Tech hava 2016: new products and technologies for Indians

04th January 2016
Tech hava  2016:  new products and technologies  for Indians
Bulbulapps founder-CEO Prakash Dantuluri with his 'creations'

Innovative Indian companies are  ensuring that the latest  personal technologies reach us quickly,  affordably.

Bangalore, January 4 2015: It may be too soon to  say with certainty,  what all   new technologies will touch us during 2016. But  some pointers are already out there -- and  anticipating  them will help  us future-proof our purchases of  personal and lifestyle gadgets in the next few  months.
Here are some pointers  based on recently  launched products  -- almost every one of them,  crafted by Indian brains.

On-demand video  streaming
As of December 31, all TV sets in India have perforce, gone digital in their sourcing  content. In 2016, we can expect  pay-by-use  on-demand  movie streaming services to ride this digital wave. Netflix, the  US-based  leader in this niche  is widely expected to enter the Indian market this year.  Also to launch soon,  from Svomeka Technologies,  is  the  first content-agnostic video and audio streaming device and platform --Yoohu -- which promises  India -relevant design, content catalogue and compelling  pricing. At its simplest, Yoohu comes in the form of a  compact stick which  plugs into the  HDMI port  of your TV.   A larger YooHu Station   works with home theatre systems.

Smart  wearables
Wearable  devices are shaking out into two streams: smart watches which  mate with  a  phone  or pure play  health trackers.  Both categories   have remained  a bit too pricey in 2015  to become  mass products, but  that is changing:  the most aggressively priced  health tracker  so far  has just come from Pune-based Swipe Technologies.  The Rs 1299 Swipe  F-Band,  tracks steps taken & calories burned; monitors how long and how well you sleep;  and syncs with phone or tablet to via Bluetooth to view fitness and sleep records.  It also provides  incoming  call alerts.
In the  smart watch space , is another  Indian product, the  gesture control-enabled Hug, a world-first  to integrate and enhance customer experience in Virtual Reality with  Microsoft's upcoming  Oculus Rift headset.  In addition to  traditional features:  make calls, track physical activity and  nutrition and  play music, Hug  offers  a gesture-based security feature which interprets a hand gesture as sign of distress.  You can also play music, dim room lights or   find  videos online,  with a  simple hand gesture. Weighing just 46 grams, the Hug smartwatch is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows devices and uses Bluetooth 4.0 to pair with devices. It comes with 2GB built-in storage and 128MB RAM and will be available  soon at Flipkart.

Wireless Charging
If you haven't made your new year resolution yet, I have a suggestion: 'I shall charge my phone wirelessly  this year.'  Charging  pads on which you can place your mobile phone  to charge it, have become mainstream -- and affordable.  Do a search on online  selling sites and you can find many models   from Rs 500 up.  Pepperfry, the furniture site has just launched  a bedside  table  -- Nexo Knight-   with a built- in charging surface.  Place your phone or phones on the table, when you go to bed  -- and they are charged by morning.  Of course, you have to connect the table to a power socket  -- and your phones  must be  Qi-enabled ( the standard for wireless charging).  Most new phones will be Qi-ready this year; but you can still use wireless charging pads with  your current handset  by buying a Qi chip and slipping it under the cover of the phone. Nexo Knight  tables cost 19,299 or Rs. 21,399, depending on the model.
For images of the products discussed here, see our
Image of the Day  spot  on the home page.
Young world

On this page  during 2015,we reviewed,  the SkyKids   tablet from Mitashi, the iRevo Smart Mini PC  for  children and the  Swipe Junior mobile phone for  those little fingers -- all made-in-India products. These products  filled parents' need for safe computing and calling tools for their children.    The Intel -fueled  Eddy Tablet is another popular learning tool  A recent 7-inch kids tablet launched by  Delhi-based  Ambrane, the AK-7000, complete with WiFi, 2G calling, 2MP camera and 4GB of space costs just Rs 2799 on some online sites.
In recent weeks we saw yet another  child safety device from the Bangalore-based  SafeInTheCity --  Angel Candy -- 'the world's smallest  phone-plus-GPS tracker'  for use by kids.  In addition to 2-way calling, it allows  parents to hear  their kids  and track their location,  setting up a safe zone,  without  disturbing hem, even when they are in school.( Rs 3500).   There is an even smaller  card sized GPS  device -- Angel ID -- which slips into the child's ID card holder( Rs 5000).

One Hyderabad startup Bulbulapps has focussed sharply on  for pre-school Kids. Two weeks ago  it announced its free to download​ for smartphones and tablets  ( Android, iOS and Windows).  The brainchild of founder-CEO  Prakash Dantuluri, they include  some 55 folk tales,  mythology and  rhyme stories in English, Hindi and Telugu almost all of them free. It is the top iOS app for children in India.

Most  headphones are made for adults and will be too big to be worn by children.  So  Brainwavz Audio  had the happy thought of launching  Kidwavz KV-100 Bluetooth wireless  headphones for children in India between 4 - 14 years in age.  Nicely cushioned with an adjustable headband for  younger users, it costs Rs 2499 and  comes in pink and blue for girls and boys! -- Anand Parthasarathy