Thursday, February 18, 2010

LACS to make real-time interactive-information-access on-the-move a reality

BANGALORE, INDIA: Imagine that one could watch live streaming cricket matches or their favorite television serials on a mobile platform that has a larger screen than mobile phones, has touch screen technology, is small enough to carry in one’s pocket, and most importantly, is available at very affordable prices.

Such type of technologies, services or devices, which are usually a stuff of ‘James Bond’ movies, will very soon be available for everyone to own, in India, for the first time, and before the rest of the world. In today’s scenario, when awareness towards access for real-time information and media content is increasing, such technology is yet to penetrate the Indian market and offer a platter of convincing on-demand and infotainment services to the common man. Consider the following examples:

* On daily commuter traveling, the user could access traffic updates live from the LACS community of users to plan the route/trip for the day. A regular commuter, while stuck in traffic, could tap an icon/button on the vehicle’s TID music system to send out an automatic jam-buster. This message goes out to the all the radio stations and his/her community of contacts as an SMS stating, “Stuck in a jam at such-and-such location/road, will be delayed by so many minutes.” The LACS in-built server functionality will have already calculated the estimated time of arrival to the destination that the user prefers to reach. This particular feature is LACS’ approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.

* If a housewife is busy shuttling between her kitchen and the TV in the hall (to catch up with her saas-bahu serials), instead she could use a connected Touch Infotainment Device. She could simply affix such a device onto her kitchen cabinet, close to the cooking area, and not miss either cooking or her favorite TV show.

* If a regular bus commuter/passenger, wants to pass his/her time by watching a movie or some song videos, he/she can do so by using a Touch Media Devices to play stored media content (up to 32GB storage).

* If a professional has GPRS and Bluetooth on the mobile phone but can’t really use the small mobile phone screen for browsing the Internet, he/she can pair one of our TMD/TID units with his/her phone using Bluetooth and surf the internet on a larger touch screen.

* If a person is driving and will not be able to take calls while driving (for safety purposes), such devices can be affixed on the car dashboard/windscreen, and paired with his Bluetooth phone. If he receives a call on the phone, any music being played through the device (which is connected to car music system) will pause and the call will be taken over by the car’s music system at the touch of a finger (on the TMD or TID). The music will continue after the call is ended.

A Bangalore based start-up, LACS, is all set to make the above a reality for the Indian consumer. Lakshmi Access Communications Systems Pvt Ltd (LACS) is the Wireless Infomedia Services division of the Multi-Crore Devraj Group of Companies. This group has evolved over six decades systematically expanding its portfolio of products and services through subsidiary companies.

LACS, earlier known as Sagar Info Distributors Pvt Ltd, had evolved from plain IT distribution towards Wireless Infomedia Services (for enterprise and retails segments).

LACS, in its previous avatar was involved with IT distribution for the HP range of consumer products across India, for over four years. As a direct result of needs in its operational environment, LACS entered the Telematics domain as an enterprise customer. However, noticing the lack of standardized approaches to providing such solutions and services, the core team at LACS decided to investigate and research this domain.

On significant assessment and analysis of the telematics industry, LACS made this move of redefining such solutions and services aimed at the retail consumer and to evolve this technology to the next level, creating the new domain of Wireless Infomedia Services.

Wireless Infomedia Services (WIS) leverages the potential across a variety of technology domains ranging from telecommunications, telematics and digital broadcasting, on a single platform to deliver a wide array of services for an end consumer, at affordable prices.

LACS’ approach to introducing WIS to the retail consumer opens up a new world of product and services sales for Retailers across the country.

Speaking about the LACS range of products and services, Mahendraa Kumar D. Jain, CEO, says: “LACS products offer a whole host of features ranging from utilitarian, infotainment, connected and location based services, entertainment such as games and social networking. LACS is set to revolutionize the market for location access information services on a wide range of platforms. The service aims to empower the Indian consumer to access interactive information on-the-move across products such as Mobile Infotainment devices, Automotive Interactive devices and multiple level security devices for vehicles and other requirements.”

Elaborating on the concept of WIS, Sharat Satyanarayana, Director, Marketing & Services explained about the evolution of the ‘Fourth Screen’: “On average, every consumer has access to three screens on a daily basis, starting with the TV, the computer screen and finally the mobile phone. However, there are a number of situations where consumers would not be in a position to access one of these specific screens despite having a need or want. This is where the LACS range of Touch Media (TMD) and Touch Infotainment (TID) Devices allow consumers to have all of the above screens in a single device operating on a single platform, without necessarily replacing any of the 3 gadgets themselves. LACS’ offerings will complement the consumers daily needs for information, entertainment and connectivity.”

Jain further added: “Our flexible business model will make us an effective and efficient service provider. With our diverse channel management strategy we will appoint as many as 35 Branchisees across the country”. He said, “The product is for every one of us and it is designed with the Indian user in mind; it is very rugged and some of its functionalities are crucial for the common man.”

Satyanarayana added: “The key challenge of this business is deployment and distribution of telco-grade services, as the products will subsequently be available with a host of on-demand infotainment services provided by LACS. WIS is just being introduced and is in its nascent stage in India. LACS intends to make this a profitable, growth oriented business with technology as an enabler. LACS is expanding its footprints across India to cover tier-I, tier-II and tier-III cities along with the metropolitan markets.”

LACS will be introducing these unique products and services to the Indian retail consumer through five different retail verticals: IT distribution, telecom products channels, automotive accessories sales, large format retail/modern trade and consumer electronics.

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