9 Israeli inventions find place in TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions for 2019

OrCam’s AI device for helping blind people ‘see’; Watergen’s water-from-air appliance; a butler robot; and an environmentally friendly plane make the list

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The Nerivio device developed by Theranica Bioelectronics is worn on the upper arm to stimulate the body's neural pathway and fight migraine pain. (Courtesy)
The Nerivio device developed by Theranica Bioelectronics is worn on the upper arm to stimulate the body's neural pathway and fight migraine pain. (Courtesy)

Israeli technologies have claimed nine spots on this year’s TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions, which rank those that have made the world “better, smarter and even a little more fun.”

The 100 “groundbreaking” inventions challenge “the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible,” Time said. To assemble the 2019 ranking, Time solicited nominations over a wide variety of categories from editors and correspondents from around the world, as well as through an online application process. The contenders were evaluated “based on key factors, including originality, creativity, influence, ambition and effectiveness.”

The developments that were singled out came from the fields of augmented and virtual reality, accessibility, beauty accessories, consumer electronics, design, education, entertainment, food and drink, gaming technologies, healthcare, home gadgets, parenting, social good, productivity, sports, style, sustainability, transportation, and wellness.

Here are the noteworthy Israeli nine:

The OrCam MyEye device fitted onto a pair of glasses (OrCam)

OrCam’s MyEye 2 talking glasses, which tell blind people what they looking at, “could be a gamechanger,” said Time, listing the device in the accessibility category. The artificial intelligence-powered device attaches to the frame of glasses and can identify faces or currency or read a text or other information aloud.

Nerivio is a medical device for the acute treatment of migraine. Developed by Theranica Bioelectronics, the device is worn on the upper arm and uses smartphone-controlled electronic pulses to wirelessly stimulate the body’s neural pathway at the onset of a migraine. It is currently available by prescription in the US and will be available in Israel in April, the firm said in a statement on Sunday. Nerivio is Theranica’s first FDA authorized medical device.

WaterGen’s home appliance Genny is featured in the Time “social good” category. The machine, “which looks like an office water cooler, pulls moisture from ambient air to create drinkable water through a patented filtration process, much like a fancier dehumidifier,” Time said. Using electricity or solar power, the appliance can produce up to seven gallons of water a day, without any plumbing required. Watergen produces water-from-air units in different sizes for a variety of needs.

Tyto Care, has developed a device for on-demand, remote medical exams. The handheld examination device has attachments that can examine the heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat and abdomen, as well as measure body temperature (YouTube screenshot)

TytoHome, developed by Tyto Care, is a handheld device for on-demand, remote medical exams. It has attachments that can examine heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat and abdomen, as well as measure body temperature, allowing users to perform comprehensive medical exams and send the captured exam data to one of Tyto Care’s healthcare provider partners for diagnosis of acute care situations. Users can connect with a provider 24/7/365, no matter their location, according to the company. The device was selected by Time in its healthcare category.

The Temi robot butler, developed by New York-based startup Temi (Courtesy)

Temi, the robot that rolls, was selected by Time in its Home category. The “butler on demand” includes a touchscreen, voice controls and sensors that allow it to autonomously navigate around the house.

ECOncrete is a provider of “high quality, cost effective” concrete products that develops sustainable concrete for building ecologically active infrastructures in coastal and marine environments. These products blend in with their surroundings and thus are less intrusive to marine ecosystems, Time said, listing the firm in its design category. “Instead of building concrete blocks, ECOncrete uses a technique known as bio-mimicry, relying on the shapes, textures and size of natural systems to dictate how the company builds its products,” Time wrote.

The Eviation Alice is introduced by Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay at the Paris Air Show on June 19, 2019. (screenshot: YouTube)

Alice by Eviation Aircraft is mentioned in the sustainability section. The all-electric nine-seater craft seeks to cut planes’ greenhouse gas emissions. If successful, the craft, made with lightweight materials, could pave the way for larger electric commercial aircraft, Time said. It will begin flight testing in 2020.

ElliQ, a robot social companion for the elderly developed by Intuition Robotics, got a special mention by TIME, as it is “trying to address the issue of loneliness and isolation among senior citizens.”

Israel-founded Lemonade, an online insurer, also got a special mention, for its “giveback” policy. After insurance claims are paid, the firm pays out the leftover funds to a charities picked by its clients.

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