BAL and IoTBLR launch Bangalore’s first Internet of Things Lab – bootstrapped and crowd sourced

Bangalore IoT Lab

On the occasion of IoTDay, Bangalore Alpha Lab (BAL) and IoT Bangalore (IoTBLR) launched Bangalore’s very first Internet of Things Lab on 9th April 2014.  This lab is a collaborative workspace where IoT enthusiasts can meet to discuss ideas, share expertise, work together on projects, get access to a library of equipment & components, build products, launch companies, and generally have fun bringing IoT to life. The lab is being bootstrapped and equipment as well as expertise are being crowd sourced.

Bangalore IoT Lab

The launch saw a huge turnout of 150+ people. The Lab currently holds basic equipment, and is be priced at Rs. 500 for a professional and Rs 250 for a student. Based on the contribution provided to the lab, the membership will be provided for free for a fixed duration of time( an year for example).

BAL IoTLAB provides a platform for people to build impact-making products and companies around IoT or IoE stack; and hopefully add significant value to human living. To start, IoTLAB will focus on the below activities, some of which are needed to help the Lab sustain operations.

1) Ideation: Lab will provide equipment and members can access the Lab to experiment various Ideas. A pool of mentors and experts will be available for brainstorming and to provide feedback.

2) Projects/Student Projects: Non-commercial or experimental projects can be executed at the Lab in a collaborative model.

3) Incubation: Post idea stage, if members want to build a product or company, they can opt for incubation where Lab will provide necessary support to build the product and company. Lab may also provide funds or connect with angels and advisers. At this point, Lab will ask for equity based on level of engagement.

4) Commercial Projects: Lab may undertake commercial projects and make them available for members to join and collaborate. Each member’s contribution will be compensated based on project and will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

5) Events/Training: Lab will make the space available to the community to host free workshops, meetup and/or casual tech hangouts. For paid events/training, the organisers will contribute some portion of the earning to the lab.

The launch of the lab was followed by couple of interesting demos from companies building in IoT space, as well as hobbyists building cool stuff. Here are the company demos –

Magnetworks : Founded by Sahil Kini and Tushit Jain, Magnetworks aims to improve metrics at Factories through measurement.  The hardware component RedBox pairs with a wide variety of sensors, meters and PLCs and transports machine data to the Magnet Cloud platform.  The cloud platform provides analysis through customizable real-time interactive dashboards.

SmartBuildings™ :  A NASSCOM 10K portfolio company, this startup is developing innovative technologies for energy conservation, management, and monitoring in buildings.This startup has been founded by Anil Gupta, Satya Kishore and Abinash Saikia. SmartBuildings™ alert based monitoring solution keeps an eye on various parameters related to the current condition of the building  temperature, humidity, light level and occupancy. Apart from monitoring,the product contains control and analytics modules to make better sense of the monitoring provided.The solution is fully wireless, which makes it extremely easy to retrofit. LINQS imparts digital identity to physical products using NFC & QR Codes tags. These tags are either embedded or affixed on or near the physical products augmenting the print displays. The customers seeking more information on the products can scan or tap these tags to connect with the online identities of the product that it’s marketers choose. The content of the tags is stored in the cloud & can be changed any and as many times.  It currently offers 3 sets of products –  NFC & QR Code tags, LINQS Hub(the tag management platform) and LINQS enabled products.

SmartrHomes:  The flagship platform SmartrWater is World’s 1st 100% automated water metering solution for Housing Societies.  The platform consists of WaterOn, an accurate, wireless, self powered water meter with remote flow control valve and Nuclious, the analytics hub for all the measured data. With this product,  remote monitoring is possible through web and smartphones. It also features in built valve to remote stop water flow. :  Their product, Nimble is a tiny and flexible ring shaped device designed to control any electronic gadget from a distance of 5 meters .The product comes with three nimble rings, a USB sensor and a software.  The product is available for pre-order here  for Rs. 3500 for first 500 pre-orders. The expected shipment date is Q4 2014.

Apart from these, several hobbyists demonstrated their wonderful projects –

Sarthak Mahapatra: PiBot : Google chat Bot to interact with Raspberry Pi. Here’s an interesting video demo that shows the controlling of a light bulb via Google Chat. The chat Bot is running on Pi.

Hemant Surale: Smart Gloves :  Smart Gloves is an alternate for traditional keyboard, and can be customized based on what you need. Take a look at their prezi.

Darshan and Nagasai presented the IoT Development Kit by Thingsquare.
The IoT day celebrations ended with a Google Hangout session with IoTPeople and Living Bridges Planet, arranged by Vinay Dora. You can catch up with the recording here. We earlier did an article on Internet of Things, highlighting the Opportunities, Challenges and way forward. This is an interesting space to watch out and a welcome initiative by BAL and IoTBLR group to further fuel the innovation.