A comprehensive guide to all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news. This special edition focuses on Israel's high-tech scene.
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# Hey mambo, mambo italiano... #
Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.
Apologies for the dancing.
I promise all will be explained later.
You see, this week, we're in Israel.
It is a really hi-tech place.
Although admittedly, it's not really the home of the mambo.
This week, we'll get hands-on with some kit and we'll meet the people
who make Israel's technology among the best in the world.
From medicine to security,
from education to transportation.
And, yes, there will be a flying robot ambulance.
And we also have the very best of the web, in Webscape.
Israel's come a long way since the oranges.
Its main export used to be shipped around the world
from the port of the ancient city of Jaffa.
But since then, it's seen many innovations, including -
would you believe? - the very first USB memory stick.
Jerusalem-based Mobileye makes the technology inside
some of the self-driving cars that we've already seen on Click.
Right now, take my hands off the wheel. OK. Right now.
'Well, I had to give it a go myself, didn't I?
'Mobileye is now working on a system which will use
'just one camera and will be able to identify and respond
'to road signs and traffic lights,
'as well as other traffic and pedestrians.
'This is the first time that we've seen an autonomous car
'which can handle itself at a junction.'
Israel is packed with start-ups and incubators.
In fact, it calls itself the start-up nation.
It has a higher concentration of research and development centres
and start-ups per capita than any other place on Earth.
It has more start-ups on the NASDAQ stock exchange
than Europe and India combined.
One of the reasons it is so hi-tech is the fact that all Israelis
have to do military service,
and plenty of innovation comes from the military.
Once the sole possession of special forces,
nowadays, it's all within our reach.
One company that takes military tech
and translates it into commercial applications is Opgal.
It's just launched Therm-App.
This is a thermal-imaging device and it's the first one in the world
that turns an android smartphone into a thermal-imaging camera.
Hi, there. It's useful for anyone who wants to see in the dark
or, more interestingly, anyone who needs to know about
the temperature of their surroundings.
Look at my handprint on the wall. Guilty as charged.
So, for example, a faulty electrical circuit
would appear too warm,
a leak in your ceiling would appear an unusual temperature,
and you could even use this to diagnose inflammation
or even tumours, because they appear warmer than normal.
Now onto something else with military connections.
A few years ago, we came to Israel to see a flying car.
Yes, a flying car.
Jen Copestake has been to see the latest innovation
from Tactical Robotics.
Moving casualties from remote battlefields
is an extremely dangerous job for a helicopter pilot.
The landing takes skill and the mission can come under enemy fire.
Tactical Robotics hopes to make the job easier with this, the AirMule,
a prototype ambulance drone.
On our visit, these drones are firmly on the ground,
but the AirMule has flown over 350 test flights.
Over the last 12 years of development, millions of dollars
have been invested into getting the AirMule off the ground.
The project is being partially funded by Israel's Ministry of Defence.
What makes this one-tonne vehicle unique is its internal rotors,
two rotors taking the place of a helicopter's large external one.
It's controlled by 200 directional air flaps.
Its top air speed is around 120 knots, which is about 140mph,
and it can reach an altitude of 12,000ft.
The first mission of the AirMule is to pick up injured personnel
from the battlefield.
One cargo bay can fit somebody who's 2m 10 and weighs up to 250kg.
But it still looks a bit of a tight squeeze.
Using both bays, the AirMule can also be used for cargo transportation.
500 kilos can be carried to bring supplies to remote combat zones.
The Department of Homeland Security in America is looking at the AirMule
as a way to help secure an urban metropolitan area after a dirty bomb.
It could negotiate narrow or blocked streets
and carry a decontaminating material.
Imagine this aircraft with two robotic arms,
piloted by a remote pilot through cameras
and actually getting into the door of a Fukushima
or a Chernobyl kind of scenario, where nobody would like to go in.
And not just taking pictures of what's happening,
but actually bringing hundreds of litres of water,
or fixing a leak, or doing some work for hours.
A second prototype is being built and will be flown later this year.
If necessary funding is secured,
the AirMule could be in the skies in five years.
Jen Copestake. And how cool was that flying ambulance? My word!
Now to something much smaller, but just as important.
The major cause of cancer death amongst women
in low-income countries is cervical cancer.
The thing is, if it's caught early enough, it is easy to detect
and it costs very little to treat. But, of course, the medical kit
and the expertise is not that easy to come by.
Well, perhaps until now.
Meet MobileOCT. The OCT stands for
Optical Coherence Tomography,
and this is a 400 hand-held device being developed here in Tel Aviv.
It analyses potential tumours.
The important thing to notice is the part which takes the pictures
of the skin is just a normal smartphone.
Add a big lens, a handle and a couple of lights
and you've got something that images suspect areas,
plus the blood supply to that area,
something that's detected by adding the green light.
Cervical cancer is the number one cause of cancer death for women
of low resource settings, but it's the easiest cancer to treat
if you catch it in the first five years. Community health workers
can pick it up and start imaging right away.
Because the device is built on a phone, you send the images
up and down to the cloud, which enables them to receive
peer mentorship from their peers, as well as expert mentorship
from gynaecologists and oncologists worldwide.
So that no matter where you are, no matter what your training,
you can screen for cancer.
Now, the case is 3-D printed.
That means you don't have to ship them in.
You just print one wherever you need it.
Our mission is to enable anyone who has access to a mobile phone
the ability to save their lives and the lives of the people they love.
The best way to do that is to make the hardware open source.
So, until now, we've printed everything using 3D printers
and what we want to do is to enable any person
anywhere in the world to be able to create their own devices
and, in doing so, screen those people they'd like to save the lives of.
OK. We'll return to Israel in a couple of minutes.
First, a look at the big stories
that have been hitting the tech wires this week.
Google's joining the auto-auto market, showing off a prototype
without a steering wheel, gear stick or pedals.
Controlled via the smartphone
and a single stop-go button,
the electric car uses
a combination of cameras,
laser and radar sensors to navigate
and it will initially be limited to a top speed of 25mph
to help ensure safety.
The first batch of 200
should hit the Tarmac within the year.
A prolific hacker who faced
more than 26 years in prison
has been handed a year's supervision sentence after swapping sides
and helping the FBI catch some of those he once teamed up with.
Hector Xavier Monsegur,
known by his online pseudonym "Sabu",
was one of the core members
of hacking group LulzSec.
The group launched a spate of high-profile online attacks in 2011.
Korean tech giant LG
has entered the smartwatch fray.
Its G Watch runs a version of Google's android operating system,
with some of the functionality of a smartphone.
Its touch-screen will be able to deliver things like weather forecast,
text or e-mail alerts.
LG's also announced its flagship G3 smartphone,
boasting some of the best specs on the market,
including a quad-core processor,
3GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch high-res screen.
Valve's own version of the Steam Machine has been delayed
until 2015. The living room PC in a box concept
will eventually see Valve partnering with a host of PC manufacturers
to roll out gaming-focused computers.
The unusual touch-sensitive controller is causing the problems,
although it's not clear whether other outfits will also be delayed
with their versions of the long-awaited Steam Machine platform.
Did you know that you can be identified
simply from the way you walk?
It's one aspect of something called biometrics,
which are the things about you which are unique to you.
Fingerprints, iris patterns and so on.
And it turns out that Israel is making great strides in biometrics,
if you pardon the pun.
David Reid has been finding out why here, YOU could be the key.
Around five years ago, something big happened.
For the first time in history, the number of us living in cities
exceeded those who don't.
3.5 billion of us are squeezing through the same doors.
Our security systems have to cope with letting people in,
keeping intruders out, while avoiding bottlenecks.
One way is biometrics.
FS21, in Tel Aviv, has developed this digital doorman.
It matches up faces with body sizes,
greeting those it recognises with a polite "shalom",
but locking out those it doesn't know.
Actually, the identification of the system is on the visual side,
not taking only the faces, but taking the whole body.
As the body is part of the human, we're actually looking at the body
and looking at the body size.
"Is it the same body size that the same face had yesterday?"
And that's what the system does, trying to imitate
the way the human guard would identify people.
This is great if you have the cooperation and biometrics
of those you want to ID.
Gathering them among the wider public can be difficult.
The problem with biometrics is that
it can feel really intrusive.
Giving over your fingerprints and having your iris scanned,
you can end up feeling like a criminal
and no-one wants to feel like that.
It's why a number of companies here in Tel Aviv are developing systems
based on something as unique as your biometrics -
the way we behave.
You are unique. The way you walk,
the way you talk, the way you do this.
And for that matter, the way you dance.
To go from dance games to security systems
might not be as daft as it seems.
Extreme Reality's dance game tracks if your moves match the dance.
Programme into the system the unique way someone, a suspect, say,
walks, you can find a match.
Taking the real-world scenario,
like you want to find a suspect
after some event has happened - there was a terrorist event,
you know where the suspect is -
we will be able to run multiple videos simultaneously
and provide you with a number of suspects that are similar
to this terrorist that you have found in one of the videos.
The way we behave in the online world is also unique.
BioCatch picks up on the idiosyncratic way
each of us interacts with a computer or tablet
to identify us for banking transactions.
You drag the green piece until it hits the red.
'I gave it a go. Unknown to me, the tablet's cursor
'is dragging ever so slightly.
'The way I compensate for that creates a unique pattern.'
..A little bit to the left and you compensated
by going a little bit to the right.
That's my pattern.
That's very obviously someone else's.
Again, I curl in slowly.
Another person jags back sharply.
The idea is for this to replace the array of security measures
that have simply become annoying.
We talk about secret questions.
There are text messages with one-time codes that are being sent.
There are all sorts of physical tokens that you have to carry.
And the point is that all of this is circumvented today by fraudsters.
They know how to breach these sorts of defences
while the real user is just bothered by additional security all the time.
So, that's essentially what BioCatch is trying to solve.
How do you actually increase the security by authenticating
the user's behaviour, responses, cognitive choices,
their subconscious interaction with the application
and, at the same time, reduce that unnecessary friction?
So, this could be the birth of truly smart security technology
that no longer requires us to learn pesky passwords to ID ourselves,
but instead learns about us.
'Innovation starts at an early age in Israel.
'The students here at the IDC Herzliya Media Innovation Lab
'are developing ideas to help people with disabilities.'
-First. Then when you feel stable...
'They've created a game for small children with balance problems,
'using a smartphone's accelerometer
'and a wobbly standy thing.'
Excellent... Ah. I've crashed it.
'And for older people, how about a dance?
'This Xbox Kinect game keeps you fit and mobile
'by helping you to practise your moves.'
# Hey mambo, mambo italiano... #
'There's much more going on here and one of the professors showed
'Jen Copestake his latest robot.
'And it was quite an emotional experience.'
# ..Mambo italiano... #
It may look like just a cheap desk lamp,
but by picking up on your emotions,
this robot could help you become a better communicator.
The robots were supposed to encourage people's empathy
for each other, and through your empathy to the robot,
it's supposed to make your behaviour to other people better.
And the robot would be very sensitive
and expressing the sensitivity of the relationship,
and if people start talking to it
in an aggressive way, it'll get scared.
The robot is in a calm situation and it's listening to the conversation.
The robot has three emotional states - curious, calm and scared -
and will react depending on the volume
and tone of conversation...
He will get curious,
move forward and try to listen more.
So, we're going to try it out now.
'..but quickly gets scared
'and shakes when we're angry.'
That was pretty scary, I have to say.
You already feel bad for scaring it.
Your whole body language is like, "Oh, no, I'm sorry."
I think different people have different emotional needs
and different robots could help those people
cope with situations that might be hard for them.
This is just one direction.
This is an industrial complex in Tel Aviv and the ground floor
is still occupied, as you can hear,
by traditional industry.
The third floor has been taken over by something a lot more hi-tech.
In fact, the companies here need units which offer them space
to do their thinking and development, but also, to do stuff
that's a lot more sciencey.
You never know what you might find
if you peer through the windows.
Gauzy makes the next generation of smart glass.
Unlike the stuff that just flicks between opaque and transparent
when you pass an electric current through, this glass can fade
between the two. You can also have
several independent panels in one pane of glass.
In theory, that should allow for more graceful-looking installations,
whether it's a fridge you don't have to open
to check the contents or groovy privacy screens for public places,
or this enormous display already installed
at the visitor centre in Shiloh.
What's also unusual is, the flexible panel in-between the two panes
can be one of several different shades of white or grey.
In fact, next door,
they're working on introducing a whole range of colours.
And in the future, they might just be able to split the panel
into individual pixels,
allowing text or even graphics to be displayed.
Next up, someone else who's a massive fan of Windows...
and Mac OS X and Linux.
It's Kate Russell, with Webscape.
Yes, Spencer. It's true.
I've spent much of my youth gazing through windows,
mainly playing computer games
like Elite and Wolfenstein 3D.
Those classics didn't need
and visual acrobatics
to grab our attention.
It was all about gameplay,
and platform puzzler Nihilumbra
has that in bucket-loads.
You play a character born of the void
and spend the whole game
battling through a hostile landscape
with the empty nothingness of nonexistence snapping at your heels.
The artwork is simplistically stunning
and the puzzles growing in difficulty
as you pick up additional skills to play with.
The darkly chilling script
nags at you throughout
to feel hopeless and lost.
The demo can be played free online through your browser,
with the full game available on lots of platforms,
in a number of different languages.
The ongoing craze for self-destructing selfies
has gained another ally with Blink app released for android.
The free messaging app was already popular on iPhone
and lets users send text, photos, videos, sketches,
and even voice messages to friends
that disappear once they've been viewed.
This genre is such a buzz right now,
it's just been announced that
Yahoo has snapped up Blink.
So, who knows what the future holds for this app.
# I really need one But first, let me take a selfie... #
It seems like everyone is doing selfies these days.
The word has even been enshrined in the English language,
appearing in the Oxford Dictionary.
Another addictive habit is caffeine.
Note the seamless segue there.
If you're more of a coffee drinker than a self-obsessed snapper,
this next app could be for you.
UP Coffee lets you add and track your caffeine intake
throughout the day, keeping you informed
about how it might impact your sleep.
# I drink 40 cups of coffee... #
If you have the UP band, you can link the apps together
to get additional data and correlations
about sleep patterns over time.
Music lovers who like to impress
at the pub quiz should bookmark
Google's Music Timeline, which tracks the popularity of musical genres
dating back all the way to 1950.
# I like that old time rock 'n' roll... #
This is 64 years of musical history,
although classical music has been omitted
because it's catalogued differently from other genres,
using composition date rather than recording date to determine
where it sits in a timeline.
# ..Still like that old time rock 'n' roll... #
You can explore by genre,
with artists and albums all a click away to view.
And, of course, you can click through to purchase them
from Google's music store too.
# ..Still like that old-time rock 'n' roll... #
Codeacademy has been teaching people to code
with free and easy-to-follow online lessons since 2011.
Until now, the only language available was English.
But last week, the academy started rolling out
a global initiative to translate
the lessons into other languages.
Portuguese, French and Spanish translations are already completed,
with more in the works for the months ahead.
Kate Russell's Webscape.
Just before we leave Israel, I have to introduce you
to the company which is reinventing the wheel.
Now, if you use a wheelchair, you'll know what a bumpy
and uncomfortable ride coming down steps is.
And if you build a suspension system into the chair, it fights you
as you're rolling along flat surfaces,
which obviously isn't ideal.
Well, this man is using a chair fitted with two SoftWheels,
and this is what he can do.
It's basically an in-wheel suspension system,
but it's only used when it's needed, which means it doesn't fight you
when you roll along the flat.
Actually, this thing could be fitted to, well,
pretty much anything that has a wheel.
Now, that's it from Israel.
Next week, though, we'll be in the West Bank to check out
the Palestinian tech scene. Can't wait for that.
For more from us, check out our website...
Thank you very much for watching and we'll see you next time.
This special edition focuses on Israel's high-tech scene. Flying ambulance drones, emotional robots and reinventing the wheel. Includes tech news and Webscape.