UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Saturday:
It has been a relatively quiet Shabbat in Israel. Outside of Israel’s borders, the Egyptians have received a huge arms shipment worth $1.3 billion from the U.S., hundreds of fighters from the Balkans (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia) have joined the Syrian rebel forces, and Syrians planes have apparently attacked Hezbollah positions in Lebanon.
Often your humble servant gets so wrapped up in current events that he forgets to tout some of the remarkable inventions and discoveries being made in Israel. Here are five of my top choices for today:
1. The Ray Phone:
A remarkable new android phone for the blind, the Ray Phone was developed by Israeli engineers in Yokneam. What makes the phone different is its interface; by touching any spot on the screen, that point of contact becomes the center of navigation whether to send a text, make a call, or do something else.
2. Omek Gesture Recognition
Omek Interactive is now producing computer vision software that allows one to control everything without touching anything. Already Omek is installing tiny dashboard digital cameras in cars that create a 3D model of the driver’s hand. By using hand gestures, the driver can control the car’s entertainment and navigation systems. The driver never has to take her or his eyes off the road.
3. Electrical Impulses for Alzheimer’s Patients
We all know that doing mental activities such as working crossword puzzles or learning to speak new languages seem to ward off the onset of Alzheimers. Simply speaking, the brain is stimulated to create new neural networks.
A new study from Tel Aviv University by Israeli researcher Inna Slutsky has revealed that an imbalance of amyloid-beta 40, compared to its counterpart amyloid-beta 42, is found in those suffering the effects of the disease.
Slutsky and her cohorts have found that gentle external electrical pulses of the sort produced internally by crossword puzzle working helps regulate a healthy amyloid-beta 40/42 ratio.
4. Black tomatoes, nano watermelons, mini basil trees
On the agricultural front, the black galaxy tomato has been used in Israel since it was created in 2012 but only recently has made it to international markets. Developed by Technological Seeds DM using a pigment derived from blueberries, the black galaxy is more vitamin packed than your average red tomatoes–with especially higher concentrations of vitamin C.
Nano watermelons are, as the name implies, mini-watermelons. Produced by Origene seeds, the watermelons have a maximum weight of three kilograms and taste sweeter that normal watermelons. The nanos have become very popular in Israel.
But your humble servant’s favorite new Israeli food is the mini-basil tree–also created by Origene seeds.
It can be grown inside or outside, and the leaves are much hardier than normal basil leaves.
5. SunDwater’s solar distiller
How do we solve the problem that most of the world’s water is unfit to drink?
The Israeli company SunDwater is now producting a cheap, low-maintenance system to convert salty or dirty water into drinkable water. The water “is pumped into the unit, which is outfitted with a four-square-meter (43-square-foot) round photovoltaic dish that concentrates the sunbeams for fast evaporation. The water vapor flows into a cylinder where it gets condensed back into freshwater.”*
In putting together today’s blog, your humble servant was struck by the hundreds of new Israeli inventions and discoveries appearing all the time. The country is simply awash in creativity–a creativity that serves the world.
*Israelstreet greatfully acknowledges information in this blog gained from Israel21C, Haaretz, and other sources.