AI-based Visual Assistance Tool for Technicians

TechSee from Tel aviv announced the completion of $30 million equity investment round co-led by OurCrowd, Salesforce Ventures, and TELUS Ventures. Founded in 2015,  the company has raised $54 million in funding to date. TechSee has developed a Computer Vision AI and Augmented Reality solution to assist makers and technicians in the “unboxing” and the installation of electrical and electronics products.

TechSee’s AI platform can automatically identify components, ports, cables, LED indicators, and more to detect issues and suggest resolutions, contact center agents, and field technicians. Via a simple tap of a screen, customers use their smartphone camera to show the virtual technician exactly what they see in their physical environment.

Using Deep Learning, the software (virtual technician) identify the product and visually guide the customer through the unboxing process using a suite of augmented reality tools, including Augmenting guidance for specific components, Tracking consumer and device movements to allow interactive guidance, Providing step-by-step instructions through the installation process and testing to verify the device works properly.

“Our vision is to get rid of the User Manual”

“There has been a significant increase in demand for contactless customer service technologies propelled by COVID-19 and the acceleration of digital transformation projects,” said Eitan Cohen, CEO of TechSee. “Our Visual Automation technology is at the heart of it. Our vision is to get rid of the user manual and replace it with dynamic AR assistants.”

TechSee recently announced a commercial partnership with Verizon to address this issue by bringing visual assistance to customers. It also established commercial partnerships with Vodafone, Orange, Liberty Global, Accenture, Hitachi, and Lavazza. The need to enhance the user’s product unboxing experience has brought many brands to showcase their product unboxing process using video.

In fact, YouTube reports an increase in product unboxing video views of 57% in one year, and an increase in uploads of more than 50%. These videos have more than a billion views annually. Google Consumer Survey underscores these statistics, with 20% of consumers (1 in 5) reporting that they’ve watched an unboxing video.

Hailo Released Samples of 26TOPS AI Processor

Hailo from Tel Aviv announced the the first samples of its Hailo-8 Deep Learning Processor were delivered to selected partners, mainly from the automotive industry. To allow running  deep learning applications on the edge devices, Hailo re-designed the main pillars of computer architecture: memory, control, and compute and added  a comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK) co-developed with the hardware.

The result is a 16 nano-meter chip produced by TSMC capable of delivering up to 26 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS). The company said that during ResNet-50 benchmark tests, Hailo-8 outperformed Nvidia’s Xavier AGX and consumed almost 20 times less power while performing the same tasks. Hailo was established in 2017 by former members of the Israel Defense Forces’  intelligence unit.

AI Beyond the Cloud

Its deep learning processor is designed to run complex algorithms  on autonomous vehicles, smart cameras, smartphones, drones, AR/VR platforms, and wearable devices. The company said it is now working in cooperation with tier-1 automotive companies on advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and with major players in smart city and smart home markets, to empower powerful IoT devices.

“In recent years, we’ve witnessed an ever-growing list of applications unlocked by deep learning, which were made possible thanks to server-class GPUs,” said Orr Danon, CEO of Hailo. “However,  there is a crucial need for an analogous architecture that replaces processors of the past, enabling deep learning to run devices at the edge. Hailo’s chip was designed from the ground up to do just that.”

Habana Labs’ AI Processor Received PCI-SIG Certification

Habana Labs from Caesarea near Tel Aviv, announced that its Goya AI inference processor, successfully passed the PCI-SIG™ compliance testing at the Taipei, Taiwan workshop. As a result, the AI processor card and the HL-1000 chip, have been added to the PCI-SIG integrators list of add-in cards and Components lists for PCI Express 3.0 x16, operating at 8 Giga-transfers per second (GT/s).

PCI-SIG approval is a milestone for Habana Labs: The PCI-SIG workshop promotes compliance with real products to eliminate interoperability issues and ensure proper implementation of the PCIe specifications. This is the second major approval for Goya processors: Working with IBM, the Goya HL-100 x16 PCI Express card interoperability was also observed operating at PCIe 4.0 speeds on IBM POWER9-based IBM Power Systems, the only commercially available enterprise computing servers with the 16GT/s PCIe 4.0 interface.

The PCIe 4.0 technology operates at 16 GT/s or up to 32 GB/s (per direction), double that of PCIe 3.0-only devices. Goya has set two industry records, by delivering 15,012 images/second throughput with 1.3msec latency on the ResNet-50 benchmark, while simultaneously attaining an unmatched power efficiency record of 150 images/second/watt.

“The successful certification of Goya AI processor chip incorporating Synopsys’ low-latency, high-performance DesignWare IP for PCI Express 4.0 demonstrates the robustness of the IP and enables Habana Labs to accelerate their development effort,” said John Koeter, vice president of marketing for IP at Synopsys.

Out of Stealth Mode

Habana had been working for a year in stealth mode until September 2018, when it announced the sampling of its first AI processor to select customers. Designed to process various AI inferencing workloads such as image recognition, neural machine translation, sentiment analysis and recommendation systems, Goya platform has been designed from the ground up for deep learning inference. It incorporates a fully programmable Tensor Processing Core (TPC), development tools, libraries and a compiler.

A PCIe card based on its Goya HL-1000 processor delivers 15,000 images/second throughput on the ResNet-50 inference benchmark, with 1.3 milliseconds latency, while consuming only 100 watts of power.  Habana Labs’ AI processors offer one to three orders of magnitude better performance than solutions commonly deployed in data centers today. The Goya silicon has been rigorously tested and is ready for production,” said Avigdor Willenz, Habana Labs’ lead investor and Chairman of the Board.

In November 2018, it has secured $75 million in series B funding, led by Intel Capital. The round is joined by WRV Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Ventures and others, including existing investors and brought the total investments in the company to $120 million. “Among all AI semiconductor startups, Habana Labs is the first and the only one, which introduced a production-ready AI processor,” said Lip-Bu Tan, Founding Partner of WRV Capital.

Hyundai Invests in Deep Learning Startup

Hyundai Motor’s venture fund, Hyundai CRADLE, announced a strategic investment in from Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv who developed deep learning (DL) – based computer vision software platform. Founded in 2016, offers end-to-end DL lifecycle management solution focused on deep learning as it applies to computer vision. The company’s platform simplifies the process of developing and managing deep learning-powered solutions – such as autonomous vehicles, drones, security, logistics and others.

“Our investment in is enhancing our presence in Israel,” said Ruby Chen, Head of Investment at Hyundai CRADLE Tel Aviv. “This is our fifth investment in Israeli companies. Our investments will continue to grow the coming year.” Hyundai Motor Employs more than 110,000 employees worldwide and sold more than 4.5 million vehicles globally.

Last April, Allegro has closed its Series A fundraising round, led by MizMaa Ventures, with participation of Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), Samsung Catalyst Fund and Dynamic Loop Capital, bringing total investment to $11 million.

We are proud to partner with Hyundai and share Hyundai’s belief that AI empowers the industry to provide greater road safety, autonomy, to better understand customers’ needs and to help broaden their experiences,” said Nir Bar-lev CEO and Co-founder of (photo above). “Whether a company is developing autonomous vehicles, drones, security, or other types of applications, we make it easy for them to manage their data-sets and build deep learning-based solutions while guaranteeing complete and confidential control of their data.”