Nimo Beta

Nimo beta frame image

Ever since Google Glass was rolled out nine years ago, tech innovators of all sizes have tried (and often failed) to develop eyewear that could function as a computer. But Indian startup Nimo Planet saw the pandemic-driven changes in how people work and set its sights on a new user base: all those people looking to work at home, in coffeeshops or even outside—without a laptop or even smartphone.

Nearly five years after the company’s founder started building prototypes to secure funding, his team delivered a beta version of Nimo, tricked out with more than 80 percent of the features and capabilities slated for the production model. The company says the Wi-Fi-enabled glasses are the first capable of displaying up to six virtual screens at once, each displaying up to 60 inches (152 centimeters). The company also claims Nimo is the only such device that can be connected to a wireless keyboard and mouse or respond to voice commands.

“We want to use Nimo to enable people to work from anywhere without compromising their productivity,” said Rohildev Nattukallingal, founder and tech-CEO, Nimo Planet. “They can carry that workstation anywhere.”

With the prototype delivered in February, the company is now gathering feedback on the device’s comfort and user interface. The team will also look to fix any software bugs and iterate the operating system, which it designed specifically to work on the device’s low-power hardware.

“There is no operating system that we can plug in from the existing market and use on the glasses,” Nattukallingal says. “So we had to work hard to build that.”

From there, the 10-member team had to figure out how to cram so much technology into a lightweight eyewear form factor. The solution: lace nearly all of the hardware into the frame’s temples.

The project also solved a critical privacy risk. From the home screen, users can access pre-installed apps, a web browsing app and an app store. To keep data secure, the team adapted the display so that only the person wearing the glasses can see the screens.

After completing development and testing on a budget of just US$300,000, Nimo Planet plans to start selling the smart glasses later this year. But to ensure the device has staying power, the team plans to future-proof Nimo’s capabilities. Already, it’s looking for ways to make the device 5G-compatible and allow it to access cloud data and programs so users don’t have to download apps that eat up valuable storage. And Nattukallingal aims to eventually upgrade the watch so it can be a real-time health monitor, too.

While the big tech companies are “running around to build the next bigger platform,” he says, Nimo Planet is hyperfocused on glasses: “In the next 10 to 15 years, I want to replace laptops, tablets or potentially smartphones.”

Photo credit: Nimo Planet 


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