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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #350 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.
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #351 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.
 

Offline Danseur

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #352 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
"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?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #353 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
"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?
 

Online amspire

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #354 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
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #355 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

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.
 

Offline Delta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #356 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

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.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #357 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #358 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?
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #359 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #360 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
Note the date, it seems to be before Meredith came up with her zillion dollar idea of using ultrasound.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #361 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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 06:35:56 PM by HackedFridgeMagnet »
 

Offline mathieumatteomatthew

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #362 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/

(not the author)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #363 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/

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.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 10:40:17 PM by EEVblog »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #364 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/
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #365 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

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.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #366 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.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #367 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.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #368 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.
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Offline bazsa56

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #369 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #370 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.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #371 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
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:
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #372 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.
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Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #373 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.
 

Online wilfred

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #374 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.
 


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