Israelis make impression at Spain mobile conference

Deputy director of the Foreign Trade Administration, says the delegation’s 2,000 expected meetings at the event are aimed at linking Israeli technology to foreign companies in the mobile market.

February 25, 2013 23:08
3 minute read.
Simhon flanked by Mittal Gabai at World Mobile Congress

Simhon flanked by Mittal Gabai at World Mobile Congress 390. (photo credit: Courtesy Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry)

Israel made its mark at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, with 67 companies showing their wares.

The conference is the largest one of its kind for developers of mobile devices. It began Monday and runs through Thursday.

“Israel’s media industry is on the cut- ting edge of technological advancements and provides unique solutions, creating interest and demand in the growing world market,” Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon, who led the Israeli delegation, said Monday.

Ohad Cohen, the deputy director of the Foreign Trade Administration, said the delegation’s 2,000 expected meetings at the event are aimed at linking Israeli technology to foreign companies in the mobile market.

“During the exhibition, the Investment Promotion Center at the ministry will coordinate efforts to take advantage of the leading players in the cellular field, with the aim of attracting potential foreign investors to invest in Israeli companies,” he said.

The effort reflects the growing importance of the mobile market. According to GSMA, the international group that represents global mobile business interests and sponsors the conference, mobile data volume is expected to rise 66 percent from 2012 to 2017. By that point, a fifth of mobile connections will be broadband (LTE or 4G speed), there will be 3.9 billion mobile subscribers worldwide and the market ecosystem will create 1.3 million jobs.

The Israeli companies at the event rep- resent a wide range of mobile functions, ranging from full-on applications to behind-the-scenes technology users will never have to understand (a good thing in the case of CellGuide, which describes itself as “a fabless semi-conductor, GPS IP licensing and design services company” marketing “GNSS e.g. GPS, GLONASS cost-effective ultra-low power embedded solutions”).

One company, called eyesight, utilizes the phone’s camera to recognize hand gestures, a technology that could expand the user interface right off the screen.

Another company, Cellrox, develops technology that lets people create two completely independent interfaces on one device – a dream come true for those of us who are forced to carry around both a personal and work cell- phone all day.

Looking to the business communica- tions side of things, a company called Idomoo, already a client of Fortune 500 companies, creates high-quality person- alized videos to convey information about things like phone bills or other specialized information.

Breaking down the traffic crowd- sourcing popularized by the Waze mobile app, a company called Cellint is looking to use crowd-source data from all cellular phones – not just smart- phones that are plugged into the app, like Waze – to measure precise traffic patterns for use by loyal municipal authorities, car manufacturers and mobile subscribers.

On a cuter note, an app called Motekon is at the event, helping users turn drawings and photos into little personalized emoticons.

Surprisingly, the Israeli market had little showing in Near Field Communications, or NFC, which is billed as one of the biggest growth markets for mobile.

By allowing data in the phone’s chip or SIM to be read by payment devices at close range, the technology offers ways to replace tickets, vouchers and coupons, keys for hotel rooms and offices, and even cash and credit cards.

GSMA predicts that half of all smart- phones will be NFC-enabled by 2015 and will be used for more than half of all Visa transactions in Europe by 2020.

Some 300 million NFC-enabled devices are expected to be sold this year.

On Monday, Visa announced a part- nership with Samsung, which will carry the company’s payment software on its Galaxy S IV phones.

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