Bengaluru-based Thinkerbell Labs, which makes Braille literacy devices for the visually impaired, is now using its technical expertise to help governments and businesses collect and analyse real-time data on COVID-19 through its new product, Chakravyuh.
Founded in 2016 by Sanskriti Dawle, Aman Srivastava, Dilip Ramesh, and Saif Shaikh, Thinkerbell Labs, previously known as Project Mudra, began its journey as an independent research project at BITS Pilani Goa.
The startup’s core product Annie, named after Helen Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan, is a literacy device that helps the visually impaired learn to read, write, and type in Braille on their own. According to the company, the product has been deployed at more than 16 locations across the country.
Amid COVID-19, the startup developed a new product. Speaking to YourStory, Co-founder and COO Aman says at present the process of contact tracing begins only when someone tests positive. The problem is that by the time contacts are traced, the affected person may have unknowingly infected others in the community.
Thinkerbell’s Chakravyuh aims to provide a solution to this problem.
“Chakravyuh deploys a connected, smart temperature measurement and analytics solution for district and state administrations, providing them with quick and comprehensive access to the information they need to pre-empt the spread of COVID-19,” Aman says.
The product was awarded a grant by Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
How does Chakravyuh help?
After a national lockdown, India is slowly opening up. Establishments such as hotels, restaurants, malls, and supermarkets routinely check the body temperature of people entering the premises.
Aman says this temperature data is not stored, analysed or reported. Chakravyuh was developed to take this data and analyse it for predicting spreading patterns.
The word Chakravyuh can be loosely translated as labyrinth, and the idea behind the product name was to help trap COVID-19 spread in a labyrinth.
The co-founder says Chakravyuh collects body temperature data at citizen touch points (CTPs) through a low-cost temperature scanner, which can convert any smartphone into an IR gun.
The hardware is used to measure body temperature and transmit that data to a smartphone; the software collects, visualises and analyses the temperature data, enabling pattern prediction to pre-empt the spread of COVID-19.
The software can also be integrated with existing temperature guns that have already been deployed via the Chakravyuh mobile app.
“Chakravyuh analyses and predicts spread patterns along with collecting metadata important for contact tracing. This data is easily integrated with dashboards in COVID-19 war rooms and allows authorities to identify high-risk zones,” Aman says.
Apart from Chakravyuh, the startup has also developed a variant, SharedSafety, which is an employee and visitor management tool to enable businesses to list and track safety measures and ensure COVID compliance. It also helps them share information with customers via live links, rebuilding loyalty with their user base amid the pandemic.
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Aman says the Chakravyuh solution can be integrated into COVID-19 war rooms for Rs 3 lakh. The total package includes access to the data collection app and the visualisation module.
While Aman refused to disclose details, he says the company is currently in talks with a few administrations for deployment of Chakravyuh in their districts.
SharedSafety is available in a subscription-based model and priced at Rs 10,000 per annum. “We are currently in conversations with gyms, salons, apartment associations, and restaurants as they open for business,” he adds.
Apart from the CAWACH grant, the startup has till date raised a total of Rs 3.4 crore in a seed funding round from Anand Mahindra, LetsVenture, and Indian Angel Network.
Speaking about future plans Aman says the startup wants administrations of the top 10 cities across the country to deploy Chakravyuh. It is aimed at making “shared safety temperature logs and compliance records a routine hygiene procedure, bypassing paperwork and aiding in tracing”.