Stripped down to its core, the company was pitching technology which would allow it to do "useful" internet-wide computations once global communication latency dropped below a certain threshold. Going along with this was a graph showing how internet round trip times had been steadily dropping for the past two decades, and projecting into the future that some time around 2006 the latencies would become short enough to make their solution work.
Unfortunately, their projection had communication becoming faster than the speed of light in 2004.
I pointed this out to the VC in question. They decided to invest anyway. My understanding is that the company raised $10M before going bankrupt.
You can do anything if you try is a good moto for 4 year olds, but seriously, business schools should set traps for folk that still believe it in their 30's and empty those traps into [[horrid but funny slasher movie imagery removed to protect the innocent]] ^B^B somewhere where they can't do any more damage.
For example, you could figure out a way to move things closer together, you could build a prediction algorithm and speculatively execute on a result before an input came in, you could modify the UI so the perceived latency is lower, etc.
This video seems relevant here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
"I'm happy to try this, but here are the limitations I'm aware of and some of these are unavoidable."
Of course. But if someone hires me and then they decide that we need to transfer information faster than at the speed of light there's only so much my professional ethics can do.
Other researchers are trying to bend the rules rather than break them. In fact, bending space-time is one theory of how superluminal – faster-than-light -- speeds in space travel might be reached.
Investing in uBeam requires a calculated wager that the threshold for ultrasound safety is a fair bit higher than 100 dB. It's a risky position to take, and I'm not sure how to calculate it, but it's not pure lunacy.
And by 2008, information was received before it was sent!
Someone comes in and pitches a 110% efficiency solar cell; they aren't getting a dime of my money. Normally, they aren't coming pitching a 110% efficiency solar cell, they just haven't done the math to realize that is what they are pitching.
The assumption that needs to be challenged is that you need faster than light latencies to accomplish your objectives, not the notion that faster than light is impossible. Once physical limitations become apparent, you need to focus on the aspects of your design that are not limited by physics.
How could they have known? Acknowledging the special theory of relativity would have been a good start. It's not like they were a bunch of alchemists in the middle ages only having various mystical interpretations of the world to work from.
They got this expertise by long and hard study and
work in the STEM fields? Oh no! Instead their path
was much better, from being an English literature,
history, or foreign policy major, maybe an
MBA (I used to be an MBA prof), reading 1000
executive summaries, 200 foil decks, with the rules
of no more than 10 foils per deck with just a few simple words per foil with 30 point fonts, listening to 5
elevator pitches a day on their phone messaging, and
from an earlier career in business development!
Now don't you see why they have such deep domain
expertise? Deep, deep here!
Aaron Sorkin could
think of a better way of saying it,
maybe -- Deep. I've been watching
Silicon Valley since before the Bubble,
and I've never seen anything so deep. Brutal. Brutally deep. Excruciatingly brutal. As at, say
So, what's going on? Hmm, .... Maybe we should, say,
"follow the money"? What money? Well, they get their
2 and 20%. To do that they have to have some
investments that do obey the laws of physics
and become successful companies, have some good
exits from those companies, and, thus,
make money for their limited partners (LPs)?
Not necessarily! Maybe they don't know much about
physics or the STEM fields, but maybe they do have
some domain expertise, that is, in making money.
How, then, while trying to violate the laws of physics?
Well, in short, please some other people. Or find some
even bigger fools and separate them from their money!
The bigger fools? Would you assume that the portfolio
managers at the major institutional investors were
better qualified in the STEM fields and building
actual successful companies than the VCs? I wouldn't!
Instead these limited partners (LPs), following their
herd, the Wildebeest are not all completely wrong, you
understand, put a small fraction of their funds into
the alternate investment asset class, i.e., VC.
This asset class is making money? Not much on
average! Or see
Still, the LPs invest! Why? They don't want
to miss out on the next Google. Besides, who
can be sure what technology will do in the future?
Besides, that's what all the other portfolio
managers of the state pension funds and university
endowments are doing, so just fit into that herd,
match the returns they get, and tell any critics
that the fund is doing what all the other funds
are doing. Besides, the money invested with the
VCs is just a small fraction of what the LPs
have in their portfolios.
So, if the LPs are happy, then for 10 years or so the
VCs get their 2%. Then for the exits, there might be
an IPO with, from the 2000 bubble "Never be between
a VC and the door when the lock up period is over".
Or there might be an M&A when the CEO of a big, old,
but now slowly shrinking company UGE buys a start-up,
in an all stock deal, to make the stockholders of the
big company UGE feel better for a while, long enough
for the UGE CEO to get a nice bonus and golden
parachute from his BoD. Or, do an M&A for about
$2 million per software developer of the start-up,
that is, do an acqui hire. Or do an M&A with another
company in their portfolio following the rule that
combining two, money losing, sick companies can use
the law of synergy that the sum is greater than the parts
to make one healthy company. In such cases, the
VC gets 20%.
VC starts to sound like a good gig, all without any
role for the STEM fields or the laws of physics.
Or, the deep domain expertise is the bigger fool
theory and "follow the money"?
I wonder if there is an opening for a common sense consultant in silicon roundabout I could probably double up as a HR consultant
The meter is reading voltage, on what appears to be the 10 VAC scale. (Someone wrote it was on ohms, but it's not.) About 4V is coming out. We don't know what, if anything is the load, and there's no current measurement, so we can't compute power. It's interesting that they're measuring AC voltage while supposedly charging a DC device, a phone.
The ultrasonic transducers seem to be common hobbyist-level range sensors as used on small robots. Like these:
At 00:31 into the video, there's a good view of the back of the board holding the ultrasonic receivers. If you take a screenshot of this and enhance it, you can see the wiring. There are just two wires coming out of the receiver, and it looks like all the sensors are just wired in series. That maximizes voltage at the expense of current, of course.
The transmit array has 10 transducers in a hexagonal pattern, which helps focus the beam. (That transducer is a rather broad-beamed device.) The transmit end is powered by a hefty looking power supply, so those transducers are probably being driven hard.
With that setup, they should be able to get a few volts out of the receiver end, using the same kind of off the shelf transducer at both ends. This is something you could put together in a day or so after ordering the parts. There doesn't seem to be anything new here at all in the demo version.
The efficiency is probably a few percent. That's for this ideal case - transmitter pointed directly at receiver. The Wireless Power Consortium inductive wireless charging people report 60% efficiency, and they're trying to get to 80%.
The patent application talks about steering and focusing the beam, but you're still going to need line of sight, and a big emitter array.
All microphones have polar patterns. There are areas that are more sensistive, areas that are less.
So not only does it need line of sight, it'll need to be pointing at transmitter.
It's also interesting to note that we've had wireless charging for at least 5 years, but none of them yet are long distance. they are all mats that you put the device on.
Possibly because of the pesky inverse square law. A mat is "good enough" and trying to achieve remote wireless charging would probably induce exponential engineering head aches for not much gain.
No, it's not weird. DC would come later.
If you have $10M to invest in a startup, then you certainly have $10-20k to contract someone knowledgeable in the field for a week to vet an idea for sanity. As a skilled but low-paid academic, I'd jump at that gig, as I'm sure many others would.
If the investor's done their homework, then perhaps there's a clever trick of which uBeam makes use. If not, then perhaps the investor will lose money. Either way, it'll sort itself out.
On the other hand, all they say is "we talked to these people and those people and those other people over there", so who knows what the actual tests were.
A lot of the discussion here is about Arrington/Crunchfund, and while I find him interesting to read and good at getting information out of people in a blogging context, I don't really have an opinion on his competency as a VC. But A16Z's investment record is pretty solid, and Mark Suster has always struck me as a reasonable guy.
As TechCrunch's post pointed out, Silicon Valley is littered with the corpses of better-device-charging startups, but now I just have no clue what to think. :P But if they get it working, it'll be pretty awesome.
I guess my point is that if you have 100 investments, you would maximize returns by balancing return on investment with cost of investment.
From the skeptical posts here, it sounds like that 10-20k (or whatever sum) may have been worth it in this case, but in general it probably is not.
Another big assumption is that the performance should match a 5W iPhone charger. Why? The whole point is at you won't need to worry about charging. If you have 8 hours at your desk to charge rather than 20 minutes plugged in, you can get by charging at 1/20th the speed.
So try putting a requirement of 0.25W and 130dB in his formulas and see if you'd 'gamble' $10M on this idea... I'm on mobile so excuse the lack of units, but I followed his calcs for a 25cm x 25cm transmitter at 130dB:
So it should deliver ~4W. Obviously there will be losses, etc but even at 25%, 1W should be sufficient to passively charge your phone.
Note that all of the same assumptions but with 140dB would instead give you 10W, which is only slightly less than the rapid charger for the new iPads.
 - https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/noise/health_effects/ultra...
Remember that the OSHA ultrasonic recommendation is more about "Will it permanently harm you" than comfort. At 140dB you'd hear probably rather substantial audible whine due to first and second order harmonics.
On the other hand a brutal whine at 15kHz is perfect for keeping those kids off my lawn when I charge my phone!
I tried to find some information about the receiving end transducer losses. I bet they're going to be insane as it basically any impedance mismatch with air is going to cause the power to just reflect away, the bigger the mismatch the bigger the wasted power.
They tend to be of the form: "Since they were invested in, they must be good/viable/work!" What the fuck, folks? Have you lost your collective minds? You should know better than this.
Whether those responses represent approaches that will work or not is unknown, but I feel quite safe in assuming they have some sort of plan for them. It's insanely arrogant to assume otherwise.
Therefore, it's safe to assume the company team must have had some kind of response to that.
Was it valid? Did it snow the investors and their vetting teams? Who knows?
But certainly that first level of conversation must have taken place.
Problem: Battery life is much shorter than consumers would like.
>Solution: Make better batteries that last longer, are more durable, and can be recycled into new batteries (to keep costs down in the future)
What they really want is to never have to charge their devices again or worry about a battery. This company is aiming at the core problem, not just a symptom created by current tech.
Since the early 90s, CPUs have gotten about 1,000 times better. Batteries have gotten about twice as good.
A battery with the energy density of TNT would be great. Not sure I'd want it sitting on my lap...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density (to fill in the missing volumetric density entry, you need to know that TNT has density 1.7 g/cc)
Even then, they still occasionally overheat and very occasionally catch on fire.
I think my original point still stands.
This still makes me think the future may be in fuel cells more than it is in batteries, but by now we were supposed to have fuel cell powered cellphones and laptops and it didn't came to be.
The big win in "energy density" from normal hydrocarbons is that the oxygen is freely available from the atmosphere.
I understand that according to the posted article it's physically impossible for UBeam to operate in an effective fashion without vaporizing everyone in its vicinity, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We shouldn't discourage creative solutions.
Building better batteries has proven difficult. It's probably useful to continue to explore solutions from conventional and unconventional angles (at least as long as they are theoretically possible).
The economics are interesting, how much would it cost to make a lower power device with the same capabilities? Say a 100% improvement in battery life? Or how much would a better battery cost? Say twice the capacity?
If it cost $200 to do this for an iPhone (I have no idea) then why is it that companies don't spend this; the answer has to be that consumers are just not that willing to pay.
Or - it's impossible or would cost $2,000,000 or something!
But, thinking about it, if it costs $2,000,000 now wouldn't it be smart to invest in a company with a plan to reduce that to $20?
Oh wait! Intel!
All comments I've seen talk about charging today's iPhone. What about iPhones in 5 years time? Is it reasonable to assume that their power consumption will drop enough to make this make more sense? Anyone with lots of knowledge about power efficiency of mobile devices want to chime in?
Probably not much as we could do this mostly in software. Just throw away the bloated layers of abstraction we have to deal with and you get improved power efficiency. (Example: When I visit certain websites my device uses far more power than when I'm watching a movie.)
Who wouldn't 2 or 3 cm of thickness for an twofold increase in battery life?
Delivering even this tiny amount of energy to a phone-sized traducer that may be tens of meters from the emitter and oriented randomly is going to be very difficult. An omnidirectional emitter would likely require more power than a Megadeth concert and heaven help anything with a millimeter scale resonant frequency that's in the room! Tracking the phone's position and delivering a tightly focused beam is probably the only realistic way to go about this. That means you will need some very cutting edge focused ultrasound beam transducers (not cheap) that can mechanically track phones (not cheap) which must be pointed by something like a kinnect (not cheap) and a clear line of sight to the phone (completely unlike WiFi). It's probably going to have to let the user know when there isn't a clear LOS too, because it would suck if your phone died because you set it down behind a plant.
I can't say all this is outright impossible to do at a competitive price. Danny didn't convince me that it's impossible. It is probably pretty close though.
So, why is this company being funded to do something that's probably impossible? Well, Danny is right about one thing: Investors often invest in impossible things. Just google "over unity" generators (better than perpetual motion devices basically) if you don't believe me. Earlier this decade Steorn suckered millions of euros out of investors with a lot of talk and a few cheap parlor tricks. UBeam might not break the laws of thermodynamics, but Steorn literally scoffed at them. People still lined up to invest. Whether Steorn and his co-workers were/are truly insane or con-artists has not been determined to this day. Their website is still live so, against all reasonable expectations, Steorn is still viable!
Personally, if I wanted to scam investors I'd choose something that has a direct impact on the layman's life and theoretically has the potential to be big. Simultaneously, it would not obviously break the laws of physics but would be difficult enough for a company to spend years working on it only to fail. UBeam would be a pretty great setup for a scam actually.
Note: I'm not in any way in the following saying uBeam will work. I'm just speculating on ways that one might work around some of the objections that have been raised. Here's an idea that combines the tracking and the pointing and I don't think uses anything expensive.
One way to do focused ultrasound beams is by using a phased array of transducers. That reminded me of a phased array demo I saw a film of at Caltech in the early '80s. I was taking the introductory optics class, which was taught by William Bridges . Before he came to Caltech, he worked at Hughes Research, where he did such interesting things as invent ion lasers. After he came to Caltech, he split his time between Caltech and Hughes, and when I took his class he showed us a film of something his Hughes group was working on. (Note: I saw this film once over 30 years ago. The description below of what I saw is correct. I may not have the technology exactly right)
It had an array of optical radiators whose phase could be varied. If you got the phase right, you could get constructive interference at a target, and destructive interference off the target, and so deliver your energy to the target. Get the phase wrong, and you just deliver a bunch of light to a large area in the general direction of the target.
In the film, you saw a black background, and you saw a bunch of of vague overlapping blobs of light moving around. Someone then dangled a shiny model of the starship Enterprise in front of the background. Then they started modulating the phases of the radiators, with each being modulated at a different frequency. They had a light sensor pointed toward the target area, so that it picked up light reflected from the Enterprise.
The signal from the light sensor was sent through a set of parallel filters, one for each of the frequencies being used to modulate the radiators, and the output of those filters was used to control the phase of the radiator associated with that frequency. It was designed to try to set the phase to minimize that frequency in the reflected flight.
The idea is that if a given radiator is contributing to a maximum at the target, then slight changes in the phase of that radiator won't make much difference, and so the modulation frequency of that radiator should be weak in the reflected light. If, on the other hand, a given radiator is contributing toward a minimum, slight changes in phase will make big changes, and so the modulation of that radiator should be strong in the reflected light.
When they turned on this feedback circuit that filtered the reflected signal and adjusted the phase, those drifting blobs all pretty much instantly disappeared, replaced with a beam that was focused on the Enterprise, and tracked it as they waved the Enterprise around.
Could something like this work for an ultrasonic charger? Suppose the transmitter uses a phased array of transducers in order to get a focused ultrasonic beam. Suppose we include in the receiver some kind of wireless communication mechanism, such as ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4). Now perhaps we can modulate the phases of the transducers, and have the receiver report back on how strong the modulation is at its end, and then we can adjust the phases back at the transmitter side to focus the beam on the receiver and follow it, doing with ultrasound what Bridges' group at Hughes was doing with light.
Think about it this way: $10 million is pocket change for VCs. Even if they lose all of it, it would barely make a dent in their yearly metrics. However, the potential gain is huge: they see in Ms. Perry someone who can identify a big demand in the market, take the initiative to try to do something about it and find a clever and catchy way to market it ("WiFi for energy"). So spending $10 million to let her gain more experience in business and build a deeper relationship with the VCs is a pretty good investment.
Many entrepreneurs today seem to think they've made it because they secured large investments from VCs. Very few know what it takes to actually become profitable, reach liquidity, and create real value.
"She then performs the closest thing to magic I’ve seen in a long time."
Investors fund things because they don't understand it. (Although, two years to a Series A is pretty slow in today's climate.)
> In a year or so when this thing is productized you’ll be hearing a lot more about Mary.
As you note, that was written on May 23, 2012, more than 2 years ago. According to this article, the company is now aiming to be selling "by 2016." This suggests there was either a misunderstanding about the time required to develop a commercial product, or developing a commercial product has taken a lot longer than anticipated.
What's interesting to me is that the recent photo from the New York Times, which Mark Suster also included in his blog post, doesn't on the surface seem to show substantial progress from what was being demoed back in 2011. Charging a single phone from a couple of feet away is not what's being promised.
& Investors tend to invest to things they can sell.
So they are interested in ideas that have good "pitch".
The technology is only a means to an end here.
Roes, M.G.L.; Hendrix, M.A.M.; Duarte, J.L., "Contactless energy transfer through air by means of ultrasound," IECON 2011 - 37th Annual Conference on IEEE Industrial Electronics Society , vol., no., pp.1238,1243, 7-10 Nov. 2011
Abstract: An alternative approach to the wireless transfer of energy is proposed, employing acoustic waves in air. Unlike conventional methods, acoustic energy transfer is able to achieve energy transfer at high efficiencies over distances that are large in comparison to the dimensions of the transmitter and the receiver. This paper gives an overview of the principle and explains the different loss mechanisms that come into play. A theoretically limit on the achievable efficiency is calculated. It exceeds that of a comparable inductively coupled system by an order of magnitude. First preliminary measurements indicate that AET is feasible, although the measured efficiency is lower than the predicted theoretical limit.
Update: I was able to get a 5 minute preview of the paper from DeepDyve.com . They got 53% efficiency at 1 meter, but that was at very low power (something like 37 uW). They weren't using particularly high powered transducers, though, so could have gotten more power if that had been what they were aiming for, but probably still a long way from charging a phone. They say that the challenge for acoustic energy transfer will be in developing the high power transducers that will be needed.
 For those who have not heard of DeepDyve, they provide access to a very large number of journal articles for prices that are much lower than what the journals charge for individual articles. Yes, I know that ideally all of this stuff should be available to the public for free, but until that happens DeepDyve is worth considering. They have a "Freelancer" plan that costs nothing up front, and gives you 5 minute full previews of articles. You can purchase "tokens" in packs of 5 for $20. You can rent an article for 30 days for one token. They also have a $40/month subscription plan that lets you read unlimited articles, and gives a discount if you want to buy a PDF. You can cancel the monthly plan at any time, and your account converts to Freelancer, and you can switch back to the subscription plan at any time.
I think the real problem is that they're not investing their own money, and are just looking at buying some great PR to write off as a tax deduction.
I feel there is a lack of initiative, money and publicity towards inventors solving real physics problems.
Except the author says:
crazy ideas that are physically impossible
[with] dishonest PR [are raising lots of
capital] while great ideas that have huge
potential are sitting by the wayside trying
to rise above the noise.
I'd rather this entire space be ignored than see top-tier VCs sour everyone on the industry.
Agreed. However, if they don't know how to do DD a better one option would be just to fund more companies at a lower level. With a more realistic valuation that reflects the risk involved. However I don't think they like spreading their cash out like that.
Overall, it seems like there's probably not enough seed level funding for science/basic tech startups.
I worry that there's an ever-increasing attempt being made to substitute in credentials for careful evaluation of actual ideas. I understand why relying heavily on pedigree is so attractive, but I wonder if startup failure rates would decrease and startups' overall quality would increase if that metric shifted.
Internet companies are still being funded a decade and a half after the dot com bubble wiped out orders of magnitude more wealth than this.
People will not quit investing in science.
Because there have been some notably successful Internet companies I would guess. But if few of the science/basic tech companies pan out (return > 10x?), it will long term harm funding in this area.
Short-range electrical wireless charging is a perfectly good technology. The problem is that there are three proposed systems, all incompatible, each with shipping products but little volume. Somebody needs to kick some butt, get everybody to agree on one system, and get those charging pads in every business hotel room, and every Starbucks in the developed world. This isn't a technical problem. It's Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD, which held up high-definition discs for about two years.
It's directional transmission technology. The power loss is minimized as the ultrasound is directed and focused at a particular location. There's no inverse square law here, and it's easily within the bound of known physics.
As far as I know, (indirect relationship with the a good friend of the founder, that I won't say anything more about to protect his privacy) Meredith is actually genius-level and a relentless work horse. I'd bet big on this one.
If I could work for any one company it would be uBeam. And I just started a great position, and I'd do it despite the press.
This is a "First they dismiss you. Then they laugh at you. Then you win" scenario.
It's an interesting project for a student to try. Perry would learn loads getting her hands into a subject like ultrasound and learning about how to make the regulations in place to protect living organisms work with the engineering. This is an issue of scale. UBeam is doing a proof-of-concept experiment that should take about $10k (and that is very generous) to test and explore, not $10M, ffs.
That's where the beef is. Let's not look to personally assassinate Perry or her investors. What Danny wrote about was an issue that's endemic in today's investment world, where you can invest in whatever you want, and if convenience/consumer apps, devices, and their ilk are where you decide profit is, then have at it, but you're still limited by the laws of physics and how the technology you're working with interacts with living organisms.
(Because that's what we are. We are not disembodied heads.)
Honestly Computer Science used to be so open to outsiders, now it's "If you don't have a degree we don't believe you."
That's really bad. Especially considering the alternative theory involves her pulling the wool over the eyes of both AH and Marissa Mayer for ten million dollars.
What's she's doing has nothing to do with computer science.
You're right that people shouldn't be dismissing her work because of her qualifications and previous work experience but that works both ways - she doesn't magically gain credibillity just because she used to work at someplace or other.
As for working at NASA, she was doing hard science research on a type of spectrography, for which she was given multiple awards by NASA Ames Rearch Center. So yes, I do consider the multitude of indications of her intelligence to be directly relevant.
This negativity reeks of "she's not part of our West Coast club" and people with no knowledge of the technology are making blanket assertions that its impossible. That's wrong.
If this company had a valley pedigree and a male founder, I'm sure I'd be reading all about the amazing self-charging forthcoming revolution.
This thread would be far more insulting if she were male.
The problem has nothing to do with her being UPenn (I have no fucking clue about US geography or state rivalries) or not being in some club (which she clearly is part of - look at where she's raised $10 million from).
It's to do with people being sceptical of the physics. This device is implausible at best.
I think there are larger implications about how VC driven start-ups could be changing society for the worse. Whether the infringements upon the rights of lets-not-call-them-employees in 2-sided markets, or $1B valuations given to free apps whose users are [perhaps unknowingly] paying with their personal information, there is quite a lot to unpack to say the least.
A great tech writeup but I think he misses the mark on "everything wrong."
Clinkle was able to raise the biggest Silicon Valley seed round in history ($25 million) in June 2013 with a non-working demo for a mobile payments app that had an admittedly beautiful UI and could be used to pay retailers with high-frequency sound technology, the type of technological concept that probably looks/sounds like magic to a lot of non-experts. Lucas Duplan the founder was a Stanford CS student and probably had a lot of VCs thinking "next Mark Zuckerberg!!". Smash cut to September 2014, and the product they launch is a debit card for college students that allows users to amass rewards and share those rewards with friends via a mobile app. Pretty big letdown.
In the case of uBeam, they have a confident young female founder trying to tackle a very technical problem. She talks a great game and is able to wow the press and investors with a demo that is very impressive to a layman.
It's worth noting that despite Andreesen Horowitz's great reputation, it just so happens that they were one of Clinkle's investors as well and so that can't be used as evidence that all necessary due diligence has been done and the tech/physics all check out.
Taking a media story of a funded startup and running with this sort of conclusions is short sighted at best. There might be much more than this, the probability for funds like a16z to invest $10M without a bit of research sounds rather low to me.
Well, it's a probability, and it's greater than zero. It could happen.
In this case there is certainly (some) irrational exuberance for funding, but unless you start seeing lots of minimal revenue IPOs it's not the same animal.
In short - lots of startups may die, but it's probably more things that wouldn't have otherwise been funded. It's unlikely to crash the stock market again at current rates.
I've never seen a Radio Shack meter before - I have no idea what that meter is measuring or what it's set to. It could be set to read micro volts, but it would be odd for them to take a close-up photo if it was reading a tiny number. But then maybe that's why they went with an analogue meter - big needle swing is psychologically persuasive.
And Dweck is no longer involved - http://www.businessinsider.com/college-roommates-founded-hot...
Plus, who knows. we will probably never have ultrasonic iPhone chargers but maybe ubeam will pivot or stumble upon other unrelated ideas or uses for their technology, as often seems to happen with startups.
Here's the thing: so what?
You just need to look at it from the right angle. With your eyes closed.
The tech industry seems to earn a lot of money, employ a lot of people and have us on an unparalleled rate of change.
Their current theory is, 1 in 100 things pan out and when they do they make up for all the fails.
This article doesn't really provide evidence this high risk approach is not worth it. Who knows, perhaps other applications might pop out of the technology. Perhaps it's a more obvious 99% in the fail basket. But being overly cautious can also cripple you.
But a good write up on why the tech sucks.
Now can I get my funding please?