IMAGES BoF talks to Sumil Shah, Co-Founder, Broadcast Wearables Pvt Ltd., an AI based firm, that is creating ripples across the globe with it’s blend of technology infused fashion. It also is the parent holding of Sygnal, who has the distinction of producing the world’s first programmable, touch enabled t-shirt.
Could you please share about the concept behind your brand Sygnal?
Sygnal was conceived to tap the growing appetite of the niche consumer who aspires to stand apart from the crowd. Eyeing the mindset of our clientele, we have innovated a bouquet of unique products, most of which are the first of its kind in the world.
We are an AI based wearables company on a mission to make everyday devices smart. We created the world’s first programmable LED clothing line and haven’t looked back ever since. We now specialize in the art, science, design and in-outs of integrating electronics with fashion. Our market offerings now range from smart fitness tracking t-shirts that tracks fitness levels without using any additional device, glow LED clothing line for women, kids, smart accessories and many more. Our latest offerings are regularly updated on www.getsygnal.com
Tell us about your company, the people behind and their background.
Sygnal is part of Broadcast Wearables, our holding company. We specialise in developing cutting-edge technologies and integrate them with everyday objects using deep machine learning technology. Our team is led by Ayyappa Nagubandi, a serial entrepreneur and inventor, who has authored 12 patents and worked at the most prestigious companies in the US.
Please elaborate why and how was the idea conceived?
We have always been fashion aficionados and wanted to create a clothing line that integrates technology, and through which we could express ourselves in any way that we wanted. That is how Sygnal’s journey started and we created the world’s first touch-enabled t-shirt.
What kind of people/ businesses do you think will benefit from your concept?
Smart clothing will become a must have in everyone’s wardrobes in the near future. It is also important to understand that as computing power grows, all devices including smart clothing and accessories would become virtual computing machines that would download designs that you like and show it up.
This changes the fashion landscape and more computing will make it’s way into clothing. Businesses who foresee how technology is changing industries often tend to be early adopters and gain from the new wave of customers that adopt their products. Essentially, manufacturing and design of fashion and accessories will become more and more democratized and people who love fashion will stand to gain the most.
Tell us about your manufacturing and designing proficiencies.
We have recently launched a full-fledged manufacturing unit in Hyderabad. All the products are manufactured at our in-house facility. We are bringing in some smart automation technology to improve our processes in key production areas.
We test our technology and the endurance of our apparel before releasing them in the market. As a part of the process, we wash our clothing hundreds of times, fold it, and rough use it to ensure durabilty. Our engineering team has perfected the art and science of integrating circuits in apparel. We have an in-house design team that works on newer designs. We also partner and work with well-known fashion designers to offer our end users an awesome hi-tech fashion experience with great designs.
Tell us about your retail model. Are there any plans of launching physical stores anytime soon?
We market our products through both offline and online channels and work with distributors across the spectrum. Typically, we work with distributors to get our products to the retail stores in India and abroad. We encourage all resellers by creating a win-win model which ensures to safeguard mutual interests and growth. In the online space, we also offer a zero stock investment drop shipping model and are working towards launching our stores very soon.
What are some of the indispensable tools/ technologies that keep the whole business model of Sygnal running?
Artificial Intelligence is at the heart of everything that we do today. We also are working on numerous other technologies simultaneously to give our consumers the best experience possible. On the manufacturing front, we are working on some smart automations to help us cut down our overall time and improve efficiency.
How has the response been hitherto? Would you like to highlight any achievements that you have achieved yet?
When we launched the world’s first touch-enabled t-shirt, within the first 45 days, we had customers from 6 continents. We are growing at an average (YoY) of 300 percent and have nearly quadrupled our revenues in the last fiscal and expect to reach more. We also are receiving enormous interest from corporates and western markets alike for bulk orders.
What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
We are in the prototype stage of designing eyewear that can be worn just as we do today but do all the things that smartphones do. This is a result of application of our existing technology to a different field. All we can share for now is that we are reimagining eyewear as we know today. We also are developing a unique women’s accessories line that is totally integrated with our patented technology.