LISTEN: How an Israeli startup plans to use drones to visit the world
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LISTEN: How an Israeli startup plans to use drones to visit the world

1st in a series of 7 Israeli startup podcasts: Through unmanned aerial vehicles, XTEND wants people to access new physical realities and give them the ability to ‘fly’

Michael Eisenberg of Aleph VC, left, and Bradley Tusk, the founder and CEO of Tusk Holdings, during the recording of the Firewall Special Israel Edition podcast (Courtesy)
Michael Eisenberg of Aleph VC, left, and Bradley Tusk, the founder and CEO of Tusk Holdings, during the recording of the Firewall Special Israel Edition podcast (Courtesy)

The Times of Israel is pleased to host the first episode of a series of seven special edition podcasts on Israeli startups, produced by Firewall, a podcast about tech, culture and politics hosted by Bradley Tusk.

For this series opener, Tusk, the CEO of Tusk Ventures, traveled to Tel Aviv to meet his co-host, Michael Eisenberg of Israel’s Aleph VC, and talk to Aviv Shapira, co-founder and CEO at XTEND, a startup that among other ventures has used drones and VR headsets to help the Israeli army shoot down incendiary balloons on the border with Gaza. The company now wants to use the technology to let consumers “see” the world from their couches, using headsets and getting live content collected by drones from around the world.

In this episode, they discuss how drones and extended reality technology — which, through virtual reality goggles, puts people in a world that isn’t theirs — can impact the defense, construction and gaming industries.

They also chat about Shapira’s previous company, Replay Technologies, which was acquired by Intel in 2016 for $175 million, and how Shapira hopes to enable people with disabilities to “fly” to foreign places, with the use of the headsets and drones.


In his Firewall podcasts, Tusk talks tech, startups, politics and regulation with a different guest each week. The Times of Israel is hosting the podcast’s special edition on Israel, which explores the world of Israeli startups in seven special episodes.

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