Tata To Enter Wearable Space With Fitness Trackers For Yoga Enthusiasts
Tata Group now wants to add wearables to its list. It’s developing wrist devices for two very distinct markets: Yoga enthusiasts and factory workers.
One’s a watch that tracks breathing patterns, alertness and other metrics key to practitioners of the ancient discipline. Another will detect falls or other mishaps on plant floors, and is currently being tested among crane workers at Tata Steel Ltd.
The pair of devices symbolize how the 148-year-old conglomerate is trying to place innovation at the heart of a sprawling empire of 100-plus companies, including Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd. It’s betting big on a series of emergent technologies like graphene for phones, hydrogen fuel cells and drones, though it’s starting small.
“We are going back to the basics with our yoga wearable. Users can stop many lifestyle diseases at their very onset,” said Gopichand Katragadda, group chief technology officer of Tata Sons Ltd., which finances and promotes the Mumbai-based group’s various units. “We have the technology to develop different kinds of wearables and we want to bring Made in India products into the market.”
Katragadda, formerly chairman of General Electric Co’s John F Welch Technology Center in Bangalore, became Tata Sons’ first CTO in 2014 with a mandate to transform the group.