Skarp Technologies

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Skarp Technologies LLC is a US company (registered on 12 August 2015, no. 201522510335) based in Irvine, CA.

It was co-founded by Morgan Gustavsson and Paul Binun.[1]

The company gained public attention[2][3][4][5] in October 2015 when it launched a KickStarter campaign to promote the Skarp Laser Razor. It gained more than 4 million dollar pledges in less than three weeks (as of October 8, 2015). As of October 12, the Kickstarter campaign was suspended by Kickstarter. A new Indiegogo campaign was launched within hours of the Kickstarter being suspended. The Advisory Board consists of Christopher Zachary, MBBS, FRCP, Professor & Chair at UCI.[citation needed]

The address of the company is 1000 Bristol Street North, Unit 17, Newport Beach, CA, 92660, USA[6]

Main product[edit]

The only proposed product of the Skarp technologies company is the Skarp Laser Razor. This razor is supposed to use laser to perform close and irritation free shave. This razor was presented to the public via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter on September 22, 2015, asking for 160,000 US$.

The price of the razor during the Kickstarter campaign is US$189 (with "early bird" prices of $89 for the first 200 backers, $139 for the following 2000 backers, and $159 for the following 4000 backers)

The campaign quickly got the attention of the public and the media.

The campaign reached 1 million US$ in just one week.

The expected release date of the Skarp Laser Razor was March 2016 (for the Kickstarter backers), with a market availability in Summer 2016.

The Kickstarter campaign describes the following expected timeline :

- Printed Circuits Boards : Nov 11th 2015
- Diodes and Lenses : Dec 16th 2015
- Mechanical Components : Jan 19th 2016
- Fiber : Feb. 1st 2016
- Coatings : Feb 15th 2016

Technology[edit]

According to the Kickstarter campaign description, Morgan Gustavsson had the idea for a Laser razor in 2001.[citation needed] He discovered in 2009 a wavelength that could cut any color hair.[citation needed] He was joined by Paul Binun in 2013, when a working solution was developed.[citation needed]

The team also consists of Jon Loughboro (Lead Enelctrical Engineer), Loyal Wiens (Lead Firmware Engineer) and Leo Berganza (Lead Manufacturing/Mechanical Engineer).[citation needed]

Mr Oliver Pearce-Owen is the creator of the Kickstarter campaign and the CIO of Skarp Technologies.[citation needed]

From the same page, the description of the technology is[citation needed] :

"Wavelengths of light had already been discovered that could cut through dark hair, but finding a way to cut light hair was proving incredibly difficult.

After years of research & development, they discovered a chromophore in the hair that would be cut when hit with a particular light wavelength.

Chromophores are particles that absorb certain wavelengths (colors) of light.

This chromophore they identified is shared by every human, regardless of age, gender or race."

Also, from the Comments section of the Campaign :

"The laser isn't using power to burn the hair. It is targeting a certain chromophore in the hair that will break when hit with a certain frequency we discovered."

A patent (number 20150223889) was published on 2015-08-23 (In the Comments section of the campaign, the company talks about the patent US 9,017,322 B2, which is the same patent)

It states : "A device configured to cut hair using laser light includes a handle portion and a shaving portion. The handle portion includes a battery and a laser light source. The laser light source is coupled to and configured to receive power from the battery. The laser light source is also configured to generate laser light having a wavelength selected to target a predetermined chromophore to effectively cut a hair shaft. The shaving portion includes a support and a single fiber optic supported by the support. The fiber optic has a proximal end, a distal end, an outer wall, and a cutting region positioned towards the distal end and extending along a portion of the side wall. The fiber optic is positioned to receive the laser light from the laser light source at the proximal end, conduct the laser light from the proximal end toward the distal end, and emit the light out of the cutting region and toward hair when the cutting region is brought in contact with the hair." [7]

Skarp Technologies claim that his razor (all the following is extracted from Comments section of the campaign, September and October 2015, from the Skarp Technologies's answers to questions)[citation needed]:

- It can be used on any region of the body.

- It is not a laser hair removal

- (regarding the life expectancy of the product) : Tough to give an exact figure - much like any other electrical device. But it will be counted in years.

- It will be powered by a rechargeable battery. We are looking at induction charging as an option, it depends on cost.

- It will be recyclable after it stops functioning

- Estimated life span of the laser is 50,000 hours

- The razor doesn't require any special care.

- It will have a CE mark

- The battery will not user replaceable, but with normal usage it should last 10 years

- The light emission is well within eye safe levels. There's no directed light emitted from the razor.

- It is not actually burning the hair so there is no burning hair smell

- The laser light from the Skarp Razor only needs to cover about one 1/100,000 of that area at the time, hence the power needed is much much less. Not to mention that that light is not aimed down into, but horizontal to the dermis. Hence it does not heat up the dermis at all and hence there is no inflammation nor risk for PIH (post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation).

- It is water resistant. It can be used in the shower or with water if you want to, but it's not necessary.

- It uses a low power laser, & gets its hair cutting ability not from the strength of the laser, but from targeting the particular molecules in the hair that break when hit with a particular wavelength of light.

- It will be perfectly fine on tattooed skin

- It will cut incredibly close. It will cut closer with a single motion. One pass should be enough, two at the most. And because the Skarp Razor leaves a rounded edge rather than a traditional razor that leaves a sharp edge, it will feel smoother to the touch for longer.

- It will be a class 1 medical device and a class 1 laser

- It will work with uneven skin, and be a game changer for those with acne & skin conditions. The light from the laser will couple down into the hair & cut slightly below the ‘crater’ of the hair for a really close shave.

- It will cut any color hair & work on any color skin

- It can be rinsed under water, so dust isn’t a problem.

- There is no risk of burning skin, It is a low powered laser.

- 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 light only leaves the fiber when making contact with the hair. Water from the shower won’t have an effect on this.

- It is a class 1 medical device, like an electric toothbrush. We will however obtain any certifications required.

Skarp Technologies also wrote in the Comments section of the campaign, on September 22, 2015 :

"We have close co-operation with UCI (University of California Irvine) Department of Dermatology and are well aware of and prepared for FDA, whom the team has great experience of working with (us) in the past."

Controversy[edit]

On the KickStarter campaign's comments section and on forums like Reddit, doubts quickly arose about the validity of the claims of the company.[8][9][10][11][12] More specifically, whether the razor presented in the demonstration video was actually a functioning prototype or not.

As of October 8, 2015, Skarp Technologies acknowledge[13] that the razor is a working product, but it's currently connected to an outside power and laser sources.

"Our prototype is using an external power supply and fiber, which we will demo in the video we producing as we speak."

Questions were also raised[14][15] in the Kickstarter comments about the validity of the company's registered address, a FedEx office in Newport Beach, California.

On October 8, 2015, Skarp Technologies wrote (in the Comments section of the campaign) : "Kickstarter has a vetting process that all campaigns must go through. We were accepted with no issues."

and "We have been in contact with Kickstarter & after initially approving us, they requested a more thorough Demo. We explained to them that this isn't your run of the mill campaign & that our prototype has been taken as far as it could before mass production. After we provided a demo in Update 5 they told us they were happy. They recently requested another demo of cutting light hair, which we provided yesterday. I think they understand this is new territory & they're happy to have such a technologically advanced campaign on Kickstarter."

The controversy got attention of the online press on October 12, 2015, on the Austrian DerStandard.at online site.[16]

Kickstarter suspended the campaign on October 12, 2015 (just after the campaign reached 4,000,000 US$), offering the following explanation in an email sent to backers: "After requesting and reviewing additional material from the creator of the project, we’ve concluded that it is in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards. Accordingly, all funding has been stopped and backers will not be charged for their pledges. No further action is required on your part. Suspensions cannot be undone."

A few hours later, Skarp Technologies created a campaign on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site, with the same goal (US$160,000), the same pitch and claims.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving (Suspended)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "The Skarp razor that cuts with a LASER". Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  3. ^ Tan, Alicia Marie. "Shaving will never be the same with this laser razor". Mashable. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Skarp bladeless razor has raised over $2 million on Kickstarter". Fortune. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "This futuristic razor shaves your hair with an actual laser — and it's already raised over $650,000". Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Press". Skarp Technologies. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Gustavsson, Morgan Lars (2015-08-13). "Patent application title: Laser Shaving". Patent application title: Laser Shaving. 
  8. ^ "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving (Suspended)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Scam Alert. The wildly successful SKARP "Laser" Razor. Unrealistic technology, no working prototype, but 2.5 million raised. Beware. • r/kickstarter". reddit. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Skarp kickstarter scam update with more details • r/kickstarter". reddit. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  11. ^ By. "Ask Hackaday: I Love The Smell Of Burnt Hair In The Morning". Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "The Skarp Laser Razor - International Skeptics Forum". www.internationalskeptics.com. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "Update 7: Second weekly update! · The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving (Suspended)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving (Suspended)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  15. ^ "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving (Suspended)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  16. ^ http://derstandard.at/2000023582803/Laser-Rasierer-auf-Kickstarter-Hygiene-Revolution-oder-Millionenschwindel Laser-Rasierer auf Kickstarter: Hygiene-Revolution oder Millionenschwindel? (de)
  17. ^ "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving". Indiegogo. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 

External links[edit]