The hype around Israeli technologies at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)  in Las Vegas was more than justified when two blue-and-white companies – HumanEyes and Steam CC  – scored the top two innovation prizes from a field of thousands.

Tech experts and gadget geeks voted the Ripple Maker — Steam CC’s 3D printing system that draws coffee-extract pictures on foamy drinks — as the Last Gadget Standing  Online winner.

“Latte art is one of the most shared images on social media. We’re taking latte art to a whole new level,” said CEO Yossi Meshulam. “When you put something beautiful in someone’s hands, they want to share it. That’s how we’re making a ripple on the world.”

The Ripples technology originated at Prof. Shlomo Magdassi’s lab at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was licensed-out by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University, and was brought to market with seed funding from Landa Ventures.

“3D printing is cool; 3D printed lattes… even cooler. Take any image and The Ripple Maker prints the image in your latte foam, made from coffee extracts. Starbucks will still probably spell your name wrong but it’ll sure look amazing to see your face in foam,” the judges wrote about the Ripple Maker.

Last year’s Online winner, Consumer Physics, is also Israeli.

Last Standing Live winner Vuze

HumanEyes won the Last Standing Live Audience prize for Vuze,  the world’s first consumer portable 360° 3D VR camera and software studio to bring immersive content creation to the masses.

HumanEyes was founded by Yissum and Professor Shmuel Peleg, from the School of Engineering and Computer Science of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“The technology combines 3D and 2D capture technology using eight full HD cameras within an easy-to-use ‘point and shoot’ form factor,” write the judges. “Vuze is both a technological breakthrough as well as a quantum leap forward for the industry.”

“Until now, these two worlds – virtual reality and video recording – weren’t able to combine as the technology, cost and skills required to create virtual reality video were simply beyond the layperson’s reach. So the Vuze VR camera was born,” said Shahar Bin-Nun, CEO of HumanEyes Technologies.

“Vuze has the potential to revolutionize the way people take, share and experience pictures and video. We believe Vuze is creating a pivotal moment in the consumer adoption of 3D VR technologies and we look forward to forging this evolving ecosystem and industry over the coming years.”

Wearables create a buzz

The world’s biggest consumer trade show of its kind, CES 2016 drew more than 170,000 people to ogle, touch and try technologies and devices at displays set up by 38,000 exhibitors. Israel sent representatives of 500 consumer-electronics and digital-media companies.

In addition to Steam CC and HumanEyes, Israeli startups including IceTron, UpRight, Digisense, Kidoz, Nua Robotics and Flytrex, as well as multinational companies featuring Israeli-made technologies, secured major time in the limelight.

Wearable technologies were a big hit at CES.

IceTron Technologies, based in Yokneam, wowed the crowds with its FRIO bracelet system that cools you down in hot weather. Think portable air conditioner.

IceTron’s FRIO bracelet is a personal cooling system. Photo: courtesy
IceTron’s FRIO bracelet is a personal cooling system. Photo: courtesy

The UpRight  wearable training device to keep you sitting or standing up straight, scored wide interest.

Digisense baby sensor. Photo courtesy
Digisense baby sensor. Photo courtesy

Digisense, whose wearable real-time monitoring device alerts to diaper-changing needs, won enormous interest from major diaper manufacturers. The sensor measures urine volume, bodily gases, respiratory rate and temperature, and can be used for babies as well as elderly patients and in hospitals.

Bring on gaming, IoT and robotics

Israeli companies in mobile, smart home,  smart TV, IoT, robotics, video and gaming, and automotive technologies were also big draws at the CES event.

Kidoz is said to be the first content-discovery platform helping children find age-appropriate content they love. Highlighted by Forbes as a company to keep an eye on this year, Kidoz provides three platforms: an SDK that helps developers increase engagement with kid-friendly apps; a Kidoz mode for kids to explore offerings themselves; and the Kidoz network promoting child-friendly content.

NUA Robotics’  hands-free robotic suitcase that follows its owner around garnered numerous headlines from international media. Asked what impressed him at the CES show, NBA’s Shaquille O’Neal listed the Israeli suitcase of the future at the top of his wow list.

The autonomous case has a built-in camera sensor to detect and follow its owner. “Any object can be smart and robotic. We want to bring robots into everyday life,” said Alex Libman, cofounder and CEO of NUA Robotics.

Media and visitors stopped by the Mobileye booth to check out its advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous driving capabilities. Prof. Amnon Shashua, cofounder and CTO of Mobileye, was one of the keynote speakers at CES.

Flytrex, an Israeli maker of drone technology for the consumer market, had foreign media lining up for interviews  with cofounder Yariv Bash to talk about remotely piloted drone technology.

Flytrex allows for personal deliveries via drone. Photo: courtesy
Flytrex allows for personal deliveries via drone. Photo: courtesy

Israel inside

International companies showcasing new technologies developed in Israel included Intel, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Samsung and many others with R&D facilities in Israel.

Broadcom – which has acquired 11 Israeli companies with systems and solutions for better Internet connections and data-center networking – showed off a range of consumer innovations optimized to enhance connectivity in the home, in the car and on-the-go.

Intel exhibited RealSense, an Israeli-developed 3D vision technology that meshes a 1080p HD camera, an infrared camera and an infrared laser projector into one product.

In his keynote address, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that the global chipmaker is working with Israel’s Replay Technologies  to deliver new viewing experiences for sports fans on broadcast, in the stadium and at home.

And shortly after TowerSec, a global leader in automotive cybersecurity, showcased its onboard anti-hacking products at CES, the Israeli company announced it had been acquired by Harman.

CES may be over. But 2016 has only begun and there’s no doubt that we’ll be hearing a lot more about these Israeli companies and technologies.