Smartron, the homegrown technology and IoT company, has been around for little over a year now, and has already launched two smartphones – t.phone and srt.phone, and a convertible laptop – t-book. Now, Smartron is gearing up to launch its Internet of Things (IoT) powered devices. The company has unveiled ‘tronX’ – an IoT based platform powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The company offered a sneak peek into what it has been working on, and will roll out the platform over the next nine months.
While a lot of Indians are unfamiliar with IoT, the technology is gaining popularity in the US and UK. Right from automated homes to AI-powered smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home to name a few, people are embracing technology to ease their lives. With the new tronX platform, Smartron is aiming to put India on the IoT map.
“Smartron has been working for more than two years on creating a new connected ecosystem fuelled by AI +IoT, and tronX is at the core of this brave new world. We are proud and excited to unveil tronX today, a first of its kind AI powered IoT platform and a kind of next gen OS designed to run seamlessly across wide range of devices, sensors, vehicles and systems,” Mahesh Lingareddy, founder and chairman, Smartron said at the unveiling event. ALSO READ: Smartron srt.phone Review: A smartphone tribute to Sachin Tendulkar
With tronX, Smartron aims to deliver highly intelligent and localized experiences to Indians. Lingareddy emphasized saying that Amazon Dot and Google Home are customized for the audience in the US, whereas tronX is designed with an Indian accent in mind. Care and support is critical for IoT success, and Smartron is opening the ecosystem for its partners. “We already have many companies that have partnered with us in delivering innovative HW and SW solutions,” Lingareddy added. ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar talks about his association with Indian smartphone maker Smartron and more
tronX – IoT verticals
To begin with, Smartron has announced four verticals where it will be integrating tronX. These include – tronX personal, tronX health, tronX home, and tronX infra. Unlike other IoT platforms where you need to buy new smart devices, Smartron will enable you to make your existing dumb electronics, and home appliances smart. This will be made possible with a ‘smartplug’ for your existing devices.
Your existing consumer electronics products such as your refrigerator, coffee maker, air conditioning unit or TV set can be turned smart, which will be one of the biggest differentiators for Smartron. Over the next couple of years, the company is aiming to have at least two million connected tronX IoT devices. ALSO READ: Smartron signs 3G and 4G patent licence agreement with Qualcomm
The company is agnostic about operating systems, and the platform is designed to work on Android, iOS and Windows 10. While Smartron smartphones will have tronX deep linked inside the OS, other users will have to download the app from respective app stores. Smartron offered a small demo of the four verticals at its office in Hyderabad, and it looks promising.
Deeply integrated into Smartron smartphones, it is designed to offer personalized entertainment, travel and shopping experience. The company explained it with a few examples. You can do a voice search to look for Aamir Khan movies with Katrina Kaif, which will list the movies they both have worked together in. One can even do a voice search to play a song of their choice.
If you take an Ola or Uber to work every day, simply saying book a cab to work will book one for you. Here is where things get interesting. If you prefer Ola over Uber, it will book that for you. And, if you look for one with the cheapest fares, it will compare the ride estimate offered by both services, and book the one with lowest fare.
There is also universal copy / paste feature, where you can copy text from tronX powered device, and paste it to other. For instance, you can copy a URL on your laptop and paste the link on WhatsApp on your smartphone. The company also demonstrated a home lock system with face verification. So, whenever someone walks to your door, and you are in the office, you can see the face of the person on your smartphone, and choose to allow or deny access, without being there.
Smartron will soon be launching the t.band, a fitness band that will do much more than a regular fitness band. It will log the daily number of steps you take, monitor your sleep pattern, and heart rate. But the key features of the t.band is that it can also log your ECG, which is not something you get on other smart bands.
All the recorded data will be stored on cloud, and will also be shared with your doctor. This will allow your doctor to remotely keep a track on your health, and if any unusual activity is noticed, they can recommend you what steps to take to get back on track. Smartron is also testing the health focused t.bike, which it will be launching over the coming months.
Smart home solutions have been around for a while, and it is indeed an interesting concept. You can use a smartphone app to turn the television set, lights, geyser and coffee maker, among other home appliances, on and off. You can even do that using voice commands. For instance, you can say turn on air purifier, turn on coffee machine, turn of lights. You can also switch TV channels using voice commands.
However, one of the interesting things that Smartron demonstrated was how the sensors can be made to work with gestures. For instance, when you’re wearing the t.band, raising the hand up will increase the TV volume, whereas taking it down will decrease it. The same gestures can also be used to adjust the intensity of smart light bulbs. What’s more, the tronX platform, can also gauge the level of gas in the cylinder and display it on the screen. Of course, you will have to attach a smart plug that Smartron will be offering for this feature to work.
Smartron doesn’t just want to be an IoT brand that is consumer centric, but it is looking at tapping into businesses as well. The company has designed a device with an IR scanner and barcode reader that can help organizations to keep a track of their inventory in warehouses.
There are IoT sensors that can be installed on the entrance of the office, which will keep a track on the number of people walking in and out. These sensors can also be deployed inside the office, which will offer heat map of how many users are sitting at a particular location, allowing companies to regulate air conditioning where most people are.
We already talked about the cameras that can recognize faces of people entering in your home or office. Another use of the camera can be in the parking lot and toll booths, where it can capture the registration number of vehicles, in and out time and create a log of the same. While companies can know which vehicle enters and leaves the premises at given time, the entire toll collection process can also be automated with users being charged for each of their trips.
Smartron – what to expect in the coming months
During the office visit at Hyderabad, I also got a chance to sit down with Lingareddy to talk about what to expect from Smartron going forward. The company will be rolling our tronX-based IoT devices in the coming nine months, and it will also be launching the t.band with built-in ECG monitor.
Smartron is also looking to introduce Amazon Dot-like voice activated smart speaker, which will cut down the dependence on smartphone app to operate smart home devices. The company will also be releasing an UltraBook around November-December time frame. It’s good to see an Indian company trying to make a mark in the IoT segment. And the fact that you can use your existing electronics, and make them smart is something that could play a key role in success if done right.
Disclaimer - Smartron arranged for the writer’s travel to Hyderabad for the tronX demo.