Massive Israeli presence at world’s biggest mobile event

Massive Israeli presence at world’s biggest mobile event

There is nary a smartphone in the world without at least some made-in-Israel tech, and that trend is likely to continue

Artist's rendition of the Israeli booth at the Mobile World Congress (Courtesy)
Artist's rendition of the Israeli booth at the Mobile World Congress (Courtesy)

Some 200 Israeli telecom and mobile app companies will be showing off their wares this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest mobile technology event. Combined with the thousands of entrepreneurs from Israel who will be visiting in an “unofficial” capacity, Israelis will make up a healthy chunk of those visiting and exhibiting at MWC.

One hundred twenty five companies will be exhibiting at the show as part of the official Israeli trade delegation, sponsored by the Israel Export Institute and the Ministry of Economy’s Foreign Trade Administration. This represents a healthy chunk of the 1,700 companies from around the world that will have booths on MWC’s exhibition floor. Israeli companies at the show run the gamut of mobile technology, with companies showing off tech for servers, backhaul, consumer apps, cyber-security, messaging, video, and much more. Members of the delegation have set up over 1,000 meetings with potential customers and partners that the Export Institute knows about, officials said – and that doesn’t include the many informal meetings that are likely to take place.

But the “official” Israeli presence at MWC is just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of other Israeli companies – as many as 100, according to industry sources – will also be presenting at the show, along with hundreds of Israeli entrepreneurs and telecom professionals who will be representing their companies as visitors. And that doesn’t include the technology that will be presented by multinationals based on the work done at Israeli R&D centers. All told, Israel’s tech presence at MWC will be a massive one.

MWC, the cell industry’s huge trade and information show, features, along with its large trade floor, panel discussions on the latest in mobile technology and trends, along with numerous competitions, including one for the best mobile start-up. Among the ten finalists in that contest is Israeli start-up Cell Buddy, a security company that has developed a wireless identification technology that allows mobile network providers to check the authenticity of user identities. With the technology, said Cell Buddy CEO Yoram Nissenboim, carriers around the world will be able to immediately sign up subscribers migrating from other networks. The biggest beneficiaries, he said, will be travelers, who will be able to access services from carriers in the country they are visiting without having to go through a signup procedure.

Gesture technology company eyeSight will also be at the event, showing off the OPPO R827T, a Chinese-made cellphone that is the first to fully incorporate eyeSight’s technology. OPPO phone users can make phone calls, choose music and app options, and navigate menus from as far as 50 meters away, said eyeSight CEO Gideon Shmuel.

Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile tech company, has an R&D lab in Israel, but also collaborates with several Israeli start-ups on developing new technologies. One of those, Corephotonics, has developed what Qualcomm said was “a first-ever optical zoom camera based on computational photography approach.” Digital processing is generally associated with digital zoom, to enhance photos and make them look realistic, and that technology applied to optical zoom – which uses an actual lens to focus on images – promises to make those images much more clear and sharp, with results from smartphone cameras rivaling those of “real” cameras, Qualcomm said.

Also working with Qualcomm is Israeli video tech company Magisto, which has developed what Qualcomm called an “artificial Intelligence driven smart-photographer that analyzes and automatically captures a video story as it unfolds before the lens.” The system analyzes the surroundings and makes suggestion to the person taking the video to improve the final product – informing users when they need to increase lighting, when the device is being shaken, etc. In addition, it will choose the best frames from a scene to auto-assemble a successful video.

MWC is important enough that Israel’s Communication Minister, Gilad Erdan, personally cut the ribbon on the Export Institute’s booth Monday as the show opened. “There is no advanced mobile device in the world that does not include Israeli-developed technology,” Erdan said. “This is my first time visiting MWC, and I am very pleased to see that officials and potential partners from around the world are taking an interest in what Israel is doing. It is an indication of how important Israeli technology is to the mobile world.”

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