Startup Street: The Startup Behind RIL’s Jio Glass
This week on Startup Street, the firm that designed and developed Reliance Industries Ltd.’s latest hardware product, Jio Glass. An IIT-Kozhikode startup develops a hand band to ensure better social distancing amid a global pandemic. And India’s latest attempt to encourage startups to list on the exchanges. Here’s what went on.
Tesseract's Journey: Looking Through The Jio Glass
The heirs of Asia’s richest man unveiled Jio Glass, a mixed reality eyewear that anchors virtual objects to the real world, at Reliance Industries Ltd.’s 43rd annual general meeting.
During the demonstration, Isha Ambani Piramal, in a 2-D format, spoke to her brother Akash Ambani present in a 3-D format with holographic charts and presentations set in the backdrop of an office.
The product has been completely designed and built by Tesseract — a five-year old deep-tech startup that was acquired by RIL in 2019 for an undisclosed amount. Founded by Kshitij Marwah at a small warehouse in Mumbai, the startup is a subsidiary of RIL but is run independently, it told BloombergQuint.
With a team of 55 employees based out of Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai, the startup has so far launched products such as a virtual reality 360 degree camera called Methane, largely taken up by the real estate aggregators like Housing.com or travel sites like MakeMytrip, and a VR 360 degree camera called Quark, except this could be attached to a smartphone for content creation purposes.
In 2019, Isha Ambani had presented a separate hologram headset. While the headset wasn’t the first of its kind, it was launched at a competitive price starting at $149.
Jio Glass’ pricing hasn’t been announced yet but e-commerce platforms show similar digital glass with access to applications and internet in the price range of Rs 37,000-40,000 a unit. When asked about the product’s readiness for the masses or a launch date, the spokesperson said the startup will disclose this information in due time.
According to Tesseract, JioGlass’ experiences are for in-home consumption for the time being. And that is where Reliance Jio comes in.
The telecom unit of RIL claims to be developing its own 5G technology, joining the league of Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Huawei. The “100% home grown technology” will be ready for trials as soon as the permissions are available and can be used next year, Mukesh Ambani had said during the AGM.
While India is yet to auction the 5G spectrum, the high-speed wireless technology, Bloomberg reported citing a Deloitte report, could be the catalyst for the nation’s digital economy that has the potential to reach $1 trillion by 2025.
The technology is also crucial to Tesseract’s Jio Glass. 5G is key to all mixed reality services. With the speed of 5G, users will be able to use Jio Glass anywhere they want, irrespective of the location, the spokesperson said.
Startup Develops Wearable Hand Band To Ensure Social Distancing
With the Covid-19 graph continuing its spike, a startup, incubated at the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, has developed a wearable hand band that helps in maintaining social distancing by sending out alarm in case of proximity with another person.
Known as the Veli Band, the device has been developed by Qual5 India Pvt., a startup co-founded by a woman entrepreneur, mentored and funded by IIM-K's business incubator and entrepreneurship development centre, LIVE, an IIM-K press release said.
Veli Band helps implement social distancing and location/contact tracing which can help organisations comply with social distancing norms during the current pandemic situation.
The band momentarily vibrates, sounds buzzer, and flashes LED simultaneously to notify wearers that another band is within 3 feet (1 metre), reminding them of the need to maintain social distance.
The device, to be worn on the wrist, can anonymously keep track of interactions with other devices and thus not only help in maintaining a safer workplace but also aid in tracking employee movements in real time.
BSE Inks Pact With IIT Alumni Council To Encourage Startups Listing
BSE Ltd. has signed a pact with IIT Alumni Council to encourage listing of startups and develop a "high investor depth" platform for such new generation companies.
The newly-formed partnership will ensure a complete end-to-end ecosystem for the proposed social stock exchange, the bourse said in a statement.
It will also revitalise the startup platform by attracting a wide range of venture capital and private equity funds to act as underwriters and market makers (backed by the BSE members in the front-end), it said.
The exchange said the alliance will ensure entity transparency, governance improvement, market discovery of share price, provide liquidity for private equity investors and enable retail participation.
IIT Alumni Council is the body of alumni, students and faculty across all the 23 IITs with over 100 city chapters globally.
Ravi Sharma, president and chief volunteer of the IIT Alumni Council, said to enhance the efficiency of listing process and to increase access to pool of investors for startups, IIT Alumni Council proposes to use artificial intelligence and other automation tools to reduce time, cost and efforts involved in listing process.