Internet of Things in India is becoming quite trendy, as a lot of the conversations happening at Bangalore’s top tech event Nasscom Product Conclave showed.
Make in India vs. Innovate with China: two economic policies for Asia’s giants
This trend also benefits from a broader support from the government. Back in September, India’s new Prime Minister Modi inaugurated an international marketing campaign branded Make in India, to attract investment and make of his country a hub for manufacturing.
There’s good reason for that: with 1.5 billion population expected by 2030, India must create about 1 million new job per month (The Economist). The general opinion on the country is that it lost a decade by postponing key reforms. As a result, India is still ranked 142th for the ease of doing business there.
Interestingly, or ironically enough, while in Shenzhen this year, we saw how China’s “maker city” rebranded itself “Innovative with China”. The move showed how China was transitioning from a low-cost, low-quality type of manufacturing to a fast-prototyping and quality hardware.
Both mottos offer an interesting view of how the two giants of Asia (and the world) see themselves in near future. With 9.9% average growth between 2000 and 2010, China is no more home to cheap production. It’s rather getting richer, and smarter. India is somehow plugging its own lagging here, and hopes to get parts of the jobs China can’t afford anymore to make by moving upwards.
Internet of Things startups met in Bangalore’s top tech event
Without further ado, here are 5 promising startups who pitched on the stage of Bangalore’s Product Conclave last week.
CarIQ: smart driving
CarIQ “makes cars smarter” thanks to a device which records both traditional data from your car, such as mileage and speed, as well as driving patterns. A bit like Waze, it’s also connected to a community of peers where you can compare your stats with friends, or with people in the same place, or with the same make and brand of car.
CarIQ was launched in 2012, and the device and software is now available on pre-order for 6000 Indian rupees ($97), including a two year warranty and no additional fees. Among the features offered: towing alerts, battery monitor, social badges for drivers, personalised driving tips and export of all data of your car.
You can read an interview of its founder Sagar Apte here, where he shows how it’s possible to do this kind of product in India. He is based in Pune, a city which “has a strong ecosystem of automotive domain experts. Pune, being an auto hub, helped us tap into this ecosystem early on”.
SenseGiz: Earning back the 5 days a year we spend looking for things
SenseGiz has a good pitch. Everyday, we spend about 55 minutes to look for things, which is 5 days per year.
With small sensors you can apply to any object, the promise of SenseGiz is to give you back this time.
So far, the startups has sold 10 000 units in 50 countries, both for customers directly as well as to retailers. Again, the product is made and manufactured fully in India.
Each sensor is a small square of 4 centimetres and half a centimes of width, that can be hooked or stuck to any surface, with removable batteries and Bluetooth communications.
Each sensor comes at $29.99, which sounds a bit pricey as it would be better to have a package of 5 units to tag keys, wallets, phones, dog and kids (say).
Entrib ShopWorx: making the shop floor smart for manufacturers
In a drier speech – we’re in the industrial internet of things world – Entrib ShopWorx shows how it helps the manufacturing industry to make the shop floor smarter.
The huge number and variety of machines, tools, spaces a manufacturing plant has are not so well connected. It’s often one of the guys working there who knows the best where are issues and when to repair, maintain or upgrade the plant.
It’s of course not scalable to rely on one single person, so the sensors and software Shopworx provides connects all of the shop floor to deliver a unified view of how it is run and when to act.
So far, the startup works with Indian companies, and has its operations based in Pune.
TeeWe: connect all your content to your TV
A simple concept not yet implemented in India: get all your content, from pictures to movies, on your TV through a single device which connects in Wifi to your laptop, phone, remote storage, whatever the OS, the platform.
The Teewe companion app makes the smartphone a remote control for browsing. Cost will be 2000 rupees when available ($32)
LifePlot: the cheapest and most mobile electrocardiography diagnosis tool
The biggest impression from the session at Bangalore NPC was definitely LifePlot pitch. The company is not really a startup, as it’s functional since 2009. The product is a connected device which records most of the data of basic medical diagnosis.
The device is connected all time, “taking Internet of Things where it should matter”. It’s currently the lightest electrocardiography (ECG) machine in the world, made handheld for travel.
Other features include touch screen, maintenance free, remote diagnosis, paperless, all done in seconds, and it required only 5 to 10 minutes of training.
So as you can see, there’s a LOT happening in India when it comes to Internet of Things. Bangalore and Pune seems to be two cities where you would discover quite a few startups in this field. The Make in India program also tries to alleviate businesses from the burden of formalities they have to fill up.
More from this amazing conference pretty soon.