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India’s First Augmented Reality (AR) Headset

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The world of technology is changing expeditiously, thanks to technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality. Augmented reality is swiftly taking hold in the Indian tech ecosystem. In fact, it is supposed to be one of the biggest trends in India in the coming years.

AR is basically a view of the physical world whose elements are augmented through computer generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or even Global Positioning System (GPS) data. When using Augmented Reality platforms, images are created within applications that are not a part of the real environment, but it can give the advantage of using those images to alter, enhance and explore the real world. AR is all set to revolutionize the way we perceive and make use of technology. For an example, IKEA furniture shopping, you can input the furniture in your home before the purchase to see how it would be.

With trending AR technologies like Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap One, taking over the AR sector globally, an Indian startup Dimension NXG came up with the country’s first AR headset, AnjaLens. Dimension NXG was started at Google Startup Weekend session at IIT Bombay. The co founders of the company are Pankaj Raut, Abhijit Patil and Abhishek Tomar. Since the inception of the company in November 2014, there was literally no other company who had its own AR headset, here in India. Not so long ago, these brilliant minds worked together and founded Dimension NXG. The startup is funded by several people, including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the Founder of Paytm and Chetan Kajaria, the joint MD at Kajaria Ceramics.

AjnaLens, The AR Headset

AjnaLens lets one see 3D holograms of almost anything. It can be an object, like a car or even a person in the real world. The most amazing thing about this headset is that you can interact and simulate with 3D models by hands with AjnaLens. The users can interact with holograms, superimpose holograms on real life objects. Not only that but they can also put annotations on holograms.

The AR headset can show a 90 degree field of view, which makes it pretty easy to view content and gives a large breadth of vision to the person using it. The user can give inputs with their voice, eyes and gestures as well. This makes the AjnaLens interface extremely intuitive. Another add on is that it allows its users to work with it while having their hands free. The Mumbai based startup, Dimension NXG is all set to launch AjnaLens for the enterprises this year. The headset is going to be launched at an affordable price of $ 1,500.

The Co founder, Abhijit Patil said,

Everybody including big companies like Microsoft, Magic Leap, and Meta was working on making an AR headset. After Japan Vyas came on board with his seed funding and active involvement, we initiated creating AjnaLens. Till then nobody knew about the launch date. During our journey, Microsoft launched a device, but they launched a developer version, not (a) commercial edition. Till now there is no device for commercial use across the globe.

He also added,

“From a market perspective, we are targeting enterprises inside and outside India. We are also giving in tool solutions to the automobile, aerospace, healthcare and education industry where we are placing augmented reality so that they can save time, cost and increase productivity with a headset. As of now, we are planning to launch in September 2018.

The startup, Dimension NXG is planning to collaborate with hospitals to help surgeons practice a virtual surgery on patients by superimposing the patients’ scans on AjnaLens. They also plan to target several enterprises such as automobile and aerospace enterprises to give them end to end solutions with AjnaLens.

This mind boggling technology, AR will further evolve in every industry!

 

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Emerging Startup Stories

WhistleDrive Think. Whistle. Move.

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The world is no stranger to AI driven applications. Almost every other piece of technology features AI as a part of their specifications. From smartphone features to taking interviews, the field of technology has grown exponentially using AI applications. Almost everywhere in this busy world of technology, companies are striving to reach the top of the food chain and it is amazing to see how much of this world is left to be conquered.

From this crowd of companies exploiting AI, stands out a transportation technology company known as WhistleDrive, which offers a wide range of services including AI driven, location based applications. Founded by Rakesh Munnanooru in 2015, the Company concentrates on being a part of the location based services family. Based out of Hyderabad, WhistleDrive built a very strong infrastructure, which pilots 27 major companies and provides services to over 12,000 employees every day. To understand the environment of the business, the market and to provide custom solutions is the hallmark of this Company. WhistleDrive was able to raise a Series A funding of Rs. 5 crores from Colosseum Group in April 2018.


Rakesh Munnanooru, Founder.

WhistleDrive provides automated employee transportation solution, supported by AI driven analytics and equipped with best in class location tracking. WhistleDrive has proven itself to be a customer and employee centric company. This is what sets WhistleDrive apart in the marketplace. With technology on one side, the Company concentrates a lot on its connection with its customers and employees. It would be the first company in India to introduce blockchain technology to employee transportation, which can ensure huge transparency in terms of data. By using blockchain for data authentication, the entire network involved in the transportation process can contribute and validate data is difficult to tamper. This is a huge initiative and will add a lot to the trust the customers have towards the Company.

Masked employee details, pick up location and live tracking.

WhistleDrive did not stop at delivering authentic and transparent data. They are also working on predictive AI. Though it’s not functional yet, it promises to eradicate a major part of logistical disadvantages. This AI function would analyze real time data like weather conditions and traffic,  alert the respective teams, driving partners and customers about any changes in the schedule or delays of any sort. Security of the customers is a subject of high priority for WhisteDrive. With regard to this, the Company provides special features like number masking and SOS alerts, which adds to how safe and secure it is to travel using their vehicles and driver. Apart from that, the live tracking dashboard used by WhistleDrive provides an eagle eye real time location view of all the cabs. Expanding to cities like Bangalore and Chennai, WhistleDrive operates over 700 vehicles, providing services to MNCs like ADP, Invesco, L&T and many more.

Employee live tracking.

WhistleDrive also brings an option to hire a driver to drive you around in your own car. This is one of the services that has a lot of potential in its respective market. The Company tied up with numerous pubs where people would be delighted to have someone drive them home in their own car after a party. WhistleDrive has served close to 15,000 customers with their “Driver on Demand” services.

Pick up details.
Employees of WhistleDrive along with founder,
Rakesh Munnanooru.

With WhistleDrive constantly expanding in the field of AI driven technologies, there is no end to exploration. The reach of technology is higher than we can ever anticipate and this is the beauty of such developments. WhistleDrive, along with concentrating on geographical or technological expansions, also looks to use its experience in solving inefficiencies in intra city logistics, particularly in e commerce and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) channels.

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Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan Turns Entrepreneur

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Shikhar Dhawan, the man who has bowled everyone over with his amazing talent on the cricket field, recently ventured into a new foray. The famous cricketer started a home decor called DaOne Home with his wife. A premium home decor venture, this Company is aimed at improving the way people design their forever homes.

Providing a comprehensive solution for people looking at getting everything for the home custom made in one place, DaOne looks at accentuating the way your home looks and feels. Talking about his brand, Dhawan said in an interview, “Our homes are a natural extension of our own personalities, a reflection of our preferences and tastes. When Aesha and I were setting up our home, we realized the challenge that most Indians face when it comes to getting their living spaces to reflect their identities. While there were plenty of options available to choose from, no one place could give us the kind of comprehensive, end-to-end satisfaction that we were looking for. DaOne Home is our endeavor to address this major market gap.”

With a strong and continuously growing online presence, the brand lets people order the products of their choice on the website. At the moment, the online store sells bed linen, cushions and table linen. However, looking at the massive popularity of the brand, Dhawan and his wife are planning to partner with other e commerce retailers to expand their business and offer a wider range of products.

The products are specifically designed by an in house team based out of Delhi and can be customised, if required. Being an entrepreneur didn’t happen to Dhawan by chance. Always knowing he wanted to enter into business after retiring from cricket, Dhawan jumped at the chance to work with his wife when the opportunity presented itself. While Dhawan’s venture into this field is impressive, he isn’t the first cricketer to expand his horizons outside the cricket world. Other cricketers like M.S. Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli also branched out and became entrepreneurs. With Dhawan and his wife creating beautiful creations everyday, it is going to be interesting to see when the duo launches the retail stores!

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Funding

Swiggy Raises $ 1 Billion In Funding Round

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Early Thursday, Swiggy raised $ 1 billion in a funding round led by Naspers and post the valuation, the food delivery service is all set to take on multinational players in the industry like Zomato and FoodPanda. While announcing this news, Swiggy made a statement saying it has executed definitive agreements to the tune of $ 1 billion and saw investors Tencent, Hillhouse Capital and Wellington Management Company, coming on board.

According to people familiar with the development, this new round of funding will see an increase in Swiggy’s valuation, with the food delivery service now being valued at $ 3.3 billion! The new round of funding is going to be used not only to increase the quality of food being delivered by Swiggy, but also for bridging existing gaps in the fields of supply.

Furthermore, these funds will also be used to hire new talents, especially in the fields of machine learning and engineering roles through the mid and senior levels.

Besides improving the current quality of Swiggy, the company is going to use the new round of funding to expand its presence into a new field of business. When Swiggy got its first round of funding from Naspers back in April 2017, little did the investors know they would see such a massive growth in the company’s success. Through the last year, the online food delivery service has now expanded so much, it plans on entering the grocery and online pharma industries!

“Swiggy has 10x the number of orders per month since our first investment, has expanded throughout India to tier 1, 2 and 3 cities, and most importantly, is the most loved food delivery brand in India, providing the best service to consumers nationwide,” said Larry Illg, CEO, Food and Ventures, Naspers. With three major rounds of funding since 2017, Swiggy has expanded to 42 cities in India and has more than doubled its merchandise value!

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