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Connecting the present and future

DC | BARKHA KUMARI
Published Nov 18, 2014, 5:40 am IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 1:41 pm IST
Neotia and Hasan are making huge leaps in the field of augmented reality
Hasan Ali Khan and Vaishali Neotia.
 Hasan Ali Khan and Vaishali Neotia.

A visit to Golconda Fort in the summer of 2012 got friends Vaishali Neotia and Hasan Ali Khan thinking about augmented reality (AR), touted then as the “technology of the future”.  

But now, in just two years, the founders of technology solution firm Merxius are  making a mark in this field and showing to the world that “India can innovate and need not wait or import technology from the West”.

Most recently, their product MARMO (Mobile Augmented Reality platform for Maintenance and Operations), won the Aegis Graham Bell Award for Innovation in Augmented Reality in New Delhi. And  the team has now been invited to showcase MARMO at the prestigious Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) Innovation Awards on November 19 in London its first international recognition.

The graduates of Vasavi College of Engineering explain what AR is and talk about that Golconda Fort outing.  

Hasan recounts, “We asked ourselves, ‘How would Golconda have looked in its full glory, its hey days? What if we could recreate that experience, that ambience virtually?”

While recreating the Golconda experience remains their pet project, unattained for the lack of powerful devices  they have taken AR to the Indian Army, marketing campaigns and talks are even on with automobile and healthcare firms.

Vaishali cites an example: “If you have an AR app on your smartphone or tablet. Holding it over, let’s say a bottle of water, can show you how the water is distilled, packed, what minerals go into it, in the form of 3D animation or videos AR is basically the overlay of digital elements onto the real world.”

It is Vaishali who does the talking with her clients, looks after marketing and hiring, while Hasan, being the chief technical officer, supervises development.

Quite naturally, evolving from being a web application firm in 2011 to offering cutting-edge technology solutions, the last three years have been hectic.  Hasan is interested in rockets but hasn’t found time to pursue it. The 27-year-old is is quite amused “by anything that shoots up into the sky”. He, however, adds with a sigh, “Yeah, I haven’t watched Interstellar yet.”

Meanwhile, Vaishali, 27, likes reading books, meditating and kickboxing when off work. Despite her crazy schedule, she has taken up management courses from time to time, such as the ISB 10,000 Women programme, Stanford Ignite Programme and Startup Leadership Programme.

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