4 start-ups from Microsoft Israel's ThinkNext 2015

Microsoft

The annual innovation event featured a collapsible car, digital shower, AR ski goggles, and dongle to keep things quiet.

RideOn - Google Glass may not have succeeded yet, but Israeli start-up RideOn is trying to start a revolution in the world of skiing, a sport that attracts more and more skiers each year. The company has developed technology that incorporates augmented reality into ski googles, to alter the skiing experience. The company's goggles have options to follow a specific point on a map, to communicate with friends via smartphone, or to play games while skiing, such as an obstacle course. The goggles also includes an HD camera to record the skiing experience.

The company successfully raised $113,000 in a two-month crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, where the goggles sold at the pre-order price of $500. Unlike Google Glass's voice commands, this system is operated by a glance - by focusing in a certain direction, to make a selection from the virtual menu that appears on the helmet.

City Transformer One of the big problems on the urban-transport scene is parking. Dozens, if not hundreds, of start-ups in Israel and around the world are trying to solve the parking crisis facing big cities in different ways. As of yet, none of them has found a real, proven solution, which works from day one. City Transformer is trying to tackle the problem from a different angle - from the perspective of the car trying to park.

The company is developing a small, two-seater electric vehicle that can, as though by magic, be collapsed when parked to occupy no more than the space occupied by a motorcycle. Thus, in driving mode, the vehicle is as wide as a regular car, at 1.6 meters wide. But as soon as it's switched to parking mode, the car's platform width shrinks to the width of a motorcycle - roughly one meter. The main part of the vehicle, where the driver and passenger sit, doesn't change, which makes it possible to shrink it while it is moving slowly, prior to parking. The company further states that despite the innovation, and the fact that the vehicle can shrink to the proportions of a motorcycle, the founders kept safety as the top priority, and the City Transformer will be safer than a motorcycle.

SmarTap New technology that digitizes the shower, and makes it possible to save water and electricity. Using the company's app, it's possible to regulate the flow of water by temperature, or water pressure. By monitoring use, it's possible to track the water, and see whether water consumers succeed in saving water or electricity. The company-developed system makes it possible to connect to businesses, and this to track and manage water systems with many users, which could be useful for hotels and hospitals. The system can also identify and monitor plumbing problems.

Kiq - Anyone with kids is familiar with the challenge of having friends over late at night. You have to be quiet, so the little ones don't wake up, which can be a drag, or even kill any hope of a social life. Inviting friends over to watch a soccer match, or even just a quiet double-date to watch a good movie at home, can be problematic when you have to keep your volume down, lest you wake the children. On a personal level, one existing solution is to use wireless headphones, and transmit the sound from the TV, which is a relatively accessible, and low-cost solution. However, when there are numerous guests, the problem remains.

Kiq, an acronym for Keep It Quiet, has invented a dongle, which connects to the TV's headphone jack, and transmits sound to smartphones in the area. Thus, using a dedicated app, everyone can listen via smartphone, or even using wireless Bluetooth headphones. The company tried to raise money on Indiegogo and failed, but it still seems that the product has potential, and it's quite possible that the company will survive and thrive.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 6, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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