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Cicret Bracelet DEBUNK

Cicret Bracelet DEBUNK


Greetings, children! How you like me now eh? I’ve Gynééfied myself with my disruptive new invention, the Gynéé! It uses advanced “kortdramanometry”, to fit you into a tiny container, so you can ship yourself instead of paying for today’s overpriced, factory farm plane tickets. Now, it will be nuclear-powered, so… shipping costs may in some cases exceed the price of a plane ticket. But here’s what you need to know, pledging two hundred and fifty dollars and above gets you listed in the credits of a documentary I’m making about me inventing the Gynéé. And yeah! There’s no prototype yet the device is still in the fake CGI viral video stage of development, but guess what! So we’re some of the greatest future inventions of the 21st, century! Like the Cecret bracelet. Chances are you’ve come across this video from 2014 of a seemingly brilliant product concept. a bracelet that turns your wrist into a mobile screen. Like my Gynéé demo, the video is completely fake, of course. It’s just a prop bracelet with pictures of phone interfaces composited and tracked on to the arms, poorly. The screen slides around, and appears too sharp and opaque compared to the rest of the image, but unlike the Gynéé, the Cicret Bracelet has quietly gathered over half a million dollars in crowdfunding from actual members of the same species as you! Newscaster 1: “People will want that.” Newscaster 2: “I think of football… quarterback!” NC 1: “There you go! That’s actually a good idea.” Captain D: Now, you know me. I’m not one to judge people getting rewarded for putting crazy things on the internet. [glass crashing sound] If, like me, these visionary self-starters want your help funding a great new invention, Who am I to complain? But is it a great invention? Is it even possible for it to work as originally advertised? Let’s take a closer look. The makers are adamant that they haven’t invented any new technology, but rather combined existing tech into unique combination to improve a product. That product: the video display! What began as a primitive box with a light source projecting low quality pictures onto a matte surface, has been developed for over a century into a high resolution, self-illuminating, interactive panel so thin and light, it’s easily integrated into powerful mobile devices we can take with us wherever we go. And now the developers of the Cicret Bracelet want to take the next logical step, detaching the image from the mobile device, lowering its quality, and using a box with a light source to project it onto a matte surface. Please indulge me as I go through a brief list of potential problems with that approach.. *Clears Throat* Number one: projectors aren’t magic. Their performance depends on external conditions, like a dark environment and a bright, neutral projection surface. A projected pictures shadows could only look as dark as the surface looks on its own, and the pictures highlights could only look as bright as the surface looks under the full illumination of the projectors beam. Even a 24 kilowatt Purnell couldn’t cast a decent image onto a sheet of black velvet at high noon in the Sahara desert. How’s a tiny light source gonna fare on a sunny Miami day projected onto the arm of my black son? About that well. And he’s fine, by the way. He’s spending this millennium with his mother as per our “agreement”. Also the color of the surface effects the hues in the projected image. That’s why cinema screens are white, so if you’ve already pre-ordered your Cicret Bracelet, find a color gel that matches your skin tone, and glue it to your phone’s display to start getting used to how it’s going to look. Number Two – short-throw anamorphic projection is the worst kind of projection. Remember that thing I explained that time? Imagine the exact opposite: instead of viewing a stretched out picture at an angle, we have a straight view of a highly squeezed picture beamed from an angle which re-stretches it back to normal dimensions. Most of the pixels are dedicated to resolving the top of the image. By the time you get to the bottom, its defined by just a handful of stretchy squares. And speaking of squares with any ordinary light source like an LED at such a small scale there’s a noticeable light fall-off between the close and far end of the projection due to something physicists and I like to call, the inverse-square law. So spray some dark paint at the bottom of your phone screen to update our simulation. Wait, this just in, I’m being told now the secret team travelled into the future, saw my video, and adjusted their strategy. According to this footage of their presentation at the wearable technologies conference this year, they will not be using an LED projector. They’re going with a laser projector solution. Lasers shine highly directional light for very long distances, so say goodbye to the inverse square law issue. But say hello with your eyes and skin, to potentially hazardous laser radiation exposure! Purchase a laser emitter. There’s always a big yellow warning sticker advising you not to shine it on living tissue. So go ahead peel that off and paste it onto our simulation, and then throw the whole thing in the garbage because several major electronics manufacturers have already tried to introduce full-color laser projection technology to the consumer market and failed. Number Three – Cicret’s method for touch sensing doesn’t make much sense. The plan is to use proximity sensors the same devices, that make self-activating faucets possible. They work by projecting a beam, usually infrared, and sensing when it gets reflected by physical objects. Sounds reasonable, for simple button presses. This virtual keyboard, which uses laser projection and an infrared proximity sensor to detect keystrokes, has been on the market for years, and it works… great? But what about multi-touch gestures? With all the sensors on one side won’t some fingers block others from being seen, rendering rotation zooming, and pinching possibly impossible? Which brings me to the design of the bracelet itself. It’s sleek, it’s modern, it’s the kind of thing Steve Jobs would have loved to have been buried wearing, but how can all this amazing functionality fit in such a small package? Let’s take another, even closer look. Ignoring the madness that is this diagram in the original video showing a processor, accelerometer, card reader, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transceivers, an indicator light, a vibration motor, a projector, and eight proximity sensors all powered by a battery the size of a pumpkin seed located at the farthest possible point from the recharging port. Let’s just look at the bracelets aesthetics. The design that may have inspired you to throw your financial support behind the company, looked like this tiny evenly spaced pinholes breaking up an otherwise seamless Karim Rashid style color turdlet, but now that you’ve invested this is the latest iteration of what it might look like. A vertical projector and sensor assembly seated atop the bracelet seemingly thicker than the Apple watch, than any watch really! And there’s something familiar about this sensor arrangement… [foghorn blows] Incidentally… [spoken to delivery person] Disillusioned the first prototype of my Gynéé device has just arrived! [glamorous music begins] [cartoon whizzing sound, comical bonk sound] [wheezing] It works! Keep in mind, even this image of the Cicret Bracelet is still a mock-up. We haven’t seen a working prototype. What we have seen is a video posted in February 2015, called Cicret Bracelet first working prototype. It’s a series of shots showing disappointingly faint, blurry, and distorted projections cast onto some exquisitely hairless forearms. A title card claiming the device works on every skin tone precedes a shot of an arm filmed in such deep shadow, it’s impossible to tell what the skin tone actually is. Another card saying it works in “bright daylight” precedes two shots filmed and rather… overcast conditions. Which I almost didn’t notice, because I was too distracted by the insane flicker present throughout the demo. But don’t worry! The flicker is merely an artifact of the camera shutter, it’s not visible in real life. I’d like to take a moment to discuss competence. Not high level technical expertise, or intellectual brilliance, just basic human competence we all strive for in our daily lives. Now, if you were making a proof-of-concept video for your invention, and a simple camera issue was causing that very concept to look HORRIBLE, and all you had to do to fix it is to adjust one setting, wouldn’t you move heaven and earth to try to figure out how to do it? Better yet, wouldn’t you try to design your device not to have this issue at all? When the Cicret bracelet hits the market, many customers will film theirs in action, and put it online exhibiting the same flickering which may result in [in slowed down distorted voice]
negative brand perception Which flickery laser projector did they end up fitting inside their prototype anyway? Wait a minute! That might not be a laser projector at all! There’s a pretty obvious light fall-off, and we’re never even shown the full device in any of these shots! Could it be that they simply strapped an off-the-shelf pico projector to a hand like I did earlier with my son? GIVE ME BACK MY SON! You know, it’s funny. If I said that this image used to advertise the Cicret Bracelet is a bold-faced lie, because it’s impossible for a light projection to be darker than the surface on which is being projected, I could get in legal trouble. But on the other hand, the inventors of the Cicret Bracelet have been fine collecting money based on promises of images like this, without putting a single disclaimer on any of them! Just who are these shrewd genius entrepreneurs? [comical honk sound] Let’s see, there’s non-threatening Drew Carey, Picasso Johnny Depp, and at the helm a father-and-son team of Pascal and Guillaume Pommier. I think they’re father and son? There’s really not that much information out there about them. Pascal has experience in IT and management, and Guillaume is a salesman, a very tenacious one. Ever wonder why the bracelet is called Cicret? Well, because the name is borrowed from Guillaume previous venture. This was his IndieGoGo campaign to raise $50,000 for Cicret, the secure messaging app. It managed to raise $15 from one anonymous backer, you can still download the app from the Google Play Store. Try it and let me know how well it works. It was then that Guillaum pivoted to the bracelet idea, and started another IndieGoGo campaign, this time for $500,000. It topped out at thirteen hundred fifty seven, or as IndieGoGo puts it zero percent of the goal, before he closed it and disguised the campaign’s name. Why was it so tough? Well you see, reputable crowdfunding platforms like Patreon, Kickstarter, and IndieGoGo protect donors by requiring creators to meet their own benchmarks and deliver rewards in a timely fashion, something Guillaum struggled with from the start. Luckily, there was a better, less accountable solution. He abandoned IndieGoGo, and switched to collecting donations directly from credit cards, first via PayPal, and now via Stripe. In less than two years, he not only reached the $500,000 goal, but surpassed it by 20%! Turns out not all of that came from online donors, but still it’s a lesson to us all. By not having to deal with a fundraising sites consumer protecting rules, Guillaum is able to make all kinds of promises and projections on Cicret’s own website. A site he fully controls, a site whose news section chronicles two years of the company’s activity in just nine posts. One of which is a poll, and another a thank you for participating in the poll. A site where your generous upfront contributions for a currently non-existent product are collected under a strict “no refunds” policy. Sometimes I’m accused of being overly… cynical and… asshole-istic, but I don’t want to be seen that way! I’d be thrilled if Bigfoot hunters, psychic healers, and wearable technology innovators were proven right! And I would gladly sacrifice the funding of my revolutionary Gynéé storage container system, we pivoted, if it would help the Cicret Bracelet deliver on its promises. In fact I have! Guillaum, if you’re listening, I saw the limited time offer on your website, and I decided to participate. Prior to the deadline, I contributed the maximum two hundred and fifty dollar donation of my own money to your cause, which I believe entitles me to a free secret bracelet by no later than the end of 2016, according to your own timeline. I’m excited, and you should be too because, if the bracelet I receive functions exactly like your 2014 video depicts. I promise, in front of these two hundred thousand witnesses that I’ll ditch this old thing, start wearing this Cicret as my whimsical communicator device, and put a purchase link to it in the first video. I’m a fan of you Guillaum! I’m an investor! And I just can’t wait. But now I’m afraid it’s time for me to go kids, a police detective in Illinois is about to ask a psychic for help with a missing-persons case for the third time. Remember: love with your heart. Use your head for everything else. Captain Disillusion! [whooshing portal sounds]

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