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This New 3D Sensor Can Help Detect Breast Cancer Or See Through Walls

Touted as having the ability to see through walls, Vayyar’s new 3D sensors can see through just about anything, including body tissue and organs.

The company’s low power sensors can see through skin and tissue to detect breast or other cancer masses, peek through walls to detect structural foundations or fractures and track a person’s location and vital signs as they move through a smart home.

To see through things, Vayyar’s technology creates a 3D image based on radio frequency (RF) waves which allow Vayyar’s sensors to look into and inside an object and detect an image of what’s inside.

“Our vision is that women won’t need to go to special screening clinics for mammograms performed in a big bulky (and uncomfortable) machine, but rather have Vayyar’s device at their physician’s office,” said Raviv Melamed, CEO, Vayyar. “It is portable, compact, light, and was designed to be inexpensive so that it can also provide advanced medical care to areas with limited resources, e.g. third-world countries.”

The company used their 3D sensor technology in an in-vivo trial in an Israeli hospital in 2015 and is adding another hospital in 2016.

“At a certain point, we realized and understood that these sensors can be used in multiple markets – basically in every place where non-destructive testing and detecting of different anomalies in the object is needed,” said Melamed. “Liquids are a huge part of our lives, for example, 10% of the milk in the world today is thrown away due to contamination. If we can reduce just a small part of that waste, it will be amazing. Our sensors can help with that.”
Even though Vayyar’s sensors were originally designed to detect and image for breast cancer, the company plans to expand to other industries including the Internet of Things (IoT), smart home applications, connected healthcare, agriculture and robotics.

T is probably a safe bet here considering the market, according to Cisco, will be $14.4 trillion by 2022 (source: Round Up Of Internet Of Things Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2015, Forbes)

Melamed says monitoring aging populations and alerting against falls, no breathing, etc. is a huge challenge. He says Vayyor has the ability to notify the caregiver immediately when these things happen in order to help create a smart (safer) home. And in the privacy area, each person’s privacy is maintained since Vayyar doesn’t produce a picture of the person – only a radar image.

“Another example is irrigation. Imagine being able to stop irrigation in fields when the water got to the lowest roots? For example, Vayyar’s technology could prove helpful in managing and conserving water for California’s current four-year drought to ensure crops are not over watered,” adds Melamed.

According to Bob Goodman, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the Series A and Series B investors, they felt Vayyar’s potential was so huge it was a bit hard to capture.

“Even in 2012, Vayyar offered a disruptive technology addressing a billion dollar market opportunity,” said Goodman. ”Describing its (Vayyar’s) many use cases—from detecting breast cancer, to monitoring food safety, even assessing the alcohol content of beer—makes Vayyar’s technology sound too magical to believe: it’s a little like fairy dust.”

But that didn’t stop Bessemer from investing a total of $10 million to date in the company both a Series A and B round. Vayyar recently raised another $22 million in a Series B round led by Walden Riverwood, bringing Vayyar’s funding to $34 million.

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