Science & Technology
- Written by Technion
Smart Prayer Room
Students at the Technion have developed a system that informs the user whether the Faculty prayer room is occupied or vacant and whether the worshipers are men or women. It does this with the aid of sensors alone, and without using a camera, which could violate the worshippers’ privacy
could violate the worshippers’ privacy
Mosallah (مصلى) is the name of an original system for monitoring the presence of worshippers in the Muslim prayer room at the Technion Faculty of Computer Science. The unique app can identify the current stage of the prayer and, according to this information, the system can estimate when the prayer will end. The innovative system was developed by three students at the Technion Faculty of Computer Science - female students Anwar Dabur and Lina Mudalej and male student Bakr Odeh - as their final project in the course on systems programming in an Arduino environment, held in conjunction with Microsoft R&D.
Dabur relates, “It all started two years ago, when the Faculty provided its Muslim students with a mosallah (dedicated prayer room). It was of course a very important step for us Muslims who want to pray during the day, but we soon found that there was a little problem: a person who wants to pray in the room has no way of knowing whether it’s vacant or occupied.”
Unlike prayers with many participants, where men and women gather in the same hall, prayer in small prayer rooms is not mixed. “Therefore it is important for us to know not only if the room is occupied but also who is inside - men or women. We realized that this was a very complex challenge, but we are students at the Technion - there’s no way we would fail to solve all those problems.”
During the past year, the project year, the three visited many prayer rooms in order to analyze the characteristics that could be monitored during prayers in the mosallah, and developed the system, constantly improving it based on experiments. From the outset, it was clear to them that cameras would not be used, because they violate the worshiper’s privacy. Therefore they developed a smart prayer rug equipped with pressure sensors. The rug provides the system with information enabling it to determine whether the worshippers in the room are men or women. “Women and men pray differently,” Dabur explains. “When men pray, one of the worshippers stands in front and the others behind, while women pray in a single row. The order in which they kneel is also different. Therefore, based on the information obtained from the pressure sensors, we can determine the gender of the worshipers without entering the room.”
The system developed by the three students includes pressure and distance sensors, an Arduino controller and servo motor; software that analyzes the data; and a dedicated app that sends the user prayer reminders on his mobile phone and tells him when the prayer room is vacant or partly vacant. The system can also be used without a smartphone, thanks to an interactive interface based on an LCD touch screen installed outside the prayer room, enabling the user to obtain relevant data and inform the system that he is waiting outside.
“Using the system saves the user a lot of time. Everyone knows that time is a rare commodity when you’re a student at the Technion,” concludes Lina. “This way, instead of standing in line to enter the prayer room, I study at the library and when I see on my phone that the room is vacant, I go there to pray. In the future, we intend to turn the app into a tool for learning prayers and the special movements that go with them.”
The course on systems programming in an Arduino environment is held in conjunction with Microsoft R&D, and enables students to use technology and state-of-the-art software during their studies, including smartphones and tablets for running apps during the development phase. In the course, which is designed to challenge the students with independent product-building projects, the students design smart systems that combine hardware and software using Arduino-based controllers connected to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud.
Photo The student Lina Mudalej / Technion
- Written by MFA
PM Netanyahu meets with global cyber industry leaders in Davos
Israel has set for itself being a cyber power as a top priority. In the new age, it is cyber defense that makes the future possible and constitutes a precondition for growth and security.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Thursday, 21 January 2016), at the World Economic Forum in Davos, held a unique meeting on advancing cyber defense with managing directors and senior figures in the global cyber industry, including from Sony, Hitachi, Lenovo, Intel, IBM and Hewlett Packard. Participants discussed cyber threats and their implications on the development and assimilation of innovative technologies, the economic, social and strategic risks posed by these threats and the unique cooperation required between governments and the business sector in order to be prepared to ensure the ability to use the cyber revolution for the benefit of global social welfare and economic growth.
Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized that the rapid development of cyber is creating unprecedented opportunities for human society and the global economy and said that cyber has substantially changed basic elements of our lives both as individuals and nations. In the new age, it is cyber defense that makes the future possible and constitutes a precondition for growth and security. In light of this understanding, Israel has set for itself being a cyber power as a top priority, this by becoming a global cyber greenhouse - in which the spirit of innovation and technological assets create pioneering strategies and solutions for Israel and the world. The Prime Minister noted that Israel is carrying out various improvements in order to reduce the organizations' vulnerability to cyber threats and referred to the establishment of a national cyber defense authority that is working with the private sector on an ongoing basis even as it leverages the capabilities and know-how of the defense establishment.
The company leaders expressed appreciation for Israel's cyber activity; Prime Minister Netanyahu invited them to invest in Israel and join the cyber companies that are already in Israel.
Prime Minister's Office Director General Eli Groner, Israel National Cyber Bureau (INCB) Head Dr. Eviatar Matania and National Economic Council Chairman Prof. Avi Simhon also participated in the meeting.
INCB cyber industry data for 2015:
Exports – approximately $3.5 billion, or around 5% of $75 billion global market. Regarding products only, Israel's share is approximately 7%.
Private investments – Estimated at $500 million, more than double the figure for 2014. Esimates on global private investments have yet to be issued. As of the first half of 2015, Israel's share was almost 20% (second to the US). It is not expected that this will change significantly vis-à-vis he entire year.
Mergers and acquisitions – Estimated at $1.3 billion, almost double the figure for 2014.
Photo : GPO/Haim Zach
- Written by Silvia G Golan
Israeli Startup Emaze Challenges PowerPoint and Releases the Next Generation of Presentations
Advanced Tool for Automatically Transforming PowerPoint Slides into Beautifully Designed Presentations in Just Minutes
Tel-Aviv, October 15, 2015 - Everyone who presents before an audience knows the difficulties involved in creating a presentation that will impress your audience and convey your message in a compelling manner. Certainly, the templates offered by PowerPoint fall short with their limited and uninspiring designs.
Israeli startup emaze aims to solve this problem with it’s new feature, Automaze, which enables users to transform PowerPoint slides into well crafted and beautifully designed presentations – in just a few minutes. The Automaze feature, based on advanced algorithms involving Big Data and Machine Learning, scans the text and photos in the PowerPoint slides and offers a visually stunning version that is best suited to the content of the slides. With this new technology, everyone can present like a pro with an elegant, impressive presentation- created in just minutes with no additional design required.
In addition to Automaze, emaze offers innovative presentation making capabilities such as the ability to add in gifs, media, live data, hyperlinking, and more. Video, pan and zoom and 3D transitions, guide your audience through a fascinating visual journey that captures the essence of your narrative.
In addition, these presentations can be shared easily via social media, thereby transforming into valuable marketing tools. Each presentation can also be tracked based on how many views it received, where those views occurred, and further segmentation options to meet the needs of each user.
How does it work?
The user enters emaze through the website and uploads their existing PowerPoint presentation and chooses from any of their designer templates. Automaze technology scans the contents of the Powerpoint presentation and then utilizes its extensive database of 10M presentations to beautifully redesign the original presentation. Within minutes, the user receives their new and improved version.
Motti Nisani, the founder and CEO of emaze, notes that “we all have occasion to present before some kind of audience – students, investors, potential clients, etc., and we spend hours, even days, designing a presentation that will convey our message and make the desired impact. But, at present, there is a gap between the boring templates offering by PowerPoint and the compelling content that we create. emaze bridges that gap by enabling us within seconds to transform our PowerPoint slides into fantastically designed emaze presentations that captivate audiences by bringing them into our story through dynamic, state-of-the-art features. All of this is possible without any design skills and within literally a few blinks of an eye. In a world in which more than 30 million slide presentations are created every single day, we’re striving to be the Wix of the presentation universe and to set the industry standard for years to come".
Is there a cost?
emaze is available for free, or with premium upgrades, available to individuals at a cost of $9 a month, or $14 a month for businesses.
emaze currently operates out of The Time accelerator, is led by advertising executive Ilan Shiloah, and has 11 employees.
Photo Silvia Golan
- Written by Rambam Health Care Campus
In recent weeks, two extraordinary stroke cases were successfully treated at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus, thanks to a unique, time-saving “Red Carpet Treatment.”
The first patient, a 93-year-old woman, made history as the oldest stroke victim in Israel to successfully undergo mechanical thrombectomy to remove the blockage in her brain. Admitted to Rambam, she received the fast-track Red Carpet Treatment for suspected stroke patients under the supervision of Professor Gregory Talman of the Department of Neurology and Dr. Yaakov Amsalem, Director of the Interventional Neuroradiology Unit. One day after surgery the patient was fully functioning and laughing with her family.
In the second case, a 67-year-old Gazan woman was at Rambam visiting her grandson when she suffered a stroke. Seeing that something was terribly wrong, the boy called for help. Upon transferring her to the emergency department it was learned she had suffered an ischemic stroke with a total blockage of the artery that supplies blood and oxygen to the left side of her brain. For her too, a mechanical thrombectomy was considered the best approach.
“The patient was lucky to be here when she had the stroke,” said Dr. Amsalem. “Time is a critical factor, and the needed treatment she needed just happened to be available. From the moment she reached our emergency department to the time the blockage was cleared, an hour and 15 minutes passed—record time for patients like this.”
Mechanical thrombectomy is a complex and delicate procedure. A catheter is guided to the blockage site, and the thrombus is “captured” and removed by means of a specially fitted stent. This treatment is available in only six hospitals in Israel—Rambam is one of them. This procedure is yet another example of how state-of-the-art interventional approaches are transforming the standard of health care and saving precious lives.
Photo : Inessa Azarov and Prof. Gregory Teleman by Pioter Fliter
- Written by Silvia G Golan
WATEC 2015: 13-15 OCT- Water Technology and Environmental Control
Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition and Conference at the TLV Convention Center
WATEC- taking place at the Israel TLV Convention Center on October 13-15, 2015 will be bringing together Israeli & international business executives, water utility engineers, political decisions makers and leading researchers to foster substantive debate and insights, on the key issues facing the world's water and ecological systems. WATEC 2015 promises to be a premier showcase for the most advanced technologies and solutions from Israel and around the world.
The unique exhibition will present state of the art Israeli technological innovations in the fields of water and environmental control. Among the companies presenting are companies that have been appropriated by large international consortiums, others that have shown impressive success in penetrating and developing worldwide markets, as well as young startup companies. Having coped with decades of water shortages has afforded the State of Israel tremendous accumulated experience for developing unique solutions for issues such as Water management, Wastewater and water treatment, Desalination, Water security, and Drip irrigation.
The Israeli water market is internationally recognized as highly developed, having benefited from many years of experience in managing scarce water resources. Moreover, the national industry is widely regarded as a nexus of world-class expertise in the water field.
WATEC presents the perfect opportunity to hear from and meet a range of growing water, energy & environment companies seeking a combination of partners, investment and professional services to develop their companies.
Website : http://watec-israel.com/
Photo : Watec PR