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Monday, August 1, 2011

Tata does it AGAIN !!!

I have been repeatedly waxing eloquence about the amazing principles, products, etiquettes, work culture, results and Indian drive of the Tata brand and most of their products.

REPEATEDLY !!!

http://drsurajdhirwani.blogspot.com/2010/08/titan-indian-watch-brand.html
http://drsurajdhirwani.blogspot.com/2011/07/update-titan-indian-watch-brand.html
http://drsurajdhirwani.blogspot.com/2011/02/mobile-number-portability.html

But they have gone and done it again!

They have amazed me & floored me ONCE AGAIN!

This time : it is with their willingness to keep pace with current technology and be the leaders in innovation in their segment.
Not only do they embrace every new change and progress in the right direction, they implement it very early (sometimes too early for it's time and thus initial failure or pick up lag in the graph)
They ensure it reaches the end consumer!

Examples:

1. Tata Aria concept + AR (Augmented Reality)

In July 2011, there was a online contest to identify 36 new automotive features in the Tata Aria and get a chance to win the Aria itself
(I managed 35/36 in case you were wondering)
No big deal, a common contest, regular flash animation... been there done that you will say. Right?
So what if they provided good regular updates and support via FB & email. So many marketing campaigns do and reply religiously. Right?
BUT
Towards the end of the contest, they introduces a new feature.
the Use of AUGMENTED REALITY!

You click on it, it requests you to print a particular page (that they give) - and then you hold up THAT page against your webcam and voila - it detects it (kinda like the barcode app on Android phones) and lets you unlock 5 features for free.

I don't know if this has been implemented in India earlier, but I found this quite a novel idea to keep the buzz alive in the contest.
&
I am quite familiar with Layar & Augmented Reality so it was not the idea that floored me, it was the implementation.


2. Tata Sky - Mobile App for TV remote.
Again an old concept - almost 3 years old since the time of the iPhone 3g.
A small device that plugs into the 3.5mm microphone jack of ALMOST all phones and comes with its own app that runs on the phone allowing you to control your TV or music system with the phone as the remote and buttons on the phone.
(Remember the IR Remote app on the Nokia 6600 almost 6 years ago? Something similar, except the RF is in that teeny device at the end of your phone)
It costs 8 - 35$.
BUT
to get that here, that concept, that idea, implement in in its product in India, customize the app to suit your product and support almost ALL smart phones - that deserves a mention. And a pat on the back too.

3. Titan HTSE + AR (again)
Yes, I know. Its like old wine in new bottle, but again the implementation made me smile.
Titan HTSE [High Tech Self Energized] (as you may already know from the awesome TV add) is Titan's new range of watches that run on light - get charged with any source of light above 200 lum. even candles and last really long.
Citizen has had the Eco-drive range since years now.
Being an eco-friendly guy I have LOVED these watches since then.
&
I love SOLAR power too.
But frankly those Citizen watches were way out of my budget then.
and they used to have these Mother of pearl dials which I wasn't very fond of.
So when Titan HTSE was launched I was happy, but I thought, what the hell - this is going to be expensive too!
But I was amazed to see the range was genuinely reasonable: 6495 to 10995 !
I will be getting one soon - not now since I did not really LOVE any of the current models launched. Will wait for some more. But will definitely get one.
Coming back to the amazing part - when I checked their website:
It begins with a note - asking you to place a source of light near your webcam for it to be 'powered' to load.
&
that light can be a candle or even the display of your cell phone.
Obviously you are not going to get dripping hot wax anywhere near your laptop, so I used my cellphone display
and it worked like a charm.
The animation and experience was quite nice.
Again - applause for IDEA, innovation, execution and concept.
Loved it.
You can try it yourself : www.titanhtse.com

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Original Work by Dr. Suraj A. Dhirwani

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