There are more Israeli Inventions than people would normally guess. Not many people know that several of the most indispensible innovations are inventions from Israel.
This is especially impressive when you realise Israel is less than 70 years old, has a population of only 7.4 million, and sits on a tiny surface area of 22 thousands sq km (approx 8,000 sq. miles. – 2.5 times the size of Rhode Island, US or slightly more than the Canary islands).
How come there are so many Israeli inventions? Some hints to this mystery might come from the fact that its population seems to be very creative and entrepreneurial.
In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world, the third highest rate of entrepreneurship - and the highest rate worldwide among women and among people over 55.
Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation and has the highest number of scientists and engineers per capita than any other country in the world.
All of these translate to one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed and to an impressive list of Israeli inventions.
Here is a partial list of some of the most interesting, cool and useful inventions from Israel.
The PillCam video capsules (Capsule endoscopy)– The PillCam is a tiny camera fitted inside a pill shaped (and sized) capsule, which when swallowed by a patient, takes and transmits pictures from inside his gastrointestinal tract.
The invention allowed doctors to examine areas of the intestine that cannot be seen by other types of endoscopy in a much less painful and more patient friendly way.
A robot that performs spine surgery – SpineAssist, a robotic tool for back surgery which guides doctors through spinal cord operations, reducing the time of the surgery and the exposure to radiation.
Optical Heartbeat Monitor - This patent pending medical technology will allow to detect the temporal shape of the heart beat signal (similar to ECG signal) from as far as a few meters, using a small laser light source and a fast camera.
It could be used to diagnose soldiers' medical condition in the field, from afar, and has other potential applications in non medical fields.
Smart Hospital Bed - EarlySense, is a contact-free continuous patient monitoring solution, that tracks patients heart rate, movement and breathing in rehabilitation homes and hospitals.
It immediately transfers data to caretakers and stuff and allows them to potentially prevent adverse events such as reducing the risk of patient falls or preventing bedsores.
The world's first solar window - a photovoltaic transparent glass unit that can be integrated into conventional building design and construction.
Pythagoras Solar, its manufacturer, offers the first photovoltaics that are energy efficient, transparent and generate solar power, helping to enable the vision of self-powered buildings and are also aesthetically pleasing.
The Wind Tulip - a silent, cost-effective, vibration-free wind turbine designed as an environmental sculpture, that's pleasing to the eye, producing clean energy at high efficiency from any direction while minimizing potential environmental obstacles.
Solar energy grids that float on water - Israeli company Solaris Synergy invented a environmentally friendly way, that is also more cost effective to float solar panels on water, instead of using valuable land. Their invention not only generates energy but also protects reservoir surfaces and limits evaporation.
A method to turn used plastic bags to new fashion products - Elya recycling, an Israeli company has invented and patented a recycling method that allows recycling used plastic bags into raw material that can be used in the manufacturing of plastic products.
The new raw material has various levels of flexibility and strength and has been used in the creation of handbags, purses etc. Their technology uses polyethylene bags and recycles them in an environmentally friendly way, which requires less energy than current prevalent methods.
Helping drivers navigate the road – Mobileye invented ‘computer vision’ algorithms that when integrated into a tiny digital camera, are able to interpret a scene in real time, as its being captured by the camera on video.
The software application links to the steering system, and sounds an alert when a driver is about to change lanes inadvertently, detects pedestrians, and warns of an impending forward collision.
Waze: crowdsourced traffic information– This Israeli start-up, pioneered the crowd sourced GPS navigation system. Waze's product, an Israeli invention, is a free navigation software that sits on your mobile phone, using its internal GPS and gives you driving or walking instructions that take into account crowd-sourced traffic reports.
Each car using the waze system becomes a data point, and so the system can know in real time about traffic jams, blocks or delays and reroute you accordingly. If you didn’t hear about waze so far, you are very likely to become familiar with it in the very near future. Google has acquired it in 2013 so it’s not farfetched to speculate that it could soon become the ‘go to’ navigation system.
Monitoring phones and GPS devices to provide real time road traffic information - Decell technologies applications allow for real-time detection of irregular congestions and traffic prediction, as well as quick updates of new and planned changes in the road network and information on different local events affecting the traffic flow.
Intel processors – The world first processors, the 8088 computer processor, MMX technology and the Centrino mobile technology, were all invented by Israeli engineers in Intel’s Israel branch, the international development center for Intel worldwide.
Disk on Key - The first portable storage device made by SanDisk, is widely attributed to Israeli Dov Moran of M systems. The invention idea for the USB disc on key, an enhancement of the disk and diskette technology, using flash memory and a USB interface for connection to personal computers, supposedly came to Moran's mind in 1998, after experiencing problems with his computer during a presentation to investors.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology - This new concept of communication, which revolutionised the communication industry and allowed for a new inexpensive and effective way of communicating globally is accredited to Alon Cohen and Lior Harmati, co-founders of Vocaltech Communication, the first VOIP company from Herzliah, Israel.
Smart drip and micro-irrigation systems - Based on an idea of Israeli engineer Simcha Blassto provide precise crop irrigation through controlled slow drips of water, Netafim introduced the world's first drip irrigation solution in 1965.
Preventing damages from current surges – The keeper was developed by GridON, is a three-phase Fault current limiter, which blocks surges in electricity currents and limits the current for as long as required to clear the problem.
Monitoring water distribution networks software – the software. by Takadu, gives utilities real time control over network events, allowing it to detect, alert and provide real time insight on leaks, zone breaches, bursts and other network inefficiencies.
Like-A-Fish - true to its name this company invented air supply systems that extract air from water. It targets scuba divers, leisure and professional ones, from the need to use a water tank.
A bike that is also a stroller - Taga bikes are bikes connected to a stroller or a pushchair, that can be transformed to a regular stroller, allowing parents to ride behind the child outside, but turn their bikes to strollers once they enter closed spaces.
The first electric hair remover (epilator) Epilady, was invented in Israel in 1986, and has since become a staple in the beauty care market.
BriefCam – is a video technology that allows viewers to quickly review and index full length video footage by showing events and objects that occurred at different times, concurrently. Its main use: the ability to see the essential parts of a security camera recording, in a few minutes.
Babysense - a baby’s breathing and movement monitor that is designed to prevent crib death. The device monitors the baby’s breathing and movement through the mattress during sleep, and activates a visual and auditory alarm if the baby ceases to breath for more than 20 seconds or his breath slows to less than the safe/healthy standard.