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Samsung subsidiary buys Israeli developer of health monitoring system for passengers

Audio electronics company Harman acquires Netanya-based Caaresys; financial terms of deal not disclosed

Caaresys founders from right to left: Alex Arshavski, Konstantin Berezin, Vadim Kotlar, and Ilya Sloushch. (Smadar Kafri)
Caaresys founders from right to left: Alex Arshavski, Konstantin Berezin, Vadim Kotlar, and Ilya Sloushch. (Smadar Kafri)

A Samsung subsidiary has acquired an Israeli tech startup that developed a radar-based monitoring system to track the health and vital signs of vehicle occupants.

Harman, Samsung’s audio electronics company, said in an announcement Tuesday that it bought Netanya-based startup Caaresys to expand its automotive product offerings and “offer new levels of in-vehicle safety, comfort, and well-being in its growing product line.”

“With the acquisition of Caaresys, we gain market-leading in-cabin radar sensing technology and radar-enabled features that can quickly integrate into our products,” said Christian Sobottka, president of the automotive division at Harman.

“And by partnering with Harman, automakers can deliver the key safety and well-being features that consumers demand – today as opposed to years from now,” added Sobottka in a company statement.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Caaresys was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Ilya Sloushch, Vadim Kotlar, Konstantin Berezin, and Alex Arshavski, and built an in-cabin, camera-free passenger monitoring system powered by contactless, low-emission radar. The system can monitor and track passengers’ general health state, their vital signs like their respiration and heart rates, as well as their location, to ensure their safety. The company also developed a specialized solution that monitors young children and pets to prevent tragic accidents.

Founded in 2017, Caaresys built an in-cabin, camera-free passenger monitoring system powered by contactless, low-emission radars. (Smadar Kafri)

The Israeli company says it has already partnered with leading automakers to integrate the sending device into the manufacturing process.

Harman, originally an American company bought by Samsung Electronics in 2016 for some $8 billion, develops connected products and services for automakers, consumers, and enterprises. These include connected car systems, audio products, and enterprise automation solutions. As a wholly owned subsidiary, it has some 30,000 employees across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Harman says that some 50 million vehicles on the road today are equipped with at least one Harman-connected system.

As part of the acquisition, Caaresys’ employees, which number fewer than 10, will join Harman’s automotive division. Sloushch, who serves as Caaresys CEO, will lead a newly established In-Cabin Radar team at Harman.

“It’s with excitement and pride that we join the Harman team, especially at this time when they are doing so much to transform what the in-cabin experience can be for consumers,” said Sloushch.

“Harman’s successful partnerships with leading automakers will offer unprecedented scale and reach for our technologies and extend the benefits enabled by in-cabin radar to more drivers and passengers than ever before.”

Harman maintains a strong presence in Israel led by Harman Israel CEO Michal Geva. In 2018, the Samsung subsidiary opened a 46,000-square foot (4,273-square meter) R&D facility in the central town of Hod Hasharon to serve as its local headquarters.

Harman previously acquired three Israeli startups in the past 10 years: Ramat Gan-based iOnRoad, which develops augmented reality (AR) for cars; Hod Hasharon-based Red Bend Software, which enables cars to be connected to the cloud; and Kfar Saba-based TowerSec Automotive Cybersecurity.

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