Israeli Tech Firm Chooses Bethesda for U.S. Headquarters

Sesame Enable’s smartphone can be operated through head movements


The Israeli company Sesame Enable, which produces smartphones that can be operated through head movements and voice controls, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Bethesda.


Sesame Enable, a technology firm based in Israel, has opened its United States headquarters in Bethesda, Gov. Larry Hogan’s office announced Monday.

Open Sesame’s proprietary technology lets people operate a smartphone using head movements and by voice control if they cannot use their hands to touch the device’s screen, according to a press release.

“We chose Maryland because of the backing we have received from the state subsidy program, and Bethesda’s proximity to health institutions, including those focusing on veterans,” Sesame Enable CEO and co-founder Oded Ben-Dov said in the press release. “In addition, we are now close to Washington, D.C., where we know we’ll have opportunity to influence change needed to make our technology readily available to all Americans who can benefit from it.”

The company says the Sesame phone works by tracking the user’s head movements through a built-in front-facing camera. The movements are combined with algorithms to create a cursor on the screen. The cursor responds to movements by the user, as shown in a demonstration video.

The technology is now available through a smartphone app, too, the company said.

Sesame Enable’s headquarters, which opened in August, is near Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Rockville Pike.

The company has five employees in the U.S. and hopes to hire five more Marylanders who are veterans or have disabilities that limit mobility.

The press release said Hogan met with company executives last year during an economic development and trade mission to Israel.

“I was excited to see this cutting edge technology firsthand,” Hogan said in the press release, “and we are proud to be one of the first states to expand universally accessible options to our citizens with disabilities.”

The press release says Maryland is one of the first states to adopt the technology Sesame Enable uses. The technology is now available to residents through the state’s Maryland Accessible Telecommunications program administered by the Department of Information Technology, the press release says.

The state provides equipment to people who qualify based on abilities, age and income.

Sesame Enable’s website says the business started after Ben-Dov, a computer expert, was on TV demonstrating a game that could be controlled using head gestures.

Giora Livne, an engineer and veteran who is a quadriplegic, called Ben-Dov and said, “Hello, I can’t move my hands or legs. Could you make me a smartphone I could use?”

Together, the men founded the new tech company.

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Police Reviewing Officers’ Actions As Family Seeks Answers About Bethesda Teenager’s Death

The state’s medical examiner on Friday ruled that Navid Sepehri’s death was accidental

School Notes: Walt Whitman High Holds ‘Whitman Strong’ Day in Wake of Losses

Plus: Hogan again rebuffs school board’s request for calendar wiggle room

Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open in Downtown Bethesda

Property representative says space is being outfitted for the shop

Police: Family Dispute Preceded Apparent Murder-Suicide in Silver Spring

Son allegedly shot mother and himself in her apartment in complex for senior citizens
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

New Arts and Crafts Home

Bethesda, $1,499,000

2.5 Stunning Acres

Potomac, $925,000

Renovated Row House on Tree Lined Street

Washington, DC, $1,299,000

New Home Community

Bethesda, $1,350,000

Truly Sensational Property

Potomac, $3,799,900
Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module