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How This Bangalore Based Augmented Reality Startup Helped Contain Wuhan Covid-19 Outbreak

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How This Bangalore Based Augmented Reality Startup Helped Contain Wuhan Covid-19 Outbreak


When news about a new type of virus broke out, the world was not ready for what was to come.  The Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 virus originated in Wuhan province of China. This is now established as the  epicenter/epicentrum that quickly paralysed the entire Country, before the virus spread to other countries.  Currently, the virus spread to almost every nation on the planet with Italy, Spain, America and Germany being some of the worst affected countries.

The virus seems to have finally subsided in Wuhan and life is slowly returning back to normal.  However, when the virus was at its peak, ventilators were the need of the hour. The virus affects the respiratory system and symptoms include difficulty in breathing.  Beside the lockdown which played a part in controlling the spread of the virus, ventilators supplied by Huber & Ranner, a German company played a vital role in combating the illness.  

However, the technical team could not travel from Germany to Wuhan in order to install the ventilators and demonstrate how to use them.  This is where a Bangalore based startup BlinkIn, stepped in to the rescue. According to reports, BlinkIn developed an augmented reality (AR) product named Scotty to provide visual guidance to the technicians in Wuhan.  They did this based out of their office in Pocking,Germany. All that the technicians in Wuhan had to do was to click on a link to see a visual demonstration.

Scotty was unlike the other AR products available currently and what makes it special is its simplicity of use and the ease of deployment.  Scotty uses WebGL, a JavaScript API(Applications Programming Interface,) to render graphics on to a compatible browser. Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of BlinkIn, Harshavardhan Kumar says “WebGL lets you access a mobile phone’s GPU (graphics processing unit) to run computer vision algorithms. That’s how we bring AR experiences through the Web rather than a mobile app (sic.)”   All the technicians at Wuhan had to do was point their phone screen at a ventilator and an installation point, and the AR markers helped indicate how to set the ventilators up as a technician walks through with instructions over voice communication.

The idea behind Scotty was to use lightweight technology in order to provide just enough AR support to get the job done ‘then and there.’  Scotty requires minimal computational power unlike traditional AR, which relies heavily on heavy downloads, graphics processing units and figuring out how to use it.

It is truly wonderful to see how different technologies are adapting to these uncertain times and it will certainly be interesting to see how AR can be merged into other technologies as well in the future.

 

ALSO READ: Coronavirus Pandemic Testing Startups By Disrupting Supply-Demand

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Sonu Sood’s Startup Pravasi Rojgar Secures 250 Crores Funding

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Sonu Sood Startup Pravasi Rojgar, Pravasi Rojgar 250 Crores Funding, Startup Stories, Bollywood actor Sonu Sood,Pravasi Rojgar App,Sonu Sood Job Search App, Actor Sonu Sood Latest News 2020, migrant workers, Sonu Sood Jobs Portal, Pravasi Rojgar

Actor Sonu Sood has been in the limelight since the last six months and has become a kind of messiah for the migrant workers in India.  It all began when the Indian Government imposed a strict nationwide lockdown in order to check the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  This led to an exodus of migrant labourers from cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai to leave for their hometowns in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.  Since public transportation was also not operating, these migrant labourers decided to walk to their hometowns.  This led to a lot of accidents on roads, deaths due to hunger and lack of proper basic resources.

Sonu Sood stepped in to help the migrant workers by arranging private buses and food and ensured these workers returned safely to their homes.  Sonu Sood also arranged for private flights to rescue Indians stranded in countries like Dubai and Philippines.  Sood helped thousands of people in need by reaching out to them on social media and offline.

In the face of all this adversity, Sonu Sood saw an opportunity and it led to the birth of Pravasirojgar, a startup which aims at getting jobs for the migrant workers.  Pravasirojgar aims to provide jobs and career progression to applicants through upskilling services, financial, healthcare and social security services.  The job search platform secured a Rs. 250 crore funding from the Temasek Holdings backed, Goodworker.

ALSO READ: Indian Actresses Who Have Made Recent Investments In Startups

Launched in a partnership with the edtech startup Schoolnet India, in July this year, Pravasi Rojgar helps migrants to find skill based jobs across sectors and has 10 lakh job seekers and employers including Amazon, Max Healthcare, Portea, Sodexo, Urban Company etc.  Goodworker provides blue collar workers with a digital and verifiable profile to make their job search easier and also to make their credentials authentic which will make employers more likely to hire the workers.

Sonu Sood at the launch of Pravasi Rojgar said “I came in touch with a lot of migrant workers during the lockdown and they all had one concern, how to get a job after the lockdown and support their families.  With the blessing of these workers and their families and other well-wishers, I tried to get the right-minded people and partner with Schoolnet for Pravasirojgar.com (sic.)”

We sincerely hope Sonu Sood continues to keep doing the good work he is doing for migrant workers.  Sonu Sood has gone on to prove how opportunity can be found in the toughest of situations and also contribute to the upliftment of the needy.

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Indian Actresses Who Have Made Recent Investments In Startups

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Indian Actresses Who Have Made Recent Investments In Startups

Any startup which begins with an idea will look to nurture it and develop it into a viable product.  This is followed by lots of testing with focus groups, until a final version of the product is ready.  However, most startups are more often than not bootstrapped and therefore run on a very stringent budget.  Therefore, startups often look to attract an investor for a fresh influx of money and also to scale up.  While there are many venture capital firms which are always on the lookout for exciting startups, Indian movie celebrities are also known to invest in promising startups.  

In this article, we give you a list of leading Indian actresses who have invested in startups recently.

1) Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone is one of the most alluring actresses of this generation.  Deepika invested in the popular yoghurt company Epigamia last year.  Her latest investment is into the learning and communication platform Frontrow.  The actress was joined by marquee investors like Lightspeed and Elevation Capital to invest $3.2 million in the startup.  Frontrow’s learning platform focuses on creative arts and sports and that is what attracted Padukone’s investment in this startup.

2) Kajal Aggarwal

Kajal Aggarwal picked up a stake recently in the gaming platform called Okie Gaming.  Kajal will be helping the startup in its promotions, marketing and PR and to attract new users to the platform.  Aggarwal picked up a 15% equity stake for an undisclosed amount of money.

3) Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif

Alia Bhatt invested an undisclosed amount in the beauty and cosmetic startup Nykaa.  Earlier in May 2020, Nykaa raised Rs. 100 crore ($13 million) from Steadview Capital, one of its existing investors.  Katrina Kaif also invested in Nykaa and also has her own line of products called Kay Beauty.  

ALSO READ: 5 Cricketers Who Are Entrepreneurs

4) Aishwarya Rai Bacchan

Aishwarya has been ruling the Indian movie industry since a long time, but has taken a step back from the limelight after her marriage to Abhishek Bachchan.  However, the actress has not been idle and has instead redirected her efforts to invest in promising ventures.  Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with her mother Vrinda became angel investors in 2019.  They invested in Ambee, an environmental intelligence startup, which monitors air quality by gathering data– and have already installed over 100 sensors in Bengaluru.

5) Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Priyanka Chopra invested in the social networking and dating application Bumble in 2018 which was before Bumble had a presence in India.  While Bumble’s parent company MagicLabs was acquired by American based Blackstone, it is not confirmed whether Priyanka Chopra’s stake was bought out.  Priyanka Chopra continues to be involved with Bumble for their branding assignments.

6) Shilpa Shetty

Shilpa Shetty invested Rs. 1.6 crores in the fast moving consumer goods company Mamaearth which produces and sells skincare, haircare and babycare products. 

While this is just the list of actresses who have made recent investments in startups, there are a lot of movie celebrities who have invested in startups across the globe.  The startup ecosystem in India can take heart from the fact that movie stars are willing to align their brand with startups.  The future most definitely holds exciting prospects to see into what startups celebrities will be investing.

 

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Google’s Hum To Search Feature Is Here To Make Searching For Songs Easier

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Google Hum,Google Search Feature, Hum to Search, Google's New Hum to Search,Google Song Searching Feature, Google Latest News 2020, New Google feature, How to Hum to Search for Songs, Hum to Search App, Hum to Search Feature, Startup Stories

When Shazam was released for the first time, the entire smartphone community breathed a sigh of relief because the app let users search for songs by making the app listen to what is being played in your surroundings.  Since then finding new songs and genres has become easier as searching for songs at your favourite clubs or at a friend’s party is now at one’s fingertips.  But, what if you only know a piece of music or a tune which is stuck in your head and no way to identify the song.

Google is making it possible to try to find a song with its new feature called ‘hum to search.’  The feature can listen to humming, whistling or singing to identify songs.  ‘Hum to search’ is triggered when you ask Google “what is this song?” and then proceed to perform bits of the tune to the best of your ability.  Google will then present a list of songs according to a percentage match score which comes closest to your performance.

ALSO READ: Google Relents By Deferring 30% Play Store App Fee For Developers 

Google’s machine learning algorithm converts the audio input into a numbers based sequence which it then matches with other song melodies and tries to find the closest matching tune.  The model was trained with several sources with actual people singing, humming and whistling in addition to real studio recordings.  Google’s algorithms can also strip away musical instruments, as well as the timbre and tone of the singer’s voice in order so it only relies on the actual numeric sequence in the song matching process.

The ‘hum to search’ option is live and currently supports more than twenty languages.  While the feature might seem minor in terms of utility it makes up for improving the quality of life on a major level.  Google has once again proved to the world as to why it is the best company out there with their ‘hum to search’ feature.

 

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