The laser razor actually works -- but not very well
The laser razor actually works -- but not very well
3:08

The laser razor actually works -- but not very well

Gadgets
The Skarp laser razor seemed too good to be true. It was built as the first laser powered razor to give you a close shave without irritating your skin. The project raised $4 million on the crowd funding site, Kick Starter. But after the internet exploded with cries of scam, Skarp never got a cent. It was just taken down Gone. Then we got an email that they had taken it down because our prototype didn't meet the criteria that they had for the prototype. Kick starter said that the project was in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards. It has become a trench war between some people who really liked it and some people who were determined that this is a scam. Skarp tried to prove it had a prototype in this video but critics weren't convinced. And nobody outside of the company could vouch for it. So I went to see for myself whether the Laser Razor was real. Can't cut through this many at once right now. Not with this fiber. But I see them burning individually here and there. At Scarf's lab in Southern California the co-founder showed me how the laser cuts here without burning your skin. It's an effect called frustrated total internal reflection, when the laser beam travels along the length of the fiber, and only escapes when it hits the hair. Any point along that wall, you touch, light will reach out. And then as soon as you take away the hair, light goes back forward. The co-founders say they also found a wavelength to cut all hair colors. Normally lasers can only cut dark hair. But to keep their findings secret, they asked that we use a camera filter to disguise the color of their laser. See a few of these fallen away as I brush across the surface. And I can smell a little bit of smoke coming with my nostrils, too, as it's burning through them. As you can see, the prototype cuts one hair at a time not terribly effective if you want to shave off a beard. In the next version, the company aims to have the razor shave five to ten hairs at once, and right now you can't run the razor along your skin to get a close shave. On the prototype, the fiber that acts as the blade is fragile. It's attached by hand. That's right. Unless it hangs here between those two points where it's very likely mounted Then there it's an uphill. If you hit the little bump in the skin you'll break it because it's very very very brittle. Whoops and broke the fiber. That's why the company says it needs the funding. To get the right fiber and to mount it properly, which requires machinery.>> We know how to mount it and read the support so it does not break.>> We spoke to a optical fiber manufacturing expert who told us that [UNKNOWN] The company did manage to raise $400,000 on another crowd funding site, [UNKNOWN]. So what does [UNKNOWN] have to say to Kick Starter now? I would tell them thanks for all the publicity and there is always a tomorrow. When will we know for sure if the laser razor can really shave? Skarp says it will ship to backers in March 2016. Skeptics might say that's cutting it close. In Irvine California Shaun Hollister for Cnet. [MUSIC]

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