Does The Laser Razor Yanked From Kickstarter Actually Work? Well, Sort Of

laserbeamsThe prospect of shaving oneself with a laser is, in theory, unfathomably cool. That’s what made the Skarp razor an incredibly successful project on Kickstarter before the platform canceled the campaign due to the apparent lack of a working prototype. Was that really true? How well would the razor work for an unbiased observer? CNET sent a reporter and his arm hair to find out.

Arm hair? Yes, the product is still being tested on arms. (Warning: auto-play video) the razors still aren’t at the point where you’d want to brush them along your face… and they also don’t exist as standalone razor units yet. There’s a fiber with a laser passing through it, and there are sculpted razors that the fiber will eventually pass through, but the whole thing hasn’t been put together in one item yet. That’s the issue that Kickstarter had.

Picture a cheese slicer, which uses a thin wire to make the slices uniform. The razor’s fiber sits in the head in a similar way, and the fiber passes over your skin. Where it encounters a hair, the laser beam, which is normally confined to the fiber, escapes it and zaps your hair.

The founders explained that the reason why they turned to crowdfunding was so they wouldn’t be beholden to venture capitalists or share their product information with anyone else. The founders claim that they didn’t set out to mislead the users of Kickstarter about how complete their product was, and perhaps they should have hired someone to handle the marketing and present the product accurately.

Their explanation that the prototype doesn’t really work as a hair removal device actually checks out, CNET’s Sean Hollister learned after consulting actual experts: they would need a larger investment to have higher quality fiber that can cut more than one hair at a time.

In summary: the razor works, but only about as well as it did in that demonstration video. They won’t even know for sure whether it can really run on a single AAA battery until the fiber goes into production.

We tried the laser razor [CNET]