As a student of mechanical engineering at IIT Bombay, Abhijit Patil was always interested in making machines. From a low-cost scanner and 3D printer to developing a technique to fast-track jaw surgery — by making a customised implant using 3D printing — Patil has several innovations to his credit. Thus, when a Google start-up event was held in the campus in 2014, it was the perfect opportunity for him to display his skills.
It was here that Patil met Abhishek Tomar and Pankaj Raut. Tomar was the technical director at Red Chillies Entertainment, specialising in VFX (visual effects). Raut, an electronics engineer from London’s Southbank University, worked with MIT Media Labs and iMakr on 3D printing technology. The trio formed a team, as their area of interest matched, and made a 3D fracture cast which won them the first prize. “That is when we saw we had a winning combination. I was interested in hardware, Pankaj in software and Abhishek in algorithms. Together, we wanted to create a tool that will change human life,” says Patil.
Cut to 2018, the trio is very close to achieving this dream. Their company, Dimension NXG, is the only Indian start-up to have created an augmented reality (AR) headset that is set to change the way humans see the world.
The AR headset, called AjnaLens, employs mixed reality to enable the physical and digital worlds to co-exist in real time. AjnaLens essentially creates virtual images that are displayed in the viewer’s real world, instead of displaying it on a screen.
This enables them to have a more immersive and interactive experience. In September this year, AjnaLens will be launched for enterprises, followed by a launch for consumers by 2020.
“During our brainstorming sessions, we realised that we want to take computers to the next level and develop tools to enable people to see the virtual objects in r