Ex-employee claims wireless charging start-up uBeam is a sham: Report

Source: uBeam | Facebook

Wireless charging start-up uBeam has been accused of having a sham product by a former employee, TechCrunch reported Wednesday.

The company — launched in 2011 while its founder was a student at the University of Pennsylvania — says it has created a device that can wirelessly charge nearby devices, like mobile phones and laptops, using ultrasound waves. Its technology has been written about by The New York Times, Fortune and TechCrunch, among other media outlets.

This week, however, a blogger claiming to be uBeam's former vice president of engineering published a series of posts casting doubts on the company's product. The blogger, TechCrunch reported, said uBeam has yet to hold a public demonstration of its product because it does not work. (An independent science writer later confirmed that the blogger is an ex-uBeam employee.)


"While in theory [uBeam] may be possible in limited cases, the safety, efficiency, and economics of it mean it is not even remotely practical," the blogger wrote.

uBeam founder & CEO Meredith Perry
Start-up eyes wireless charging for devices

Asked to respond to the blogger's allegations, uBeam CEO and founder Meredith Perry told CNBC that the company is "heads down" developing its wireless charging technology.

"We understand that with new products there will always be a natural skepticism and ultimately we hope that the community will judge us by the product we release in the market," Perry said in an email.

"We look forward to engaging with the market when we ship and having a healthy discussion about how we can all reduce the numbers of wires involved in our daily lives."

UBeam has raised more than $23 million in funding from VCs like Andreessen Horowitz, and people like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Mark Cuban.

Here's the full story in TechCrunch.