Augmented Reality Startup "Imaginate" Lets You Try OutApparelsOnline Before Buying
Imaginate is a startup working on augmented reality products using cutting edge technologies in the field of computer vision and virtual reality, developing innovative visualization products in retail sector. Founded by Hemanth Satyanarayana, a mechanical engineer with a B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M), Imaginate has a couple of interest piquing products up its sleeve:TRIALAR (Trial using Augmented Reality): An Intelligent Digital Apparel and Jewellery Trial Room (patent pending), driven by data analytics, that fulfills the visualization needs of brick & mortar, e-commerce and m-commerce retail apparel stores.
TRIALAR - Web: This can be integrated to any eCommerce website. And this product has immense potential which is augmented by the fact that Imaginate has the first-mover advantage.
Imaginate has developed TRIALAR, an intelligent digital apparel and jewellery trial room platform, where shoppers can instantaneously try out a variety of items by just standing in front of a digital display aka an electronic mirror (be it a 50 inch LED or the New iPad). This also gives the retailer an opportunity to understand the customer’s mindset better. “This is a $600 MM opportunity in the Indian brick & mortar industry alone.” says Hemanth.
Imaginate has developed TRIALAR in a close association with a couple of apparel retailers. With the products reaching completion stage, Imaginate is in talks with a giant retail chain in Hyderabad and Bangalore. Imaginate was recognized as a top 10 Product company by NASSCOM at Product LaunchPAD 2011 and is a Microsoft BizSpark startup. Hemanth, who also is a Masters graduate from State University of New York at Buffalo, is a co-inventor of a US patent on Virtual Locomotion controller. He has recently won the prestigious MIT TR35 Young Innovator award. Along with Pavan Kosaraju, who also is from IIT Madras, an MBA from ESMT, Berlin and a former business consultant at KPMG, they form a formidable team.
Bootstrapped with a capital of 10 lakh rupees, Imaginate has a 6 member team currently and expect a turnover of Rs 22 crore by the end of financial year 2013. “Augmented Reality is the buzz word. Thanks to the media, people now understand what it is all about and are not afraid to try out new technology.” says Hemanth. The initial focus would be on the desktop version of TRIALAR, wherein Imaginate expects to generate sales in India and a few other APAC countries through sales partners. “We have also been getting service requests for a few AR based projects which are very much complementary to the work we are doing for TRIALAR.” mentions Hemanth.
Even though people are opening up to new ideas, selling and marketing a new generation product is still a challenge and especially when one has minimal resources at their disposal. "Being a new technology, the angel investor community is also a bit risk averse. Funding from the government is well spoken about and publicized, but reaching out to government – either state or central is extremely difficult for any kind of assistance.” says an apprehensive Hemanth about raising funds.
During his Masters in virtual reality, he developed a surgical apparatus using Augmented Reality that aided surgeons in performing surgery with better real-time accuracy and minimal blood loss. Besides healthcare, he had been ‘imagin’ing the concept of virtual trial room ever since which was made possible with today’s confluence of availability of high computing power and affordable digital displays.
TRIALAR in itself has a huge opportunity in terms of market share but going ahead, there are many areas in which this technology can be used. For instance, an unfinished real estate project can be visualized. With inspiration from Vinod Khosla, “Imaginate will always dare to innovate without fearing an imminent failure.” says Hemanth.
More about Imaginate on their website and we’re expecting something innovative in the healthcare industry from Imaginate in the future as well.
- Jubin Mehta