Innovations by new-age, entrepreneurial brands in the fields of technology and electronics include a human touch
When we think of innovations in consumer electronics and technology, we end up imagining massive brands and larger-than-life products. We can’t help but also think about innovations that nose dived only because they were ahead of their times.
Big star cast but flop movie
Take for instance, the much hyped Zune music player from Microsoft. Logically, the idea seemed right. If Walkman could revolutionize portable music consumption, Zune should have been a runaway hit with online music. But clearly, it was Apple’s cake to eat and Zune died a quick and painful death. Similarly, smart home lighting solutions have been around for a while, but it is only now, with the popularity of voice assistants that they are unleashing their true potential.
Fun, quirky innovations
Another category of innovations are the quirky, fun ones, usually from brands that have the financial muscle to hustle a few offbeat products, though they may not sweep people off their feet. Recently, Samsung launched in Sweden, a smart fridge that doubles up as a dating service.
Based on the contents inside your fridge, it links you up with potential partners. Called Refriger-dating, the app created by Samsung hopes to become a Tinder-based on your dietary interests. After all, the way to a man’s or women’s heart is through the stomach, isn’t it?
What Samsung essentially did here was to extend it’s already successful range of fridges and added a fun, human, IoT element to it. This philosophy doesn’t have to be the prerogative of big brands.
Proof of this is a brand called Xech. Hardly a year old, the entrepreneurial startup from Mumbai was founded with the belief that consumers are spending heavily on home electronics and gadgets, but not getting value for their money. Inspired by Chinese innovation and with the promise to expand to US and EU markets, Xech recently launched a hot and cold flask speaker.
Made with aviation grade aluminum, the multi-function flask lets you carry around your choice of hot or cold beverage, while it doubles up as a speaker. Powered by Bluetooth, the 500ml thermos tumbler comes with control buttons for music shuffling, and promises to play 7-8 hours of music.
Priced at around Rs. 2500, Xech is selling for even less, Rs 1499, on popular e-commerce channels. The company has also launched an ingenious desk lamp that features 360 degrees rotating lighting with 256 colour mood lighting.
The most mundane of stuff like fans and flasks are becoming smarter and quirkier. What other boring would be on the smartening list next?
This story has been submitted by Vishnu Anand. He is working as a technology and business journalist under the guidance of veteran journalist Anand Parthasarathy (Ex-The Hindu).