Cool tech is at the top of gift-giving guides this holiday season.
From TIME Magazine to Mashable, Town and Country to Apple, trendy gadgets and must-have apps are topping pretty much every December gift list. And some of the most popular recommendations are Made in Israel.
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NoCamels scanned the never-ending gift guides and found that global tech critics and reviewers are hyping blue-and-white robots, wellness gadgets, selfie improvement apps, and even something for Fido for Channukah and Christmas gift ideas.
Here are 9 must-have Israeli gadgets and apps getting love on international gift lists:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And TIME magazine recently published a list featuring the “100 Best Inventions” of 2019 that are making the world “better, smarter, and even a little more fun.”
The Temi robot, a 3-foot-tall personal rolling robot with a 10-inch touchscreen for a head, is one of four of the world’s best inventions in the “home” category on the magazine’s list.
Nine Israeli-made inventions made the magazine’s best inventions collection this year.
With a $1,999 price tag, Temi is not cheap but it is dubbed as the world’s first intelligent, mobile, personal AI robot.
Temi takes multi-tasking to a new level. The Alexa-enabled device can answer questions, order groceries, play music and videos, make calls, control your smart home, follow you around your house (except up or down stairs), and call for medical assistance. It can also serve you drinks.
ElliQ, a tabletop robot companion created by Israeli company Intuition Robotics, can be found on lists dedicated to seniors. Age is not a barrier to enjoying new trendy tech – but finding the right gadget is still important.
ElliQ was designed to keep loneliness at bay. It reads out messages, displays photos, and answers video calls. The robot can also make appointments and remind users about their medication regime.
ElderCare Alliance put ElliQ on its Ultimate 2019 Holiday Tech Gift Guide for Seniors.
Intuition Robotics was founded in 2015 by Itai Mendelsohn, Dor Skuler, and Roy Amir. In 2017, it raised $20 million, including $14 million from Toyota AI Ventures, the investment arm of the Japanese auto giant. It was named the Best of Innovation Winner in the smart home category at CES 2018. Earlier this month, it was given a special mention in TIME magazine’s Best Innovations of 2019.
Every December, Apple publishes its Best of the Year app lists. Gift-givers seeking to keep their family and friends in the loop, can look at the Top Paid Apps of 2019 for gift ideas.
Topping the Paid Apps of 2019 list is FaceTune, the trendy photo editing app for enhancing and retouching photos. FaceTune is created by Jerusalem-based Lightricks, among the first app developers to prove to App Store users that consumers would pay for and subscribe to apps that offered them incentives. Lightricks is known to help amateur photographers and videographers master professional-style photo editing via its apps.
“Developers around the world inspire us all with innovative apps that have the power to influence culture and change our lives, and this year that is as true as ever. The 2019 App Store Best Apps and Games winners reflect our global desire for connection, creativity and fun,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a press statement.
Facetune is part of Lightricks’ suite of seven apps that have over 200 million downloads worldwide and over three million paying subscribers, the company has said.
This summer, Lightricks raised $135 million in a Series C funding round at a valuation of $1 billion.
GO 2 Posture Trainer
‘Tis the season to sit up straight. Town & Country magazine recommends the Upright GO 2 Posture Trainer in its holiday list of the “latest and greatest tech gifts that money can buy.”
The Upright team, based in Tel Aviv, has been helping slouchers fix their posture since 2015. The biofeedback consumer electronics company launched a small device that attaches to your back and vibrates every time you slouch.
It’s a smart device, too. It syncs with a smartphone app to help you track your posture throughout the day. A single pack of adhesives sells for approximately $9. The company also made a necklace that attaches to the device, allowing users to wear it without the adhesives. The necklace sells for $19.95.
Murphy’s Law of life with children will almost always guarantee a sick kid during the holiday season.
That’s where the TytoHome telehealth gadget comes in – this handheld examination device can be a thermometer, a stethoscope, an otoscope and even a tongue depressor, depending on what you need.
It also brings much-needed peace of mind to caregivers.
TIME magazine included TytoHome on its list of top inventions for 2019 in the “health category.”
TytoHome is developed by Netanya-based telehealth company Tyto Care. TytoHome is dubbed the health care industry’s first all-in-one modular device and telehealth platform for on-demand, remote medical exams. It sells for $299.
“Tyto Care’s mission has always been to make high-quality health care accessible and on-demand, from any location, to as many people as possible,” Dedi Gilad, CEO and co-founder of Tyto Care, said in a press statement.
The MyEye 2 can be a life-changing gift for a visually impaired or blind person. This portable, finger-sized, AI-powered clip-on device reads out texts from books, menus, newspapers and product labels for those who cannot see properly.
OrCam intends to make as great an impact in the accessibility arena.
TIME magazine hypes this device as one of its inventions of the year. It is highlighted for its impact in helping the blind and visually impaired increase their daily independence and improve their quality of life.
“We are truly honored that TIME has distinguished OrCam MyEye 2 as one of the Best Inventions of 2019, in the Accessibility category,” Prof. Amnon Shashua, co-founder, and Co-CEO of OrCam Technologies, said in a press statement. “We deeply appreciate the recognition by TIME of OrCam’s wearable assistive technology’s ability to transform people’s lives. We pioneered this innovation to function as ‘AI as a companion’, to directly benefit people who are blind, visually impaired, or have reading difficulties, including dyslexia.”
The product, which goes for about $4,500 in the US — “the price of a mid-range hearing aid,” according to the company — comes with a head unit and charger has a volume that can be adjusted.
Smartglasses continue to be popular on this holiday season’s gadget lists.
ZDNet includes Everysight Raptor cycling glasses on its Best fitness gifts: Gadgets that help you get healthy list.
The futuristic-looking AR glasses – made by Haifa-based Everysight tech company, a spin-off of Elbit Systems – are also nominated as the best gift for cyclists by the UK’s Metro news site.
The Raptor smartglasses offer cyclists real-time information including speed, heart rate and pace to maximize riding performance.
They retail for between $600-800 depending on which type.
While for Israelis it would be sacrilege to not have the Waze app to get around, it seems there are still too many drivers unaware of this must-have navigation helper.
HGTV recommends Waze as one of “10 Apps to Get You Through the Holiday Season.”
The list touts the Israeli-founded navigation and driving app Waze, which is now a Google company, for its ability to direct you to your destination without getting stuck in traffic. The reviewer recommends new users to pick “different voices to help you navigate, including some notable celebs.”
After taking care of the people on your list, don’t forget Fido.
Santa Paws has a growing assortment of gifts for your pup kid to choose from. Mashable has published a list of ‘7 gifts for your dog that are actually also gifts for you’ to make the choice easier.
Actually, the gift of DogTV not only brings comfort to Fido but will keep you happy knowing he’s not tearing up the couch in boredom while you’re out at work.
DogTV was founded in Israel in 2009 as the first-ever TV channel for dogs. Now based in San Francisco, the channel continues to create programming that is said to help home-alone dogs stay stress-free.
“Nothing beats live, human interaction with your pup. You should do everything you can to ensure they’re not regularly left alone for large stretches of time without it. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. And for those of us who can’t afford to buy a pet cam or remote long-distance treat and dispensers, DogTV on Youtube can bring you some peace of mind for free,” reads the Mashable blurb.
Viva Sarah Press is a journalist and speaker. She writes and talks about the creativity and innovation taking place in Israel and beyond. www.vivaspress.com