Improving rider safety with Headsup
All startups aim to make their users’ life easier, but it’s all the more powerful when it can address important issues like safety as well. Revsmart Technologies’s inaugural product Headsup does just that, as the idea behind the audio device–which is attachable to any helmet–stemmed from the founder Sunder Jagannathan’s own experience as a motorcycle rider. We spoke with the Jagannathan about his Bengaluru-based startup and how he hopes to transform rides into a smarter and more connected experience.
JS: We’re here with Sunder, the Founder of Revsmart, and today we’re going to be talking about Headsup. I’ll let him tell us a bit more.
RS: Hi, I’m Sunder, CEO and Founder of Revsmart Technologies. We’re building this product that attaches on any helmet and produces sound using vibrations. The vibrations are transmitted through the shell of the helmet, which allows riders to listen to communication, navigation, and music without compromising on safety.
JS: How did this area come about?
RS: As a rider myself, I’ve had bad experiences using headphones, and once just missed an accident. This is an issue for many riders because it’s quite irritating to use headphones. We wanted to solve this problem and provide an audio experience you have in cars to riders or even sports enthusiasts.
JS: What kind of problems did you encounter during the R&D process, as this is a product that we don’t come across every day.
RS: There were a lot of challenges from the beginning and it wasn’t just with the design process. We had to put together a large number of prototypes for different helmets to refine the audio quality, so it’s been a lot of work in the past one and a half to two years. But we’ve had a great support system during this phase, which has been really helpful.
JS: Are you planning to develop this product to various ranges or are you looking to focus on the helmet?
RS: It’s been great being at the fair because we’ve heard a lot of amazing feedback. We were surprised ourselves to hear about where this product could go. For example, some people wanted to use this for bicycles, some people wanted to use this for skiing, so it’s been quite exciting for us. Also, this device can be used as a tabletop speaker, too.
JS: I heard earlier that this is a family-run business. Can you share a bit more about that?
RS: Our head of product development is my Dad. He has over 25 years of experience in design and development. I handle business development and operations, my wife helps with design and development. We have a separate team that helps with mobile app development and software support. My Mom is also involved in team activities and operations.
JS: Sounds like a great team. So what can we expect from Revsmart in 2019?
RS: We are planning to launch Headsup in 2019, around January. Pre-orders are open and you can order it directly through the website. We are expanding to multiple regions, we are looking for distributors, and we are looking for investors to grow the business globally.
JS: Looks like there are a lot of exciting things coming up. Lastly, how has your experience at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair been?
RS: Being at the Electronics Fair gave us a lot of exposure to distributors, partners, retail partners, and even some pre-sales or people who are ready to buy the product upfront. One good thing is, as a hardware startup, it’s hard to find like-minded people, so this is a great place for hardware startups to be in because it gives exposure all around.