We report on a Hyderabad startup with an audacious 'Make in India' game plan -- and a new spin on connected devices.
New Delhi, April 4 2016: Consider these scenarios:
- You receive an SMS message on your phone. Without any special prompting, it pops up on the laptop on which you are working -- where ever you are.
- You have just created a power point presentation on your home PC. As you move to your office, you can review or edit that same file on your smart phone or tablet. It's already there -- on every connected device you own.
- Laser points are so yesterday! You are making a corporate presentation on a large screen -- and all you do is to use gestures and swipes on your mobile phone to start-stop-pause the presentation or roll videos.
This is a brave new world of broken barriers and connected devices that has been dreamed up in 'stealth mode' over the last 18 months, in the labs of a Hyderabad-headquartered startup, called Smartron. The Internet of Things is old hat. They call their technology, the Internet of Trons (IoT)-- a seamless connection between all smart devices that lets you jump from screen to screen to new scene -- with your data following you like your shadow. ( Tron seems inspired by a 1982 science fiction film of that name, reprised in 2002, about scientists sucked into the virtual world of a computer.)
In Delhi last week, the company which has 100-strong developer teams in Hyderabad and Bangalore -- and a production tie-up with contract manufacturer Foxconn at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh -- unveiled its first 'tron' product -- the t.book, ( see details in separate story). Chairman Mahesh Lingareddy who co-founded Smartron with IIT Kharagpur alumnii Narsi Reddy, Managing Director and Rohit Rathi, President, points out that the hardware specs are only incidental to the T-book's main strengths -- seamless links to the unlimited t-cloud storage, the t-store, online shop and the t-care customer support where the device is remotely maintained and serviced. The total ecosystem is what the company calls Hubtron -- which will work for every device they roll out. A 5.5 inch t.phone-- the lightest in its class -- is expected to be out later this month. From Maym a 10-inch tablet will go on sale in Saudi Arabia, followed by a another 14 inch ultra book, 3-D printers, Virtual reality headsets, routers and storage solutions for a global market.
Will the Tron idea turn out be commercially savvy? Some clearly think so: Smartron has received encouragement from an unusual source: Sachin Tendulkar has come on board as a strategic investor.
Narsi Reddy and Lingareddy also run a successful US and Russia-based semiconductor company, Soft Machines, some of whose R&D is done in India but Smartron is their first attempt to totally make in India -- for the world.