Indian augmented reality (AR) startup Tesseract has been crowned victor of Asia Hardware Battle (AHB) 2018, taking the top spot in a highly competitive grand final that took place in Shanghai’s Yangpu District on Wednesday (October 12).

AHB received over 600 applications from across nine countries in Asia. Organized by TechNode, the competition had pitching events in Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, China, and India. Just 15 startups made it to the finals in Shanghai.

Judges included Dr. Markus Seidel, head of BMW’s technology office in China; Andrew He, general manager of Bosch Smart Life Technology China; Anna Arnt, brand manager of partnerships and innovations at Volkswagen Group China; Paul Wong, VP of Emporium; and Chen Xin, general manager of Taobao Crowdfunding.

Judges assessed the startups on innovation, functionality in the market, business value and potential, sustainability of growth, technical breakthrough and innovation, and innovative design elements.

Gold Award: Tesseract

India’s Tesseract developed the Holoboard, a modular AR headset that works with any smartphone. The company makes use of its optical design and AI-enabled spacial tracking software to provide a cross-platform, multi-user holographic experience. The Holoboard uses a smartphone’s front camera along with Tesseract’s software to place a hologram in any location. The Holoboard also comes with hand-tracking and scene understanding modules that allow gesture interactions and integration with the physical world.

Silver Award: EcoWorth Tech

Andre Stolz, CEO and COO of EcoWorth Tech accepting the AHB Silver Award (Image Credit: TechNode)

Singapore’s EcoWorth Tech aims to transform liquid waste into reusable materials while protecting the environment. The company has commercialized “Carbon Fibre Aerogel” that was developed at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The material has applications in cleaning up oil spills and be integrated into already existing filtration systems. With the ability to absorb up to 190 times its weight, the sponge-like material can be re-used, and absorbed materials can be sold to create value.

Bronze Award: Triple W and Roborn Robotics

Triple W director and CFO Masanori Kobayashi and Roborn Dynamics co-founder and technical director Dr. Mark Mak accepting the AHB Bronze Award (Image Credit: TechNode)

Japan’s Triple W provides a device that uses ultrasound to predict toilet use and timing among individuals with incontinence. The company hopes the device will help those who have difficulty going to the toilet to gain more independence, reduce labor costs at nursing homes, and cut down on adult diaper expenditure. The company provides the device to both businesses and consumers and is focussing on the senior market.

Shenzhen’s Roborn Dynamics develops robots that can be controlled via motion detection. The company’s latest humanoid ME series robot can be controlled by moving your hands and fingers. The robots have a wireless range of 2km, with applications in bomb disposal. Roborn is also developing the first 5G robots in China.

Other finalists (in no particular order) include:

  • QIQ Global (Singapore): non-lithium based energy storage for sustainable shared transportation
  • BICQ Innovation (Xi’an, China): gesture control devices for robots, drones, and the entertainment sector
  • AUVI Inc (Shanghai, China): lossless online-to-offline (O2O) music platform
  • Ling.AI (Beijing, China): AI reading companion aiming to help kids find their passion for reading
  • LUCID (Taipei, Taiwan): AI-enhanced depth capture for dual camera devices
  • Kitten Planet (Incheon, Korea): Smart toothbrush and AR platform for kids
  • Atilize Digital (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia): IoT-first open hardware platform sensor hub focussing on agriculture
  • Edison Motors (Bangkok, Thailand): luxury, high-performance electric scooters
  • Neurabot and TeleLaboratory (Jakarta, Indonesia): digital laboratory platform allowing for object identification using AI and collaborative research platform
  • Hachi Tama (Tokyo Japan): smart cat health litter box for detecting symptoms of chronic kidney disease in cats
  • Fabheads Automation (Chennai, India): carbon fiber 3D printing for fabrication with no manual intervention

Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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