Prized possessionPrized possession

Israeli startup presents $14,000 unhackable phone

Promising top protection, Solarin device was co-developed by former state cyber-security whizz

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

An Israeli-produced super-secure smartphone worthy of a James Bond movie has been unveiled in London by an Israeli start-up company.

Celebrities Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio were among those present at the launch.

The Solarin Android, produced by Sirin Labs and available through Sirin’s own London store and at Harrods from June 30, offers a unique security shield activated by a security switch and deactivated by biometric ID, encrypted emails, secure calls and messaging services, and special anti-cyber threat detention and prevention software.

Tal Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Sirin Labs said in a statement: “Cyber-attacks are endemic across the globe. This trend is on the increase. Just one attack can severely harm reputations and finances. Solarin is pioneering new, uncompromising privacy measures to provide customers with greater confidence and the reassurance necessary to handle business-critical information.”

The project was backed by $72 million of investment from Kazakh businessman Kenes Rakishev, Israeli venture capitalist Moshe Hogeg and his Singulariteam, and former McKinsey consultant Tal Cohen, with additional investment from Chinese company RenRen.

Sirin’s team includes Rami Efrati, an expert in cyber-technology. Efrati is a former head of the Civilian Sector Division of the Israeli National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office and served as a commander in Israeli Military Intelligence for nearly three decades.

In addition to military-grade privacy, the Solarin phone boasts WiGig technology (the successor to WiFi) to provide optimum speed, 128 Gigabytes of storage, a 24 megapixel camera with laser auto focus, and what it claims is the loudest speaker system in the smartphone world.

All this software comes at the nifty price of NIS 54,000, placing Solarin firmly within the radius of business people and VIPs.

The company says the cost is based on the purchase and adaptation of all the technologies the phone offers and is aimed at the “international businessperson who carries a lot of sensitive information but doesn’t want to compromise on usability, quality or design.”

The Solarin launch represents the third attempt by Israelis to penetrate the international smartphone world.

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