Tech Talk: From ‘Browzin’ at the mall to driverless taxis in New York

The latest Israeli apps to check out on your smartphone.

April 14, 2015 22:32
Google taxi

The design for a driverless Google taxi.. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Israeli app makers never seem to rest. They are always busy creating more efficient ways to shop, share video clips and even enjoy our time commuting.


Do you love shopping at the mall and can’t bear the idea of missing out on a sale at one store or another? If so, then the Israeli app Browzin was created just for you. Browzin helps you find the most relevant bargains in the mall that are geared exactly towards what items you’re interested in. With Browzin, you’ll receive updates about sales at stores that you’ve specified and which fulfill your personalized criteria.

The app was developed by a start-up in Jerusalem that operates out of Siftech, an accelerator which leverages the power of the community to grow early-stages startups.

Founded in 2012 by the Student Union at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Siftech is a non-profit center whose goal is to help develop Jerusalem’s economy by enabling young and educated entrepreneurs launch creative ventures in the capital.

Despite the fact that people are buying more and more products online, there are still plenty of people who love nothing better than traipsing around the mall in search of something fun to buy. And because everyone keeps their cell phone with them at all times, retailers have found that sending updates to smartphones is the most effective way to get more people into their stores.

In the future, when most purchases will be carried out by using an electronic wallet, all you’ll have to do is place your smartphone next to the cash register and your purchase will be complete. This will speed up and improve the overall shopping experience, and of course, hopefully increase sales.


People love sharing information – and especially video clips – with friend,. But what happens when we share information or videos that were not ours to begin with? We are opening ourselves up to law suits and broadcasting rights violations.

The app

Whipclip solves this problem and prevents you from running into any legal trouble.

Co-founders Ron Zuckerman and Ori Birnbaum have legally enabled viewers, for the first time, to create and share video clips from live videos.

Birnbaum said, “We are extremely proud of our development of an unprecedented platform for streaming TV live, which has led to the creation of thousands of new clips posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We have begun a number of new collaborations recently and have great hopes that we will soon begin benefitting from them on Israeli TV channels, too.”

Whipclip was founded in 2014 and has raised $16 million at a company value of $100 million and is in the process of entering additional collaborations with leading TV networks in the US.

The app is currently available for Apple users and will be available for Android soon.

Driverless taxis in New York

Google has been working for a number of years to develop a driverless car. Some people predict that within 30 years it will be illegal to drive a car in New York City, since the automatic cars are expected to be much safer and will have a different driving style than “regular” (i.e. human) drivers.

Up until now, driverless cars have remained in the realm of science fiction, but Google recently signed a cooperation agreement with the City of New York in which all cars in the city will be replaced with Google cars at some point in the future. In a trial run, 5,000 driverless taxis equipped with an ATM, food and computer monitors will be deployed in 2016.

Computers play an important role for almost every Israeli family

Children play games and do homework on computers and parents finish up work they didn?t complete at the office. These days, you can purchase a desktop computer in Israel for under NIS 1,000 (not including a monitor) but it’s not always so easy to figure out where to put the computer and all the accompanying cables once we bring it home.

If you’re looking for a creative solution to store your assorted electronics that won’t break the bank, here are three suggestions:


IMP is a small, Israeli-made easy-to-use computer that is selling for $149. It includes a wireless media streamer and a private cloud server. IMP launched a successful campaign on Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding site, and enables users to seamlessly control and manage apps.


Another Israeli-made micro-computer with a Linux operating system is CuBoxTV, which is selling for $45-$120. If we follow the assumption that micro-computers are the future since we will keep most of our work in cloud-based storage, and browsing speed is continuously getting faster, then streaming boxes might be the future. The CuBoxTV is also a fantastic ecological device since it uses only 3 Watts of energy compared with 500 Watts for a standard computer.


Intel has also come out with a computer the size of a disk-on-key with an HDMI connector that turns any screen into a computer.

It also has a USB connector and is selling for $150. This new Intel computer is expected to compete with Google, Chromecast and Amazon products which also connect to TVs and function as streamers. The Intel computer is unique, though, since it is the only one that can run as a fully-functioning computer once plugged into a monitor.


Does it ever happen to you that when you’re watching TV and a commercial comes on, you take advantage of these few minutes to go get something done? But many times you don’t realize your show began again and you miss part of it. AlerTV has the perfect solution: it lets you know when programs recommence on Channels 10 and 22.

Free on Android.


The Metropolitan transportation company is launching a multimedia app for bus travel that is similar to apps for airline travel. The only difference is this one is activated by the passenger’s smartphone.

When passengers step onto the bus, anyone who has the app will have access to NMC movies, music, radio stations, and Hebrew audiobooks that were recorded by famous Israeli actors.

If you happen to get off the bus while you’re in the middle of watching something, the app will save your place so you can start right where you left off the next time you take the bus.

Free for Apple and Android.


The Events app conveniently displays events and appointments in your calendar and synchronizes with events from Facebook that you?ve marked. Roie Cohen developed this app because he is an avid music aficionado who goes to concerts every week and he was finding it hard to keep track of all the shows he wanted to attend.

Free for iPhone.

If you run a young start-up, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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