When Israel was founded, it was a barren country with no natural resources, little water, and more than half of its land mass desert. The only thing the new country had going for it was the natural creativity of its people.

Six and a half decades later, the Israelis have turned their country into an oasis of technology and innovation. With the most startups per capita worldwide, and the third highest number of patents per head, Israel has become one of the leading players in the world of high-tech innovation, attracting international giants to its shores.

From health breakthroughs to technology, agriculture, the environment and the arts, the country’s innovations are transforming and enriching lives everywhere. Israel today is playing a significant role in some of the most important challenges facing our planet.

Not bad for a country the size of New Jersey. Here are four interesting innovations from Israel.

Pointgrab

PointGrab is a leading provider of advanced Hand Gesture Recognition Software using a standard 2D camera. PointGrab’s user-friendly solutions include next generation technology for hand gesture recognition; enabling TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets, all-in-one devices and more to be operated by a Natural User Interface (NUI) using hand gestures only.
Over the years, PointGrab’s software has been drastically developed for consumer use, and became commercially available in 2010.

Easy to integrate and fully scalable, the PointGrab software brings next generation hand gestures to control a diverse range of business and leisure applications on the PC. Simple single hand gestures or 2-hands gestures allow swiping between slides/photos, playing a song/video/slideshow, changing volume, zooming-in/out, rotating, and more. Additionally, by connecting a laptop to the television, users can also enjoy hand gesture control of applications via their television screen.
Pontgrab also enables full cursor control and virtual on-screen keyboard functionality from a distance, without the need for additional hardware. Users can enter text and browse the web, simply by moving their hands. It’s also great for gaming, presentations and video conferences.

Established in 2008, PointGrab Ltd. is a privately owned company, based in Israel.

Mobileye Inside

How wonderful would it be to live in a world without auto accidents. It sounds impossible, but it may be a possibility in the near future. Luxury European BMWs and Volvos will now protect themselves with Israeli anti-crash technology. Mobileye, the global pioneer in developing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), was founded in 1999 by Professor Amnon Shashua and Mr. Ziv Aviram. Ever since its inception Mobileye’s goal has been to develop and market vision-based systems that will help drivers keep passengers safe on the roads and decrease traffic accidents.
Mobileye’s development center, located in Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem is the world’s largest machine vision development center and employs approximately 200 research and development employees. In addition, the company has offices in the Netherlands, the United States, Japan and Cyprus.
Mobileye has been selected by a wide range of global automotive companies for their production vehicles, including BMW, GM, Volvo, Hyundai, Renault Trucks and more.
Using sophisticated vision algorithms, Mobileye’s collision avoidance technology is able to interpret a scene in real-time and provide drivers with an immediate evaluation based on its analysis. Automakers are now adopting this technology into their rapidly expanding safety feature applications.

Autotalks

Will honking your horn become obsolete? Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems that enable cars to talk to one another are poised to become the next craze in auto technology and road safety.
Like Mobileye Inside, Autotalks could make car crashes a thing of the past. The Autotalks system could warn that a driver ahead of you just slammed on his brakes and could give you the split-second warning needed to avoid a collision.

Industrial information and research company IHS believes that more than 1.3 million cars worldwide will be outfitted with V2V-based systems within five years and that 30% of all new cars will come with them 10 years from now.

Although carmakers would need to adopt a universal standard to unlock the full potential of V2V communications, Autotalks is set to roll out its chipsets, which analyze data transmitted by the computers of nearby vehicles in order to warn drivers of any imminent danger. The company is well-positioned at the starting gate, having already won preliminary contracts with several European auto makers.

Started in 2008, the company is headed by co-founder Nir Sasson and has 32 employees. By the end of 2012, it had secured $5.5 million in backing to develop its products.

WatchLock

WatchLock offers an intelligent integration of security with real-time alert and tracking from anywhere to anywhere. Watchlock is your assigned security guard that reports every lock and unlock, ensuring your peace of mind by knowing that your valuables are closely supervised anytime, anywhere. It allows you to monitor burglary attempts at your home, warehouse—anywhere there’s a lock. Be the first to know about any unusual activity.

The device is fully autonomous, does not rely on external power supply and operates in all weather conditions. It is a simple, reliable and cost effective solution, so you remain in total control.
WatchLock grants you continuous supervision over all openings and closings, protecting your most valuable property and enabling you to react immediately, even when you are far away.

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