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!
Startup WeWork Raises $ 1 Billion from Soft Bank
WeWork raised an additional $ 1 Billion in convertible debt from Soft Bank, the New York based company continues to grow rapidly. Their revenue doubled to a hefty $ 712 million according to the newly released financial information on Thursday.
WeWork is an American company that provides shared work spaces, tech startup communities, and various other services for startups, freelancers, small businesses and large enterprises. Founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel Mckelvey in 2010, it is one of the world’s most valuable startups as it is valued around $ 20 billion.
The startup WeWork has been piling up losses. During the first half of the year, the loss widened to $ 723 million as the company continued to expand, opened new spaces and spent more money to market them. The losses increased while the revenue for the first half of the year has more than doubled to a whopping $ 763.8 million.
The unusual mechanism of piling up losses gives WeWork an immediate cash injection as it continues to funnel money into expanding its shared office business globally.
The Chief Financial Officer, Artie Minson, in a recent interview described the financing as “the ability for us to opportunistically add a billion dollars to the balance sheet.” Minson further added, WeWork has around $ 4 billion in cash and commitments.
Due to being a private company WeWork has no obligation to publicly disclose its financial status. It released the figures to the media in conjunction with a periodic update to bond investors.
The latest funding from its investor Soft Bank, comes in the form of a subordinated convertible note that is structured so that the Japanese company has an edge in the next fundraising round. Soft Bank, has already invested $ 4.4 billion in equity funding in WeWork last August.
“There is no investor closer to us than Soft Bank and it was an opportunistic financing that we were able to do,” Minson said in an interview.
WeWork has more than 5,000 employees in over 280 locations, spread across 77 cities in 23 countries around the world including India, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Argentina, Germany and Brazil.
Android Pie: Everything You Need To Know About Google’s New Features
Android 9 Pie, Android’s latest operating system, was just launched after premiering at the company’s developers conference in May! After months of speculation, Google finally revealed what the P in the name stands for and despite all the multiple names thrown around, the one that stuck was Pie! From the first glance, Android 9 Pie seems to be extremely promising. Here is taking a look at the features this new and updated version of the Android has to offer!
1. Machine Learning
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is the one bandwagon everyone is ready to jump on, including Google. One of the key updates in the new operating software is the Adaptive Battery, which understands which apps you use the most and will help you optimise them accordingly. App Actions predicts which app you will use next, based on your usage.
2. Background upgrades
One of the most popular controversies yet to be proven in the world of smartphones is how Facebook could be listening to your conversations through smartphone microphones. Despite not being proven, Android Pie is going to restrict access to mic, camera and all SensorManager Sensors from apps that are idle for a long time. This basically means that if the app switches to background mode, it will lose access to the phone’s microphone! Furthermore, if an external device is trying to gain access to your camera, an automatic error message gets generated, letting owners know their phone is being hacked in an instant.
3. Privacy a major factor
In an attempt to increase the privacy settings of one’s phone, the new OS has taken privacy quite seriously. Google is creating a new permission’s category called Call Log, which requires developers to ask for explicit permission to access users’ call logs, rather than lumping it all into a single “Phone” permissions group. As an added safety measure, all Android phones are required to access links starting with HTTPS and not HTTP, making sure the network is safe and secure.
4. New interface
So far, one of the major differences between Android and Apple was user interface. Up until now, Android had a three touch navigation button. However, with the new OS, the software is now giving way to a slicker one touch navigation system, seemingly inspired from the gesture features of Apple iPhone X. For instance, you can swipe up the button to see recent applications. The thumbnails of recent applications now appear larger with a full screen view. Smart Text Selection has also been improved and integrated within the “Overview” of recent applications. One of the other key features in the new upgrade include Quick Settings, a feature which lets you access only the apps you have used regularly.
5. Digital Well Being
Google’s new Digital Well Being software is the only software part of the new upgrade which will still be in beta phase during the launch. In case you missed Google’s OS launch back in May, this software deals with limiting the amount of time you spend on your app. While it may seem counterproductive for an OS developing system, the long term goals are beneficial. Once fully functional, one can go to the settings on your dashboard and look at how much time you have spent on your phone and what app is taking up most of your time. To limit usage of these apps, you can set timers and enable the “Do Not Disturb” feature, which instantly switches the app into lock mode.
Sticking to age old Google tradition, the new update is coming to the Pixel phone first. Non Google phones like Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo and One Plus, will receive the software upgrade towards the end of this year. Android One phones like Mi A2 and Mi A1 will also receive the update toward the latter half of this year!
Swiggy To Diversify Its Business
Swiggy, the newest unicorn startup in the startup ecosystem is keen on expanding its business.
This food delivery startup is based out of Bangalore. It delivers food from your favourite restaurants, instantly.
According to sources, Swiggy will soon venture into delivering groceries, pharmaceutical items, electronics and flowers to doorsteps. Call it their new strategy! Swiggy now wants to capture the hyperlocal delivery market by expanding its range of services to delivering household items. A spokesperson said at Swiggy, enabling convenience for our consumers is at the core of how we operate. We’re constantly experimenting with ways in which we can do that better while providing them with a delightful experience.
According to a source, Swiggy will unveil its programme, Swiggy Super, this week. The company will offer its customers a one month and three month subscription plan, with the monthly plan ranging between Rs. 99 and Rs. 149. Apart from free deliveries, customers who would subscribe to the membership programme will also not be charged surge fees during peak hours. Swiggy will also include other benefits such as discounted orders.
The Vice President of Product at Swiggy, Anuj Rathi said Swiggy Super is the result of understanding some of (customers’) biggest pain points when it comes to food delivery and making it more convenient, affordable and simple. He also said in the coming months, we will continue to bring more value through ‘Super’ by adding more benefits and growing the existing offerings on this service.
Last month, Swiggy raised a whopping $ 210 million from a group of investors including Naspers and DST Global. It excelled its valuation to over $ 1 billion surpassing its rival, Zomato’s valuation!
Swiggy was founded by the trio of Rahul Jaimini, Sriharsha Majety and Nandan Reddy. Swiggy began its initial round of operations in Bengaluru in 2014. Currently, Swiggy operates in 15 cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata. They have more than 35,000 restaurant partners and a vast delivery fleet of 55,000.
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