Most likely you’ve been exposed to the wide array of products coming from the smart revolution. From smart watches to smart light bulbs, these intelligent things have been adopted into our daily routines. Nevertheless, there’s still room for surprise. Have you ever heard of smart ink? Israeli startup FeelIT develops a nano-material that alerts to device malfunction before it occurs, a sort of smart sleeve for machines.

Measuring static objects

FeelIT’s stickers are able to adapt different surfaces, including pipes, machines, and other components of the production line. The smart ink is printed on the back of the stickers. Meital Segev-Bar, FeelIT CTO, explains in conversation with Geektime that the ink becomes a sort of an “artificial skin” for the equipment, providing insight into the mechanical condition of the device: “FeelIT pinpoints anomalies at the structural level, uncovering fractures, strain, loss of flexibility… and also measures mechanical asset humidity and temperature (from -40 F to 212 F). The data is transmitted in real-time by tiny sensors, which are connected to an AI-driven cloud analytics platform that produces live updates on the material condition.”

This smart sensing tech can provide, for example, status updates on the condition of the smallest manufacturing component without shutting down production. According to the company, by utilizing its smart stickers, organizations can save hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars annually in production loss, energy waste, and operational costs. FeelIT’s product has already been successfully deployed in a number of food and pharmaceutical factories. Segev-Bar explains that unlike industry competitors, FeelIT’s product also provides measurements on both static and active components.

Support from a major corporation

Today (Thursday), FeelIT announced a $5 million Series A funding round. The investment was led by Henkel, the detergent and soap giant, which operates in both industrial and commercial sectors. FeelIT CEO Gadi Konvalina added in his response that “the combination of innovative nanotechnology developed at FeelIT and Henkel’s market expertise and reach will allow us to break into a variety of different industries - as in advanced industrial manufacturing, and other sectors as well.” Konlavina also commented on the company’s future: “This move will allow us to increase sales exponentially, triple our team, and advance the abilities and productivity of our sensors.” The round also saw participation from Takwin Labs, GiTV, and the Technion University.

FeelIT was founded in 2017 by Dr. Gadi Konvalina, Dr. Meital Segev-Bar, and Prof. Hossam Haik from the Technion University. In 2019 the company announced a $1.5 million round from ExitValley, Takwin, and the Technion’s innovation fund. In addition, the company also landed over $310K from innovation lab Merck, Israel Innovation Authority, and M-Ventures.