One must have heard about the latest offering by Mahindra Reva, wherein with a flick of thumb you can switch on the air conditioner in your car, lock or unlock the car, plan your route etc. Little does one know that a city-based startup worked day in and out to build this technology for the automaker.
Moonraft Innovation Labs, a five-year-old startup, has arguably built the country’s first smartphone-based telematic application. “We created the application, suggested the design for the mobile touchpoint of the car. In fact, we also helped them marketing it by doing 3D projection mapping,” says Somakumar Kolathur, one of the founders.
Kolathur, who teamed up with former Infosys colleagues—Sreekumar Paramu, Sridhar Marri and Krishna Kadiri—to set up Moonraft, says his team wanted to start a company that combined both design as well as technology aspect. Also, around that time there was a shift from services to products in the IT space, hence was inspired by the shift from services to products in the information technology industry.
“It is not just about a product, but about the service and the entire ecosystem that caters to the customer needs. This has created a need for service innovation. For instance, Apple iPod is just a product. However, what makes it special are services like iTunes,” says Kolathur.
Moonraft is also working on applications that allow refrigerators and washing machines to alert users on when to refill the washing powder or order pizza.
“The problem is there are different design firms and different technology firms. Our approach is to bring together design, art and technology. Too much technology confuses consumers. This is where we step in and try to make the whole process simple and easy through design.”
Moonraft has 50 people on board now. Kolathur says they have 20 designers and 30 people in the technical team, adding that they are looking forward to expand.
Moonraft has also been involved in setting up an Experience Centre for an IT services company in Bangalore. This Centre includes state-of-the-art interactive experiences; with gesture-based controls, tablet-driven interactivity and hi-touch interfaces.