As Israel observes Hanukkah – a celebration of the light among the darkness – it’s time to highlight the tech trends creating sparks within the Startup Nation.
Note, these trends are based on our deal flow – what our team sees on the ground.
Trend 6/8: Wearable Tech
How a trend is born:
You are what you eat, goes the saying. A more modern adaptation would be: you are what you wear.
From “smart” watches that sync to your phone, to contact lenses that measure diabetics glucose levels, wearable technology is rapidly spreading to all facets of technology.
The wearable technology industry goes back to a device as simple as the once-trendy calculator watch of the ’80s. Today, however, the next wave of wearable technology will far outpace a simple Casio watch.
Recent success and traction experienced in the wearable technology industry, such as Facebook’s acquisition of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR and the 2012 launch of Google Glass, has entrepreneurs and investors alike excited for what should be “the next big thing.”
Israel has also played its part in the recent global innovation occurring in the wearable device market. Here are some of the most heralded and exciting Israeli advances in the field of wearable technology:
- OrCam: OrCam has created a technologically advanced device unique in its ability to provide visual aid through a discreet wearable platform and simple easy-to-use interface which serves to enhance the daily lives of people with vision loss.
- Meta: Meta offers users a total augmented reality (AR) experience via their platform, replacing desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones with a more natural-to-use system set entirely in a pair of glasses.
- MUV Interactive: A wearable solutions company (and OurCrowd portfolio company), MUV Interactive‘s product, bird™, is an innovative wearable device which aggregates the entire spectrum of interactive methods into a ring-like accessory, comfortably worn on the index finger.
- LifeBEAM: LifeBEAM is an Israeli startup comprised of engineers and pilots, passionate about the development of physiological monitoring solutions. Korean tech giant Samsung recently announced that LifeBEAM will power devices built using the new Samsung Simband platform, devices that are set to be Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch.
Of all the wearables on the market today, the most popular this season are smart watches. Even last year, ABI Research claimed, “1.2 million smart watches will be shipped in 2013 due to high penetration of smartphones in many world markets, the wide availability and low cost of MEMS sensors, energy efficient connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0, and a flourishing app ecosystem.”
This past year Motorola introduced its Moto 360, a smart watch powered by Android Wear, which is a modified version of the Android operating system developed for wearables. Google’s Android team explained:
“…we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology. That’s why we’re so excited about wearables—they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word.”
Also this year, on a more serious note, Cuff put out its collection of wearable tech in the form of a small, wireless accessory that offers its wearer the option to send a warning signal to contacts with the push of a hidden button. By syncing with the user’s smartphone, it can provideits location to recipients.
Check back with us each night of Hanukkah to learn about another tech trend sparking the Startup Nation!