Depending on who you talk to the verdict on the radiation generated from cell phones is still out. However it is a legitimate concern to many. An Israeli startup called tawkon wants to help smartphone users be aware when radiation levels emitted from their smartphone, become troublesome.
tawkon insists they aren’t trying to make people afraid of using their phones, in fact they tell us it’s quite the opposite.
“The goal of tawkon is not to have people fear using their phones, quite the opposite. In fact, 90% of the time phones are operating at low radiation, but the level of exposure someone gets from a phone at high radiation for one minute is the same as they would get for five hours at low radiation. It’s that 10% that we want to help you avoid.
When radiation levels from your phone spike tawkon will alert you and provide you with suggestions on how to lessen your exposure (such as using a headset or speakerphone). The app tracks your weekly radiation exposure and gives you valuable data on how many minutes of “high radiation” you have been exposed to.” Mark Lerner, New Media & Marketing Manager for Tawkon told us in an interview.
tawkon wants to give their users piece of mind to be able to use their smartphones whenever they want, knowing that if the radiation emitted from their phones ever becomes a concern Tawkon will alert them.
We got a chance to interview Lerner in depth about Tawkon check out the interview below.
In layman’s terms, how does it work?
tawkon uses internal sensors from your phone to calculate its radiation during a call . When the app sees that radiation levels are higher than normal, it gives you an alert to your phone and suggests ways to reduce exposure.
You could think of it as an anti virus on your phone that runs whenever you are on a call, and alerts (beep, vibration) you when your exposure spikes, the same way as a “call waiting” would; if you look at the screen you’ll see subtle suggestions that will guide you of how to reduce your exposure.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Gil Friedlander Co-Founder and CEO
Gil Friedlander has been with the company since its inception in 2008. Prior to tawkon, Gil served as VP BD and Indirect Sales with Celtro, a late-stage startup providing mobile backhaul solutions. His varied experience also includes high level sales and marketing positions for various communications companies and Strategic Consulting with Mercer Management Consulting.
Gil earned his B.Sc. in Management and Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Amit Lubovsky Co-Founder and VP, Business Development and Marketing
Before founding tawkon with Gil and Ori, Amit Lubovsky Worked for the world semiconductor leaders Infineon and Texas-Instruments, his entrepreneurial journey started more then 5 years ago and since then he founded 2 startup companies – Dorfour, a fabless semiconductor company that developed technology for the emerging 4G/LTE cellular market sold to the French chipmaker Sequans and tawkon.
Amit earned his BS from Tel-Aviv University and MBA from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.
Ori Goshen Co-Founder and VP, Research and Development
Before founding tawkon with Gil and Amit, Ori served as the mobile team leader at fring, a successful social networking app. Prior to fring, he served as a team leader and project manager in an elite intelligence unit at the Israel Defense Force. He has been coding longer than he’s been able to speak and is fluent in many of the popular programming languages. In 2005, he earned an award of excellence from the Technological Center Chief Executive Officer of the IDF.
Where are you based?
We are based in the heart of the “Start-Up Nation” – Tel Aviv, Israel. We also have a presence in the Silicon Valley area.
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
The start-up scene in Israel is thriving. In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world!
In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the US.
So to say that the culture here is conducive to innovation is an understatement to say the least. Our offices are currently located on a floor with 40+ other start up companies. Our offices are all near each other and we share the same lounging areas – cross pollination of ideas and best practices is common-place. It’s just one of the reason companies here are so successful.
How did you come up with the idea for tawkon?
We knew that we didn’t want to start a crusade discouraging people from talking because, frankly, no one would listen. We thought long and hard about how to keep people talking, but more safely. We heard of companies focused on new cases and other hardware, but after a lot of testing and tinkering, we discovered that it was simpler than that: Your phone is already equipped with what you need to protect yourself. You just don’t have access to that information.
Through our research we found that all this information can be found within the guts of a phone, but they are not readily available to be seen. That’s when we decided to create tawkon, so that we could allow phone users to access this information, allowing them to “talk on” as much as they want, without worrying about high radiation exposure.
How did you come up with the name?
The straight forward name for the company would have been “talk-on” so in order to make it more unique we decided to tweak it a bit.
What problem does tawkon solve?
There are several things that tawkon provides. Firstly, many people aren’t aware of the times they are exposed to high radiation from their phones, tawkon gives people the AWARENESS of these events.
Secondly, and most important, tawkon provides a solution so that people can use their phones as much as they want, without worrying, because they know that tawkon will alert them anytime their phone begins to emit higher than normal levels of radiation.
tawkon does this through a simple, easy to use and visually pleasing user experience that does not intrude on the users phone calling experience.
What’s your secret sauce?
With our patent pending technology, tawkon calculates the phone’s radiation level and hence the user exposure – SAR (Specific Absorption Rate, a universal measure for the amount of radiation being absorbed by the user). Our technology was tested and calibrated in an FCC certified RF (Radio Frequency) lab with state-of-the-art equipment.
We also focus on the best user experience possible. We put an extreme amount of effort to make the app be as visually pleasing as possible, as well as offer clear and understandable instructions on it’s usage and features.
Are you bootstrapped or funded?
We are currently funded by investors and angels from all over the world, including Canada, USA, Singapore and Israel.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
Some of our biggest mentors are Steve Jobs, Bil Gates, Mark Zuckerberg
What’s next for tawkon?
We are currently working on some very exciting additions to our app. In the very near future we will be releasing a version of tawkon that will revolutionize the app overall and especially the social aspect of it.
Our goal is to be on as many phones as possible, all over the world.
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