NemoCare, an Indian wearables startup that aims to prevent neonatal and maternal deaths in the developing world, has walked away with first prize at Asia Hardware Battle 2019. Organized by TechNode with support from Shanghai Yangpu District People’s Government, the month-long competition has gathered over 300 startups from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and India, to name a few.

The longlist was narrowed down to 15 finalists who pitched to a professional judge panel that included Peter Riedl, vice president and head of BMW Group Technology Office China, Zhang Peng, chief strategy officer and executive partner of UCommune, Qin Gang, partner at Lighthouse Capital, and Ray Tsang, co-founder and managing partner of Chenhui Venture Partners.

This year’s event marks the second consecutive time that an Indian team has won, indicating building momentum in the country’s hardware sector.

“There’s a popular saying—’Hardware is hard’ [to do]. This is a difficult industry to get involved in because the hardware startups have to manage a long industrial chain that involves design, prototyping, manufacturing, marketing, and final sales,” Ray Tsang from Chenhui Venture told TechNode. “AHB is a good platform for innovative hardware startups to showcase their products and expand in the global tech innovative ecosystem,” he said.

Gold Award: NemoCare Wellness

NemoCare’s co-founder Manoj Sanker accepting the AHB Gold Award (Image Credit: TechNode)

Indian’s NemoCare won the top prize with a wearable device that can be attached to the foot of a newborn baby for continuous monitoring of necessary vital parameters. This data is used to detect apnea, hypothermia and, other distress conditions. The device would send alerts to the caregivers to provide timely intervention.

“Going forward, we are building an AI-enabled platform that works on the data being collected through the hardware. That will target specific diseases of the new borns,” Manoj Sanker, the company co-founder said.

A baby-friendly design and affordability are the product’s two major differentiators, according to the CEO. The product, launching early next year, will be priced at  ₹ 20,000 apiece on the company’s B2B platform. NemoCare is also exploring another model that would give out the hardware for free upfront and charge on the usage of consumables.

The Hyderabad-based health care startup consists of a team of IoT engineers, data scientists, biological engineers, industrial designers.

NemoCare was also the regional winner of the AHB city pitch in Bangalore, India, co-organized by local partner Revvx hardware accelerator.

Silver Award: Xenoma

A model demonstrating e-skin in the form of pajamas for the elderly (Image credit: TechNode)

The runner-up prize goes to Xenoma, the developer of smart apparel “E-skin” which is a washable and stretchy material equipped with various sensors and devices. The product could be used for tracking human movement data for posture correction, danger prevention, athlete performance, and increasing movement efficiency.

The technology has multiple application scenarios for monitoring the health condition of the elderly, tracking a baby’s sleeping conditions and monitoring how tired factory workers are, said company CEO Ichiro Amimori.

The Japanese startup has posted more than $1 million in revenue for this year so far, mainly driven by baby services. “We are monitoring over 1,000 babies every day,” he noted.

Targeting a global market, the company is expanding its business to the US, Germany, and China.

Bronze Award: Aiello Inc

Founder and CEO of
Aiello’s CEO Shen Shuwei accepting the AHB Bronze Award (Image Credit: TechNode)

Aiello’s SPOT is a voice assistant speaker designed for homes or hotels. It can help with room equipment control (lighting, TV, air-conditioning, curtains, etc.), hotel facilities service inquiries, room service, customer complaints, music streaming, VoIP voice calls, alarm clocks, Bluetooth audio, restaurants and recommendations on things to do.

Different from other consumer-facing voice assistants, Aeillo’s voice command model is trained to address the specifics demands and characteristics of the hospitality industry. Instead of processing one command at a time, like the case for most speakers, Aeillo’s system can handle multiple command intentions in one sentence at the same time.

Additionally, it’s also offering hotel and apartment operators with a comprehensive back-end management system for data analysis and business intelligence insights.

Aiello rolled out the product in October and has inked partnerships with six hotels. It plans to expand operations to provide its services in 30,000 to 50,000 rooms in future years.

The speaker is currently available with Chinese and English voice control, and is primarily aimed at the China and the South East Asia markets.

The other 12 finalists (in no particular order) include:

Baymax (Shenzhen, China): Baymax’s Pinpoint is a surgical navigation and positioning device that ensures accurate positioning of a surgical needle.

LuxCreo (Hangzhou, China): LuxCreo’s patented LEAP (light enabled additive production) technology enables printing speeds reaching 120cm/h, 100x faster than traditional 3D printers, with material properties exceeding that of traditional mass manufacturing.

Mamorio (Japan): Mamorio is a smart IoT device that works with a smartphone to prevent the loss of valuables.

SystemStone (Thailand): Vibro is SystemStone’s IoT innovation with an ultra-sensitive vibration sensor and AI capabilities. The design predicts machine failure before it happens and sends a notification to the maintenance engineer’s smartphone.

AC Biode (Japan): AC Biode builds AC batteries by providing an intermediate electrode between the positive electrode and the negative electrode. This results in improved safety, and its size is 30% smaller than DC types. The life cycle is also doubled.

Vicara Tech (India): Vicara’s “KAI” is a wearable gesture recognition platform that allows users to interact with computers, hardware, software applications, and others, using gestures.

Lazy Co (India): Lazy Co. develops AI-powered smart rings called Aina, which connect with phones via Bluetooth 5 and can serve as a remote for smartphones.

Kinexcs (Singapore): Kinexcs is a wearable medical device and analytics platform for orthopedic monitoring, patient recovery and the management of the continuum of care.

Ancsonic (Beijing, China): Ancsonic focuses on spatial ANC technology and product development.

Skinrun (Hangzhou, China): V3 intelligent skin decoder is a three-spectrum image acquisition system (daily light, polarized light, UV light), analyzing the face accurately and producing comprehensive reports.

Tsing Micro (Beijing, China): Tsing Micro’s TX210 is a chip for offline voice wake-up and noun recognition. The chip uses a reconfigurable computing architecture to support flexible and rich voice processing algorithms, rich interface, and power management.

Deocean (Chengdu, China): Deocean is engaged in applying wireless passive technology to system integration solutions.

Last but not the least, we would like to give special thanks to partner Tsinghua SEM X-elerator and Samurai Incubate for their support for holding the city competitions.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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