This week, Bloomberg News released their Bloomberg Innovation Index for 2017, which ranked 50 countries based on the strength of each country’s research and development, productivity, high-tech density, higher education, concentration of researchers, added value in manufacturing, and patent activity.
Israel took the 10th spot this year, living up to one of its nicknames- the Startup Nation. The report noted that Israel tops the list in the number of researchers per capita, takes the number two spot in research and development, and number three in high tech density.
As ardent followers of news out of Israel, many stories about new and emerging tech have caught out eye this year. Here’s a round up of some of the coolest, and most potentially life-changing, tech disruptions to come from Israel in the last little while.
ElectRoad: Charging Your Electric Vehicle While You Drive
Because electric cars are brand-spanking new on the market and the technology inside them is still in its infancy, they come with certain shortcomings. The most glaring of these is the amount of charge they can carry, and what that translates into in miles it can go before a re-plug.
Israeli startup ElectRoad has created technology to get around the limits of batteries by creating special roads that charge your car while you drive. Using the same basic principle behind wirelessly powering smartphones, electromagnetic induction technology, an ElectRoad supplies electricity to the car wirelessly from the road. In these early years of the technology, the company says it will be mostly used in cities, powering public transportation.
Urban Aeronautics’ Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV)
in development for fifteen years, Urban Aeronautics envisions their ‘flying car’ being used as an air ambulance for risky rescue missions in the confines of cluttered urban environments or quick drops of infantry or equipment around a battlefield.
The company calls their family of futuristic vehicles ‘Fancrafts’, named so because of the internal rotors, or ducted fans, that give them flight. Their ability to be piloted remotely combined with the vehicle’s tiny footprint make them perfect for dangerous rescue missions, like evacuations or emergency supply drops. The unmanned vehicle can swoop into tighter spots than helicopters, taking supplies in or removing the stranded or injured.
Twistable, Morphable, 3D Printable Material: Created by Scientists at Tel Aviv University
TAU’s Dr. Yair Shokef, in partnership with Dutch researcher Prof. Martin van Hecke of Leiden University, has developed a new metamaterial that can form any sort of shape-shifting pattern. Using the technology in future product design, engineers and designers will be able to make the substance, it can be designed to do almost anything, they claim.
Not yet on the marketplace, the product doesn’t have a brand or name yet, but the researchers behind it think it will find many applications in manufacturing. They are particularly excited about the changes it could bring to prosthetics, wearable technologies, and soft robotics, a robotics sub-field dealing with non-rigid robots constructed with deformable materials- think R2-D2 made of silicone, fabric, and rubber.
Books on App: Touring Locations from Your Favorite Books with Your Smartphone
It’s part library, part treasure map, part social network. Books on App opens up to a typical GPS-locating digital map. Users from all over the world can submit “Bookations,” where they mark the locations in their city that make an appearance in their favorite novel, using certain quotes. They can also create entire routes designed to follow specific stories.
The app’s map and search bar enable you to seek out the books, quotes, authors, or cities you desire for your adventure’s starting point. Service is currently available in Paris, France, as well as in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel, with plans to add up to 25 new cities in the coming months.
Depending on when you visit Paris, scaffolding might be set up around Notre Dame for close-up repair work. Then you could see Quasimodo’s view from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.