Las Vegas, here they come! Dozens of Israeli companies are strutting their tech stuff at the annual international showcase for consumer electronics this week.
By Brian Blum, ISRAEL21c
The annual Consumer Electronics Show, now in its 51st year, has become a mecca for Israeli tech firms. From software for autonomous vehicles to drones delivering pizza to walking and talking robots, if there’s a consumer angle, CES – with 180,000 attendees and 4,500 exhibitors from 150 countries –is an essential part of any company’s international roll-out.
This year, there will be dozens of Israeli startups exhibiting across the sprawling Las Vegas World Trade Center, where CES is being held January 8-11. Twenty-two Israeli firms will be part of the Israeli Pavilion, sponsored by the Israeli Export Institute. (Click here to see the full list.)
ISRAEL21c takes a look at some of the hottest Israeli firms exhibiting at CES this year.
Innoviz makes smart LiDAR systems – the “eyes” in next-generation autonomous vehicles. Innoviz’s LiDAR sends out pulsed laser beams to measure and monitor a car’s surroundings. The company has already received a pre-CES “innovation award” in the vehicle intelligence category. BMW is now integrating Innoviz into its autonomous vehicles scheduled to be launched in 2021.
Vayavision acts as a brain to sensors installed in cars from companies like Innoviz, determining which sensor to use at any given moment to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. Vayavision takes its data from radar, LiDAR and camera sensors. The Vayavision “brain” is intended to reduce false alarms and missed detections. The company raised $8 million in October.
Broadmann17 is similar to Vayavision, in that it aims to improve processing in autonomous vehicles. The company’s artificial intelligence allows cars (and drones) to see, identify and process large amounts of data at once. Broadmann17’s deep neural network software enables “edge” devices (with limited processing power) to take advantage of the power of AI.
Cognata uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to simulate real cities in 3D so autonomous vehicle makers can test their cars virtually before hitting the streets. Given the recent revolt against Waymo’s autonomous vehicle tests in Arizona, where pedestrians attacked the vehicles with rocks and knives, Cognata’s tech may receive particular interest this year at CES.
Phantom Auto is building a “remote control” for autonomous cars. If there’s a problem with a self-driving vehicle and there’s no steering wheel, brakes or driver, Phantom Auto can insert a human operator to control the vehicle from a remote location. Will that be enough to help passenger (and angry mobs) get past their fear of driverless cars?
Engie plugs into a car’s dashboard and helps drivers of “regular” vehicles (you know, the ones we’re driving today) diagnose problems and find the closest mechanic (along with rates) from the app’s mechanic marketplace. Engie can tell you if your car will pass its next air-pollution test or if the engine is running hot. It can even remember where you parked your car.
C2A, Karamba Security, SafeRide Technologies and Argus Cyber Security all help protect cars of today and tomorrow against cyber-threats. They work in different ways: Argus embeds its security software directly into a car’s systems, Karamba secures the infotainment center to keep out hackers, C2A is making its firewall-type “Stamper” product available royalty-free, while SafeRide detects vulnerabilities before a hacker even arrives by flagging any abnormal behavior and reporting it to the connected car’s Security Operation Center.
Tactile Mobility helps self-driving cars “feel” the road. The company uses the data coming from a vehicle’s sensors to tell how tightly a car is gripping the road, whether the vehicle is bumping up and down over potholes or how steep a hill is. Tactile Mobility can help autonomous vehicles drive faster and be less wary of fast-moving highway on and off ramps.
Flytrex wants to be the FedEx of the drone-delivery world. Its software allows operators to set pick-up and delivery points and see information about weather, topography and other drones in the air. The service is now operational at the King’s Walk Golf Course in North Dakota where it delivers food and beverages to golfers on-demand, and in Iceland where AHA which uses Flytrex to drop goods in customers’ Reykjavik backyards.
Edgybees’ First Response software suite brings augmented reality, map layers and visual markers to allow drone pilots to monitor more than the drone itself can; it allows commanders to monitor drones remotely; and it integrates a drone’s visual progress into video streams and maps. The software was used during last year’s devastating Camp Fire in California and during several major US hurricanes.
Consumer drones today mainly carry packages. But will a fully flying car be in our future? Startup NFT hopes to bring a bit of the Jetsons to our cities. The company will be displaying a prototype vehicle with VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) capabilities – no landing pad or heliport required. NFT’s electric-powered flying car has a range of 60 miles driving and 310 miles flying at a projected price of $50,000.
Robots and More
Lumen is a personalized nutrition device that measures users’ metabolism by analyzing their breath. The company’s hand-held product includes carbon-dioxide sensors and flow meters to measure the breakdown of fat, carbohydrate and protein. The results are displayed on an accompanying smartphone app.
Watergen makes GENNY, a 50-kilogram home and office water generator that uses ambient air to extract and produce between 25 and 30 liters of water a day. One liter of GENNY-made water costs just 2 cents. The company was named a “Best of Innovation” nominee in CES’s “Tech for a Better World” category.
Intellithings also won a CES 2019 Innovation award for RoomMe, a personalized automation solution for smart homes. Install RoomMe in a selected space and its Bluetooth tech identifies who’s in the room based on their smartphone. RoomMe then automatically adjusts lights, thermostats and other devices to preset preferences.
TechSee uses cameras and augmented reality to troubleshoot users’ tech problems remotely. Just bought a new router but don’t know how to set it up? Fire up TechSee’s “Eve” app and point your phone at the router. Eve will identify the model and walk you through installation by demonstrating the steps you need to take on an augmented visual overlay. The company raised $18 million in December.
Handy with computers but hate housework? Foldimate will be demonstrating its robotic laundry folding machine at CES. A ship date is estimated for later this year with a target retail price of $980. You feed your clothes into the top of the machine, which looks a bit like a giant upright printer, and the clothes come out neat and folded. Foldimate adjusts its folding technique based on item size and user preferences.
Centaur Analytics wants to be the “Internet of crops.” The startup’s platform tracks data from sensors installed along the produce supply chain from farm to train to truck to retail facility. The app applies environmental information and predictive models to decide how best to reduce the amount of poor quality product (no more wilted lettuce!) which in turn should increase stores’ revenues.
Robots are always showstoppers at tech events, which practically guarantees personal robot-maker Temi a big CES splash. Use Temi ($1,499) to video chat with a loved one using its mobile telepresence functionality, ask Temi a question or to play your favorite song (think of Temi as Amazon Echo on wheels) or tell Temi to fetch some tea from the kitchen.
Intuition Robotics’ ElliQ has a similar home use as Temi, minus the wheels, and is aimed at chatting with seniors to help them stay active and engaged. The product won a “Best of Innovation award” in the Smart Home category at last year’s CES.
42 Game Changer might just be the perfect product for vendors at a trade show like CES. The company makes interactive mobile games branded for its corporate customers. When visitors approach the customer’s booth, they’re offered a chance to play a game and win a prize by entering their contact details. The company also will power customer interaction at the booth of another Israeli company at CES, Human Eyes.