Tell us about CamMe
CamMe is PointGrab‘s popular gesture based camera app which lets anyone easily take group shots or the ultimate “selfie” from a distance without even touching their iPhone or iPad. Users can take a picture even when their phone is not in hand (from up to 16 feet away) simply by raising a hand and making a fist to begin a countdown before the photo is taken. The app recently was awarded “Most Innovative App” in the 2014 Global Mobile Awards, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and has had over 1 million downloads to date.
Approximately 600 people use CamMe every min and approximately 400 photos are taken with the app each minute. CamMe has been described as “an app that changes the way we take pictures forever. Utilizing clever hand gestures, this cool and ingenious app is for the new age of the Selfie!”
How did you come up with the idea for CamMe? Who came up with the concept?
PointGrab decided to create this app as a simple example of how gesture expands the user experience on an app that people use almost every day on their mobile devices. CamMe was developed based on the PointGrab gesture SDK (software developer kit). The idea was to enable app developers to explore using hand gesture in the mobile space and give them the opportunity to create new experiences for existing apps, as well as develop new concepts and ideas for new apps.
It seems pretty easy to use. How does it work?
CamMe lets users take great pictures from a distance without even touching the device. This means users can take fun selfies without their forearm in the picture or group shots can finally include everyone in the party. PointGrab uses the standard camera on the device together with its award winning gesture based technology and algorithm to be able to detect and analyze hand gesture and act accordingly. All the user needs to do is put the device in front of them in a distance, raise the hand, and close it to activate the camera without touching.
PointGrab’s sophisticated machine-learning algorithm for hand recognition, tracking, and motion uses the standard camera on the iPhone or iPad to detect the user’s hand. Once the user is ready to take a photo, he/she will make a fist and the camera will recognize it and then will count down and take the picture. As opposed to a timer on a regular camera, CamMe allows you to take the picture whenever you are ready. CamMe takes pictures from a distance on your terms and changes the way we take pictures using mobile devices.
Why is it, in your opinion, that Israel is such an innovative hub?
Israel is an innovative hub because people here are not afraid to be daring, think outside of the box and be creative. Because of this innovative thinking, lots of good ideas come to life. Some might not make it, but then lots of them succeed. Israel invests in technology and education to encourage people to be daring and creative. It may also be partly due to the “Israeli Chutzpa” that enables us to go our way and move forward with ideas other people will probably wont allow themselves too…
When it comes to Israel and innovation, does Size Matter?
Size does not matter. Israel is small but very creative, very innovative, and brings lots of new and exciting ideas to the world.
Facebook is opening a direct marketing office in Israel, augmenting the Israelis who work out of the company’s offices in Dublin, the U.S. social-networking giant said Monday.
Leading the efforts at Tel Aviv suburb Ramat Gan will be Adi Soffer-Teeni, who has been appointed head of Facebook Israel. Soffer-Teeni, currently chairwoman of Ginger Software, will be putting together her own team.
“Millions of people in this country use our service every day; they connect to one another and share what’s important to them,” Soffer-Teeni said on Facebook. “Businesses are discovering the value of being part of this … both major brand names and small and medium-sized businesses.”
Before Ginger Software, Soffer-Teeni was director of the business-to-consumer division at 888.com, an online casino and poker website. She was also chief executive of the Kidum Group, a private education company.
We posted about the company winning the 2013 European Technology Innovation Award last year, and now they have come out with the CamMe app that leverages their gesture prompting technology so your camera can be set to take pictures without a selfie arm, or toying with an annoying timer. The app was recently on CNN’s list for 20 fun and useful new mobile apps and is a must for anyone who wants to get that perfect selfie. Read more at PointGrab’s website.
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Last week Jewish WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum sold his company to Facebook for $19 billion; next week he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss hi-tech opportunities in Israel.
Netanyahu, traveling Sunday to Washington and a meeting with US President Barack Obama, is to go to Silicon Valley on Wednesday in an effort to promote hi-tech investments in Israel. In addition to Koum, Netanyahu is expected to meet with heads of Apple, Flextronics, Linkedin, Ebay and the Sequoia Venture Capital fund.
Netanyahu has made promoting Israeli hi-tech and turning the country into a cybersecurity hub a top priority.
“They speak a lot of Hebrew there [in Silicon Valley], I want to draw our friends back from there to Israel to invest,” Netanyahu said at the Israel Manufacturers Association’s annual event in Tel Aviv on Thursday. “It is very important for me that Israelis, and non-Israelis, will come here and see the talent we have here, the initiatives and the potential of the Israeli economy.”
In addition to meeting the Ukrainian-born Koum, Netanyahu – according to his office – will sign a “strategic cooperation” agreement with California Governor Jerry Brown to promote Israel- California economic ties.
This agreement would give Israeli companies access to iHUB, the California innovation program centered around 16 specific research clusters through state.
The iHubs, according to the California Governor’s Office, “leverage assets such as research parks, technology incubators, universities and federal laboratories to provide an innovation platform for start-up companies, economic development organizations, business groups and venture capitalists.”
An Israeli start-up claims to be able to combat viruses and hackers by predicting them – that is, anticipating, in the company’s words, “how hackers will evolve today’s malware into tomorrow’s advanced threats.”
CyActive, a 10-member company who boasts the slogan “Stay ahead of your attacker and place the unfair advantage in your hands,” says its engine is capable of predicting “hundreds of thousands of future malware derivatives… in mere hours,” then generating “future-proof detectors” which prevent malware attacks.
“When a threat is exposed, we predict that malware’s evolution to protect an organization before the black-hat hackers even write it,” Danny Levy, the company’s chief marketing officer, told Foxnews.com. “We have the ability to see the future and prepare for it.”