Fontus - self-filling water bottle (indiegogo scam campaign?)

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Efftup

Senior Member
May be I'm a tad suspicious, but I do tend to read that as a hint that said internationally renowned mountain biker could have been in on it. But thats just me.
I wasn't going to say anything (could be jumping to conclusions) but yeah
 

huwp

Member
Or he's slightly embarrassed about it and wasn't sure how to respond, or his PR staff shrugged and deleted the email without forwarding it to his 'real' account, or it was just another something his promotion company got him to do and he doesn't even really remember, or...
 

txt29

Active Member
In the comments section of my IGG anti-Triton campaign there are a few posts by Guy Raz who is in intense correspondence with Mr. Retezár, and also with the Ignite agency (partner of IGG promoting Fontus). Some of the emails he posted there as screenshots are quite amusing. I am attaching the latest one from Mr. Retezár, below.



PS: only one day remaining before the campaign deadline, and I have a bad feeling that unlike in Triton's case, IGG will let the fraud happen and will pay out the money to Fontus.
 

NoParty

Senior Member
In the comments section of my IGG anti-Triton campaign there are a few posts by Guy Raz who is in intense correspondence with Mr. Retezár, and also with the Ignite agency (partner of IGG promoting Fontus). Some of the emails he posted there as screenshots are quite amusing. I am attaching the latest one from Mr. Retezár, below.



PS: only one day remaining before the campaign deadline, and I have a bad feeling that unlike in Triton's case, IGG will let the fraud happen and will pay out the money to Fontus.
Wow! It's remarkable how similar the tone of Retezar's b.s. is to Triton!

The blithe assurance that they are sitting on physics-defying technology that is
soooooooooo much more amazing than what they have posted as their project.

The same doubling-down, after their essential claims have been thoroughly disproved... :eek:
 

txt29

Active Member
Wow! It's remarkable how similar the tone of Retezar's b.s. is to Triton!
Yes, exactly. I am just surprised they did not come with the claim that the bottle in fact contains a canister with liquid hydrogen, and that they produce water by combining it with the atmospheric oxygen, and getting so also el. power for the condenser, adding even more water.
 

Leifer

Senior Member
Remember, PR advertising agencies have been hired, to this and many other "big campaigns" to promote the product.
How much responsibility do they hold, in an unproved product ?....in that they are creating and dictating the promotional tactics ?
 
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Hevach

Senior Member
Likely none. Compare to a more straightforward case of false advertisement: As long as the claims were made by the company and published by the advertiser in good faith, the liability lies with the company making the product, not the one making the advertisement.
 

txt29

Active Member
Remember, PR advertising agencies have been hired, to this and many other "big campaigns" to promote the product.
How much responsibility do they hold, in an unproved product ?....in that they are creating and dictating the promotional tactics ?
IGNITE Agency, the promoter of Focus, and a partner of IGG, quickly washes their hands, and pretends there is no relation between them and Fontus (see the screenshots of the communications with Guy below). When Guy Raz pointed out that the IGG campaign lists them as partners of Fontus, their logo immediately disappeared from the IGG page. I already suspected earlier that many of the promoters are in fact IGG insiders, allowing so IGG to gain more money on the campaigns, and this quick reaction only confirms it.



 

NoParty

Senior Member
IGNITE Agency, the promoter of Focus, and a partner of IGG, quickly washes their hands, and pretends there is no relation between them and Fontus (see the screenshots of the communications with Guy below). When Guy Raz pointed out that the IGG campaign lists them as partners of Fontus, their logo immediately disappeared from the IGG page. I already suspected earlier that many of the promoters are in fact IGG insiders, allowing so IGG to gain more money on the campaigns, and this quick reaction only confirms it.



"I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again:
I do not, have, business relations, with that man, Mister Retezar."


L. Decker




Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 6.37.26 AM.png
 

markh

New Member
Im sorry its off subject.
Here is an update from their facebook page, see the comments section.

https://www.facebook.com/Fontus2016/

is it just me or did he say you can opt-out once the campaign is over? I'm not sure if this is binding in any way (being a comment on facebook), but it's defiantly sketchy.

 

NoParty

Senior Member
Im sorry its off subject.
Here is an update from their facebook page, see the comments section.

https://www.facebook.com/Fontus2016/

is it just me or did he say you can opt-out once the campaign is over? I'm not sure if this is binding in any way (being a comment on facebook), but it's defiantly sketchy.

I'm no engineer, but the Fontus argument:
"This tech already exists in larger units, look it up. We are just making it mobile."
makes me think of this analogy: (the brown text is Fontus language, but in a parallel example)

"Ford motor tech already exists in larger units, namely the 435 hp 5.0L V8 in the 2016 Mustang GT...
we are just making it mobile by delivering those 435 hp in a tennis ball size package! How is such power
possible in such a tiny package? We are not divulging specifics! Just buy a ticket and take the ride."


Dehumidifiers are certainly proven technology, but this kind of production at this size would be revolutionary...
and there's no reason to believe this group is sitting on unknown super-science. And I say this as someone who
would be their first customer, were it legit: I am always hiking in remote areas where re-filling water bottles is vital, but can be iffy in drought...



 

txt29

Active Member
Mr. Lee Decker repeatedly asked not to be associated with Fontus in any way, telling any mention of his name, likeness, company, or affiliation, in any shape or form is unauthorized and unjust. Now, a few days after the campaign was closed, there is a new update from the Fontus team signed 'The Fontus Team, Lee Decker'. I do not know whether the previous claim of Mr. Decker was false, or whether Fontus impersonated for some reason Lee Decker for this particular post, although usually Mr. Retezár uses his own identity when posting updates. The second possibility would not make much sense. It seems more likely that Mr. Lee Decker is involved more than he admitted, but then I do not understand why he denies it.

fontus-decker.jpg
 

Spiemel

New Member
The specification are:
  • Quiet Operation w/Dehumidifying Capacity of 12 Ounces a Day at 86°F, 80% RH
  • Measures Just 5.9" x 7" x 7.16" - Perfect Choice for Spaces up to 200 Square Feet
12 Ounces is 0.35L, in 24 hours, at 86°F, 80% RH, Fontus claims to be able to get that

Judging by the reviews, the Ivation unit works just as specified. It's just about 10x the size and 1/50th the efficiency of the Fontus claims.

@Fontus, can you address the fact that you are claiming efficiency gains of a factor of 50 over current Peltier dehumidifiers?



If you calculate based on water produced by volume of device, having 1/10th the size and 50x the efficiency, makes the underlying technology roughly 500times more efficient than the commercial device shown.

@Fontus:
1) you keep throwing out the super secret technology thing and something about working some new engineering firm. What is this firm called and what does it do: is your tech already as efficient as you say (and they are helping with the modelling) or are you asking them to invent the tech to go from the inefficient prototype to meet the claims on the IGG site? If it is the later, let me know what that company is called, I have this cold fusion idea I would like them to 'enigeer' into reality as well.

2) you have not answered the question about where the patent is filed. According to the IGG timeline this was filed in 2015 (after you launched the campaign). Where did you file it and what is the filing number? Once you have the patent pending, as long as you are the first filed and you eventually get the patent awarded the IP is safe and no one can steal it from you. There is no risk in revealing where you filed it, other than the suspicion that likely you have not filed it at all.
 
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Spiemel

New Member
That's how revolutionary Fontus claims to be.

One wants to provide water in central Africa for families survival. The other wants to give free water to middle class bikers.

One is being backed for $18K so far (only a couple of days) and the other is being backed for $300K (little more than 1 week).

And both share the same space in Indiegogo.
This is a good point (and quite sad at the same time to see the disparity). The solar efficiency is a huge (dare I say insurmountable) challenge to make the device work at these efficiencies. If the Shockley-Queisser limit is taken into account, with current solar tech we are at about 50% theoretical S-Q maximum (22-24% efficiency). Let's say they reach maximum efficiency 49%, heck lets say the bust right through that limit and go for 100% efficiency, so about 4times as efficient. Based on energetic needs alone, their solar panel is still 2,5 times too weak to power the Peltier device. This is not counting the needed miniaturisation of the Peltier (or that new ultra secret 'not-a-Peltier-device').

The current state of our control of physics just don't support this product
 

Spiemel

New Member
Well, I just checked up on our Fontus friends at IGG again and their latest update has a hidden nugget that is just too good not to share here (from founder Kristoff):

The thermal conductivity according to Wilipedia of copper is 4W/(cm•K). Silver is the only common metal that has a higher value at about 4.3.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_in_heat_exchangers

Now diamond is the only naturally occurring material that has a higher conductivity at 22W/(cm•K), about 5 times higher and this quote from wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_properties_of_diamond

Read that again: the highest thermal conductivity of any know solid at room temperature is 33.2 which is about 8 times higher than copper. And it is a freaking synthetically enhanced diamond!

These jokers at Fontus just claimed to have invented a material that is 30x better than copper and almost 4 to 6x better than diamond at heat conductivity (4x higher than the currently known highest thermal conductivity of any known solid at room temperature).

Yeah, they are soo going to deliver on this product in a couple of months.... And it will be delivered to all the IGG backers by leprechauns riding unicorns on rainbow highways.

SMH

PS: sorry for bad formatting, haven't looked into how to properly use quotes etc in forums.
 
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Spiemel

New Member
Also: this point I investigated a bit earlier but never published before is the use of Fontus of pay-to-play design awards schemes that are a sort of collusion between the award organisers and the participants. Characteristics of these 'awards' are that there are many many award categories (they need to have a large manufacture base willing to pay) and they often have some public listing.

The award nominees or winners always have to pay a relatively small fee, but with the number of manufacturers willing to fork over that money it adds up.

Plus-X award
Fontus proudly state on their Facebook website earlier this month that they are now nominated for a Plus-X award. Just look at the site and see how many product are nominated and look at the 'hall of fame': it's and endless stream of products, some that barely look like the local thrift store would be willing to sell it.

Looking into Plus-X there is an interesting article from 2007 in Computerbild.de which is kind of the German equivalent of PCmagazine that roughly states that Plus-X is a scam award site where participants pay 484euro for a nomination and 3082euro for an exceptional rating. Being included in the hall of fame you pay extra on top of that. I guess we know where part of that backer money is going to.

Link to Computerbild article (in German):
http://www.computerbild.de/artikel/...dukt-Guetesiegel-_Plus-X-Awards_-1535343.html

International Design Awards (IDA)
The same model applies to Fontus' International Design Award. The best thing there is that the faq specifically refers to the pay-to-play concept:

https://idesignawards.com/faq.html
And the only thing with IDA you need to do to play is submit a JPG of no more than 2MB (and 10images max), oh and pay the fee of course and you're in.

Now these 'awards' eventually do pick winners etc, but usually they publish very little about who that jury is and what their qualifications are. But in the case of IDA luckily they always select loads of winners so all is well that ends well for most of the paying participants.

Yeah Fontus, those are some really impressive awards you guys racked up.

PS: I am inclined to think Dyson is a real foundation but just run by idiots who would put a shame to Dyson himself if he would ever get wind of his foundation nominating a scam product like Fontus. To err is human and I suspect the Dyson foundation is still run by humans, not by overpriced virus spreading bathroom hand dryers.
 
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Yeah, they are soo going to deliver on this product in a couple of months.... And it will be delivered to all the IGG backers by leprechauns riding unicorns on rainbow highways.
Well, I guess in a couple of months we start seeing rainbow highways, the joke will be on us.

I'm not holding my breath, though.
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member
This seems to be a similar sort of idea which I can't see living up to the claims of potentially 11 gallons a day extracted from thin air, especially under arid conditions



https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/waterseer-water-women#/

Given the potential applications for this though I'd be very happy to be proven wrong
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I cannot see how that can collect water 24 hours a day (if ever, in arid areas). Water will only condense if the walls of the vessel are colder than the dewpoint of the air. In desert areas, the dewpoint can be well below zero (Celsius). The ground temperature is not going to be that low.

Take a look at these dewpoint values over the western United States (yesterday afternoon/evening local time)

IMG_7676.GIF
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member
I cannot see how that can collect water 24 hours a day. Water will only condense if the walls of the vessel are colder than the dewpoint of the air. In arid areas, the dewpoint can be well below zero (Celsius). The ground temperature is not going to be that low.
Only 6ft down too
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I can see that it might work to some extent in coastal regions, where the air will be more humid. San Francisco is not arid, as anyone who has enjoyed the fog there will know.

But their claim that the "effectiveness is not based on Relative Humidity" is clearly bunk, as the dewpoint (which is the limiting factor for the device to work, along with the ground temperature) is very much dependent on the relative humidity!

In fact this whole sentence is a complete non-sequitur:

It doesn't matter whether you use a naturally occurring temperature difference or create one artificially, condensation will still only occur if the relative humidity is high enough.
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
At a depth of six feet, it looks like soil temperatures vary by about 10 degrees F (6 degrees C) either side of the mean throughout the year, more in wet soil, less in dry soil:

IMG_7680.GIF

The mean soil temperatures are shown here:

IMG_7681.GIF

So a typical temperature profile at different depths might look like this (deeper down there is a longer thermal lag behind the seasons). This chart is based on a mean temperature of 62°F:

IMG_7682.GIF

At 6ft the profile will be slightly flatter than the 5ft line on that chart, so you could expect the temperature to fluctuate between about 52°F in spring and 72°F in autumn.

In arid desert areas, the baseline may be lower - for instance the mean in Nevada looks to be about 52°F. But remember the soil temperature varies less in arid soil, so I would expect the lowest temperature at 6ft to be in the region of 45°F. Not cold enough for condensation most of the time.


Info from here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooling/EarthTemperatures.htm (originally taken from a defunct Virginia Tech page)
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I can see that it might work to some extent in coastal regions, where the air will be more humid. San Francisco is not arid, as anyone who has enjoyed the fog there will know.

But their claim that the "effectiveness is not based on Relative Humidity" is clearly bunk, as the dewpoint (which is the limiting factor for the device to work, along with the ground temperature) is very much dependent on the relative humidity!

In fact this whole sentence is a complete non-sequitur:

It doesn't matter whether you use a naturally occurring temperature difference or create one artificially, condensation will still only occur if the relative humidity is high enough.
And they directly contradict themselves in an answer to a question on the campaign page, by saying that RH is an important factor:

upload_2016-10-13_10-29-30.png


I've just had a look at their "proof of concept" test:

upload_2016-10-13_10-37-25.png


As far as I can see, the metal grid underground would have been pretty irrelevant. The minimum air temperature was within a few degrees of the dewpoint on every day of the test, and so the metal condensing surface would have been cooler than the dewpoint anyway. Metal surfaces radiate heat very efficiently, so they will be several degrees colder than the air temperature on a clear night. This is why you often see frost on a car roof even though the air temperature doesn't fall below freezing point.

I think that condenser would have collected similar amounts of water even if it was insulated from the ground.



I also notice the location of their prototype test:

upload_2016-10-13_10-51-36.png

The Gill Tract Farm is in Albany, California, less than one mile from San Francisco Bay. Humidity here will naturally be quite high. They also carried out the test in April, when soil temperatures at 6ft would be close to their annual minimum.

upload_2016-10-13_10-54-38.png

I wonder why they chose that location?


I don't want to sound too negative - it's a neat device that clearly can extract water from the air when conditions allow, and a shortage of clean drinking water is not a problem confined to arid areas. But I do think they are making overinflated claims and not making the limitations clear. It's not magic.
 
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Geonerd

New Member
Ha!
I don't doubt the thing will work (for a short while) if you deploy it in the middle of a fog storm!

IMO, the device's thermal limitations are even more serious than the environmental. Between cooling thousands of pounds of air to the dew point, and the significant released heat of condensation, the device will quickly warm. Given dirt's relatively poor thermal conductivity it seems clear that the bulb and cubic meter-or-so of thermally relevant surrounding soil will quickly reach the local dew point, at which time the fun ends.

As with Fontus, the developers are either profoundly ignorant of basic HS/JC level physics, or ... it's a scam.
 

mm1145

Member
As with Fontus, the developers are either profoundly ignorant of basic HS/JC level physics, or ... it's a scam.
or
C) both

to quote somebody I do not remember the name off

 

Geonerd

New Member
Thunderf00t has released a typical video rant on youtube that does a fair job busting the Waterseer as it is presented by the developers.

Just today, Scott Larsen made a nice video explaining the thermal model of Waterseer he made.
Less attitude, more science! :)
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7bUgmKOvsE


He comes to the same conclusion as most - that thermal loading of the soil will rapidly cause the device to grind to a halt.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
One of the people who developed the device answered some questions on Facebook. I think it's fair to say some of the claims surrounding this invention have gone way beyond the original vision.

You_Doodle_2016-10-29T08_33_37Z.jpg You_Doodle_2016-10-29T08_31_27Z.jpg You_Doodle_2016-10-29T08_34_41Z.jpg
 

Geonerd

New Member
What page did Ian's post appear on? It appears (?) that the W.S. promoters may have deleted Ian's entry. If so, that's pretty low.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
What page did Ian's post appear on? It appears (?) that the W.S. promoters may have deleted Ian's entry. If so, that's pretty low.
From memory it was actually on David Avocado Wolfe's page. He either shared or wrote a post about the Waterseer.

It wasn't on the FB Waterseer page, if that's what you were thinking.
 

Spiemel

New Member
Our Fontus friends posted an update on their IGG page and guess what: they're getting closer to having to report failures so they are fleeing the US; they're relocating back to Vienna. The first backer asked for money back and let's wait for the flood of refund claims to start dripping in over the next 2 months as they start missing more and more of their 'milestones'.

Yes indeed Fontus, trying to alter the laws of Thermodynamics to fit your goals, does tend to move at a very slow pace from my experience. My anti-gravity plane I am building and soon funding on IGG is also hitting a couple of snags....I also blame it on my suppliers.
 

Geonerd

New Member
Our Fontus friends posted an update on their IGG page and guess what: they're getting closer to having to report failures so they are fleeing the US; they're relocating back to Vienna. The first backer asked for money back and let's wait for the flood of refund claims to start dripping in over the next 2 months as they start missing more and more of their 'milestones'.

Yes indeed Fontus, trying to alter the laws of Thermodynamics to fit your goals, does tend to move at a very slow pace from my experience. My anti-gravity plane I am building and soon funding on IGG is also hitting a couple of snags....I also blame it on my suppliers.
Ha. Slinking away with tail between lags (and money in bank!)

Unlike Solar Roadways and other affronts to basic energy conservation rules, Fontus seems headed for a fairly imminent, quite public implosion. Let's hope that event garners widespread attention, enough to dissuade the Foo-foo-science "media" that always manage to uncritically hype this sort of gizmo.
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member
Thunderf00t has released a typical video rant on youtube
Ya, It's too bad that TF delivers his message with sneers and sarcasm.

When I first looked into this product, Google lead me to online tech blogs. Most of the headlines and article content read like the device, as outlined in the WaterSeer promotional video, was already developed, field tested and proven to deliver 11 gallons of water. Neither of these seem to be true. To be fair, VICI labs possibly admits as much in their Indiegogo page.

So "could" it hypothetically make 11 gallons or did it actually make 11 gallons? I find the phrasing ambiguous.

I beleive they extrapolated results from some prototype designs that were developed with the help of Berkeley's Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. As a side note, that association with UC Berkeley is very well promoted in both VICI labs' webpage and Indigogo page.

UC Berkeley's disclaimer, on the other hand, makes it very clear that they do not inherently support the claims made by VICI Labs for their product.

This waterseer issue probably belongs in it's own thread? It seems a shame to have it buried within another post.
 

Skaille

New Member
Most of the headlines and article content read like the device, as outlined in the WaterSeer promotional video, was already developed, field tested and proven to deliver 11 gallons of water. Neither of these seem to be true. To be fair, VICI labs possibly admits as much in their Indiegogo page.

So "could" it hypothetically make 11 gallons or did it actually make 11 gallons? I find the phrasing ambiguous.
According to the Facebook post from one of the students that's posted over here, he says 11 liters, not 11 gallons -- A significant difference.
 
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