A 23-year-young “passionate tech geek” from India wants to change the world one technology byte at a time. His eyes are set on ‘the’ next big trend out there – wearable technology. Who is he? And what is he up to? Let’s answer the latter question first.
What do you think of a product that converts your palm into a numeric pad? Imagine this: You can assign each activity of your connected devices – be it your smartphone, iPod, Smart TV, gaming console or your car for that matter – to a segment of your finger, which then acts as a hot key. So by just tapping the specified segment, you can turn on/off your phone, receive a call, change your playlist, attend a call, share photos, switch channels, etc. The possibilities are too many.
And no! This is not some futuristic sci-fi movie imagined invention. This is very much a real concept that is soon going to be available to you.
Called Fin, this invention is a tiny (and may I add, stylish) wearable device that you can wear on the thumb of your hand as a ring and it makes your entire palm a gesture interface to control your devices. Pretty cool?
To know more about Fin, check out this video:
Fin is Bluetooth-enabled and can connect to three different digital gadgets at a time, providing multiple device compatibility. It reads different gestures from your palm and its corresponding values control connected devices.
In addition to all the aforementioned capabilities, Fin can also help the visually challenged to interact with technology, navigate maps while driving without having to take hands off the steering wheel or share data, says the company behind it.
“It can act as universal controller for all your connected devices. Fin can have integration in industries such as healthcare, gaming, automobile, home automation, security, etc.,” shares the inventor.
The man behind this sexy tool
Rohildev NV, Founder, CEO and Innovationist, RHL Vision Technologies
Invented by an unassuming and effervescent guy, who goes by the name Rohildev NV, Fin truly has the potential to become a big startup success story.
Popularly known as Rohil, he is a young chap with big dreams, and he is doing everything possible to make his dream a reality.
Armed with a BE in Computer Science Engineering degree from Kathir College OF Engineering, Coimbatore, India, Rohil set up RHL Vision Technologies, the company behind Fin, soon after graduating in 2012. He started the company single-handedly and later added friends as partners. Now the total team size is 11.
So what inspired him to come up with Fin? “I was working with touch-less technologies since the inception of my company. What I found was that interaction with such devices requires a lot of strain, and since then, I started thinking of a technology that would make the interaction much simpler for end users,” says the Founder, CEO and Innovationist of RHL Vision Technologies.
Fin was conceptualised in mid 2013 and it took eight months for it to reach where it is today.
And where would that be?
Fin recently completed its crowdfunding initiative on Indiegogo, raising a brilliant US$202,448 in a period of two months, ending March 9, 2014. It more than doubled its goal of US$100,000, proving that the product has a lot of believers. Pre-orders are being taken right now and the company will start shipping by approximately September 2014.
The pre-order price is going at US$105, whereas it will retail for US$120. There is also a duo pack offer for US$169, which will retail for US$240. At these prices, we think it is definitely a steal!
According to its timeline on the Indiegogo page, Fin just completed hardware testing and is currently in product development and software development, which is expected to go on till May and June respectively. The manufacturing process will then end by July.
Commenting on why he chose the crowdfunding way, Rohil says, “For a hardware product to show traction and market validation, crowdfunding is the best way.”
Eighty five per cent of the crowdfunding contribution has come from the US, and understandably, Rohil says that the markets with the biggest potential for Fin are primarilty US and Europe.
Considering that Fin has been invented in Kochi, a city in South India, is India ready for a product like this? “Partially, yes. Indians are slowly coming into the wearable gadget space,” he says.
However, it has not been a smooth ride, “Getting right resources, availability of materials for prototyping and funding has been challenging,” Rohil shares.
Need million dollars, baby
And the challenges are not over yet. Rohil and his team need US$1 million for the initial set of mass production. They are currently in talks with investors, but nothing has been finalised yet. “We already have more than 20 investment offers. We will be closing on one soon,” he shares.
In terms of scaling the business, the company has received over 200+ distribution offers from across the globe. “We will be hitting the retail market with the best dealers out of them,” says Rohil.
Looks like Fin has all bases covered – right from innovation, product design, testing, demand, funding and even distribution. And considering that this is a brainchild of someone who is still in his early 20s, we cannot be anything but impressed.
Here’s wishing this gem from India all the very best.
A fun tête-à-tête with Rohil
What are the tech gadgets you cannot live without?
Smartphone, iPad, Laptop and obviously Fin.
One invention you wish you had come up with?
What do you do when not working?
Watch movies, travel, and eat
What was your first invention?
RHLcamMouse, a gestural interface for future computing. It helps you to use your computer from far.
How is Kochi as a startup market?
Kochi is a booming place for startup incubation. Startup Village is providing a lot of support to young entrepreneurs. With the right support from investors, these talents can be scaled to a global level.
What is your advice to youngsters who hesitate to take the startup plunge?
You will face a lot of challenges to chase your dream; but end of the day, it’s your dream and only you can realise it.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs