uBeam. Power Up


So it’s official. We don’t need wires for anything anymore. I’m not just talking about phones, internet, or anything else we’ve become accustomed to over the past couple decades. Technology is changing fast, and the way we charge our daily products looks like it’s on the forefront of it all.

What do I mean? Try ultrasound charging technology which is now applicable for your camera, mobile phone, laptop, and more. A startup called uBeam is making that possible.

Things are changing, and as far as hardware is concerned, if there’s one product I’ve been infatuated by recently, this is it.

How Does It Work?

Of course anyone’s first question. Let me begin by getting into the story if how it came about . Like many people, uBeam founder Meredith Perry was annoyed by what she saw as a series of inexplicable, and annoying restrictions in terms of how we use the products around us. Unlike most of us though, she was smart enough to keep tabs of all of them in a journal.

In a recent New York Times article she discussed the moment of her epiphany:

“I was just standing in my room, wrapping up my laptop charger and trying to fit it into my bag and suddenly it occurred to me: Wow, this is so archaic. Why are we using these 20-foot wires to plug in our quote-unquote wireless devices?”

And then it all began.

As a product, uBeam essentially offers a transmitter you plug into an electricity outlet, which then connects with various other devices in order to deliver wireless energy. An ultrasound ray will be beamed to the products, charging them without the hassle we’ve become accustomed to with cords. The company itself calls it a sort of wi-fi for energy, which to be fair, is a pretty reasonable analogy.

The Funding

The Los Angeles based company has managed to raise $13.2 million in funding through several separate rounds since its creation in 2011. The most recent of these was just over $10 million in Series A investment just a few days ago.

Of all its associates though, the most interesting VC to have been involved in raising money for the company is definitely Ludlow Ventures. Why you ask? It’s founder, Jonathon Treist admitted to being so interested in reaching out to uBeam that after a period of being ignored by the company he sent Meredith Perry a video of his daughter asking that she return his emails and phone calls. Not bad for persistence .

Considering what it’s offering to the market in terms of a total disruption of the status-quo, I wouldn’t doubt the startup can raise a substantially higher number in the future should the need arise. Given how much money you need to make an impact in the hardware market, it probably will.

The Verdict

I suppose the blog speaks for itself. As mentioned previously, what I love most about the company is its disruptive potential. It’s making an entire industry re-think concepts we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. While it’s still early days, and given that the bulk of investment in uBeam has come only recently, we’ll have to see how the project pans out.

Overall though, the prospects are there, and given the newly found efficiency its offering consumers (and by ‘consumers’ I mean anyone who owns a smart phone or a laptop) I see it as a revolutionary idea which will indeed shape the future of hardware.

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