As far as I can tell, the idea is to use evanescent coupling to transfer light into hair follicles. There's no free space laser beam, just an optical fiber that you drag across your face. They also claim that chromophores (color bearing molecules) in hair can be severed at relatively low powers with a mixture of several specific frequencies of light.
So, what this product needs in order to work is a fiber that's durable enough to survive being dragged across skin while having very little cladding so as to allow evanescent coupling. That could be very hard to do, so the heads on these laser razors may wear out after a few shaves just like a metal razor. Second, they need to pack a high power multi-wavelength laser source and the power reserve to run it into a very tiny handle. Again, this is probably going to be pretty tricky.
There's nothing here that looks outright impossible to me. Just very, very tricky.
> So, what this product needs in order to work is a fiber that's durable enough to survive being dragged across skin while having very little cladding so as to allow evanescent coupling.
Facial hairs are alleged to be of similar toughness to copper wire when dry (see , too lazy to find a better reference). I have a difficult time conceiving how one could drag a multimode fiber across one's face without abrading the fiber to the point of failure.
> Second, they need to pack a high power multi-wavelength laser source and the power reserve to run it into a very tiny handle.
What is even trickier is incorporating a cooling mechanism for the theoretical self-contained, handheld, high-power, battery-powered white laser.
> There's nothing here that looks outright impossible to me. Just very, very tricky.
If it were not self-contained in a handheld unit, then yes, maybe it would be possible. I'm going to say that the their device, based on the proposed renderings, is impossible even if one were to throw Apple's war chest of money at it. There are also the problems of eye safety, skin exposure, heat, and fumes that remain to be overcome.
What if you're blond?
I imagine that we're not doing something radically different here, so the answer to this would probably be 'it won't work'.
Source: blond hair, reddish-brown facial hair.
I don't know if he was actually involved in this project or not, but that was the one thing that made me think that this maybe wasn't 100% a scam?
Anyway, the implication they make in their pitch isn't that it's an open laser, but that it is a laser confined to a fiberoptic wire which leaks into the hair when pressed against it. Gustavsson has published some papers on this a few years ago in which he refers to the concept as a TRASER.
Of course, if this really is such a revolutionary advance, why go to Kickstarter to bring it to market? Why not traditional investors. Gotta be easier to get funding for a significant manufacturing outlay, right? Just to not have to sell a piece of the company? To justify that there is a market?
I personally don't have the background to make any judgments about this and I definitely don't understand the article he published, but I just thought it didn't completely fail the smell test.
The obvious benefit being that you don't actually have to give Kickstarter "investors" any money back.
Kickstarter = funding without having to give anyone a stake.
Shouldn't that make them have strong check and balances in place to help people funding these projects?
Here is the article -http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/11/feds-regulate-crowd...
I agree. But they can somehow force the hands of Kickstarter and its competitors to have some mechanism in place to protect consumers from contributing to such bogus projects. I looked at the Kickstarter page and it seems any creature can post and request their projects be funded. Some of the scam are poorly disguised while others are masterfully disguised such as the one for which the is thread is created.
This is pretty interesting, so what's stopping new startups to make apps and publish on kickstarter to avoid paying the investors back later? Also, why do these "investors", more like donors, so willing to throw their money at the screen?
Absolutely nothing, plenty of niche games are funded through Kickstarter.
> why do these "investors", more like donors, so willing to throw their money at the screen?
Because someone is promising to try to build a thing they want, that no professional investor is willing to fund.
They want to get the thing made and out the door before scrutiny from FDA types would cost them more money than the actual product dev.
Dunno, but people cash out all the time. Race car drivers endorsing crappy mass produced cars, etc. I'm especially critical of anyone nearing or at retirement age. There's a "give no fucks, give me easy money" attitude that kicks in around then, as well as worrying about taking care of those you love after you pass. Not to mention, these people being way past their prime and perhaps trying to chase old glories via questionable methods.
>why go to Kickstarter to bring it to market?
Lets assume the tech isn't all snake-oil. Maybe investors know things that Joe Blow Internet Geek doesn't. Concerns about safety, power usage, lawsuits, regulations, etc. This seems like a nice way to side-step informed investing and push all the high risk liabilities onto random schmucks.
Or its a "semi-scam." I watched the video of the prototype and its clear that its just cutting using a hot wire, which seems to be heated up via some kind of light source, perhaps a laser. Sure its a "laser" cut, but not exactly what people are expecting.
I don't find them all to be money-grubbing hucksters -- but rather more concerned about doing what's right. I think a lot of people at that age are looking at their legacy (kids, business, etc.) and want to have a positive impact. My mom is such an example: quitting her private industry work to spend her last working decade at a non-profit.
And working in the start-up world, I know a lot of people my age and younger that are willing to bend ethical rules too far to make a quick buck.
The fact that they didn't have a video of someone actually shaving was icing on the cake. The video "demo" that's on youtube is such bullshit I wonder what they thought they'd accomplish by posting it. Show me someone putting laser to face, someone with warts, pimples and less-than-smooth complexion. Then, maybe then, we can talk.
A AAA battery doesn't store enough power to drive a laser capable of burning hair for any reasonable amount of time.
When the laser isn't interrupted by the hair it has to go some where which means that heat is produced, if it can get something hot enough to burn the hair off it would get hot enough that you won't be able to hold it yet alone put it to your face.
There's no way you would ever could get the laser beam close enough to the skin for a smooth shave without burning your skin off.
And most importantly burnt hair smells like shit....
I assume that most people know at least 1 person that did laser hair removal, they should know it's a very painful and long process and it works only on dark hairs so again using this to shave anything but a fairly dark beard would never work.
That doesn't make sense. Of course you can remove hair with light. IPL isn't anything new, and this product is apparently from someone who has worked in that field for a long time.
> it's a very painful and long process and it works only on dark hair
.. which is exactly the innovation claimed in the video: this is an IPL-like method that works on light hair by bending them against a fiber. Does it work? I have no idea. But it's certainly not against "common sense". And there are prior patents in delivering IPL by fiber.
The final product could not have such a small battery shown in the video however. The production unit would probably be closer to existing IPL products in size. They're not impractically big, much like a hair dryer.
Doesn't get around the smell, power requirement, or heat output though.
Existing treatments are supposed to kill follicles permanently.
This suggest it trims hair but doesn't leave you permanently beardless.
They can't possibly work the same way.
So I think KS did the right thing. Too many people have been using it in scammy ways, and that makes it less effective for anyone with a genuine product, talent, or idea to sell.
Having said that - the scams only work when you have a market full of people who don't know enough about basic science or simple online research to check unlikely claims. And that's been the real problem with KS, IGG, and the rest - it's just too damn easy to make money from a few hours of 3D rendering to create a shiny sketch of a product that can't possibly work, or (at best) can't possibly be developed without far more investment.
Hair removal products are usually in the 20-50W ranges depending on wavelengths, the lightsaber wannabe hand held lasers are usually in the 500-2000 mW ranges and while those can burn skin and pop balloons they aren't powerful enough to burn hair.
I just don't see them having the technology to make this work, if they had it would have military applications way before shaving ones.
Just for size comparison this is a laser used for soft tissue removal
And even it won't burn hair because it works on tissue with high water content only.
Does it produce a smell?
No. Because we're not actually burning the hair, it doesn't produce a burnt hair smell.
Which sounds interesting, if it is not burning then what? Just melting?
KickStarter project page (suspended):
IndieGoGo project page (they re-posted the project there after being suspended):
That's a bit harsh. Most people don't understand technology on a functional level. Ask a "regular" person how programming, the internet or their mobile phone works and they won't be able to give you a technical explanation. In fact, most modern technology tries to hide the internal workings.. "it just works".
Heck, it's risky enough pre-ordering games from AAA studios.
But seriously, some programmers will actually know what a MOSFET is.
They are 4-connection devices, but usually source is connected to body. They come in n-type and p-type, and usually operate in enhancement mode, where the channel between source and drain opens when the signals to gate and body are different. With those, you can either pass a weak digital 0 or a strong 1, or a weak 1 and a strong 0, so in order to produce a digital output that has strong 0 or strong 1 for every possible input and doesn't "leak" power, you can combine the result of the 0 logic with the result of the 1 logic. Hence the term complimentary MOS (CMOS).
So a CMOS NOT gate has 2 MOSFETs: one n-type, and one p-type. A NAND gate has 4 MOSFETs, 2 of each type: the zero logic connected in series, and the one logic in parallel.
This knowledge--that I never really needed to write software for a living--was all building up to constructing a basic ALU using digital logic gate chips on breadboards with DIP input switches, LED outputs, and a manually-switched clock signal. I'm glad that I know it, but I'm mostly willing to trust the folks at Intel and AMD to do 64-bit ADD, SUB, MUL, DIV, and MOD correctly on integers.
Should I ever really need to, I could probably pick apart a very high-resolution image of a CMOS chip. I wouldn't necessarily be able to design such a chip, but I could eventually tell you what it does. And knowing what I know, I also have some idea that manipulating 32-bit floats on an 8-bit integer ALU is going to require much more complexity in the microcode or software.
That level of detail is not necessary for me to know that shaving with a laser is practically untenable in 2015. It's the sort of thing that I might expect in sci-fi as a hand-wavey sort of marker of a futuristic setting, but it will probably never happen. It's more likely that we'll have an epigenetic treatment that simply instructs follicle cells to either stop growing hair entirely, or to make the hairs they grow be pigmentless and reduced in diameter. Until then, steel blades will continue to work just fine.
Even there, I am still skeptical that five parallel blades are really better than one. So to me, when you propose that I shave with a laser, I will roll my eyes at you just as hard as if you suggested that I pay 40% more per shave to add a sixth blade and a magnet to my razor. Human hair is not evolving defenses against older shaving technology. You can still scrape your face with knapped flint if you needed to.
If people are stupid about laser shaves, it may be because they have been well primed for this nonsense by the advertisements of Schick and Gillette and their flexy, bendy, swivelling, lubricating, blinking, bleeping, 20-bladed shaving heads.
I wonder how much scamming goes on with kickstarter, etc. I've been involved in a couple of projects (as payer, not seller) and am batting about 1/3.
This one definitely sounds like a scam - especially how quickly they jumped to another platform without addressing the questions.
I was very frustrated by the degree to which Kickstarter would take any responsibility after the project clearly started going south. Even though this project was a "Staff Pick!!", implying, to me at least, a higher quality project than normal, they didn't seem to have any interest in holding the creators to account. After they wouldn't refund my money, I did a chargeback through my bank. I then got a message from "Kickstarter Integrity" scolding me and telling me they were blocking my account from pledging for 30 days and telling me to tell my bank to cancel the chargeback! These guys take the money and run, and my integrity is challenged! It was pretty friggin' insulting.
The experience might not have turned me off of Kickstarter forever, but I will definitely be more cautious before throwing my money at any other project on the site. It would be great to see a KS alternative which is willing to hold vendors more responsible.
There's a trick to it: asking for the money in stages, because if you make it to a stage then you don't have to give everything back.
So if you truly need $100K, you first set your goal to $15K, then $40K, then $75K, then $100K. That way if you fail to raise your $100K, you still get to keep your $75K or whatever your max was. It seems that it's against the spirit of the sites, but it works.
On the books it's a failure, but the folks walk away with the money. Is it a scam? I'm not sure.
What if one could invent a working bladeless razor? It is a blue ocean waiting to be delved in.
Just thinking out loud.
Any other sources tell that IPL was invented by someone else.
I dunno, this whole thing is weird. Generally I have to defer to people saying that the system isn't using enough energy to burn hairs, but unless the guy in question has had some sort of mental break or something, I don't get why he'd be involved with it if it was a straight fraud.
As somebody who has actually undergone laser hair removal, I can tell you that IPL is not laser. It's an alternative to laser that's used by some hair removal places, and it's generally considered less effective and less permanent than real laser. IPL is the budget option. It's also not technically a laser, either. IPL is non-coherent light over a range of wavelengths, while laser is coherent light over a single wavelength.
The most effective options for laser hair removal are alexandrite and maybe diode lasers for people with pale skin and YAG lasers for people with dark skin. You won't see IPL recommended over any of these.
Mind you, if what this project is selling is a temporary way to get rid of hair, IPL might be ideal for this particular use case.
Now I'm sad that it's a fake, even if I wanted to wait till the first version came out.
However, the total internal reflection can partly break down if we apply something to the side of the glass tube, like touching it with a finger. The laser will strike through the glass cylinder and onto whatever is touching it, this is known as frustrated total internal reflection. What's supposedly happening in this product is the razor blade has a fiber with a laser being shone through it, when the fiber comes into the contact with a hair the laser exits the fiber and the thermal energy burns the hair.
The problems here are pretty severe.
• If such a fiber did exist it would give you severe burns on contact with your skin (a very close shave indeed). It would be like trying to shave with a red hot block of steel held up to your face.
• Ever burnt some hair? It smells ghastly. I burned my beard once and the nauseating smell didn't go away for hours. Trying to convince consumers to go on a date while smelling like burning keratin would near impossible.
• The amount of laser power going through the fiber would have the potential to remove your eyesight if you broke it. If you wanted to use this you would need to be wearing eye protection (sealed goggles), skin protection like welding gear, have signage and locks on your bathroom to prevent anybody unprotected from entering.
• The amount of energy required for this sort of effect would be colossal, lasers are inefficient and need a lot of cooling (high power ones are often water cooled). If this existed just the hand piece would be something like a petrol pump nozzle leading to a massive cooling system and power supply.
• Any slight impurity in the fiber would cause it to instantly melt when the laser was turned on. Unless something is perfectly optically clear there is some loss to heat as light passes through it. Glass fibers made for telecommunications are incredibly clear, but they still have enough loss that repeaters are needed on long runs due to losses.
I have a cabinet full of other types of newer, moderately powerful laser modules which vary from pin diodes to modules the size of a AA battery, to things the size of cigars. Some of them are pretty darned powerful. Any laser modules that are water cooled would DEFINITELY not be something you would want to hold up to your face, but I also don't think that's the kind of power required for cutting hair. I'm not saying that any laser running on a AAA battery at a useful power could last a useful amount of time, if you could figure out some secret sauce method for very quickly coupling a high intensity pulse (hairs have a very small area, after all) onto some hairs at a wavelength that they like to soak up then it seems.... possible. In theory the laser wavelength and power could even be tuned dynamically to match the hairs, that is if they had somehow figured out a way to fit a Mach-Zender modulator, an electro-optical modulator and a frequency comb into a razor handle--ha!
Anyhow, I might be wrong in all this, but my point is mostly that it wouldn't take a water cooled laser to burn some hair. Come visit me in Vancouver and we can test it out (on your beard).
Interesting. Was this a recent policy change? Control VR never showed any working prototypes either, and their campaign was allowed (this was in 2014). Their demonstration video was later revealed to be using another company's significantly more expensive product ($10k+ vs the $600 pledge price), with zero modifications. They never demonstrated any prototypes of the product they were claiming to develop themselves, yet the campaign went through and now they have everyone's money (>$400k) without delivering.
not everyones, just the suckers. Yes, we are at a point you are a sucker if you buy into crowdfunding without doing due diligence. Batterizer, MuOptics, Soap router, they all had signs of being scams from the start, but still managed to defraud people for over a $1mil.
But it is currently in beta and doesn't include Kickstarter.
They have generally been good at writing up some of the more sketchy kickstarts.
Also, I was kind of suspicious when I noticed that more than half of the team have beards.
But this whole thing brings up many interesting questions. The fine was 1k per WA resident + reimbursement + legal fees. Knowing that the AG has your back if things go south should undoubtedly embolden WA residents, which may lead to a higher percentage of backers coming from that state, which in turn would mean a higher fine if things fall through. I honestly was going to have my sister, a WA state resident, back this for me for my birthday, if it survived to the last day of funding.
Surely ordering the beta would show straight away that the product was entirely non-functional (ie fake)?
Did I miss something that you're relying on to form this opinion?
Edit: perhaps http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-busi... ?
The biggest giveaway in that particular campaign though is something that most ordinary people won't pick up on: gluten. You tell someone that a spectrometer can detect sugar, they'll nod, you tell someone that it can detect gluten and they'll still nod, but people who know better will have their ears perk up. Because gluten is just a protein, and proteins are a nightmare when it comes to spectroscopy. Spectroscopy picks up the different bonds that are in a molecule. A simple molecule with only a few, very different bonds is easy to distinguish. But proteins are polymers made up of tens of thousands to millions of amino-acids, which blur together in spectroscopy. To distinguish different proteins from one another with any kind of spectroscopy (whether Raman, IR, or even NMR) requires high end equipment which can give you very high resolution spectra. A low cost, consumer grade spectrometer is going to have very low resolution and be even more difficult to do. If they could pull it off it would be a tremendous breakthrough. The idea that they've made such a huge leap without seeking traditional investors to go after the industrial market, without any substantive research backing is, frankly, not robust against the much more realistic probability that they are pulling some sort of scam that involves a device that maybe has some capability or other but is nothing like what they say it is.
If you're unaware, Indiegogo has shown that they're more than willing to be the platform of choice for scammers and nonsense products.
A site that focuses on the shipping milestones, the true measure of success rather than meeting an arbitrary goal, would be valuable.
Kickstarter and IndieGoGo need to do a much, much better job policing this, otherwise they will be out of business in 2 years. There are too many shitty products with great marketing videos that are taking a lot of money, and they will likely all be disappointing as hell.
Anecdotally I see this with video games on Steam Greenlight, but that service always seemed liked the Wild West to me.
"They have been incredibly helpful and they believe in the
Skarp Razor as much as we do," the firm said of Indiegogo.
I would read that as them seeing that the laser is cutting the skin but that could be easily be intentionally misleading marketing speak
Let's say we take everything at face value and believe 100% they can do this and that it is not a scam. If there is no prototype it's still possible that it could not work as it's unproven.
The reviews make it sound like its a rather slow and smelly affair shaving this way.
Optic fiber glass is SHARP AS HELL.
So, make the thing light up with pretty lights and colors and expose a sharp glass edge for cutting.
Works like a razor, cuts incredibly closely, and has ooh shiny for marketing.
I'm not seeing a problem with this.