TE Connectivity opens “Wearables Lab” to address rapid growth in market

TE Connectivity Ltd, a world leader in connectivity, announced the official opening of its TE Wearables Lab in Menlo Park, California. Exclusively focused on wearable technologies across consumer, medical, industrial and defense businesses, the lab serves as a collaboration center for TE’s team of engineers, scientists and its customers throughout the design process.

According to IDC, shipments of wearable devices will exceed 19 million units in 2014, more than tripling last year’s sales. From there, the global market is expected to swell to 111.9 million units in 2018. This growth is a key indicator of the market potential and importance for continued industry innovation.

One of the first products to come out of the TE’s Wearables Lab is a first-of-its-kind, wireless power development kit for wearable devices. For the first time, TE will introduce a solution that addresses the need for miniaturization as well as low power requirements for wearables. Set for broader distribution in early 2015, the kit will include a small 2.5W charger with integrated magnet for attachment to a wearable device, as well as a complete RX coil and electronics for integration.

TE engineers miniaturized the electronic system & the coil to make it possible for wearable designers to quickly prototype their products and develop a customized solution to meet their design requirements.

TE’s Wearables Lab team consists of professionals with extensive skill sets and experiences. These individuals range from electrical and mechanical engineers to materials science experts, pioneering the use of conductive materials including embedding electronic systems in textiles.

The TE’s Wearables Lab is currently being used by a number of start-up and growth stage companies ranging from design to manufacturing and integration companies. TE’s ability to collaborate across the wearables ecosystem is one of its strengths, coupled with breadth of products and technologies. One key customer, Sensoplex, is an expert systems company that designs and supplies high performance sports and wellness wearable products to OEM companies.

In addition to working with customers on custom and existing products, the TE Wearables Lab team is also exploring innovations around wireless power and conductivity across textiles, plastics and other materials. With TE’s unmatched product portfolio, the company expects to be enabling connectivity across tens of millions of wearable devices globally in the next year.

Speaking on the collaboration, Brady Forrest, Vice President, Highway1 [Accelerator focused on helping early seed stage hardware start-ups take ideas from prototype to scalable product] said:

Innovation is part of our DNA. When we met TE and heard their vision for connectivity, things clicked. Together we have a real opportunity to enable a hardware revolution and help the next generation of innovators get off the ground.

For further details on the TE Wearables Lab, please visit TE Wearables Lab

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Urban Ladder expands its talent pool, acqui-hires BuynBrag team

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Urban Ladder, India’s leading online furniture company has acqui-hired the BuynBrag team. Prithvi Raj Tejavath, co-founder of BuynBrag along with key team members has joined Urban Ladder as “VP – Home Decor” in an effort to strengthen and increase the talent pool of Urban Ladder.

Urban Ladder was launched in July 2012 with the vision of making a million Indian homes beautiful. So far, the company has remained focused on the furniture category and its closely curated furniture range has become synonymous with world class designs and impeccable quality.

Speaking about the acqui-hire, Ashish Goel, CEO & Co-founder, Urban Ladder:

Over the last two years, we have been able to do very interesting work in the furniture space and we are delighted with the feedback we have received from our customers. While we will continue to provide our customers with best in class furniture, we feel now is the right time to add a wider home decor range to our catalogue. We are happy to have Prithvi and the BuynBrag team join us to work their magic in the home decor category.

BuynBrag was launched in 2012 and is known for its contemporary design and extensive decor & furnishings range.

Joining the Urban Ladder team as the VP of Home decor, Prithvi Raj Tejavath said:

Urban Ladder has made a huge impact in the furniture category and has created a niche for itself. My team from BuynBrag and I look forward to contributing our expertise in the home decor segment for Urban Ladder. The amalgamation of the teams will lead to producing the best in the home decor space in the times to come.

Off-Late Urban Ladder has been in news for receiving funding from Mr Ratan Tata & launching it’s Augmented Reality App “Living Spaces”

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NASSCOM crafts ambitious plans for it’s Game Development Forum for 2015

The two-day “NASSCOM Game Developer conference” held in November, 2014 was aimed at creating an interactive platform between various industry stakeholders to share best practices and knowledge & work towards further evangelizing the gaming industry. With over 1200+ delegates, over 60 speakers 40 sessions, the conference was aimed at to enhance India’s position as the gaming hub for the world, improve the industry-government interface and collaboration and augment international outreach and access for the Indian gaming fraternity.

NASSCOM released a white paper on the Indian Android market overview on side-lines of the conference. The whitepaper, created in collaboration with Fortumo is created with aim to help Indian developers better monetize their Android games and apps.

Highlights from the Whitepaper

Some of the key Highlights from the Whitepaper are below

  • With over 160mn smartphones in circulation and a majority of these phones running Android OS, India is a huge opportunity for local developers.
  • Creating games which are playable on both online and offline modes to better engage the users.
  • Increasing interest from user-base on downloading games from alternative app stores in addition to Google Play.

The complete Whitepaper can be downloaded from here. NASSCOM announced that NASSCOM 10K Start-ups, NASSCOM Gaming Forum & Dhruva Interactive’ s Gametantra have entered into an understanding by way of which, gaming start-ups applying to NASSCOM 10K Start-Ups will receive mentoring and incubation facilities at the Gametantra incubation facility in Bengaluru. Gametantra mainly focuses on mobile game developers and provides them with office space and mentorship.

NASSCOM plans to take a selected few gaming companies to Casual Connect. Casual Connect is produced by the Casual Games Association & is the premiere event for the casual games industry with over 5,500 professionals attending Casual Connect each year. Casual Connect brings together the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the casual gaming field to further the casual games industry with the best of networking and learning.

More information & complete Whitepaper is here

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[Sponsored Video] Rolex Awards for Enterprise & Entrepreneurs

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were created in 1976 to foster a spirit of enterprise and advance, human knowledge and well-being. Presented every two years, they support pioneering work in five areas namely Science & health, Applied technology, Exploration & discovery,Environment & Cultural heritage

Rolex

The winners are provided with financial grants & mentorship in order to carry their on-going projects. The awards are open to individuals of any nationality or background.

Innovators & Doer’s under 30 would receive grants of 50,000 Swiss francs to take their work to the next level. The jury comprises of international experts from various fields who themselves embody the spirit of enterprise that the Awards seek to promote.

Winners of 2014 Rolex awards for enterprise & entrepreneurs

Neeti Kailas

Neeti Kailas, graduate of National Institute Of Design is currently co-founder & business-head of Sohum Innovation Lab. As per Neeti “Design is about problem solving, and thinking about how I can have maximum impact on society. In a country like India, that’s never going to happen by designing the next lemon squeezer” She along with her partner Nitin Sisodia launched their startup & their first product is a device to screen babies for hearing impairment & definitely has a huge social impact !!!

Olivier Nsengimana

Oliver, a native of Rwanda is 30 year gave up lucrative position in government job to take up “wild-life conservation”. In Rwanda, the crane is a symbol of wealth and longevity. With a golden tufted crown and a flame-red spot on its neck, it is a desirable pet for Rwanda’s elite. He is actively working actively towards wild life conservation especially ensuring that there is no poaching of rare species – Crane. Nsengimana – who lived in a refugee camp at the age of nine – acknowledges that his childhood was tough, but he is always mindful that many Rwandans went through much tougher times than he did & that has helped him a lot :)

Hosam Zowawi

Hosam, a native of Saudi Arabia is clinical microbiologist with an interest in antibiotic resistant bacterial diseases. His project contains development of faster superbug tests in order to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance.

Francesco Sauro

Francesco, a native of Italy has led five expeditions to South America’s table-top mountains since 2009, along with Italian exploration association La Venta, and with the support of the Venezuelan team Theraphosa. With support from Rolex, he is planning more expeditions.

Arthur Zang

Arthur Zang, native of Cameroon invented CardioPad which is touted as Africa’s first medical computer tablet to help diagnose people with heart disease. The device leverages the use of Cloud Technology & allows health-care workers in rural areas to send the results of cardiac tests to specialists via a mobile phone connection.

We congratulate these young & dynamic innovators for winning this prestigious award !!! More about Rolex Awards here & here.

Note – This article has been sponsored by Rolex

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After Snapdeal & Bluestone, Ratan Tata invests in Urban Ladder

Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons has made a personal investment in online furniture company Urban Ladder.  The investment comes four months after the company raised Series B funding from Steadview Capital and existing investors SAIF Partners & Kalaari Capital.

The home decor and furniture space in not new to Ratan Tata. He is a design enthusiast and holds a degree in Architecture from Cornell University.

As per Ashish Goel, CEO & Co-founder, Urban Ladder:

Mr. Tata understands the furniture space very well, specially our focus on product design since he has a lot of knowledge of the subject. His inputs and guidance will be very valuable for us.

Mr. Tata’s decision to invest in Urban Ladder marks a milestone in the company’s two and a half year old journey.  We are extremely proud that Urban Ladder caught Mr. Tata’s attention. His investment in the company reassures us of the path we have taken towards creating value for customers with great products and exceptional service.

About Urban Ladder

Urban Ladder was launched in July 2012 by co-founders Ashish Goel & Rajiv Srivatsa with the aim of making a million beautiful Indian homes. It offers over 1000 products across 25 categories in furniture such as wardrobes, beds, sofas, dining tables and coffee tables.

The company has been on a massive growth path and aims to be the biggest furniture seller in India in the next 18 months. World-class product design and exceptional customer experience have been Urban Ladder’s key differentiators. The company is also focusing on using innovative technology to further elevate customer experience to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping.

Urban Ladder’s “Living Spaces” App

In the past, we had reported about UL’s Augmented Reality App “Living Spaces” & you can read about the same here

Important Read – Tata gearing up for e-commerce with management re-shuffle

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This is a great time to pursue a startup in India – Arvind Batra, Co-founder, EventsHigh

How many of us have come across the problem “There was a conference/meetup but did not get any reminder for the same … I could have met lot of like-minded folks at the event :)” This problem statement gave birth to a Bengaluru based event discovery platform – EventsHigh

Today we have a chat with one of company’s co-founder Arvind Batra where he talks about EventsHigh, it’s founders, technology & Entrepreneurship. Let’s start our Q&A with Arvind…

EventsHigh

Can you give a small background about you, your start-up and it’s founders ?

Nikesh Garera & Arvind Batra are co-founders of EventsHigh.  EventsHigh is an event discovery platform that brings all events at one place & helps users to find relevant events based on their interests, location and availability. Nikesh & Arvind  have a strong background in machine learning and big data, they were part of the Kosmix team in Bay Area, that was later acquired and became WalmartLabs. They moved to Bengaluru couple of years back and have started EventsHigh recently.

Parag Sarda joined us recently. He brings in solid engineering experience with his previous work at Google, WalmartLabs and Microsoft. You can find more about Nikesh, Arvind & Parag here, here and here.

Every idea is born out of a problem, what was the trigger of starting EventsHigh ?

Nikesh & myself had missed Google I/O back to back which is a flagship Google event and its registrations sell out very fast. We got the seed that it would be nice to have a notification service that will remind users about events based on their interests. We did a hackathon at Techcrunch Disrupt SF to see our enthusiasm and since then we have been thinking about it.

How did your team come up with the name EventsHigh ?

Both Nikesh & myself are part of this group called Runners’ High and we like it. You experience a high after attending a great event, the whole experience stays with you for a long time. We wanted to share that feeling with everyone. Plus the fact that the domain EventsHigh was available :)

How does EventsHigh curate the information on various events happening in any city ?

We crawl various sources on the web to extract event data. Some sources such as Facebook and Eventbrite also have APIs that we use for sourcing events.

Currently how many cities in India does EventsHigh cater to  ?

We are live in seven cities – Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Hyderabad.

Though it is too early to talk about revenue, but how does EH plan to make revenue [Revenue Model of EH] ?

The problem from event organizer’s perspective is how to promote their event. Our revenue streams will be in providing event outreach solutions to event organizers in terms of sponsored listings and advertisements. We will also be working on affiliate partnership with different ticketing sites and take a commission in ticket sales.

How does EventsHigh stack up against BookMyShow, IndianStage in terms of differentiation ?

In a given week, a city like Bengaluru has about 1000 events happening, but sites like BookMyShow or IndianStage cover only, at best, 50 of them. EventsHigh not only has lot more events but with our categorization and semantic technology, users can subscribe to events based on their interests such as hackathons or comedy shows etc. We want to provide ‘relevant’ events to you – based on your interests, near your locality.

What are the major changes that you experienced when you moved from an Employee to an Employer [or Entrepreneur]

The freedom to work on what I really want is something that I cherish a lot. The startup experience is pushing me to try out new roles every day and it is a great learning experience.

What are your key advice(s) to aspiring entrepreneurs ?

Just do it. Don’t over think it. But be patient and focused.

There is lot of hype around IoT, Big Data etc. what are your views on the same ?

Big data is a reality of our times. People are producing more data than ever before and big data solutions are efforts to manage them. The challenges posed by big data are fascinating and a lot of research is needed to match the scale of things to come.  IoT is a new frontier in innovation and it is very exciting based on early results.

What are your views about the start-up landscape in India ?

The ecosystem in Bengaluru is very good. We have got help from unexpected corners, people have been very forthcoming to give their feedback. The whole ecosystem is quite collaborative. This is a great time to pursue a startup in India.

Here is wishing EventsHigh team all the best & hope they reach “High” in their startup endeavors. Do give EventsHigh a spin & share your feedback in the comments section.

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PayPal to incubate two new Tech Startups at its ‘Start Tank’ Incubation Center

PayPal India has selected two new tech startups for its ‘Start Tank’ Incubation Center in Chennai. The winners — Clockwork Interviews Private Limited & Demach Software India Private Limited were chosen from among 11 other startups that presented their business pitch at the Start Tank Incubation Challenge final on October 31, 2014.

The selection was organized as part of PitchFest in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Chennai.

The unique Incubation Challenge was launched in September 2014 across four cities in Tamil Nadu to identify & nurture some of the country’s next generation technology-centric startups. More than 60 applications were received for incubation at PayPal’s Start Tank Chennai.

As per Anupam Pahuja, General Manager, Technology – Asia-Pacific, PayPal

PayPal is proud to announce the selection of Demach Software & Clockwork Interviews for incubation at Start Tank, Chennai. As a company that was started by young entrepreneurs, PayPal recognizes the importance of encouraging the growth of tech startups and the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. We truly believe that the new incubatees will benefit from our technology mentorship and the obligation-free environment we provide at Start Tank.

Jayadev Mahalingam, co-founder of PiQube, a product of Clockwork Interviews, a Hiring Analytics company, said

We are eagerly looking forward to the technology and business mentorship support from PayPal & TiE, and we hope to make the most of this opportunity to fuel our business.

Srikrishnan Ganesan, co-founder of Demach Software, makers of Konotor, a user-engagement solution for mobile apps, said

The Start Tank Incubation Challenge gave us an opportunity to meet some very promising startups. The incubation, along with the world-class support from brand names like PayPal & TiE will certainly enable us to take our company to the next level. The timing is perfect for us as we expand our team and bring in new people into a dynamic environment.

PayPal’s Start Tank provides an obligation-free environment for select startups to evolve. The exclusive facility in PayPal’s Chennai development center has an office area of more than 11,000 square feet with a world-class incubation space, state-of-the-art conference rooms and other amenities.

Start Tank runs globally across PayPal offices in Boston, London and Chennai & provides access to global mentors, angel investors and venture capitalists. PayPal formally launched its Chennai startup incubator in association with TiE Chennai in November 2013 & currently hosts four startups: DoPartTime, Fantain, Hey FeedbackKobster

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Urban Ladder launches ‘Living Spaces’, augmented reality app for furniture shopping

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Urban Ladder announced the launch of ‘Living Spaces’ – a one of its kind app in the on-line furniture segment. Living Spaces is a world class augmented reality app & a unique initiative to tie in Urban Ladder’s long term vision of providing best in class customer experience by integrating technology.

The Living Spaces app lets users virtually place multiple options of Urban Ladder[UL] sofas in their living space by using augmented reality.  Users can place life size models of UL sofas to visualize their entire living room & select multiple colour and seating options without having to involve any physical furniture.

The next version of the app will have additional notable features such as pulling in a silhouette and ambient lighting.

The app is conceptualized by the Urban Ladder team & developed in collaboration with WhodatHouse of Blue Beans, both Bangalore based tech startups. The user experience is designed after in-depth research on sofa buying patterns so that the flow of the app is seamless. The app aims at making the interactions natural & the sofa design takes into account imperfections of the real world like wrinkled cushions and fabric folding at the edges. All these details make the user experience real & help solve several customer pain points.

Urban Ladder had earlier introduced another innovative initiative called ‘Trial Room’ where one can experience different models of UL sofas from the comfort of their home.

As per Rajiv Srivatsa, COO & Co-Founder, Urban Ladder

Over the last year sofas have emerged as one of our best-selling categories. This confirms a strong demand for the category and the potential for it to grow. Initiatives such as Trial Room, and now the Living Spaces app aim at converting the apprehensive shopper into a confident and content one”.

We strongly believe that innovative technology is the solution to improve the ‘touch and feel gap’ in on-line furniture buying. We are proud that UL Labs is setting new benchmarks globally in the technology and e-commerce space. Living Spaces is another effort to stay true to our commitment of bringing innovative changes in the furniture industry globally, and we are proud to take technology to the world from India

Living Spaces is the second app to be launched in the UL Labs series after Urban Storage which focuses on wardrobes. ‘UL Labs’ is a collaborative outreach effort where teams from Urban Ladder will work with digital start-ups across the world to come up with pioneering solutions in various aspects of furniture buying.

Download Link

UL Living Spaces can be downloaded from Android Play-Store from here

For more information on ‘UL Living Spaces’, please visit the following link. Do give UL’s Living Spaces a spin & share your comments/feedback !!!

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About the author

Hey, Welcome to Himanshu's blog. Himanshu is a engineer, blogger, startupper & an aspiring entrepreneur from Bangalore, India. To know more about him, please visit this page.

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