Watches to jewellery maker Titan has acqui-hired a Hyderabad-based start-up HUG Innovations with an aim to build all its technology expertise in-house. This is the first ever acqui-hire by the Bengaluru-headquartered firm which aims to position itself as the leading smart wearables player in the country.
As part of the deal, the 23-member team of HUG Innovations including its founder Raj Neravati will be part of Titan’s Hyderabad development centre. They will be working closely with Titan’s wearables and PAD (personal adornment devices) team based out of its headquarters in Bengaluru, focusing on smart wearables technologies.
“We will be coming up with 4-5 new products every year in the smart wearables segment,” said S Ravi Kant, CEO, watches and wearables business, Titan. The company is also open to more acquisitions in future, he added.
Untill now, Titan used to collaborate with global technology companies and start-ups to acquire technological know-how such as software and cloud storage for its smartwatches. It had earlier partnered with HP and Intel to build technology platforms for its smartwatches ‘Juxt’ and ‘Juxt Pro’.
According to the International Data Corporation, India is the third largest market for smart wearables after the US and China. In a bid to lead the smartwearables pack, Titan has so far rolled out 12 devices in the price range of Rs 800-Rs 23,000. These currently account for 10 per cent of Titan’s total watches revenue which the company plans to double in a span of three years with new and innovative offerings.
In March, Titan plans to launch its 13th smartwatch with features such as 1.2 inch full-colour touchscreen with analogue hands, activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, find phone, camera control, sleep tracking, weather and calendar alerts. The company is also exploring to produce smartwatches which would allow users to make payments with gesture control.
HUG Innovations has patents for gesture technology which can control smart lights, drones and music systems. “Apart from adding new features to devices, we will be creating an experience driven platform for Titan, where users can actually engage themselves and personalise their entire smartwatch experience,” said Neravati of HUG Innovations.