Digital Dossier looks at new and exciting tech, including AI and machine learning techniques, that start-ups are using to solve real-world problems
NeuroTags: Spotting fakes
Pune-based NeuroTags was launched in January 2017 by three techies—Nitin Gupta, Yogesh Miharia and Abhishek Agarwal. The start-up uses artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to detect anomalies and spot fakes.
Once a product is purchased, the user has access to a tag, which is protected by a scratch layer or is concealed inside the product seal. The tags are connected and protected by machine learning algorithms on the server in such a way that if anyone tries to replicate the tags, the copied product gets invalidated.
Says Nitin Gupta, co-founder, CEO and CTO at NeuroTags, “NeuroTags’ emphasis is on bringing billions of items across the merchants together to collectively fight the counterfeiting via cloud-based centralized AI-based proprietary technology."
The result, according to him, is a “powerful and intelligent anti-counterfeiting system" that becomes smarter with every passing day and learns new patterns. Other than providing solutions to businesses and consumers, NeuroTags also protects “distribution nodes in the supply chain" with its ‘Track and Trace’ technology that is integrated with the company’s “authentication" technology.
“With just a few clicks, businesses can know the location details of items, boxes, and pallets. We have a high-level map view for the executives to look at their current distribution status as well as detailed views for tracking an individual item," says Gupta.His team works with manufacturers’ packaging teams to set up the process to deploy the tags. It typically takes 3-4 weeks to put the process in motion. After that, all the modules and features are enabled with a click of the mouse, “without touching the production process ever", says Gupta.
m.Paani: Helping SMEs
m.Paani is a mass-market consumer data, engagement and loyalty company. A professional squash player, CEO and founder Akanksha Hazari, says her company’s vision is to empower local retailers and the next billion users. “At our core, we believe the future of retail is local in nature, and it just needs to be enhanced through smart, relevant technology." Towards this end, m.Paani Aapka Business Saathi is a “loyalty and marketing solution" that caters to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Hazari aims at levelling “the playing field using tech as an equalizer" to help SMEs tackle “competition from online giants and modern format stores".
Her company does that by digitizing the customer relationship management (CRM) software, using data to drive real-time insights and business decisions, and managing neighbourhood loyalty programmes. “This digital consumer relationship enables them (SMEs) to increase reach, provide better customer experience, grow business and compete. For consumers, we have built additional, meaningful value when they shop at their neighbourhood stores, where they are now able to unlock a new way to save in an offline/online type of way," Hazari explains.
The company, she adds, is building m.Paani Aapka Business Saathi into an “AI-led business growth assistant" for SMEs. “We have been fortunate to be selected as the only one among 10 companies in the world working directly with Google as part of their Studio programme, where we work directly with world-class ML (machine learning) and AI experts."
Niramai: Cancer detection
Bengaluru-based Niramai Health Analytix addresses critical healthcare problems through automated solutions. It is headed by CEO Geetha Manjunath, who has over 25 years of experience in IT research and has led many projects in healthcare and transportation, especially catering to emerging markets. Until end 2016, she was a lab director heading the data analytics research unit at Xerox India.
Niramai uses a high-resolution thermal-sensing device and a cloud-hosted analytics solution to analyse the thermal images. “Our SaaS (software as a solution) model uses big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning for reliable, early and accurate breast cancer screening. The innovative methods used in our solution have led to multiple US patents. Our novel algorithms have also been peer-reviewed in international scientific conferences," says Manjunath. Niramai’s cancer screening tool, SMILE, has been tested on more than 400 patients data from two hospitals and one diagnostic centre. Early results from these tests indicate very high accuracy that is comparable and sometimes better that mammography, claims Manjunath. “We have started two clinical trials with established hospitals to perform large scale, statistically significant clinical trials," she notes.
SocialCops: Data intelligence
Delhi-based SocialCops, founded by Prukalpa Sankar and Varun Banka, aims at helping organizations use data intelligence to make better and faster business decisions. The founders believe that while traditional data solutions focus on data visualization and advanced analytics, data solutions in emerging markets must first overcome the challenges of ‘dirty data’ before they can generate insights or drive better decisions. ‘Dirty Data’ is where standard geographic conventions or metadata standards are not followed.
The SocialCops platform comprises a software layer and a data layer. The software layer enables organizations with better tools to collect data digitally, and manage and collaborate with their internal data.
The data layer adds external intelligence to the organization’s internal data from the company’s repository of over 600 external data sources, “which measures demographics, affluence and a host of important parameters down to a 1 sq. km. grid", according to Sankar.
BabyChakra: Parenting companion
Mumbai-based BabyChakra is a parenting platform that offers pregnancy and parenting tips related to parenting. CEO Naiyya Sagi uses proprietary ML algorithms to personalise services for parents. “We have created the largest virtual ecosystem and community of support to parents as well: of other parents and healthcare and education experts. Apart from that, we have growth and pregnancy trackers customised for each parent," says Sagi.