If you thought Israel was best known in the worldwide business community for its exports of oranges, olive oil, wines, and diamonds, I’ve got news for you. Israeli technology is growing by leaps and bounds. If Leaps and Bounds was an Olympic event, Israel would take home the gold. Here is just a selection of the exciting developments happening right now in the land of milk and honey.
Israeli technology is growing by leaps and bounds.
Say Goodbye to Surgical Stitches And Staples
If a new Israeli product from IonMed gets market approval, surgeons will have a revolutionary tool in their hands for scar-free incision closure. Finally, I’ll be able to have my appendix removed without worrying about it interrupting my swimsuit modeling career. But even more importantly, women giving birth by Caesarean section could be the first to benefit from a revolutionary Israeli invention for closing surgical incisions without stitches or staples. And with the money you save on stitches and staples, you’ll be able to give the surgeon a nice tip. The technique also promises to leave patients less prone to infection and scarring. BioWeld1, a unique trademarked product from Israeli startup IonMed, welds surgical incisions using cold plasma. This is a big improvement over the duct tape used by many HMO surgeons today. The procedure takes a few minutes, seals the area completely, leaves minimal scarring or painful stitches, and does not require complex training. And you know what that means – we’ll soon see it being pitched on Fox’s reality show, “Shark Tank”!
Priceline snaps up Israeli ad tech start-up
The acquisition of Qlika by online travel giant Priceline is the latest win for Israel’s blooming advertising technology industry. The next challenge will be to learn how to pronounce “Qlika.” Media reports said that Priceline paid around $3 million cash for the company. That’s nearly as much as a one-week stay in a U.S. hospital. The Qlika deal is just the latest success for an Israeli company in the area of advertising technology, which has become an important part of the Israeli technology ecosystem. For those unfamiliar with the term “ecosystem,” that’s where you shout out the word “system” across a canyon and you hear your voice coming back to you.
Established in 2012 by three classmates at Hebrew University, Qlika concentrates on “micro-marketing” – targeting consumers in very small geographical areas, with very specific search results for mobile device users based on what they are looking for and where they are. In other words, you can run, but you can’t hide from their advertising. Qlika’s technology creates campaigns geared to directing customers to local businesses and services. According to the company, the approach Qlika takes to online advertising has helped several of its clients – described as “major US advertisers” – increase their return on investment in Qlika’s services by as much as 50%. And that’s a language that any company can understand.
Israeli tech PointGrab puts you in gesture control
Imagine gesturing “open” at your refrigerator and watching the doors part as if by magic. Picture entering a dark room and signaling the light to go on with the point of your finger. Oh, sure, that’s easy enough if your name is Moses, Merlin or Houdini, but what about the rest of us civilians? Good news – we can now do all that, too! Thanks to an Israeli startup called PointGrab, life is now a breeze. Now, you don’t have to press the buttons on your remote control to channel surf; nor do you have to get up to switch songs on the computer across the room. Your bare hands can do the trick. Talk about a great way to impress your date.
How is this possible? Chalk it up to PointGrab’s advanced gesture recognition software, on the market since 2010, which offers an intuitive way of interacting with consumer devices. Through finger, hand and two-hand movements, the software communicates with the standard camera of PCs, tablets, smartphones and TVs for a whole new user experience. To paraphrase the famous line from “Captain Phillips” – you’re the captain now.
Its Hybrid Action Recognition technology – which won the Frost & Sullivan 2013 European Technology Innovation Award – was introduced last July and can accurately and reliably anticipate, detect and analyze shapes and movements up to 17 feet away. Reminds me of my Uncle Ralph, who could do that at the beach. PointGrab does not sell directly to consumers, but to equipment manufacturers. So, start sucking up to equipment manufacturers.
When it comes to finding and paying for parking spots in cities all over the world, Israeli technologies like Anagog, Parko and Pango are leading the way.
You may already be involved with Israeli technology. Chances are you already use the Israeli app Waze to find the best route to wherever you want to drive. After arriving, you might have another Israeli company to thank for finding you a parking spot and paying for it without a hassle. Pango is an app that lets you book and pay for on-street and parking lot spots via iOS, Android or Blackberry device, in Israel and in a growing number of major US cities. That’s right – even if you don’t go to the Promised Land, the Promised Land’s technology is bringing itself to you.
Thanks to the convenience of its patented pay-by-phone technology – no need for cash or paper tickets – Pango is the leading app to pay for parking in Israel. If you won’t make it to your car before the time runs out, you get a reminder to “feed the meter” from your phone. If you’re done early, you can use the “unpark” option to be billed only for the time you’ve been parked. And rumor has it that Pango is working on a Jewish mother add-on function that can remind you to sit up straight, eat with an appetite, and explain why your cousin Michael is so much more successful than you are.
But how do you find a spot? Thought you’d never ask. Another Israeli startup, Parko, uses crowdsourcing and GPS to steer drivers to spots that other users are about to vacate. If they’re not vacating fast enough, Parko will send over one of its Vacating Specialists, such as Big Vinnie, to convince them to get a move on. Integration with Pango users aims to give drivers the most accurate info possible – or, at least more accurate than they had been getting from their Aunt Sheila and Uncle Mort.