Machines are listening to what we have to say. And that includes our cars. The trouble is that cars can be noisy when they’re in motion. But at least one Israeli company is working on that problem, and it’s won the support of Korea’s largest automaker.
Tel Aviv-based Kardome completed a seed round this week, and the financing was led by Hyundai. Also taking part were NextGear Ventures (which focuses on investing in smart mobility) and the ATOORO Fund (which specializes in deep-learning tech and human-computer interaction).
Kardome’s technology uses existing microphones found in cars and other devices, but augments their abilities using proprietary algorithms to drown out background noise – say, from the roll of tires, the rumble of an engine, or the honking of horns.
“Hyundai’s investment, one of the world’s leading automakers, directly in Kardome – made after a thorough comparative technical examination, expresses confidence in the technology we have developed and also indicates the need and yearning of all the world’s leading technology makers for a zero touch interface that works reliably in a natural and noisy environment,” said Kardome CEO Dani Cherkassky. “The investment will help us increase the company’s manpower and accelerate the development of the new generation of voice interfaces, as well as expand the company’s global presence.”
Along with the funding, Kardome will be entered into the Hyundai CRADLE and Drive TLV incubators, which ought to help the startup further hone its technology. Hyundai’s Koby Simana will also join Kardome’s board of directors, alongside CEO Cherkassky and co-founder Alon Slapak.
“Hyundai is happy to partner and support Kardome’s journey,” added Simana. “We plan to use Kardome’s robust voice AI technology to boost customer’s value and gain competitive advantage by enhancing user experience and safety features.”