Any visitor to Tel Aviv can’t fail to notice the sheer number of construction projects underway in the coastal city. With the highest birthrate in the developed world, Israeli demand for new housing, as well as commercial office space, continues to grow exponentially, not only in the center, but in numerous boomtowns in the so-called periphery. That demand is already fueling an explosion in start-ups that deploy world-beating Israeli technology to create a range of intelligent smart home devices for both the domestic market and the newly empowered and connected global middle class. Now technology moguls and venture capitalists Haim Toledano and Saar Pilosof are entering the sector, leveraging their unique expertise in next-generation personalized online platforms and their enormous contact books to ensure that Israeli innovation is right at the heart of the next big tech revolution – the Internet of Things. Toledano is convinced that Google, and particularly its AI division, will be right at the heart of it all. "We have known for a few years now that the Internet of Things and smart homes are going to a big part of our future, but the technology always seemed a little behind. When Saar and I saw Google's Home assistant, we immediately knew that the future of the Internet of Things and the dream smart home will have Google at its core," he explains. It’s estimated that by 2020 there will be around 25 billion IoT-enabled devices in operation. The worldwide percentage of households with internet access will be 69%, with smartphone penetration at 75%. These projections mean that the value of the global smart home market could be as much as $43 billion, nearly three times its current worth. Israeli gadgets, gizmos, and smart solutions are already making their mark. In the security sector, expected to make up 34% of the entire smart home market within five years, solutions like ENTR by Mul-T-Lock are enjoying significant reception, no doubt bolstered by Israel’s reputation for excellence in this area. Energy management is already a billion-dollar global industry and is projected to grow by over 500% in the next few years, enabling the rapid growth of firms like Switchbee, Sensibo, and SmarTap, while the convenience and productivity fields could see major success for companies like EarlySense, as well as outfits like Singlecue and PointGrab, both powered by cutting-edge gestural interfaces. Toledano and Pilosof are currently scanning the Israeli scene for startups and tech companies already developing IoT and smart-home solutions via Google integration. Toledano sums up his vision: "Smart devices and appliances should just work. In the next few years your home will gradually become smarter with every new device you get." Photo Source
Keith is a writer at ModestMoney.com and is active in the personal finance and investing communities.

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