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Old 15th October 2015, 12:53 PM   #121
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Skarp has blown by their goal inspiring a new article outlining the controversy over the as yet non-existent device.

The Skarp "Laser Razor" Is Going to Be Total Flaming Garbage

Quote:
So I reached out to Professor Richard Quimby of Worcester Polytechnic Institute—the director of the IPG Photonics Laboratory and expert on lasers and fiber optics—for his thoughts and opinions on the design and basic concept. Turns out that the science, while vague and mostly left to inference, is not total garbage.

"​To absorb a lot of light energy in a small area (which is what you need for cutting anything), you need not only a high optical power, but also a tightly focused beam," Professor Quimby told me over email. ​"This means that the laser light must be concentrated with a lens into a very small spot, like a magnifying glass focusing light from the sun onto a leaf to burn it. I think this is probably a critical aspect of the Skarp design. If you take even a modestly powered laser and focus it to a very small spot—say around 10 micrometers—then you get a lot of concentrated energy, which could burn through a piece of hair."​
Assuming the odd demo videos (using green lighting, optical filtering or just poor white balance with fluorescent lights) are actually using a fiber optic and not just a hot nichrome wire, there is a catch, according to Professor Quimby.

Quote:
But that's about where the good news ends. This design—while it does cut hair—appears to have a fatal flaw. It can only cut one hair at time. Where a traditional razor can cut hair with every lateral point on its blade, the laser razor's entire length of fiber can only focus on a single hair at a time.
But the Skarp people say "nay", that their product will be ready by March, despite the many hurdles that production of specialized materials require. It is surprising, in light of the Kickstarter cancellation, that Dr. Zachary the skin specialist is still involved.

Quote:
Update: Dr. Christopher Zachary—Professor & Chair at UCI​ and advisor to Skarp—responded to a request for comment. In a phone call, Zachary defended the science behind the Skarp Laser Razor.

"The science is very strong. I'm excited about it for these guys. I think it's going to be a winner, of course you never know," Zachary told me. "People ask me how well does it work, that's why we want to do the studies. ... It'll go through the University of California Irvine and IRB. It's going to be a rigorous side-by-side."
The plot thickens.
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Old 8th November 2015, 11:31 AM   #122
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Old 12th December 2015, 04:27 AM   #123
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Skarp bas been removed from Kickstarter (BBC) for rules violations and has moved to Indiegogo.
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Old 12th December 2015, 06:29 AM   #124
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Er yes. A couple of months ago.
Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Already up on Indiegogo

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/t...tury-shaving#/

With flexible funding, so bye bye money for a lot of people.
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Old 21st March 2016, 10:12 AM   #125
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Welp, the final product was supposed to ship this month. Predictably, they are now "expecting a 2-3 month delay".

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/t...aving#/updates

Apparently, current updates are on a private, invitation-only Facebook group; and not all of the backers have been invited. Needless to say, between that and the lack of progress, backers are getting a bit antsy.
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Old 21st March 2016, 11:02 AM   #126
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Interesting. Although a 2-3 month delay is hardly unusual for a new product by a new start-up. More telling would be if there's been a general lack of information or updates, such as product specifications or a picture of the final prototype or production design.
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Old 21st March 2016, 03:02 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Interesting. Although a 2-3 month delay is hardly unusual for a new product by a new start-up.

Especially for crowd-sourced projects, which are commonly delayed an average of 6 months, and as long as three years.

Quote:
More telling would be if there's been a general lack of information or updates, such as product specifications or a picture of the final prototype or production design.

Well, being that they have missed their planned ship date and don't even have a working prototype yet...

As far as I can tell, they haven't even updated their proof-of-concept.
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Old 26th June 2016, 11:36 AM   #128
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I missed this; a new update from about three weeks ago.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/t...aving#/updates

They're now estimating end of 2016 for a ship date. The update says they "still have work to do" in two areas, mounting the fiber onto a rigid support and coupling the laser efficiently into the fiber. They also say they're now developing a custom laser diode that'll work better for their purpose than currently available ones.

It sounds like they're actually working hard on the thing, but that (as everyone suspected) the concept was not as developed as they claimed at the time of the crowd funding. The areas they're working on are rather fundamental to the device (and both were pointed out as important issues in this thread at the time). They're kind of like if a car maker said "we've made great progress in getting the wheels to turn and in changing the direction of the vehicle when needed, though we still have work to do in those areas." But they might possibly still pull it off.
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Old 26th June 2016, 01:07 PM   #129
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This is what they said four months ago...

"In short, we are pleased with the early testing results, and over the next few weeks expect more refinements.

However, we do anticipate a 2-3 month delay, in perfecting the product UI, UX and shaving experience before we feel confident to ship.

Alongside the fiber development, engineering of all other parts of the product is nearing completion."

I am not confident.
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Old 26th June 2016, 03:07 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
I missed this; a new update from about three weeks ago.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/t...aving#/updates

They're now estimating end of 2016 for a ship date. The update says they "still have work to do" in two areas, mounting the fiber onto a rigid support and coupling the laser efficiently into the fiber. They also say they're now developing a custom laser diode that'll work better for their purpose than currently available ones.

It sounds like they're actually working hard on the thing, but that (as everyone suspected) the concept was not as developed as they claimed at the time of the crowd funding. The areas they're working on are rather fundamental to the device (and both were pointed out as important issues in this thread at the time). They're kind of like if a car maker said "we've made great progress in getting the wheels to turn and in changing the direction of the vehicle when needed, though we still have work to do in those areas." But they might possibly still pull it off.
I strongly disagree. Their updates at this point are complete fabrications to keep people stringing along. The product not only has never worked, it could never work as described even with desktop supplies much less handheld.

This is more like someone working on a goose that lays golden eggs saying that they are working on things like getting the feathers and beak right.
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Old 26th June 2016, 03:20 PM   #131
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Are you kidding me : "hey also say they're now developing a custom laser diode" ?

You do realize the work in developing such product ? And the money needed ?

Scam.
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Old 27th June 2016, 07:04 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by RussDill View Post
I strongly disagree. Their updates at this point are complete fabrications to keep people stringing along. The product not only has never worked, it could never work as described even with desktop supplies much less handheld.

Agreed. These are all things that should have been sorted out by the prototype stage. The hype for this thing has been solidly unrealistic the entire way; and depended heavily on public credulity and ignorance.

I predict that when the "end of 2016" rolls around, they're not going to be any closer to an actual release date, but will have yet another round of excuses and delays instead of an actual project.
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Old 27th June 2016, 07:16 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Agreed. These are all things that should have been sorted out by the prototype stage. The hype for this thing has been solidly unrealistic the entire way; and depended heavily on public credulity and ignorance.

I predict that when the "end of 2016" rolls around, they're not going to be any closer to an actual release date, but will have yet another round of excuses and delays instead of an actual project.
Jeepers, I'm gonna look like Bin Laden by then.
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Old 27th June 2016, 09:00 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by RussDill View Post
I strongly disagree. Their updates at this point are complete fabrications to keep people stringing along. The product not only has never worked, it could never work as described even with desktop supplies much less handheld.

This is more like someone working on a goose that lays golden eggs saying that they are working on things like getting the feathers and beak right.

You could be right. There's not enough information to tell for sure, one way or the other. If they can't do it it's probably best for them if by the time they admit it, years have passed and most of their buyers have given up hope anyhow. The updates would sound similar either way.

Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Are you kidding me : "[t]hey also say they're now developing a custom laser diode" ?

You do realize the work in developing such product ? And the money needed ?

Actually I don't. I don't know the field. You can't go to a laser diode manufacturer and say, "I want you to design and build me one with X power output, with most of its output at Y range of frequency, and my initial order will be 5 million units" and get results? (I assume that's what they're talking about doing, not fabricating the thing themselves.)

Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Agreed. These are all things that should have been sorted out by the prototype stage. The hype for this thing has been solidly unrealistic the entire way; and depended heavily on public credulity and ignorance.

I predict that when the "end of 2016" rolls around, they're not going to be any closer to an actual release date, but will have yet another round of excuses and delays instead of an actual project.

When I said they might pull it off, I didn't mean by the end of the year (though that wasn't clear in what I wrote). But again, you could be right about the eventual outcome. No skin off my nose (or hair off my face) either way.

I completely agree that the original prototype was no such thing, as Kickstarter and many commenters concluded. It did, however, cut hair with a laser fiber (it wasn't a fake in the sense of actually being e.g. a heated wire, as some thought).

Perhaps the most likely outcome is they do deliver a product, around late 2017, and it works poorly for ordinary daily close shaving, perhaps better for trimming or other specialized uses.
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Old 27th June 2016, 10:43 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Actually I don't. I don't know the field. You can't go to a laser diode manufacturer and say, "I want you to design and build me one with X power output, with most of its output at Y range of frequency, and my initial order will be 5 million units" and get results? (I assume that's what they're talking about doing, not fabricating the thing themselves.)
Depending on what you want customized, it varies a lot.
Want an existing bulk diode in a new case with new optics? Two weeks for Optics design, two for thermal pump design, two for prototype build (assuming on-site optic prototyping), six more weeks for first bulk order.
Want a common frequency with a non-standard power output, double or triple the time for thermal pump design above.
Want a custom frequency? Six months to a year for a lab prototype (if you're lucky) and then you can begin the other steps.

Quote:
I completely agree that the original prototype was no such thing, as Kickstarter and many commenters concluded. It did, however, cut hair with a laser fiber (it wasn't a fake in the sense of actually being e.g. a heated wire, as some thought).
The only undeniable laser demo I saw from these guys has an off-screen laser pumped through a standard fiber optic, with the laser coming out of the end, burning the hairs one at a time (taking some time for each, though how much of that was aim issues is unknown). Getting lasers out of the end of a fibre is trivial (in fact, that's what fibers are designed to do). The laser was carefully handled to avoid ever illuminating the skin.

But, for the final product, they need the light to come out the side (and not hand any effect if it hit the skin). Optic fibers are designed specifically to not come out the side, even when touching something. Why? Early on in the development, they were having trouble getting light to even propagate a few inches. Close examination showed that the oil left from fingerprints on the fiber surface was causing the internal reflection to break down, allowing the light to escape. Even when 'cleaned', they could still spot where the fingerprints had been by the escaping light, and the light was undetectable after a few feet. To fix this, they came up with the brilliant1 idea of using two fibers, one inside the other. The inner has slow light, the outer has fast, allowing for total internal reflection completely within the inner fiber. This meant that the light never reaches the outside of the encasing fiber, and anything on the surface could not have any effect on the beam trapped in the inner fiber.

So, for this to work, they'd have to use a fiber with no encasement layer, which means that any oil on the fiber will cause the light to escape before it even gets to the hair. Who here has a face (or legs) completely free of oil?

1Pun fully intended
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Old 27th June 2016, 06:34 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by GodMark2 View Post
But, for the final product, they need the light to come out the side (and not hand any effect if it hit the skin). Optic fibers are designed specifically to not come out the side, even when touching something. Why? Early on in the development, they were having trouble getting light to even propagate a few inches. Close examination showed that the oil left from fingerprints on the fiber surface was causing the internal reflection to break down, allowing the light to escape. Even when 'cleaned', they could still spot where the fingerprints had been by the escaping light, and the light was undetectable after a few feet. To fix this, they came up with the brilliant1 idea of using two fibers, one inside the other. The inner has slow light, the outer has fast, allowing for total internal reflection completely within the inner fiber. This meant that the light never reaches the outside of the encasing fiber, and anything on the surface could not have any effect on the beam trapped in the inner fiber.

Erm, no, that's not quite right.

Optical fibres are a coaxial construction consisting of a core of high-index material, encased in a low-index cladding. It's the difference between the refractive indices that keeps the light in the inner core, it reflects along the boundary between the cladding and the core.

Bend the fibre enough, and the refractive indices match up and allow the light to escape. It's similar to the the difference between looking across a body of water on a sunny day, and looking down into it from a near-vertical angle. In the former position, you're going to see reflections off the surface of the water blocking your view of anything that lays underneath, in the later, you'll be able to see down into it.

That's the principle on which the Skarp is based, and it is technically sound. The devil, however, is in the engineering details. The biggest devil, here, is the fact that a fairly dramatic bend is needed to allow sufficient light to escape, more than is likely to be caused by an unsupported fibre flexing on a single hair. Further, the light will only escape from a single point (the first bend in the fibre is where the light escapes, subsequent bends are useless at that point), so it can only cut a single hair at a time. Even if it does so almost instantaneously, this is still going to be a much slower shave than any traditional electric razor. Further, those fibres are fragile, can cannot take a lot of sharp bending without microfractures eventually causing it to break entirely. Then there's the problem of suspending the fibre, keeping it off the skin while still allowing it to cut hairs very close to the skin.

And, of course, there's the problem of supplying sufficient power, in a hand-held package with a the form-factor of a disposable razor, for a laser of wattage adequate to actually cut hair. Not only that, but there's no indication of how it deals with hair that lacks sufficient melanin to absorb the laser energy - pale blonde and gray hair. That's something that existing laser hair removal products still cannot cope with.

There is simply no way, with any existing technology, that this thing can possibly work as advertised.
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Old 27th June 2016, 09:34 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Erm, no, that's not quite right.

Optical fibres are a coaxial construction consisting of a core of high-index material, encased in a low-index cladding. It's the difference between the refractive indices that keeps the light in the inner core, it reflects along the boundary between the cladding and the core.

Bend the fibre enough, and the refractive indices match up and allow the light to escape. It's similar to the the difference between looking across a body of water on a sunny day, and looking down into it from a near-vertical angle. In the former position, you're going to see reflections off the surface of the water blocking your view of anything that lays underneath, in the later, you'll be able to see down into it.

That's the principle on which the Skarp is based, and it is technically sound.
What? This cnet article (http://www.cnet.com/products/skarp-laser-razor/) about the prototype says pretty clearly that it's delivering light out of the fiber by frustrated total internal reflection. Presumably the last little bit of fiber is single-index, no-cladding.
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Old 28th June 2016, 11:31 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by GodMark2 View Post
Depending on what you want customized, it varies a lot.
Want an existing bulk diode in a new case with new optics? Two weeks for Optics design, two for thermal pump design, two for prototype build (assuming on-site optic prototyping), six more weeks for first bulk order.
Want a common frequency with a non-standard power output, double or triple the time for thermal pump design above.
Want a custom frequency? Six months to a year for a lab prototype (if you're lucky) and then you can begin the other steps.

That sounds realistic. So, six months to two years, depending on what they'd actually need (I'm only guessing that they need a custom frequency). Which would still be consistent with late 2017 (okay, maybe late 2018) delivery, given that they would have started the process some months ago.

However, one hitch I overlooked is they didn't get the $4M in crowd funding I was thinking of; they got a tenth that after being kicked out of Kickstarter and moving to IndieGoGo. So they're not going to be able to pre-order seven million pieces. (At least, not without additional funding. They could get that if all other aspects of their prototypes were in working order. Working as in, "it shaves well and we'll be able to replace the fat heavy handle with a thin lightweight one when our custom emitters are ready," so that's admittedly a tall order.)

The rest of the technical issues… I'm not seeing a lot of clarity or consensus on where the insurmountable problems lie. The prototype (the one in their Kickstarter video and that CNet examined) did cut along the length of the fiber, not out its end. And it did not work by bending the fiber around a hair (and wouldn't such bending cause the light to emerge uselessly on the outside of the bend anyhow?) The "problem" of light leakage due to foreign material in contact with the fiber is exactly how the device is supposed to work. (I can see wet skin being a problem, but a good dry shave would be an advantage.) And the light doesn't have to travel many inches through the fiber unattenuated; in a usable version, the exposed length of fiber would be an inch or so. Maybe it won't work for Santa Claus; they say it will because their frequency targets something other than melanin. That could be a lie, but I can't dismiss it a priori.

So far, for me, definitive conclusion undrawn.
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Old 28th June 2016, 01:49 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
What? This cnet article (http://www.cnet.com/products/skarp-laser-razor/) about the prototype says pretty clearly that it's delivering light out of the fiber by frustrated total internal reflection.

1) CNet is effectively just reprinting Skarp's press release; which is not at all unusual for them.

2) That's just a special case variation of what I described. A simple understanding of the principle involved shows just how problematic that is in practice. Simply put, it requires conditions highly unlikely to be practically applicable in this context. Remember, coaxial fibres are not installed bare, they're commonly encased in a protective substrate of fine aramid fibres. Due to their round shape and small size, barrier effects cause minimal losses, otherwise encasing them would destroy their efficacy. The contact point between the hair and the round fibre is going to be on the order of a few microns.

Not to mention the fact that the fibre is highly likely to be touching the skin as well as the hairs, which would result in a much larger contact area, and therefore a greater risk of it burning the skin than burning the hair.

Quote:
Presumably the last little bit of fiber is single-index, no-cladding.

Possibly, but that would create huge losses and an even greater chance of laser light escaping and burning the skin.
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Old 1st February 2017, 07:03 AM   #140
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February 2017. Since this thread was last active in mid 2016, there have been three updates posted by Skarp on their Indiegogo page. (As far as I know, that's the only place the Laser Razor is still being regularly reported on or discussed.) The first two of those updates were not very informative (mostly "we're working on it; there have been delays") and emphasized the difficulty of development of the final production version of the fiber. The most recent update, as of a week ago, still discusses the fiber but also reports that they've received delivery of a custom wavelength laser diode they'd ordered.

Quote:
In the mean while everything else has been developed, including a now delivered custom wavelength laser-diode. Everything else mechanical and electrical, including the safely rechargeable battery, and the software were developed during last year, to a stage where the data points from the ultimately picked fiber will be dropped in.

That's consistent with how I read their earlier updates and also consistent with GodMark2's assessment of the lead times needed for such a custom diode (so thanks again for that info!).

Here's what the new update says about fiber development:

Quote:
We’re working on two new fiber models.

The intermediate draw of the first model came out nicely at the end of December 2016. The second draw (ultimate draw) of that model, is planned for the end of January 2017.

We’ll be starting the work on the second fiber model (which is even more advanced), based on the feedback from the draw result of the first model.

We expect both models to work and we’re looking forward to getting them in the lab. We’re planning to start measurements and evaluation of the first model upon delivery in February 2017.

Interpretation of some of the physics 15 months ago led us astray, resulting in a 12 month set back of the fiber drawing. With the funds we received from the backers, we were able to purchase very powerful hardware for even more advanced and much faster computer modeling, which has corrected the path of the fiber iterations.

While I can't be sure, the need for computationally intensive modeling and iterative testing of the fiber suggests that an earlier speculation of mine from October 2015 (upthread) might have been on the mark: that they planned all along to use a fiber with a non-round cross section, and that that (rather than the particular wavelength) is the real "secret" of the invention. (It follows that the initial concept existed only on paper and/or computer modeling, and that without a final specification for the shaped fiber let alone the actual fiber in hand, the so-called prototype could only be the kind of extremely crude representation that it was.)

The way I'm interpreting this is that a fiber that's other than round is going to change shape in the draw, so the challenge is figuring what shape to start with (the shape of the preform) so that the drawn fiber has the shape you want. That's where the modeling and "interpretation of the physics" would come into play (since the physics of how light behaves in a fiber is relatively simple and well-understood by comparison).

Of course, it's still conceivable that the updates are being made up out of whole cloth to string supporters along. That's looking less likely to me, because the claim that a custom laser diode has been ordered and delivered, which according to GodMark2 and other knowledgeable sources is an expensive proposition, would be (unlike claims of e.g. having spent months performing laborious computer calculations and design updates) readily and objectively verifiable in the event of a lawsuit. If they did purchase custom diodes (along with "powerful hardware," fiber draws, software development, a custom battery system and so forth), there wouldn't be much money left to abscond with. It seems more likely that along the way they've had to obtain additional funding from private sources.
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Old 1st February 2017, 08:34 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
...the claim ...would be ...readily and objectively verifiable in the event of a lawsuit.
which kind of lawsuit would be applicable in crowdfunding? delivery is not guaranteed for prototypes, even for the ones proposed in fairness (this one, , well I'm "skeptical" as much as for Consumer Physics’ SCiO)

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Old 1st February 2017, 09:05 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by wea View Post
which kind of lawsuit would be applicable in crowdfunding? delivery is not guaranteed for prototypes, even for the ones proposed in fairness (this one, , well I'm "skeptic")

I'm no lawyer, but I've seen class action lawsuits by stockholders (who likewise are never guaranteed a profit or particular outcome) in cases where a company is claimed to have knowingly misrepresented their financial position or prospects or the value of the transactions on their books. Wells Fargo was sued on that basis last year. (I don't know the outcome; still pending perhaps?)

I agree that e.g. if you fund me on Kickstarter to write a novel, and I claim to slave away on the novel for two years but produce nothing publishable due to writer's block, you'd have quite a difficult time recovering anything, because my expected due diligence arguably doesn't extend beyond trying really hard, and it would be a challenge to prove I didn't do that.

It would be easy enough for Skarp to be in a comparable position: just claim to be running more unsuccessful tests or doing more calculations month after month, then finally announce that even though the original idea was great, they've discovered some un-anticipated problem that makes it inherently unsafe or otherwise unworkable. (Of course, with no pun intended cutting-edge technology development, that could also happen in truth.) Instead they're publicly claiming to have made specific (and in principle easily verifiable in a legal discovery process) expenditures using the funds the backers contributed. That would seem unwise in a hypothetical case where they were actually just keeping the money.

I could be wrong.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 05:32 PM   #143
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October 2017. There have been no informative updates or visible evidence of progress during the past eight months. (On the Indiegogo comments page, every few months a Skarp rep posts that they're going to start issuing regular updates and answering backers' questions, which then doesn't happen.)

Not being a backer, I don't have access to what the backers are saying on their Facebook page, but I'm pretty sure it's nothing good.

My chances of ever shaving with a laser are looking rather remote at this point.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 06:20 PM   #144
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CNET was able to get some statements from Will King, who seems to be running the project now (take from that what you will) a few months back.

https://www.cnet.com/news/skarp-lase...what-happened/

Some key points:

- Will King, founder of British shaving brand King of Shaves, has signed on with Skarp as chief marketing officer and adviser.
- Skarp's Laser Razor has officially been delayed until at least the end of 2016.
- The prototype run should still be a full, working laser razor
- The primary delay was to develop and manufacture a new custom laser diode to better cut hair.
- Skarp believes the laser razor won't require medical certification.
- Skarp will not offer refunds.
- Skarp will not promise regular updates to backers.
- Skarp admits it overpromised regarding ship dates.

So yeah my Skarp razor is going to go on the self next to my Jucerino and Phantom Game Console, both of which I picked up in my Elio Motors P4.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 06:50 PM   #145
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Love that "end of 2016" part.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 07:44 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
CNET was able to get some statements from Will King, who seems to be running the project now (take from that what you will) a few months back.

https://www.cnet.com/news/skarp-lase...what-happened/

Some key points:

- Will King, founder of British shaving brand King of Shaves, has signed on with Skarp as chief marketing officer and adviser.
- Skarp's Laser Razor has officially been delayed until at least the end of 2016.
- The prototype run should still be a full, working laser razor
- The primary delay was to develop and manufacture a new custom laser diode to better cut hair.
- Skarp believes the laser razor won't require medical certification.
- Skarp will not offer refunds.
- Skarp will not promise regular updates to backers.
- Skarp admits it overpromised regarding ship dates.

So yeah my Skarp razor is going to go on the self next to my Jucerino and Phantom Game Console, both of which I picked up in my Elio Motors P4.

Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Love that "end of 2016" part.

Yeah, at this point more time has passed since the CNET "whatever happened to..." article, than between the article and the original Skarp crowdfunding campaigns two years ago.

My theory is the more recent delays are because Skarp has decided to modify the design to take advantage of the new hydrino technology.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 07:48 PM   #147
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Oh crap yeah I brain farted. For some reason I thought that article was from this July.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 09:49 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
- The prototype run should still be a full, working laser razor

As someone who works in the intellectual property field, I humbly suggest they use the term "lazor razor" instead, as being much easier to trademark.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 10:01 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
As someone who works in the intellectual property field, I humbly suggest they use the term "lazor razor" instead, as being much easier to trademark.
And doesn't require an actual laser! Kind of like "Froot Loops". No fruit required.
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Old 5th January 2019, 08:19 PM   #150
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Fiberstrandium Resurrecto!

So, it's 2019.

I wasn't expecting to post any updates on this thread. Skarp went silent on the Indiegogo comments page after making yet more false promises of future regular updates in March 2018. By last autumn I was pretty sure I was seeing the start of the final heat death of this venture; that increasingly infrequent queries about its status would simply go unanswered and eventually (though it would take years) it would be forgotten about.

But no. There was a new update in December, announcing that Skarp is still around, though with different personnel and a new address. They also have a new Web site.

There wasn't much information in the update about technical challenges or progress. They seem to be claiming to have completed the fiber, but the "micro mounting" of the fiber needs to be worked on, so the net effect is the same, nothing to demo. This could be slow but meaningful progress on an unexpectedly (except to everyone besides Skarp and its more optimistic backers) difficult technical problem. Or it could just be the continued spinning out of a now extended investment boondoggle in the manner of Randell Mills and his "any year now" hydrino-powered free energy reactors.

Existing razor companies have now had years to evaluate Skarp's original claims and consider their own positions. Gillette spends more on marketing per month than Skarp's entire investment to date (including having their name on an NFL stadium a few dozen miles from me); they can certainly afford some laser physics consultants and an optical fiber lab. (Perhaps that's where they got the idea, a few months ago, to introduce a heated conventional razor using a Kickstarter campaign.) The question "if there's anything to this, why haven't those companies leapfrogged Skarp by now?" looms increasingly large as time goes on.

According to the December update, a demo might be possible around the end of 1Q2019, with another year beyond that to create a deliverable product. The past track record strongly suggests that I won't be bumping this thread this coming springtime because nothing will happen on anywhere near that time frame.
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Old 6th January 2019, 11:30 AM   #151
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Meanwhile the razor I use was designed in 1890 and despite countless attempts to cheapen and streamline the final product it works fine.

It requires no battery and cuts the toughest beards with relative ease requiring only minimal services.

Another case of the better money, umm, mouse trap not quite working out right.
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Old 6th January 2019, 02:26 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Meanwhile the razor I use was designed in 1890 and despite countless attempts to cheapen and streamline the final product it works fine.

It requires no battery and cuts the toughest beards with relative ease requiring only minimal services.

Another case of the better money, umm, mouse trap not quite working out right.
I've always regarded these phenomenom (see also the self filling water bottle, solar roads, gravity lamp etc.) as designer led.
You get a couple of people who can generate some sexy 3d renders and get some very narrow technical advice (or they stop listening after the Yes in Yes, but...) and before you know it they're on one of the funding sites calling all the people who do physics haters. All the while they're also rolling out the "just a few technical issues" excuses.

It's an issue I have with crowdfunding. While yes, it gives a chance for some non-standard ideas to shine, the general public is terrible at realistically assessing the more technical stuff. If you can make it sound good and you've got a shiny video to go with it you can make a fortune
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Old 6th June 2019, 07:56 AM   #153
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June 2019. A somewhat informative update has been posted at Indiegogo. I didn't expect this, in fact I predicted the contrary (since it's still technically springtime) in my last post. They're forecasting possible video footage for the next update (whenever that might be), and best-case two years from now for delivering a product, "pursuant [to] funding."

Though I can't draw any conclusions about the project's chance of eventual success, a few things seem clear enough. One, the company is not currently trying to lower its profile or fade into the background; the update and the (albeit minimal) company Web page speak against that. Two, the company has clearly managed to secure a considerable amount of additional funding from other sources since the Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaigns. Those two things don't prove anything (Brilliant Light Power, the "hydrino" free energy company, keeps getting funding and has a Web page, for instance, and this could be a similar ploy to continue getting ongoing "development" funding from gullible investors). But the presence of a vocal and restless group of original crowdfunders makes the case a little bit different. I would expect a scammer to have tried harder to shake them off, as it were, make them lose interest, rather than continuing to tease and promise.

The most interesting thing about this update, though, is that it makes several references to an "asymmetric fiber"—something I speculated more than (good gawd) three and a half years ago might be a necessary part of the technology, and which as far as I know has never before been mentioned outside this thread. As I said in a subsequent post, the need for an asymmetric optical fiber does easily account for years worth of development challenges, as the manufacture of such a thing (possibly including the "cleaving" "ferruling" and "orienting" steps listed in the update) is new technology.

(Either that, or in pursuit of more funding, they're using my ideas to extend the scam...)
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Old 6th June 2019, 08:28 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
(Either that, or in pursuit of more funding, they're using my ideas to extend the scam...)

Or stave off potential lawsuits.
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