The Uniqueness of Israel
Israeli Award Winners at CES 2021
While the 2021 CES conference in Las Vegas was a bit different from usual due to the coronavirus pandemic, it didn’t stop a number of Israeli companies from having an impact at the virtual event. In fact, four Israeli companies, from the roughly 25 that participated, won coveted CES Innovation Awards.
OrCam, which is based in Jerusalem and headed by the founders of Mobileye, won a Best of Innovation award in the category of accessibility for the product OrCam Read. It is a device designed to help those with poor eyesight and it can read full pages of text aloud from any surface, including books, smartphones, labels, and newspapers. It even has a feature that allows users to ask it to find information within a text. Last year, OrCam Hear, a device for those with hearing problems won the same award.
Voiceitt won an award in the same category. The company has developed technology that clarifies hard to understand speech from the disabled, including those who have suffered from strokes or who have degenerative diseases or developmental disorders. The product is able to adapt to an individual’s unique speech patterns, such as pauses in breathing or non-verbal sounds. It also gives those with speach impediments the ability to control devices such as the Amazon Alexa, with their own voices.
VayyarImaging began life as a company dedicated to developing ways to improve the detection of breast cancer. Today, it works in the field of car safety. The company is able to incorporate numerous sensors on a single silicon chip, which reduces both the cost and the physical footprint of the sensors. Thanks to the technology, one chip with multiple sensors can replace an array of expensive cameras and LIDAR units. Placed on the outside of cars, Vayyar can work without line of sight and in all weather conditions. When inside the vehicle, it can detect the presence of different types of passengers, whether seatbelts are being worn, and adjust the way that airbags are deployed in the event of a crash. The company also won a CES award for its Walabot DIY 2 wall scanner, which improves on existing stud finder technology, and for its Vayyar Home Fall detector.
The final company to have won an award was Tactile Mobility. The company have produced a sensor that gives autonomous vehicles the ability to detect what they are driving over, water, potholes, ice, road cracks, and so on. It provides information about road quality, tire grip, vehicle weight, and more, which can then be used to improve the safety and comfort of the drive. The company is currently running a pilot scheme in Haifa where ten municipal vehicles have been fitted with the device to collect road information and share it with the city’s transport planners. It won the award in the Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation category.
There were many other Israeli companies to make an impact at the virtual conference, such as NanoScent, which is focused on ways of detecting COVID-19 from a person’s breath, and Spectalix, which has developed a way for people to edit videos without the need for green screen technology. With new start-ups appearing all of the time in Israel, it seems inevitable that here will be many more Israeli successes at future CES conferences.