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India’s Nimo Planet Takes On Tech Giants With Its Sensible Glasses


Final week, Mukesh Ambani and Reliance launched JioGlass to a lot hype and catapulted India into the good eyewear craze. Whereas the revealing of JioGlass caused umpteen discussions and debates on social media round blended actuality and the way Reliance Jio is seeking to conquer it, the truth is that the product is developed by a deeptech startup Tesseract, which was acquired by RIL in 2019. 

JioGlass, when it launches, will be a part of the membership of merchandise akin to Google Glass, Magic Leap, Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus lineup of units and extra within the heads-up shows and good eyewear section. But it surely received’t be the one Indian product within the checklist if Nimo Planet has its method.

Kochi-based Nimo Planet is a part of the burgeoning {hardware} tech startup ecosystem in Kerala and the deeptech startup has launched its good glasses in beta with a choose set of 200 beta testers. Based in 2018 by Rohildev Nattukallingal, Nimo Planet launched its first good glass in 2018 and has additional iterated on it to launch the beta model this month.

Nimo Planet’s Sensible Glass shouldn’t be solely proprietary {hardware} that’s custom-made for the corporate, but in addition runs a {custom} Android-based working system referred to as Planet OS, which is claimed to be geared in direction of productiveness. It’s mentioned to have options akin to multi-screen multitasking, help for 1,000s of labor and productiveness apps, compatibility with current laptops and cell units. 

Speaking to Inc42, Nattukallingal mentioned that the {hardware} is totally suitable and optimised for Planet OS, which is constructed on high of the Linux kernel and Android. This, in flip, helps the corporate ship with low-powered {hardware} that may match within the physique of the glasses and optimise the software program expertise extra totally. 

Humble Beginnings For Sensible Eyewear

Nattukallingal mentioned the concept behind Sensible Glass was to create a computing machine for multi-screen productiveness. He mentioned he had been utilizing iPads for work, as a result of their portability and comfort, however struggled when he wanted a number of screens. Having a conveyable multi-screen monitor allows simpler work, whatever the location. And that’s the core focus for Nimo — allow work from wherever.

The six-member workforce behind Nimo Planet has already constructed {hardware} futuristic options. In 2016, the workforce had constructed Fin Robotics, a wearable tech gadget which might be worn on the thumb making the palm a digital contact interface. The ring referred to as Neyya was launched in retail shops like Sky Stroll, Bloomingdale’s and so on. Nonetheless, as a result of conflicts with advisors and stock loss within the US, the corporate discontinued the product. 

With Just $130K In Funding, India’s Nimo Planet Is Looking To Challenge Tech Giants With Its Smart Glasses

The identical workforce moved on to the following imaginative and prescient of making the Sensible Glass. “The core focus was to design something that’s super portable and at the same time delivers bigger screen experience and I thought in the form of face spectacle that will help me to solve that problem,” Nattukallingal added.

In 2018, Nimo constructed a prototype, which may very well be used with a USB and a processing unit close by. Identical to Google Glass, the consumer may see a digital display screen pop-up at a three-meter distance to open completely different apps and work together with them. Nonetheless, in contrast to Google Glass, Nimo integrated the show into the lens of the glasses itself moderately than projecting a picture.  

With suggestions from customers and testing, the workforce saved iterating on the design and finalised the present beta model, which will probably be prepared for manufacturing by the top of the 12 months. 

The Tech Behind Nimo Planet Sensible Glass

Mimicking an ordinary pair of spectacles, Nimo allows the consumer to see a digital display screen on the lens, which really appears as huge as a 60-inch show because of its proximity to the attention. Basically, the show fills up the consumer’s imaginative and prescient when it’s in use. With head-tracking sensors, customers can function home windows and apps on as much as six digital screens. 

By way of tech specs, Nimo Sensible Glass comes with HD-equivalent show for every eye, an unnamed Qualcomm-based processor, as much as 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and help for WiFi, Bluetooth connectivity. It additionally options the sensors for head monitoring, a {custom} voice assistant and is alleged to help 1000s of productiveness apps.

With Just $130K In Funding, India’s Nimo Planet Is Looking To Challenge Tech Giants With Its Smart Glasses

So clearly, Planet OS would be the key to success and app compatibility will probably be a significant problem. Speaking about this, Nattukallingal instructed Inc42, “That’s [Planet OS] helping us make hardware smaller— because we did a lot of optimization, so the apps that the user is going to run on six different screens will not use too much battery. We have made interactions to open multiple tabs as screens instead of closing one and opening another. All this is already built into the OS now.”

Sensible Glass will help current Android functions and app builders don’t have to rewrite any of the prevailing apps from scratch. However how does the display screen digital display screen work? 

This has three help enter techniques — Bluetooth enter units, a companion smartphone app and the head-tracking sensor.  

For the time being, customers can join Bluetooth keyboards and mice to function the OS. “Because we are focusing on productivity we want to help people to save time and work from anywhere. When people are travelling and can’t use a keyboard and mouse, they can use the smartphone as a keyboard and mouse with the Nimo app,” he added.

Lastly, the corporate’s head monitoring sensors can even allow customers to offer cues and carry out actions. This may be additional mixed with voice cues for enter. “In the first version, we are not putting any speakers, people can pair with any of their existing Bluetooth speakers for the sound like AirPods or headphones or speakers because we want to make things simpler in the first version,” he defined. The show has 26-degree diagonal FOV (discipline of view) for max immersion.

The battery within the beta model is alleged to work for four hours in regular use, and might be then prolonged for as much as 7-Eight hours of utilization with a charging case. Total, the product is priced at $699 in the intervening time, although this might change sooner or later. 

With Just $130K In Funding, India’s Nimo Planet Is Looking To Challenge Tech Giants With Its Smart Glasses

Discovering The Proper Viewers For Beta Testing

Nimo is focusing on enterprises in India and the US market initially, as a number of of them have gone full distant owing to the pandemic and should keep on the identical path for some time longer. It is usually immediately focussing on workers for higher productiveness.

The primary manufacturing items will probably be out there to customers by the top of the 12 months with pre-booking already open. The timeline for supply is Q2 or Q3 2021 in the intervening time. 

“We have a different pipeline for 2022-23 with more features, better display and more capabilities. The core areas that we are more interested in the future are health and entertainment. But right now, the focus is completely on productivity,” he added.

The corporate is partaking with a producing firm in Taiwan for the beta and remaining manufacturing. Nonetheless, Nimo is registered in Singapore and India. “All the global operations will be considered from Singapore. Major certifications will be taken care of before the shipment for each country,” he added.

At current, the corporate is engaged on streamlining the OS. It is usually finalising the economic design for the machine and the mechanical design.

Indian Startup Vs Tech Giants

Whereas the idea of good glasses has been round for half a decade and extra, it’s picked up tempo this 12 months with each main tech firm now mentioned to be engaged on its model of good glasses. As an example, Apple and Fb are rumoured to be engaged on AR glasses. Microsoft already sells an AR headset referred to as HoloLens, however that is restricted to builders. Fb additionally revealed an early model of its “holographic optics for thin and lightweight virtual reality” in a analysis report.

Google launched Glass in Could 2014 and retains an enterprise model of the product. It additionally not too long ago purchased North, a Canadian producer of sunshine, natural-looking good glasses which might be just like Nimo’s idea. Even Amazon is after the good glasses market and introduced a pair of Alexa-enabled glasses referred to as Echo Frames.

Whereas the likes of Oculus, Magic Leap, Microsoft HoloLens and different HUDs or head-ups shows are totally immersive, they should be linked to PCs or different units. NImo, Google Glass and Apple’s upcoming wearables are standalone techniques that don’t supply such an immersive expertise and are constructed for productiveness or notification checking, moderately than experiential utilization. Nattukallingal claims that such experiences want a number of cameras, excessive processing energy, greater batteries and that’s the reason they’re expensive. Microsoft HoloLens prices above $2,000. “These glasses have got too many components inside and they need super high computing to do that,” he added.

He claimed that even standalone good glasses will not be up to speed in the case of immersion with out the cumbersome {hardware}, which is Nimo’s robust level.  “When you put these glasses on, you see a pretty small screen and that’s full of information like single text and small images. The Google Glass failed because of that as user experience was very bad as wearing these feels like additional robotic things without solving any problems just delivering some animations on the small screen,” he provides.

The differentiating issue for Nimo is that it isn’t specializing in VR-like immersion. “Due to our core focus on productivity, we are optimising the operating system and all our software to match that direction, including the design hardware, and that’s our IP too. And we’re going to innovate more and more into that direction in coming months,” he added.

Towards such capital-equipped know-how giants who’ve poured in hundreds of thousands of {dollars} into creating these glasses with the very best know-how expertise on this planet, Nimo Planet cuts a diminutive determine. It has developed its proprietary prototype with simply $130Ok in funding until date.

“Even at the design stage, we take into consideration the cost and how we can optimise the complexity of making the hardware. We also keep a check on how we execute without using too many components in the glass and make it simple— that also help to save a lot of costs and at the same time, the focus on the target use case is the focus,” Nimo Planet founder Nattukallingal.

The corporate has raised funds from angels like Innov8 founder Dr Ritesh Malik, Ravi Linganuri together with just a few US-based angel traders. The board additionally contains Advisors akin to Aneet Chopra, Stephane Kasriel, Malik and Linganuri. The corporate has additionally filed a few patents— together with on the working system, design and enter interface. The corporate can also be within the means of elevating $four Mn as its seed funding spherical. 

Speaking about utilizing this capital properly, Nattukallingal mentioned that the corporate has constructed all the things in-house and the workforce is taking a really low wage. He additionally emphasised that having been within the {hardware} trade up to now, Nimo had the proper contacts for distributors and the main focus areas for manufacturing. 

“That’s the core thing, you should be super focused on what you want to build and to whom, then a lot of unwanted costs would be reduced. And then you need to have the right connections with the vendors, manufacturing companies, etc. to make it happen,” he added.




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