Founded by a team of IIT Kharagpur alumni (ISB dropouts) – Somnath Meher, Ankit DP & Chandrashekhar Iyer, Witworks started in 2014. With a perfect blend of product empathy in design, technology and watch craftsmanship in Blink, Witworks vision is to build one of India’s first consumer technology brand.
Built on Witworks’ own voice-based operating system, Marvin OS (an Android based operating system); Blink provides an entirely re-imagined interaction. The company claims that through Blink and Marvin OS, Witworks aim to break the myths around product design & development and push the envelope for technological innovation in the country.
Raising a Seed investment round from Fireside Ventures, Investopad, P39 Capital and a syndicated group of angels in August 2016, Blink has garnered quite an attention from every corner. Let’s find out more about Blink, as told by it’s makers to IoT India Magazine.
The brownie point: How Blink stands out from others?
What makes Blink unique is that it runs on the company’s own OS Marvin. With Marvin, the entire input and navigation has been re-imagined using a touch bezel with no screen swipes, designed specifically to be simple for a smaller 1.4-inch screen. Marvin has the capability to integrate various native & 3rd party applications. This allows Blink to run several stand-alone functions ranging from playing the music, tracking your activity, and user authentication without any dependency on the phone.
“With Blink we never wanted to build another feature packed gadget that stuffs everything on the wrist. The idea was to design an all new experience to access contextual information and services on your wrist”, said Somnath Meher, Co-Founder and CEO, Witworks.
“We believe in an App-less world, where you won’t have to use multiple applications to access multiple services. With a singular UX and a unified design language, the same interface can be retained to access everything you seek proactively (cabs, restaurants nearby, directions to navigate) and things you need to respond to (messages, notifications, mails) in a very very intuitive manner. The watch is a form factor to deliver that experience in a connected world”, he added.
The add ons:
Apart from the above features, Blink embodies the perfect blend of state-of-the-art technology. It has a 1.2 GHz processor which is almost twice that of most watches, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory, a 400×400 completely circular amoled display with over 16 million colours and watch craftsmanship.
“The outer body design has been done in association with traditional watchmakers with decades of experience of having worked with HMT and Titan at a place called Kunigal in Karnataka. The moment you see the watch, you can feel the sensibility of making classy timepieces built into its making”, said Ankit DP, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Witworks.
From idea to reality:
“With Blink we wanted to build something that could become ubiquitous in each of our everyday lives. Something that’s functional, seamless and beautiful. And at the same time, push the boundaries of technological innovation, not just in this country but by global benchmarks”, said Chandrashekhar Iyer Co-Founder and COO, Witworks.
“At the same time, a watch isn’t just another gadget you have. It means something more. You wear your watch because it represents who you are. It’s an identity. And that design sensibility needed to be built into a smarter watch as well. After a lot of conceptualization, research, trials, making and breaking stuff, and understanding what users truly need; we have reimagined the entire interaction for a wrist wearable with Blink”, he further added.
The consumer reaction and response:
“The response for Blink has been quite phenomenal”, said Somnath Meher. “Infact, people from across the world are writing to us wanting to know more about Blink and Marvin OS. The design has been appreciated by everyone who has seen it”.
The makers of the watch said that it’s an attempt by them to prove that a small start-up (and that in a set-up like India’s) can build technology and products beyond existing global benchmarks and take on the biggest technology giants of the world. They believe that the moment they roll out the first batch, it would be a giant leap for the entire ecosystem to reaffirm this belief.
Not an easy road:
No success comes an easy way. And being on the wearable industry in India which is still largely untapped, the challenges were even more.
“The biggest challenge we have been facing while building a consumer technology company in India are handling the government regulations and taxations around manufacturing and component imports. While most of the policies around these were framed for bigger traditional organizations, a small start-up like our’s operates in a very different way in terms of doing R&D and managing our supply-chain. It would require massive change at the policy level to allow a fair playing field for a smaller start-up”, said Ankit.
Other products by Witworks on the pipeline…
Chandrashekhar commented that “As we move towards a more connected world (as they call it the IoT), all devices would be connected to the web, and all services will be at your fingertips (or may be voice). And this would require re-imagining the mode of designing/developing devices and platforms to keep the experience more humane. We look forward to pioneer that. Wrist-wearables are a starting point, and we hope to be the ubiquitous across the products you see in your homes and lives.”