Israelis making their mark on U.S. entrepreneurial front

Israeli inventor Arnold Jonas demonstrates his Newsit chair which can reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis caused by sitting on long flights. Israelis have often looked beyond the narrow borders of their own country for opportunities to implement the …

Israeli inventor Arnold Jonas demonstrates his Newsit chair which can reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis caused by sitting on long flights. Israelis have often looked beyond the narrow borders of their own country for opportunities to implement the knowledge they’ve gained in an attempt to better the world, and make a name for themselves.

Two wildly diverse examples display the scope of Israeli ingenuity to its most shining effect. Arnold Jonas, an Israeli businessman dividing his time between Israel and California, has patented a new airplane seat, which might reduce the risks of deep vein thrombosis, which affects two million airline passengers a year and can be fatal.

And Israeli-born computer expert named Daniel Dreymann has developed a system at his California company which they say will solve the perennial email spam problem.


The problem of junk email continues to trouble experts all over the world. Software that blocks spam usually also block regular mail. Dreymann’s Goodmail Systems, a California startup, offers to solve the spam problem by directly accessing the place that really hurts, the pockets of those who send the messages.

Goodmail’s solution will go commercial this summer. It is based on using electronic postage stamps for email. A company sending hundreds or thousands of emails to customers, that wants to assure its missives will not be filtered out as spam, will pay one cent for the electronic “stamping” of each message it sends. The stamp will be identifiable by ISPs worldwide.

The stamp is a code typed at the beginning of the message. Stamped email will be transferred to the ISP, which will have a key to decipher the coding. The ISP will identify the message as “kosher” mail and will transmit it onward to the addressee. Any company will be allowed to buy stamps. The assumption is that it will only be worthwhile for large respectable companies, but not for professional spammers, for whom the price will be too high.

In recent weeks The New York Times and The Economist have published complimentary articles about Goodmail and its solution to combating spam. The question remains whether the market will adopt this solution.

“We thought that if sending email was expensive, spammers would not be able to afford it,” Dreymann told The Marker.

“There is a lot of interest, and in the summer we will begin marketing our product. Assuming that at present some 60 billion email messages are transmitted daily, and senders will pay 1 cent per e-mail, this is a business that will turn over a lot of money. The next stage will be activating the system among private users, mail suppliers such as Yahoo, will put stamps on the email sent by home users, so that the mail will be recognized as not being spam. Everyone will have to use it.”

One place where email problems are not the primary concern are the tight, tiny confines of an airplane seat. Anyone who travels in airplanes a lot knows the feeling. Prolonged immobility in cramped conditions causes poor blood circulation as well as aches and pains. More seriously, it raises the possibility of formation of blood clots in the legs – a condition called deep vein thrombosis(DVT).

DVT, also known as the Economy Class Syndrome, affects some 2 million American airline passengers annually and causes over 2,000 deaths. The condition can become fatal when blood clots detach and reach the lungs. Smokers, pregnant women, diabetes patients, and overweight passengers face an increased risk of the DVT.

Arnold Jonas, an Israeli businessman dividing his time between Israel and California, has patented a new airplane seat, which might reduce the risks of DVT. Several airlines have expressed interest in the invention.

After suffering the discomfort of Trans-Atlantic flights every month for almost 20 years, Arnold has patented the Newsit chair. The new invention solves the problem by dividing an airline chair into two sections. The front portion enables passengers to lift their legs off the floor and to swing them, stimulating normal circulation movement. Newsit also improves sitting comfort for tall passengers and enhances sleeping conditions by providing additional 10 cm (4 inches) of leg support.

The moving part, which is button-operated, similarly to a regular seat-back, enables users
to support their legs under knees, to a desired height thus relieving legs stress and
enabling wiggling of the legs above the floor.

These effortless exercise capabilities, which give a sensation of an easy-chair, are
recommended by all experts in order to improve blood circulation in the lower legs and eliminate risk of DVT.

According to Jonas, “the idea came to me while relaxing once in a rocking chair at home, trying to relieve the pains and spasms in my legs, after a long flight and thinking of the confined cramped conditions, experienced by most air travelers.”

“It got to the point, that just when I thought about the flight, I felt pain,” Jonas told the Orange County Register.

In October 2000, Jonas learned that the discomfort he was feeling could be fatal.
Newspapers and television stations throughout the world carried the story of a British woman, suffering from DVT, who died of a pulmonary embolism in Heathrow shortly after a flight from Singapore.

Tinkering in his garage and traveling to Europe to talk to designers, Jonas invented and patented an airline seat that allows passengers to keep the blood pumping in their legs without taking up too much room in the already cramped rows. And the Newsit was born.

NewSit has recently won a US patent, covering the concept, technological solutions and applications. The chair has been tested by researchers from the University of California at Fullerton and by a US airline seat manufacturer.

According to the UC study, “The conclusion was drawn that NewSit represents a significant improvement over the conventional ones as it enables its occupants to sit more comfortably as well as to engage in exercises, which stimulate various groups of muscles, and promotes blood circulation thus alleviating the discomfort encountered in ordinary seats.”

“NewSit allows (passengers) to wiggle (their) legs and feet in the air, which is precisely the effective way to enhance blood flow, thus eliminating DVT,” wrote Dr. Hanan Lobel, a Beverly Hills cardiologist who examined the seat for Jonas’ patent application.

For his prototype, Jonas purchased two chairs from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, left one as-is (for comparison’s sake) and renovated the other with a movable part that passengers can pump back and forth with their calves. He is fond of demonstrating the maneuver, reclining in the chair and smiling wide.

“It’s excellent. Just like a swing,” the 58-year old retired writer turned inventor says. “You stay healthier, and another advantage is you have a good time.”