Jungo CEO Ofer Vilensky: We see broadband as the fifth utility; it will provide a tremendous range of services.The modern home is now part of the digital revolution. TVs, computers, internet, telephone, video recorders, DVD players, printers, fax machines, copiers, even your washing machine, dishwasher, cooker and microwave. They all speak the same digital language, but they don’t speak to each other.
Make way for the ‘gateway’ – a slim-line box that not only allows all the computers in your home to talk to each other and operate cooperatively, but also provides a sophisticated software hub for extending and refining all sorts of Internet and TV services.
Developing this software is a high-tech whiz of an Israeli company called Jungo. Based in Netanya, the company launched seven years ago with a team of two and a great idea – developing software for a home-based gateway. A few months ago, Jungo, now employing 160 people, was sold for $107 million to NDS, a $3 billion company at the forefront of pay TV technology.
Jungo’s CEO and co-founder Ofer Vilenski is clear why the company has achieved such outstanding success in those few years. Its employees “don’t take their work here just as a job; they are on a mission – they realize that what they produce will impact how people are going to live in the future,” he told ISRAEL21c.
So how does it impact the way we live? Jungo’s parent company NDS develop the Set Top Boxes sitting on, or by your TV, controlling what programs your cable or satellite company is providing you. Link in a gateway and Jungo software, and the whole system becomes an integrated content delivery system.
Begin by adding some serious USB storage in the Set Top Box and then start downloading all your favorite movies from your cable provider or via the Internet. You’ll be able to watch them on any TV or computer in your home, whenever you want.
Now use your computer to browse the gateway’s Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and decide what you want to record – it will be stored in that USB storage facility. You are used to planning ahead with your video but what about the episode you missed last week, last month? No problem, Jungo’s gateway software will find which of those millions of viewers did record it and then download it onto your system. You are looking at the future and it is only just around the corner.
And just last month, Jungo announced its latest gateway software package designed to troubleshoot those maddening faults that creep into daily life on the Internet. Perhaps you are really internet savvy and you understand what is going on, but most of us… we’re just frustrated. Why does the Internet sometimes decide to: go slow; tell me it can’t find a particular page; inform me vaguely that perhaps a server has gone down, or maybe there is some fault with the pathway?
Like millions of other users we reach for the phone and wait, then answer the same set of inane questions. This costs the service provider a bundle of money… and in the end we know who pays.
The Jungo software, which will be installed in the gateway (via the Internet connection of course) will identify and fix the problems wherever possible; they call it ‘self-healing’. And if that can’t be done it will do some ‘deep analysis’ so that when you do phone your service provider, they’ll know what’s wrong and they’ll know how to fix it.
And the best bit? It will tell you exactly which connection you or your child dislodged to bring the whole system to a complete stop. Jungo has carried out some detailed studies of all the things that go wrong, and it is confident that its ‘Support-Calls-Reduction Package’ can reduce the amount of time users spend on the phone to service providers by up to 50%.
Of course, a company like Jungo is always anticipating the next “big thing” in our high tech future.
While Vilenski isn’t prepared to speculate exactly what new technology will be around in five years, he believes it’s clear that the role of the gateway will become increasingly important in all our homes. “You have at present four basic utilities: electricity, water, gas and telephone – we see broadband as the fifth utility; it will provide a tremendous range of services.
“Television, for example, won’t be via cable or satellite, you’ll be able to download whatever program you want from anywhere in the world. Telephone communication will be mostly via broadband, using regular telephones and this will mean you’ll be able to have as many telephone lines as you want in your home, with perhaps different rings for each member of the family and the ability to phone from room to room in your house. Home security will be a series of cameras around your house, which you’ll be able to look at on your mobile phone wherever you are.”
And the nerve center controlling all these functions? The gateway, of course.