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.
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.”
He will meet with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Google’s senior vice president and chief business officer, Nikesh Arora, as well as give a speech on Israel’s cybersecurity industry at the annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for 2,500 of the world’s political and financial leaders.
“The Israeli economy has been successful in the face of the global economic crisis and is continuing to show high growth and low unemployment,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Participation in the World Economic Forum will allow us to showcase the achievements of the Israeli economy to the entire world. ”
The prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace will also be on the agenda.
President Shimon Peres will discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace process on Thursday and Friday. He will also talk about the Iranian nuclear program and the economic and diplomatic challenges facing Israel and the region.
On Friday, Peres will be presented with the Spirit of Davos award for his contribution to the success of the World Economic Forum over the past two decades.
About 100 leading Israeli businesspeople are heading to Davos in part to promote a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples. The World Economic Forum is dedicated an entire day to discussing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and the effect it could have on economic opportunities in the region.
Bank of Israel governor Karnit Flug will also be attending, but Finance Minister Yair Lapid will not be going.
The forum’s invitation to Netanyahu, who will be returning late Saturday or early Sunday, said Israel is a “key to positive developments in the regional and global economies,” according to the Israeli government statement.
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Google Israel CEO Meir Brand signed the framework agreement, according to a statement.
The Finance Ministry said, “The MOU was formulated as part of recognition of the importance of technology to access government information and services, to reduce the bureaucratic burden, to improve government services to citizens and businesses, and for economic growth.”
Initiatives to come from the collaboration are set to include “Meet the Government” encounters, a platform for Israeli start-up companies to better understand government policies and work plans, a scholarship program cooperation at Ben Gurion University for engineering, computer studies and public policy students to present innovative ideas and technologies for the public sector, and new data banks that can assist Google.
In 2013, Google acquired Waze, an Israeli navigation app and traffic report start-up, for $1.3 billion. Part of the profits from the Waze sale were donated to Israeli charities.
In December, Google also launched an Israeli start-up incubator, called Campus Tel Aviv, “a hub for entrepreneurs and developers located in the heart of the start-up nation” which will serve as “a space for developers and entrepreneurs to attend and organize events with speakers, mentors and other entrepreneurs.”
“The ongoing investment in Israel is proof of the extraordinary talent we have here, and we are committed to continue strengthening the Internet’s contribution to the Israeli economy and public,” Google Israel’s Brand said at its inauguration.
Named after the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, it served as the capital of the Roman province of Judea and became one of the centers of early Christianity. Now the port city of Caesarea is home to luxury houses like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s – and the company developing the fastest Wi-Fi in the world.
Wilocity is a 60-person company in Caesarea’s industrial zone that is developing what it describes as “the world’s first multi-gigabit wireless chipsets” based on new standards for super-high-speed Internet.
The chips will be able to transmit data at a speed of seven gigabits per second, almost 25 times faster than one of the highest home Internet speeds currently available, 300 megabits per second.
“With every generation of the product, capability improves and speed increases,” said Yaron Elboim, Wilocity’s vice president of engineering, who handles the company’s activities in Israel. “As soon as you have speed, there’s no end to the applications.”
The company has secured $105 million in funding, reflecting investors’ confidence in the specialized set of chips coming from an ancient Roman city, far from the spotlight, that could zoom Web use to a whole new realm of speed.
With 300 megabits per second, users can download a two-hour high-definition movie in 2.2 minutes, run 14 Internet-connected devices simultaneously or download 10 songs in 1.4 seconds, according to technology website Digital Trends.
“This kind of communication lets you play a high-definition movie from the computer on the television screen, without freezing,” said Elboim. “It lets you back up your smartphone on your computer and vice versa in seconds, where today it takes hours.”
Megabits or gigabits per second is only part of the story, said Elboim. For a difference of 10 times the speed on paper, the effective difference is almost 100 times, since Wi-Fi slows down when there are a lot of users on the same system.
In an office using standard Wi-Fi, Elboim said, “Dozens of office workers are sharing Internet access, and it’s very slow. We replaced all the company employees’ Wi-Fi chips with our chip, and they go online with almost no restrictions.”
That’s because unlike the current Wi-Fi technology, Wilocity’s high-speed version does not split up the bandwidth among users.
While this is an advantage of the technology, there’s also a major downside: The router and the computer have to be in the same room. It works from a distance of 100 meters, or 328 feet, but is not effective through walls or other physical impediments.
Wilocity recently concluded a $35 million financing round that brought in Israeli venture capital funds like Alan Feld’s Vintage Investment Partners and Shlomo Kalish’s Jerusalem Global Ventures. Other investors include semiconductor manufacturers Marvell and Qualcomm and networking equipment maker Cisco. Leading foreign funds are also inside, including Sequoia Capital, Benchmark and Tallwood Venture Capital.
Wilocity’s microchip technology has already been embedded for about a year in some Dell computers geared toward businesses. The next generation devices, which are in an advanced stage of development, will have even smaller and more energy-efficient chips.
The super-fast technology is based on new WiGig 60-gigahertz and IEEE802.11 standards for Wi-Fi. The new standards were approved in March of this year, and is expected to become the primary standard in computing over the next few years.
“First it will go into the business routers, then to computers for the consumer market and later, the standard will also reach mobile,” said Elboim. “It’s a matter of price.”