A year ago, we profiled Broadcast Wear, a Hyderabad-based startup that designed what it claims to be world’s first programmable, touch-enabled T-shirt that can change designs and slogans according to our choice. For the unique invention, the startup successfully raised over US$117,000 through crowd-funding platform Indiegogo in July last year.
The startup, founded in 2016 by veteran serial entrepreneur Ayyappa Nagubandi, is now set to take the wearables industry to the next level, with a host of new tech-enabled fabric.
“Ever since our campaign went live on Indiegogo, we have been busy with not only creating prototypes and getting ready for the production of the Broadcast T-shirt, but also with creating more wearables that will disrupt the fashion and technology markets,” said Nagubandi. “After extensive research, we have now developed competencies in merging technology with textiles. In addition to touch-enabled clothing, we have created reflective clothing and interactive clothing,” he added.
Over the past few months, the startup launched a series of new tech-enabled clothing, that include a Facebook ‘Like’ T-shirt, where you can display the number of ‘Likes’ you get on your Facebook page that keeps updating itself in real-time; a T-shirt that displays the number of steps you have walked; and a safety jacket that is paired with a sensor and a battery to take in information about daylight and switch itself on the moment it gets dark.
In addition, a line of an light-emitting clothing was also launched. Christened Jaltee — an acronym in which each alphabet represents the name of an inspiring person who brought in revolutionary changes to the world (Steve Jobs/Isaac Asimov/LinusTorvalds/Nikola Tesla/Thomas Edison/Albert Einstein) — this clothing fuses technology with everyday clothing.
“Lined with LED and ELD wires, we create light-emitting clothing for every occasion and every reason. Jaltee is our line of clothing that glows. The clothes are embedded with ELD wires that make designs glow at the press of a button. This is water proof and comfortable to wear,” Ayyappa elaborated.
Nagubandi said the company is now on the verge of rolling out a new line of clothing that he believes will revolutionise the wearables industry.
“The world is moving fast, and technology is moving faster. Up until five years ago, we were busy gushing over how amazing 5 MP cameras were on smartphones. And today, we have gadgets that can tell us practically everything about our daily lives (and can be worn) — from how fit we are, to what stuff is in whatever it is that we eat, to flying robots, to moving around on automatic wheels unsupported,” he said.
“In a world that is becoming increasingly aware, we, at Broadcast Wearables, have come up with an unprecedented clothing line. Christened Sygnal Fitness T-shirt, this is not like anything you’ve ever owned before. It pairs up with an app to tell you exactly the number of steps you’ve walked, the number of floors you’ve climbed, and the number of calories you’ve burnt. Additionally, it also helps you navigate in and around town without having to resort to maps or the navigation on your phone. It will simply vibrate on the shoulder to tell you the direction you should be going in,” he explained.
The Sygnal fitness t-shirt’s accompanying app tells you exactly the number of steps you’ve taken all day – whether it is during your morning/evening walks, the number of steps you take in office, or walking around in your house. It can also navigate you effortlessly without you having to resort to maps or your mobile’s navigation to see whether you are on the right track. The t-shirt will vibrate slightly on your shoulder to inform you the direction in which you need to turn to get closer to your destination.
Sygnal’s technology is not only water proof, but is washable as well. If your T-shirt gets dirty, just chuck it into the washing machine, and the electronics will not be damaged in any way. Ayyappa claims that its battery lasts long .
“We are also coming up with a tech-enabled jersey for cyclists which can be used even in the night. This is a gesture-based clothing. The cyclist can use gestures to give signals to other cyclists/vehicles near him/her to inform them about his/her next move. For instance, if the cyclist is about to take a left turn, he can wave his left hand, and the lights on the left-hand side of the T-shirt will glow.”
The company is now working on a wearable mobile phone. “I cannot share more details about this, as it involves a lot of IP. This is not going to be another smartwatch, but a clothing which doubles as your phone. We plan to launch it in one year down the line,” Nagubandi said.
Broadcast Wear’s cloths consist of tiny LEDs that connect with the accompanying app to give you complete control over what you wish to say. These sensors are waterproof and have been made with keeping the comfort in mind. This means, they don’t pinch or hurt.