ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 30th September 2015, 06:56 AM   #1
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,230
The Skarp Laser Razor

Quote:
The first ever razor, powered by a laser, for an irritation free, incredibly close shave. Join the revolution!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...entury-shaving
Supposedly, a revolutionary concept in shaving. This company claims to have a working model that is capable of cutting hair of any color. The video shows a very ambiguous "shaving" of hair on the arm at around 1:30. If this thing actually works, why not just clearly show it shaving someone?

I have worked with various types of lasers, large and small, over the years, and I find this claim difficult to believe. If this device can vaporize hair, it would be very dangerous to use around the eyes, and I would think that the smell of burnt hair would be objectionable to most.

They have raised almost $2,000,000 with an original goal of just $160,000. The video is typical of some really bogus claims we have all seen, stock pictures of sciency looking equipment and men in lab coats.

So, the question is "Scam or revolutionary concept in shaving?"

Last edited by Olowkow; 30th September 2015 at 06:59 AM.
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:33 AM   #2
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
My first reaction is the same as yours--the smell would be horrible. Even I can smell burned hair, and I have virtually no sense of smell. (Technically, it's burning collagen, not hair per say, which is present in bones but leaches out through time, making it a quick and dirty test to see if a bone is a fossil or not.)

The risks to organs can be mitigated in a few ways, such as having the laser only operate in a very narrow window. But of course the hair has to get into that window, so it can't be too narrow. Then you have folks with skin conditions that leave bumps on the skin. I've sliced enough bug bites open with regular razors; doing it with a laser can't be a good thing!

The power usage would be astronomical, I'd think. Vaporizing hair isn't exactly an energy-efficient process; even vaporizing a section a few microns thick would take a lot of energy when you consider the area needing to be cut.

Of course, unless I need to I avoid shaving, so it really doesn't matter to me.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:40 AM   #3
Lothian
should be banned
 
Lothian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: on the edge
Posts: 14,345
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
My first reaction is the same as yours--the smell would be horrible. Even I can smell burned hair, and I have virtually no sense of smell.

The risks to organs can be mitigated in a few ways, such as having the laser only operate in a very narrow window. But of course the hair has to get into that window, so it can't be too narrow. Then you have folks with skin conditions that leave bumps on the skin. I've sliced enough bug bites open with regular razors; doing it with a laser can't be a good thing!

The power usage would be astronomical, I'd think. Vaporizing hair isn't exactly an energy-efficient process; even vaporizing a section a few microns thick would take a lot of energy when you consider the area needing to be cut.
Apparently you are wrong (according to their Q&A) .

"No. Because we're not actually burning the hair, it doesn't produce a burnt hair smell."

"The wavelength we're using doesn't emit UV. The power of the laser is too low to cause damage. But more importantly, the laser doesn't enter the skin, it only enters the hair. So there is absolutely no risk of developing any complications or damage."

"The Skarp Razor uses a single AAA that will last about a month with normal use"
Lothian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:41 AM   #4
Jrrarglblarg
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 12,673
I suggest actually looking at the kickstart and reading the faq before commenting.
Jrrarglblarg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:45 AM   #5
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Quote:
"No. Because we're not actually burning the hair, it doesn't produce a burnt hair smell."
Putting enough energy into hair to vaporize it is going to singe it. We're talking real-world applications here; even if this thing doesn't singe hair in a lab setting, once you put it in the hands of people it's almost certainly going to, just due to issues with calibration. And it doesn't take much to make the smell unappealing. THat's why we can use the burn test in paleontology--it singes such a small portion of the bone that it's generally irrelevant (we choose which portion with care as well).

Quote:
The wavelength we're using doesn't emit UV.
Who's talking UV? I'm making no assumptions about what wavelengths are used.

Quote:
The power of the laser is too low to cause damage.
Obviously false. Cutting hair by definition is damaging it. The question is, can you make a laser powerful enough to cut hair but weak enough to not harm skin?

Quote:
But more importantly, the laser doesn't enter the skin, it only enters the hair. So there is absolutely no risk of developing any complications or damage.
Again, calibration is the issue here. After a while, use will nudge things out of alignment.

Quote:
"The Skarp Razor uses a single AAA that will last about a month with normal use"
I'll believe it when I see it.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:47 AM   #6
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
One of the benefits is supposed to be environmental concerns because traditional disposable razors cannot be recycled. But, this version uses one AAA battery a month. I suppose you can't really win the entropy game.
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:52 AM   #7
Lothian
should be banned
 
Lothian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: on the edge
Posts: 14,345
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Putting enough energy into hair to vaporize it is going to singe it. We're talking real-world applications here; even if this thing doesn't singe hair in a lab setting, once you put it in the hands of people it's almost certainly going to, just due to issues with calibration. And it doesn't take much to make the smell unappealing. THat's why we can use the burn test in paleontology--it singes such a small portion of the bone that it's generally irrelevant (we choose which portion with care as well).

Who's talking UV? I'm making no assumptions about what wavelengths are used.

Obviously false. Cutting hair by definition is damaging it. The question is, can you make a laser powerful enough to cut hair but weak enough to not harm skin?

Again, calibration is the issue here. After a while, use will nudge things out of alignment.

I'll believe it when I see it.
If you are not in America, move there. You can make your fortune suing them. After all they have $2 million in the bank.
Lothian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:53 AM   #8
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
If you are not in America, move there. You can make your fortune suing them. After all they have $2 million in the bank.
Huh? Why would I sue them? They may well be right--I'm just bringing up issues they'll have to overcome, and reasons I doubt them.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 07:53 AM   #9
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,230
I liked the question:

Quote:
Q. Why do you all have beards?
A. We look more manly that way.....right?
Whether it emits UV or not is irrelevant to eye damage that can be produced by a laser. That statement sounded like someone who has not worked around lasers. Confusing response about why it doesn't produce the odor of burnt hair. The laser enters the beard hairs, and they just fall off?

Vaporizing all this hair and the AAA battery lasts a month? I think not. I can't help being reminded of the Tellspec food scanner nonsense.

ETA: Comments are interesting. Little critical thinking or skepticism and apparently blind acceptance that it works. Lots of concern about not being rechargeable. A few are demanding a good demo video. Me too.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...aving/comments

Last edited by Olowkow; 30th September 2015 at 08:00 AM.
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 08:13 AM   #10
Lothian
should be banned
 
Lothian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: on the edge
Posts: 14,345
Patent for those, unlike me, that may understand the science
Lothian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 08:15 AM   #11
Lothian
should be banned
 
Lothian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: on the edge
Posts: 14,345
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Huh? Why would I sue them? They may well be right--I'm just bringing up issues they'll have to overcome, and reasons I doubt them.
Loss of confidence in your assessment noted.
Lothian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 08:22 AM   #12
Aber
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,442
IPL has been in the market for a while for depilation eg

http://www.phaser-systems.com/

A razor adaptation seems to be just a bit more manly.
Aber is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 08:22 AM   #13
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
Loss of confidence in your assessment noted.
Please try to start making sense. I haven't lost any confidence in my assessment. I have always merely been pointing out what appear to me to be immediately obvious problems that must be overcome for this to work. I'm not familiar with lasers, to be honest, so I'm taking a "lay, but reasonably well educated person" perspective. If they can answer these issues adequately, I'll be happy to accept I'm wrong.

The fact that I don't see anything to sue about has nothing to do with my level of confidence. They are not, so far as I can determine, violating anyone's rights. I have no idea if they are committing fraud or not; how they handle my issues, and those Olowkow raised, may determine that. So while I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to someone pressing charges for fraud, me pressing charges at this stage would be wildly irresponsible and a violation of my ethical philosophy.

In my line of work, you see a fair amount of new technology. It's always billed as saving the world. And the general practice is to compare it against what you know, come up with a list of questions to ask the presenter, and grill them after their presentation. (I'll be honest, sometimes it's to see if the tech works and other times it's to spend more time with the presenter--sex sells, even in the corporate world!) How folks respond to reasonable concerns will tell you far more about the thing being discussed than their presentation will, every time. So while I have a tentative conclusion, nothing is set in stone, though the quotes you brought up make me lean more towards it not working.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 08:54 AM   #14
luchog
Neo-Post-Retro-Revivalist
 
luchog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 15,463
Originally Posted by Aber View Post
IPL has been in the market for a while for depilation eg

http://www.phaser-systems.com/

A razor adaptation seems to be just a bit more manly.

Except that well-established IPL systems do not deal well with low-pigmented and un-pigmented hair (very pale blonde and gray hair). The Skarp folks claim to be able to deal with all hair, which I find very questionable. Further IPL systems work by damaging the actual follicle, using what is essentially heat damage to kill it (using the laser to heat it from within), and are only effective on hair that is actively growing. Skarp is only affecting the shaft of the hair. They claim it works on chromatophores; but this only affects pigmented hair. Very light blonde, albino, and gray hair is highly unlike to be effectively dealt with unless the laser is much higher powered and burning the shaft.

There is a lot here to be skeptical about here.
__________________
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -- Douglas Adams
"The absence of evidence might indeed not be evidence of absence, but it's a pretty good start." -- PhantomWolf
"Let's see the buggers figure that one out." - John Lennon
luchog is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 09:09 AM   #15
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,230
Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
Patent for those, unlike me, that may understand the science
Thanks for finding that. While being interminably repetitive, the disclosure does not seem to address the important issues. They do not claim the use of a solid state diode laser, which is of course implied, and I have not been able to find the power level for the laser used. The wavelengths are all over the block from IR to red to purple in various "embodiments", and they even allow for the inclusion of a vacuum to pick up the hairs.

Quote:
The device may also include a vacuum source coupled to the support and configured to provide aspiration near the cutting region.
The video implies a red (~630 nm) diode laser which can of course burn things if powerful enough. Such lasers typically come with strong warnings and safety mechanisms. While the patent does address this concern, the mechanism for mitigating harm is dubious at best. The patent allows for even 2000 nm wavelengths of IR energy.

The use of an optical fiber which is part of the new art is not clearly described in the patent.

Quote:
In some embodiments, the fiber optic has a diameter in the range of about 4 microns to about 1000 microns. The device may also include a reflector positioned at the distal end of the fiber optic and configured to reflect light towards the fiber optic proximal end.
A 4 micron (two ten-thousandths of an inch) fiber optical fiber? A human hair is about 100 microns. I suppose such fibers exist, but why use one on this since it would be extremely delicate? Optical fibers typically carry light from one end to another and do not leak much along their length which would actually be a requirement in a razor that could ever hope to cut anything.

Just reading this patent, I'm not convinced that this form factor is achievable and could ever accomplish the purpose which it claims.

ETA: One of the other patents referenced as prior art actually contains a configuration of fiber optics that would be relevant. That is, one source and many fibers the ends of which are aligned in a linear row.

http://patents.justia.com/patent/20080201954
Quote:
An apparatus for shaving a person's hair by way of laser radiation includes a base unit with at least one laser light source, a portable unit which a user can move to the region of the hair to be cut, and also a transmission device with a plurality of optical fibers. The fibers transmit the laser radiation emitted by the at least one laser light source from the base unit to the portable unit. The ends of the optical fibers are arranged in the portable unit in such a way that the laser radiation emitted from these ends can at least partially overlap and provide for a linear beam cross section in the overlapped state.

Last edited by Olowkow; 30th September 2015 at 09:37 AM.
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 10:00 AM   #16
rdrast
Student
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 36
This is about as likely as the uBeam wireless charging system, but that raised what, over 10 million dollars? Most of the things on Kickstarter seem to be pretty much pie in the sky nonsense, yet people fund them.

I need to come up with a scam project, or even just put new words on something already being manufactured (KS's 'Openbeam' project for example).
rdrast is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 10:40 AM   #17
BenBurch
Gatekeeper of The Left
 
BenBurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The Universe 35.2 ms ahead of this one.
Posts: 37,535
Hell, let's just come up with something not a scam, just wildly unlikely to succeed, and kickstart that? Then we can diligently research something (like polywell fusion or pumped thorium piles) and see where we get? I love that sort of engineering.
__________________
For what doth it profit a man, to fix one bug, but crash the system?
BenBurch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 10:46 AM   #18
Psi Baba
Homo Skepticalis
 
Psi Baba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,006
That dude needs a proper haircut, not a shave.
__________________
We have reached a point in time where reality and satire have intersected and now you can't tell the difference. -- Lewis Black

There is a cult of ignorance . . . nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge. -- Isaac Asimov
Psi Baba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 10:50 AM   #19
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by rdrast View Post
I need to come up with a scam project, or even just put new words on something already being manufactured (KS's 'Openbeam' project for example).
Develop a coffee brewing system that fits in a standard car cup holder and runs off a car's power supply, without the risk of heating the cup to the point where the driver is burned. If someone does that, pretty much all construction workers, egineers, geologists, etc will buy one. And if it doesn't work, many will contribute to a kick-starter to make one just in case it does.

All I ask is 5% royalties.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 10:55 AM   #20
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15,568
It is intriguingly that virtually everyone in the video has a beard. The head of the company has a particularly scraggly and strange one. Disturbing in light of the subject of the campaign.

I also agree that the power required would be extremely high and dangerous if ever permitted to escape the razor (what stops the beam once it transits the edge of the razor in the mock up?), as well as the inevitable smell of burning hair. It is particularly interesting that all the razors shown are rough mockups without any attempt to include the working parts. Finally, I would mention that the video of the arm hair is probably using a very expensive, large, and fixed laser piped through an optic conduit; even with that they could only melt long hairs far from the skin, rather than hair stubs which are very close to the skin and that would be the targets of a real razor.

IMHO it has all the hallmarks of a kickstarter scam. Perhaps they would do better selling the "pocket fisherman" on late night TV? What would I get if I order (invest) before midnight tonight?

Added in edit: I understand that running a blowtorch around your skin quickly can remove unwanted hairs (plus a bit more). I think this is actually used to remove fur, hairs, and feathers from carcasses. Anyone interested in setting up a related kickstarter campaign?

Last edited by Giordano; 30th September 2015 at 11:02 AM.
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 10:59 AM   #21
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Giordano
It is intriguingly that virtually everyone in the video has a beard. The head of the company has a particularly scraggly and strange one. Disturbing in light of the subject of the campaign.
Why? What does their personal style matter in regards to their technical expertise? As an aside, beards are not the only things that get shaved; there are a myriad of medical reasons to shave other parts, as well as aesthetic.

Note that I don't disagree with your conclusion (I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I doubt it works). I just don't get this line of argument. It's akin to dismissing gynocology because a lot of the physicians involved are men.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:01 AM   #22
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 24,804
I can see the need for this. After all, shaving with a razor is just so damned difficult and expensive.......

ETA: I share one thing at least with Dinwar: a virtually non-existent sense of smell.
__________________
"The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place." The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:10 AM   #23
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15,568
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Why? What does their personal style matter in regards to their technical expertise? As an aside, beards are not the only things that get shaved; there are a myriad of medical reasons to shave other parts, as well as aesthetic.

Note that I don't disagree with your conclusion (I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I doubt it works). I just don't get this line of argument. It's akin to dismissing gynocology because a lot of the physicians involved are men.
My point is all people with beards are Marxist bomb throwers.

More seriously, I would think that if one wishes to invent something new in consumer beard removal, having a beard is a bit like a church having a lightening rod- a certain lack of confidence in your product. Of course oncologists don't need to have cancer to invent new and better procedures, and all of the development team for the laser razor might have beards for all I care, but I would have thought that presenting someone in the kickstarter video who does shave, even conventionally, would have added a bit more authenticity. This is equivalent to an healthy oncologist being able to demonstrate that he has actually treated people with cancer, rather than only people without cancer.
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:20 AM   #24
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Giordano
More seriously, I would think that if one wishes to invent something new in consumer beard removal, having a beard is a bit like a church having a lightening rod- a certain lack of confidence in your product
I'm sorry, but no. Having a beard or not is an aesthetic thing; removing beards is a technical thing. There is no comparison between the two. One can easily have all the knowledge necessary to remove beards without having any desire to do so. Just the other week I had to shave a bit of my arm to get a bandaid to stick so I could put some salve on a rather ugly ant bite--and if you saw me you wouldnt' believe I owned a comb, much less a razor!

Also, most people with beards don't just let them go. Most do a certain amount of trimming. Beards, due to the vicissitudes of life, often do not grow evently, so a certain amount of maintenance is required for a decent looking beard. So even those with facial hair may use razors.

I'm sorry, but this argument still makes no sense to me. It's still criticizing the product for something that's not relevant to the operation of the product.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:23 AM   #25
ben m
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6,387
OK, so the demo video looks like it's actually burning through little hairs. Very, very slowly---the fiber is in contact with the hair for a half-second or so before it goes through. And you can see little puffs of vapor---we'd have to hope that is steam and not burnt-hair smoke.

Doesn't sound implausible, as a plugged-in desktop device. Also doesn't sound like an improvement over anything.

My other objection to the concept is---so, sure, you try to design a laser that's very very quick and powerful at burning holes through hair follicles. Which means it's, um, at least sort of workable at burning holes through other things. If your shaving hand pauses or tilts for a second, does it just obliterate a line of skin?

One not-crazy idea could be if they have the light actually *contained* in the fiber (i.e., it's not a laser shining out of a slit, it's just a fiber) and the idea is that when a hair comes into contact with the fiber, the light gets coupled out at the point of contact. Frustrated total internal reflection. The dimensions don't sound quite right for this to work but it sounds more plausible to me than "AAA-powered laser facemower".
ben m is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:34 AM   #26
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15,568
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
I'm sorry, but no. Having a beard or not is an aesthetic thing; removing beards is a technical thing. There is no comparison between the two. One can easily have all the knowledge necessary to remove beards without having any desire to do so. Just the other week I had to shave a bit of my arm to get a bandaid to stick so I could put some salve on a rather ugly ant bite--and if you saw me you wouldnt' believe I owned a comb, much less a razor!

Also, most people with beards don't just let them go. Most do a certain amount of trimming. Beards, due to the vicissitudes of life, often do not grow evently, so a certain amount of maintenance is required for a decent looking beard. So even those with facial hair may use razors.

I'm sorry, but this argument still makes no sense to me. It's still criticizing the product for something that's not relevant to the operation of the product.
I don't want to go on and on about what to me was a whimsical aside. But I will point out that the mockups in the video are clearly designed for shaving to bare skin, and not just trimming facial hair (which might be achievable now, although with large desk top devices and at an expense and risk many thousand fold that of current trimmers). And again I note that many gynecologists are men, but if I was trying to get people to invest in development of a women's skin cream I would at least have a few women presented in my video.

Oh, and don't assume that I am clean shaven myself. But I still think that bearded people are bomb throwers.
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:41 AM   #27
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Giordano
I don't want to go on and on about what to me was a whimsical aside.
To be fair, I thought it was the first time, too. The issue is, it's been brought up more than once. I only quoted you as an example of someone making that argument, not trying to single you out.

Quote:
And again I note that many gynecologists are men, but if I was trying to get people to invest in development of a women's skin cream I would at least have a few women presented in my video.
Even for a razor I'd do the same thing. Nothing sells like a hot women in just a towel.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:52 AM   #28
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,230
Originally Posted by ben m View Post
OK, so the demo video looks like it's actually burning through little hairs. Very, very slowly---the fiber is in contact with the hair for a half-second or so before it goes through. And you can see little puffs of vapor---we'd have to hope that is steam and not burnt-hair smoke.

Doesn't sound implausible, as a plugged-in desktop device. Also doesn't sound like an improvement over anything.
So much like the touted cell phone size, hand held Raman spectrometer for analyzing molecular structure of foods in that their claims seem to ignore power requirements and the associated large structures that would be necessary. The troubling thing here is that the claim seems to be that the device as shown already exists.

Quote:

My other objection to the concept is---so, sure, you try to design a laser that's very very quick and powerful at burning holes through hair follicles. Which means it's, um, at least sort of workable at burning holes through other things. If your shaving hand pauses or tilts for a second, does it just obliterate a line of skin?
Their spiel, and their patent, seems to claim that they have found the magic wavelength for their laser to somehow go after only chromaphores in hair, but they really don't specify this wavelength or power level. What I see is a lot of mumbo jumbo and hand waving. They also seem to be saying that one may need to either tune the wavelength () of a laser diode to match one's hair color or buy just the right razor model. Again, very confusing.


Quote:
One not-crazy idea could be if they have the light actually *contained* in the fiber (i.e., it's not a laser shining out of a slit, it's just a fiber) and the idea is that when a hair comes into contact with the fiber, the light gets coupled out at the point of contact. Frustrated total internal reflection. The dimensions don't sound quite right for this to work but it sounds more plausible to me than "AAA-powered laser facemower".

I'm familiar with "total internal reflection", perhaps similar to the computerized finger printing devices, but I don't see how this gets them anywhere without quite high power.

Last edited by Olowkow; 30th September 2015 at 11:53 AM.
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:56 AM   #29
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Olowkow
...I don't see how this gets them anywhere without quite high power.
That's the key issue. Regardless of any other consideration, it has to provide sufficient energy to vaporize some volume of hair. That's not easy. Adding other considerations associated with lasers and it becomes even harder. My remote control requires two AA batteries, as does my xBox controler. I doubt this will take less power.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 11:57 AM   #30
ben m
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6,387
Originally Posted by Olowkow View Post
I'm familiar with "total internal reflection", perhaps similar to the computerized finger printing devices, but I don't see how this gets them anywhere without quite high power.
A frustrated internal reflection system would make sure that all of the available laser power is going into the-object-touching-the-fiber, i.e. a hair fiber, and that none of it is shining uselessly (or harmfully) across the skin in between hairs. So, maybe it's worth a factor of 10-100 better usage of the available power. (If it works at all. The scales might be mismatched---50um round hair fibers and 0.6 um light.)

I agree that it doesn't sound remotely like a job for a AAA battery.

Last edited by ben m; 30th September 2015 at 11:59 AM.
ben m is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:02 PM   #31
casebro
Penultimate Amazing
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,537
Using xyz wavelength for the cutting of hairs would be patentable too.
__________________
Great minds discuss ideas.
Medium minds discuss events.
Small minds spend all their time on U-Tube and Facebook.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:03 PM   #32
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15,568
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Even for a razor I'd do the same thing. Nothing sells like a hot women in just a towel.
Absolutely. Sometimes I find it embarrassing just to be a male...
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:08 PM   #33
ben m
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6,387
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
I'm sorry, but no. Having a beard or not is an aesthetic thing; removing beards is a technical thing. There is no comparison between the two. One can easily have all the knowledge necessary to remove beards without having any desire to do so.
Not to beat the dead horse, but my sense is that a daily-shaving-person has a good intuition for what aspects of the shaving experience are annoying, and what those annoyances feel like, and can more credibly say things like "avoiding nicks is so important, I don't mind if I smell a tiny bit like a burning dog" or whatever.

There was a while when I was a kid when my father was trying to invent a new kind of sailboat. "Dad," I'd say, "you've never been on a sailboat." And he'd draw a picture of his idea and explain why all the different parts of it were better than things he imagined were lacking on real sailboats. So that's one thing that comes to mind when I see a bunch of non-shavers talking about how they heard about the idea that people wanted a better way to shave. They came up with what sounds like an idea about something that sounds like a problem, from the perspective of a bunch of wannabe-entrepreneurs sitting around in a conference room looking for ideas and problems to throw entrepreneurship at.
ben m is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:09 PM   #34
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Absolutely. Sometimes I find it embarrassing just to be a male...
Hey, I don't begrudge women their eye candy. If they want to see hot men shaving themselves, have at it. It just has always seemed to me that women were better sellers--a woman,in our culture, is allowed to think another woman is attractive, while men are not generally allowed to think men are. So a hot woman shaving will sell to both genders, while a hot man will only target women.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:11 PM   #35
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15,568
We are good are good at seeing visible colors (duh) and blond hair clearly doesn't absorb visible light as much as black hair (it doesn't have as much of the chromophore melanin). So the secret wavelength must be in the uv or (more likely) infrared. Preferably a wavelength not absorbed by the skin. Good luck on that, given hair and skin are both made up primarily of keratin.
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:12 PM   #36
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15,568
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Hey, I don't begrudge women their eye candy. If they want to see hot men shaving themselves, have at it. It just has always seemed to me that women were better sellers--a woman,in our culture, is allowed to think another woman is attractive, while men are not generally allowed to think men are. So a hot woman shaving will sell to both genders, while a hot man will only target women.
Not so many in my neck of the woods. Enjoy them if you have them where you are.
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:13 PM   #37
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,230
They probably have never tried Mach 3 razor or they would not even try inventing a laser razor. An endpoint in design as far as I'm concerned.
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:13 PM   #38
deaman
Philosopher
 
deaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Here Now
Posts: 9,567
OMG! Ouch!

It burns! It BURNS!!!

MY BALLS!
deaman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:15 PM   #39
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,230
Originally Posted by deaman View Post
OMG! Ouch!

It burns! It BURNS!!!

MY BALLS!
Get a CO2 fire extinguisher!
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th September 2015, 12:21 PM   #40
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by ben m View Post
Not to beat the dead horse, but my sense is that a daily-shaving-person has a good intuition for what aspects of the shaving experience are annoying, and what those annoyances feel like, and can more credibly say things like "avoiding nicks is so important, I don't mind if I smell a tiny bit like a burning dog" or whatever.
This assumes that folks with beards have never shaved. That's simply not true. I know folks who alternate between clean-shaven and bearded. I spent the first half of this year shaving down to a goatee. Hair grows, so current hairiness is not an indicator of previous hairiness.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:35 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.