UBEAM. THE PHYSICS IS SOUND™FIRST, LET’S GET SOME FACTS STRAIGHT…
WHAT IS SOUND?
Sound is vibration of the air (or other media). Sound waves enter the ear canal and vibrate the eardrum, causing signals to travel from the inner ear and then to the brain. The brain translates this “noise” into information. The rate at which sound vibrates molecules back and forth is described as cycles per second, or hertz (Hz). Humans hear sounds that move back and forth through a space 20 to 20,000 times per second – this is described as 20,000 Hz (or 20 kHz).
WHAT IS ULTRASOUND?
The range of human hearing is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz; sound below 20 Hz (called infrasound) and sound above 20 kHz (called ultrasound) cannot be detected by human ears. Thus, ultrasound waves are sound waves with frequencies higher than the upper limit of human hearing. uBeam is an ultrasound wireless power delivery system designed to safely charge mobile devices. Our team is comprised of the world’s leading experts in ultrasound and electronics, with decades of experience in all aspects of the system. The technology, the product’s safety, and how the system impacts the surrounding world have been extensively studied. Like all technology companies in the product development process, with critical intellectual property, at this time, we cannot release our full technical specifications to the public. However, we’ll give you a little taste of how our system works and why it’s safe, and as we approach product release we will provide more system specifications to your heart’s delight.
HOW IT WORKS
The uBeam system is composed of two parts: a transmitter that emits energy, and a receiver that receives energy. The transmitter is like a sound speaker, but instead of emitting audible sound, uBeam’s transmitter emits high frequency sound. This sound can’t be heard by humans or dogs; it’s called ultrasound. The receiver, like a microphone, picks up the sound and converts it into usable energy.
Sound, like light and wind, is a form of energy that can be converted into electrical energy with our proprietary energy harvesting technology. The receiver then sends this electrical power to charge or power an electronic device. Today, ultrasound technology is not designed for power transmission. Ultrasonic transducers are designed for medical imaging, distance measurement, and industrial cleaning. In order to make wireless power transmission via ultrasound commercially viable, uBeam engineered several incredibly difficult (but not impossible) things: • We invented a novel high-powered ultrasonic transducer. • We developed the thinnest, most powerful, most complex, and most intelligent ultrasonic transmitter in the world. • We developed a highly secure ultrasonic data transmission system. • We developed a receiver that could efficiently convert airborne ultrasound into usable power. uBeam’s multiple inventions have enabled the world’s most powerful, safe, and intelligent true over-distance commercial wireless power system for consumer electronics.
THE SAFETY OF SOUND
Ultrasound has been used safely for 100 years. It has been used in medicine since the 1940s. Its use in obstetrics began to increase in the 1960s. Ultrasound is considered safe for humans and wildlife and is employed routinely in the examination of developing fetuses. Fetuses are the most vulnerable organisms to injury, and the safety of ultrasound is in stark contrast to the absolute danger of ionizing radiation such as x-rays in examining developing fetuses. The safety of ultrasound has been examined for over 30 years and various occupational medicine scientific studies have failed to identify dangers of either industrial or medical ultrasound. The most recent paper to investigate the safety of ultrasound was just published in the January 2016 issue of Ultrasonics. In this paper, ultrasound energy was delivered to pig tissue to charge a device under the skin. The pigs were subjected to repeated charging of high intensity over 5 weeks and then the tissue that was subjected to the ultrasound was looked at under the microscope. There was no injury to the tissue, indicating that the ultrasound energy was safe. Of note is that this study used energy levels to tissue that were orders of magnitude higher than levels that uBeam’s system uses. uBeam is designed to charge devices outside of the human body and this type of ultrasound would not be expected to penetrate skin. This particular study supports that, even if the uBeam could penetrate skin, there would be no injury. Ultrasound in the very high frequencies (Megahertz, or MHz, 1000x higher frequency than kHz) is widely used in the medical field, and is the most common medical imaging modality used in almost all specialties due to its versatility and safety. In fact, nearly everyone under the age of 50 in the United States was imaged in-utero by ultrasound, and it is considered a routine and standard procedure.
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