Jungo’s AI transform touch-based interfaces into touch-free

Israeli Jungo Connectivity has launched a new AI software, which can transform touch-based interfaces into interfaces controlled simply by the user’s voice commands and remote hand gestures, i.e., without touch. The software is based on image processing algorithms, which analyze the movement of the user’s hands and eyes, captured by a simple HD camera. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis and the need to maintain hygiene, Jungo’s aim is to help avoiding the need to touch the many touch-based interfaces so abundant these days in the public space, such as ATMs, cash-less payment machines and touch screens in offices and factories.

Today, Jungo is focused mainly in the automotive world. Its main product, the Co-Driver software, can detect if the driver has dozed off, not paying attention to the road, got distracted or not wearing a seat belt, etc., based on a visual analysis of the tillt of the head and the body posture, and the movements of his eyelids. Talking to TechTime, Jungo CEO, Ofir Herbst, explained that the new product is based on the same technology.

“The new software relies on the technologies we have developed for the automotive industry, though it opens up a new world of applications for us outside the automotive. There is no doubt that COVID-19 was the trigger for development, in order to provide an alternative solution for non-sterile public touch screens.”

Will COVID-19 Give the Market a Push?

The advantage of Jungo’s software, called MagiaTouch, is that it can be embedded into existing touch applications, without the need to change the code or the interface design, but by merely installing a simple HD camera and microphone. The software analyzes the user’s hand movements and translates it into on-screen commands as if he was moving a mouse or pressing keyboard keys.

Herbst reveals that Jungo is already conducting a pilot with a manufacturer of automated cash-less payment machines. “Manufacturers of automated cash-less payment machines for retail shops have run into a problem in the current circumstances, as those machines require touch. With our software you can still use those same machines but to avoid pressing the screen with your fingers.”

The market of gesture and voice control interfaces has been attempting to gain traction for several years by now, especially in the automotive sector where there is a safety-related need to control infotaiment system without having to use touch. However, in the fields of consumer electronics and smart homes, attempts to introduce such technologies have not yet been successful. Perhaps now, as a result of the need to maintain hygiene in the public sphere, this market will receive a significant boost. Indeed, according to a recent forecast by the research company Research & Markets, the market of non-contact interfaces is expected to grow in the coming years at an annual rate of 17.6% and reach $15.3 billion by 2025.

US Army to deploy Interceptor Drone Developed in cooperation with Israel MoD

The U.S. Department of Defense decided to launch an operational pilot program for the testing and validating of the Sparrowhawk drone system’s capabilities in the defense of U.S. Special Forces. As part of the pilot program, several dozen Sparrowhawk systems will be employed by U.S. troops.

The system has been developed during the last year in cooperation between the Directorate of Defense Research and Development in the Israel Ministry of Defense, the drone developer, XTEND, and the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO), of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Using an AR device and single-handed controller, a military operator may employ the Sparrowhawk system to control the drone and perform complex tasks remotely. Its interface enables the operator to immerse themselves or “step into” a remote reality and engage targets effectively yet safely. The system’s capabilities have been demonstrated in Israel. It is a combat proven solution with more than 2,500 confirmed interceptions of incendiary devices flown over the Gaza border by terrorist organizations.

Aviv Shapira, XTEND CEO, said that Sparrowhawk is one of the world’s most advanced C-UAS Hard Kill solution. The system is based on the company’s Skylord platform, which consists of sensors on board the drone, camera, intuitive remote control unit, dedicates SoC, and XTEND’s own Drone Operating System (now in patent application process). Founded in 2018, the people behind XTEND are founders and veterans of Replay Technologies, acquired by Intel in 2016 and is now the corner stone of Intel Sports Group.

Skylord system under tests in the US Army
Skylord system under tests in the US Army

Intel to “Ignite” Startups in Austin, Texas, and Munich

Above: Intel CEO Bob Swan. “It has far surpassed our expectations”

Intel announced the launch of two additional Intel Ignite sites in Austin, Texas, and Munich, Germany, following its success in Tel Aviv, Israel. Intel Ignite is a startup growth program launched in 2019. It is a 12-week program for 10 early-stage startups that receive hands-on mentorship from Intel and world-leading experts. Participating companies will gain access to technology and business leaders.

“We launched Ignite in 2019 both to support early-stage companies on their journey to success and to provide Intel employees with an opportunity to advance our purpose,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan. In its first year, the Ignite program’s achievements have far surpassed our expectations and because of its strategic impact, we are expanding its reach.”

Following Austin and Munich, Intel plans to establish the program in multiple cities throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Intel Ignite team chose Austin and Munich because both cities are home to Intel sites with top-tier startup ecosystems. The Ignite program in Munich and Austin will start in the first half of 2021. All three programs will have a physical base at the center of their local startup ecosystem.

Criteria for interested companies include a minimum of $1 million in funding (seed, series A), an experienced founding team, significant IP and a large market opportunity. Intel Ignite General Manager Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld: “The startups we look for are fearless, pave new paths and are not afraid of taking bold steps. Intel employees engaging with the startups in Ignite are challenged to work more nimbly and creatively, and they gain perspective on how other companies and entrepreneurs operate, producing fast results and significant business outcomes.”

For more information: www.intel.com/ignite.

Elbit Demonstrated Drone’s Search & Rescue Flights

Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) successfully completed a series of flight demonstrations for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in the UK. The demonstrations were designed to test the capabilities of using a UAS for long-range Search and Rescue civilian missions. Taking place off the West Coast of Wales over the first two weeks of September, the Hermes 900 was able to fly Beyond Line of Sight missions in full alignment with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In the demonstration, the Hermes 900 equipped with search and rescue specific radar, an Automatic Identification System, EO/IR payload, an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and full satellite communications, was deployed on a range of missions that simulated shore-line rescues, water rescues in dangerous air space and long-distance ship rescues which crossed international air space lines.

With a wingspan of 15m, the 1.2 ton, Hermes 900 is already deployed with more than a dozen advanced customers around the globe providing search, rescue and reconnaissance capabilities. The Company offers extended life-saving capabilities with its recently launched Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol configuration with inflated life-rafts for detection, identification and saving the lives of survivors at sea. It was revealed that this configuration was delivered to an undisclosed customer in South-East Asia.

Rothenberger selected 3D Signals Digitization Platform

The Israeli 3D Signals, which has developed a solution for digitization of manufacturing facilities, a strategic partnership with the German based Rothenberger Group, a producer of  pipe tools and pipe machining tools. The group has selected the 3d Signals Asset Performance Monitoring solution for the digitization of its production floor. The 3D Signals sensors and edge computer will be installed on critical assets in order to collect real-time data for the improvement of machine availability and productivity.

Founded in the late 1940s, Rotenberger Group currently constitutes of about 65 companies and factories for the production of equipment, machinery and parts for the plumbing and pipe industry. Its revenues in 2019 amounted to 350 million Euros and it employs about 8,000 employees. 3D Signals estimates that the partnership may lead to the installation of its sensors in thousands of machines across the group’s affiliates facilities.

3D Signals’ VP Marketing, Danya Golan, told Techtime that it seems the industry has recovered from the initial shock of the Covid-19 eruption. “We are seeing an increasing demand for digitization in the manufacturing sector, as more and more production floors managers acknowledge the importance of real-time production data to streamline and successfully adapt to changes in demand and prices, especially when the production is required to be managed remotely during lockdown.”

3D Signals was founded in 2015 and has raised $26 million to date. It has developed a plug & play machine digitization solution that enables machines to be network connected in just a few hours. Using non-invasive sensors, such as a current transformer or an acoustic sensors and an edge data acquisition system, its solution collects signals from the machine and generates valuable insights on a cloud-based monitoring system, complete with live views, reports and alerts.

NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion

Above: Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA

A major development in the semiconductor’s industry: NVIDIA announced a definitive agreement with SoftBank under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SBG fo a total amount of approximately $40 billion. NVIDIA will pay $21.5 billion in common stock and $12 billion in cash. Additionally, SoftBank may receive up to $5 billion in cash or common stock, subject to satisfaction of specific financial performance targets by Arm.

NVIDIA will also issue $1.5 billion in equity to Arm employees. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including in U.K., China, the European Union and the United States. Completion of the transaction is expected to take place in approximately 18 months. NVIDIA said it is committed to the UK: Today 3,000 employees out of ARM’s global 6,500 strong workforce are located in the UK.

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA expressed a commitment to Britain: “Arm will remain headquartered in Cambridge. We will build a world-class AI research facility and a state-of-the-art AI supercomputer, powered by Arm CPUs. Arm Cambridge will be a world-class technology center. AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing. Our combination will create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI.”

NVIDIA plans to bring its intellectual property to Arm’s ecosystem, to offer data center customers an alternative to legacy CPU. As part of NVIDIA, Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success.

Brazil approved a pilot of Fast food Deliveries Drone

Above: Brazilian Aviation inspectors inspect Speedbird’s drone and the Para-Zero’s parachute

The Brazilian Speedbird Aero has received approval from the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil to operate delivery drones in two experimental routes in Sao Paulo. Speedbird’s drones are equipped with the safety system of the Israel based Para-Zero, which includes a parachute and a control system that ensure a safe landing of the drone in cases of loss of control, malfunction or collision. As part of the approval process, the Brazilian Aviation Authority conducted tests designed to ensure the safety of operating Speedbird drones in crowded urban areas.

The pilot is expected to begin in December 2020. One of the routes is about a mile long and the drones will fly in it beyond the operator’s line of sight. Lately, Para-Zero’s customers have been granted flight permits by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to fly autonomous, remotely controlled drones beyond the operator’s line of sight. In addition, Hensel Phelps, one of the largest construction companies in the United States, received a permit to fly drones over crowds of people, as part of its employment of drones over construction sites during working hours.

Para-Zero’s system includes two main components: An autonomous control system that can detect emergencies in which the drone loses control, whether due to a malfunction, collision, or weather conditions, as well as due to deviating from the area allowed for flight. In such cases, the system takes control of the drone and shuts down the motor in order to prevent dangerous damage to power cables or people. Following this, the system activates the parachute, which allows for a slow and controlled landing on the ground.

Para-Zero was founded in 2012 by Brigadier General (Res.) Eden Atias, a former pilot and squadron commander in the Israeli Air Force; Amir Tsaliah, who serves as the company’s chief science officer; and Oren Aviram, who serves as the company’s VP of marketing. The company says its system can ensure the safe landing of both a drone hovering at low altitudes of 6.5 feet, as well as  heavyweight drones, that weigh up to 730 lbs and hover at an altitude of over 30 feet.