, 05:56:35 AM »
Ugh, I just saw her "respond to criticism" with a ridiculous explanation of her technology:



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. 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #274 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.
 


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