4 June, 2013
It’s always nice to find teams across Asia that are working on very different problems from the usual mainstream mass market variety like chat apps. And I’m especially keen on startups that are looking at hardware and software solutions, like Setech Viet or Misfit Wearables who are looking ahead to the ‘internet of things’. So Penta is an especially cool company out of Thailand that combines hardware and software into the Penta box.
The $150 Penta box, as Mimee from Thumbs Up wrote in January, is basically a set top box that runs on Penta’s own operating system (built on top of Linux) and can plug into any screen. Thus, Penta works closely with companies to design new ways that it can be used in commercial, educational, and other undiscovered settings. The applications of the device, according to founder Jay Jootar, spans many industries and uses already:
"Such as in classrooms, where you have a screen in front of the class with a lesson or games, then students with a tablet can interact with each other and the teacher. Another application is digital signage. One of our partners built an augmented reality digital signage with Penta connected to a screen and camera. People can walk in front of the screen and the digital signage will interact with them. They can try their clothes in front of a store with the screen."
Jay says that he got into this business because of his background in working at a telco. He realized that telcos need to offer more services on top of their pipes to differentiate themselves from other telcos.
So far, Penta has received about $2.5 million of initial funding and will be releasing its next product in the next few months.
Posted on Tech in Asia