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).