Rishon Lezion-based global navigation satellite system (GNSS) startup Galileo Satellite Navigation has added a new dimension to navigation.
"Mobile phones contain a hardware component used to receive satellite data. This component takes up space, and uses a lot of the battery's energy. Every such component costs $2-3, but when you're talking about production of tens or hundreds of millions of devices, this amounts to a lot of money," says Galileo Satellite Navigation CEO Eli Ariel, who founded the company with his wife, Miri Ariel.
Galileo wants to replace the hardware with software. In addition to the substantial saving in costs, the switch will also provide better adjustment of the product. The company is already marketing its product to GCT, a company in which mobile phone companies Samsung and LG have invested. According to Ariel, the switch from hardware to software will make the product dramatically cheaper. "Our performance is the same or better," he says. "Instead of one-size marketing hardware usable by everyone, but which provides an optimal fit for no customer, we actually offer every customer a custom-made suit."
Founded in 2012, Galileo Satellite Navigation currently has 17 employees, and has raised $2 million from seven investors. The company is also active in the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT envisions connecting billions of components to a network, including traffic lights, smart clothing, and a cheese package that will "talk to" the refrigerator, and inform it when the product goes out of date.
"The forecasts for IoT are practically unlimited," Ariel says. "They're talking about 22 billion units by 2020." These units, most of which communicate with each other (M2M), must be cheap in order to succeed. Due to the large quantities needed, the prices of IoT product have to be especially low: $1-3. Such a component must report its location once a day, once an hour, or even continuously, depending on the relevant app. "A manufacturer that uses hardware will lose the market. Galileo Satellite Navigation's software solution will make it possible to develop a smaller and cheaper product, with maximum flexibility and adaptation to the system's requirements," Ariel explains.
Galileo Satellite Navigation also has an invention that facilitates navigation within buildings. The patent has been approved in the US, China, Israel, and other countries. This technology enables every user with a GPS receiver to continue using the app he is used to within a building in which the system has been installed. The company is currently cooperating with the Jerusalem Development Authority in enabling tourists to navigate in the narrow and covered streets of the Old City of Jerusalem. The company's product will also be installed in a Brazilian mine. "Managers of mines and logistics centers now monitor every one of their vehicles when the vehicle is in an open area, but when it is in a closed area, no one knows what it is doing," Ariel comments.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on October 18, 2017
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