Published On: Sun, Apr 26th, 2015

Computer Vision Apps for Drones and more Good News From Israel

Perception,   Computer Vision Apps for Drones
In the 26 Apr 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
 
·        An Israeli hospital has opened the world’s largest pressurized oxygen chamber.
·       Israel is sending relief teams to help victims of the earthquake in Nepal.
·        3 more giant foreign companies are to set-up R&D centers in Israel.
·        Israel’s drip-irrigation technology now provides food for one billion people.
·        An Israeli whiz kid is inspiring international high-school students to run startups.
 
Michael ORDMAN BLOGGER FRONTISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
 
The world’s largest oxygen chamber.  The new hyperbaric unit at Israel’s Assaf Harofeh Medical Center has a capacity for 150 patients per day.  It provides high-pressure oxygen to treat victims of diving accidents, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, radiation damage, bone infections, fibromyalgia, strokes, dementia and more.
 
The blind can “see” sounds.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have published more results of their research into the brains of the blind from birth.  Their visual cortexes are similar to the fully sighted.  They can even be trained to “see” sounds.

Kids in sync physically and socially.  Research by Hebrew University of Jerusalem psychologist Prof. Ariel Knafo shows that children who mimic each other’s body language for mere minutes are more likely to share feelings of similarity and closeness, and to potentially engage in more pro-social, positive behaviors.
 
Bacteria use DNA memory to stop viruses.  Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered how bacteria protect themselves from invasive viruses called phages.  Their immune system adds part of the phage DNA into the bacteria’s genome. The research may lead to new treatments for autoimmune diseases.
 
Arthritis treatment can stop hair loss.  Joint research between Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and Columbia University has discovered that the rheumatoid arthritis medication Baricitinib is effective in the treatment of Alopecia Areata – an autoimmune disease that causes sudden or gradual hair loss.
 
Tablets to lower your blood pressure.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Teva has launched, in the USA, a generic alternative to Exforge (amlodopine and valsartan) tablets used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).
 
Probiotic for kids in South Korea.  Israel’s Anlit has developed a new probiotic supplement for children in South Korea. Released in Costco stores under the global Cenovis Kids brand, the new supplement has a delicious vanilla flavor and teddy bear shape.
 
The future with no brain diseases.  Professor Marta Weinstock-Rosin – inventor of Exelon for treating Alzheimer’s – says that the end is in sight for the debilitating disease and others like it.  Dr Weinstock-Rosin lit one of the ceremonial torches at this year’s Israeli Independence Day ceremony.
 
 
 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
German electric giant opens Israeli R&D center.  German energy giant RWE AG, one of the five largest energy and gas companies in Europe, is opening an innovation center in Israel in order to develop tech for a smart grid – a metering system that will keep track of how consumers use electricity.
 
Blackberry to establish Israeli R&D center.  (TY Michelle) Canadian handset maker Blackberry has bought Israeli device security company WatchDox, whose 100 employees will form the basis of Blackberry’s Israeli Research & Development team.
 
Bringing TV reports to life.  Israel’s Orad Hi-Tec has developed many of the slick graphic technologies used in live broadcasting.  Orad has just been bought for an estimated $60 million by US video production giant Avid Technology and will become part of Avid’s new Israeli research and development facility.

 
3D printing of aircraft components.  (TY JBN) A new consortium of top Israeli companies and universities is to develop 3D printing technologies for the Israeli aerospace industry.  The aim is to design and manufacture complex geometric structures that can only be produced by printing.
 
A great site in your area.  Israeli startup Meetey has a new app that allows you to post a review about your experience at a particular location.  The review is then highlighted to people in the area who can then decide if they want to visit.  It’s like a mobile guest-book.

Free website builder.  Israel’s Simbla is a free mobile and tablet compatible website builder that allows users with no coding skills to build their own impressive, beautiful website. 
 
Smartphone for blind becomes hands-free for drivers.  I reported about the Project Ray smartphone for the blind in my 13 Oct 2013 newsletter.  The project team has now adapted the touch and voice technology to make the RayGo smartphone for sighted car drivers who need to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
 
A new way to see yourself.  Israel’s Percepto is a tiny camera that fastens to a drone and uses smart technology to capture pictures and videos “from above”.  It has applications that even Percepto’s developers can’t imagine.

 
Joint Israeli-French studies.  (TY Joy) France’s Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission (CEA) will host a PhD student from Ben Gurion University for 3 years.  He/she will study nuclear core degradation, as part of CEA’s feasibility study for the ZEPHYR project into its Zero Power Experimental Physics Reactor.
 
Israeli agri-tech for Mumbai.  (TY Michelle) Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of India’s Maharashtra state, is heading to Tel Aviv to attend Agritech Israel 2015.  He wants to replicate Israel’s agriculture technology in Maharashtra, the second most populous sub-national entity in the world, with Mumbai as its capital.
 
Israeli tech feeds a billion people.  Rafi Mehudar is one of this year’s Israeli Independence Day torch-lighters.  42 years after he invented the modern form of drip irrigation, it is still used by only 5% of the world’s farmers.  But that technology is responsible for crops that feed over a billion people.
 
 
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
 
Israel’s surging stock market.  (TY Michelle)  Here is a detailed analysis of the economic and political factors behind the recent gains in Israel’s stock market.  Note the statement that Israel “is the dominant leader in technological innovation, which is pulling solid capital into the country.”
 
Lower credit card transaction costs.  The Israeli-developed Zooz platform allows shops, hotels etc. to get the lowest transaction fees when processing credit cards from customers.  Zooz will find the cheapest financial institution to process the transaction, which ultimately could mean lower costs to the end customer.
 
See the forest through the trees.  (TY Michelle) An interview with Ben Rudin of Israel’s Intelescope.  As reported in my 29 Mar 2015 newsletter, Intelescope uses drone and satellite imagery to provide critical data on the forests that cover 31% of the earth’s land mass.  It can also predict and help fight forest fires and diseases.
 
One of the best bike rentals in the world.  USAToday has rated Tel Aviv’s Tel-O-Fun bike-sharing program as the 8th best of 533 similar facilities around the world.  Tel-O-Fun began operations in Apr 2011.  Its 2000 bicycles provide around 9, 000 individual rides per day.
 
Why every teen should run a startup.  Please watch Michael Matias (son of Google Israel Director Yossi Matias) as he explains the value of building a startup when you are still at High School.  Michael, in his gap year, is organizing events around the world inspiring students to develop innovative apps and products.

 
Music Messenger takes South America.  (TY Michelle) The world’s 20th most popular music app is Israel’s Music Messenger. It averages one million new users a month and has just raised $35 million of funding from investors including UK Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovitch and ex Abba star Benny Andersson.
 
Ryanair really wants Israel.  Europe’s largest airline Ryanair is resuming talks in Israel to operate flights from Tel Aviv to several destinations in Europe with return tickets at around €140 (about $150).  “We want our flag in the State of Israel”, said Ryanair’s deputy director of route development, Kate Sherry.
 
Georgia looks for Israeli cyber security partners.  (TY Michelle) A delegation of 32-member team from the US of Georgia has returned from visiting Israel and is enthusiastic about attracting Israeli cyber security companies to the US State.
 
 
Artificial Reality becomes a reality.  (TY Michelle) I featured the Artificial Reality goggles from Israel’s RideOn on 15 Feb 2015and 5 Apr 2015.  RideOn hoped to raise $75, 000 by crowd-funding on Indiegogo.  It actually raised over $113, 000.  Delivery is expected in Sept 2015.

 

ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
 
From shepherd to lawmaker.  Avraham Naguise was born in Ethiopia and became a shepherd in his village.  He immigrated to Israel in 1985, obtained degrees in social work and law and a PhD in education.  He entered politics and in March became a member of the Israeli Knesset.
 
The woman in charge of FX technology.  Ilit Geller is CEO of Israel’s TradAir.  TradAir’s systems allow smaller banks to trade high volumes of foreign exchange currency – and get a slice of the profits normally only available to large multinationals.  Ilit also has broken into an area of finance that is traditionally a man’s world.
 
Israeli safari celebrates Earth Day.  At Tel Aviv’s Ramat Gan zoo, one of the keepers placed a camera at the bottom of animals’ water troughs to find out how they drink.  An innovative way to mark Earth Day.

Maccabi Nahalal’s Muslim captain.  Another video of the multi-cultural youth team Maccabi Haifa Nahalal.  This time the focus is on the captain, Aaron, from the Circassian (Sunni Muslim) village of Kafr Kama.

Swapping graduates with the UK.  Sir Paul Nurse, president of UK’s Royal Society, and Professor Ruth Arnon, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities have signed an agreement that provides funding for 12-15 post-doctorate exchange fellows to conduct joint research in each country.
 
The other Israel.  (TY Michelle)  More info on the Apr 29th conference in Montreal: “Israel’s High-Tech Miracle & Canada: Innovation for Humanity” taking place in Montreal, Canada.  It will highlight how much Israel contributes to the world economy and to the US and Canada in particular.
 
Israel sending rescue teams to Nepal.  Breaking news of the Nepal 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, which has caused thousands of casualties.  Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID and the IDF are sending emergency relief teams.  Readers can contribute to the IsraAID mission using the globalgiving.org link.
 

About the Author

- Michael Ordman highlights Israel's latest achievements in the fields of technology, health, business, and co-existence in a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel. www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com

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