A (Blu)Armor To BreakBikers’ Communication Barriers

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Remember chattering away with your travel companions while in a car? How would that ever be possible on a road trip while riding to a picturesque location on bikes during the holidays? Well, BluArmor has come up with an incredible solution to an age-old but ignored issue. Read on to figure out how to get yapping with your biker buddies on your next bike trip.

Be it a road trip from Mumbai to Goa or riding to Ladakh via NH1D, every biker gang has a dedicated list of accessories to make their riding experience more enjoyable. The Bengaluru based startup BluArmor has come up with a new device that offers car-like intelligence for two-wheeler riders to make road trips for every biking enthusiast more enjoyable.

BluArmor’s C30 (left), and C30 attached to a helmet (right)
BluArmor’s C30 (left), and C30 attached to a helmet (right)

Incorporated in 2017 by founder and CEO Sundararajan Krishnan PK, BluArmour has designed an intercom device called C30 that can be attached to motorcycle helmets to offer total connectivity to the rider’s phone and vehicle as well as other riders in the group, up to a distance of 1.2km, allowing a group of bikers to communicate with each other.

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Launched in November 2022, after two years of development, the printed circuit board assembly of the C30 comprises two radios simultaneously operating in the same frequency band without interfering with each other. One radio connects to the rider’s mobile phone while the second radio connects the rider to their group. The device supports a Bluetooth connection to the rider’s phone. The firmware includes proprietary algorithms for mesh intercom, noise suppression, audio mixing, over-the-air firmware updates, and speed based volume control.

BluArmor’s RIDEGRID mesh intercom connects multiple devices (up to 20) at the same time over a mesh and offers long-range communication while coexisting with music and phone calls. Its universal Bluetooth intercom connection RIDELYNK allows two devices to connect over 50 metres, making it ideal for a rider and pillion connection. It can be used to connect to a non-BluArmor device as well. Both channels operate in the same frequency band.

Explaining the uniqueness of the product, PK adds, “The fact that it can simultaneously support all of these connections is what is unique about the device. The rider connects with their riding group through the mesh intercom and to the bike via a BLE connection that coexists with Bluetooth classic connection. Each of these aspects has a technology of its own, but what is unique is that you have it all on one device.”

The C30 features a 1000mAh lithium-polymer battery and offers more than 16 hours of overall usage on a single charge. “The device takes about one hour to charge from 10% to 90% and 1 hour 40 minutes to charge from 0% to 100%, with a standby time of up to 90 days. In terms of battery life, we get 16+ hours, if the rider is playing music at full volume. Our customers tell us that they have been able to complete a Bengaluru-Goa-Bengaluru round trip on a single charge,” explains PK.

The product, which is the first of its kind in India, is also manufactured and sold by other companies, such as SENA in North America and Europe, at a relatively higher price of around $350 and for ₹35,000 in India. BluArmor has priced its product at ₹11,000 for the Indian market. Explaining the marketing plan, PK says that through the C30 the company intends to deliver a very premium experience to its early adopters and prepare the market for mass adoption. The company is also working with two-wheeler original equipment manufacturers to white-label its products to get the product into the larger market.

Co-founder Srinivasan Chakravarthy (L) with founder and CEO Sundararajan Krishnan PK (R)
Co-founder Srinivasan Chakravarthy (L) with founder and CEO Sundararajan Krishnan PK (R)

The design of the embedded hardware and firmware and the development of the mobile application happens at the company’s facility in Bommasandra, Bengaluru. The company has partnered with Mysore based electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company Kaynes Technology for the PCB assembly. The final product assembly and end-of-line testing happen at the Bengaluru facility itself. The company is currently seeking to partner with testing and measurement companies for its end-of-line testing, and competitive EMS partners as well. The company has been funded by Athera Venture Partners (formerly known as Inventus Capital India) and Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Fund (KITVEN).

Sharing valuable insights with EFY regarding his learnings from the challenges faced while developing the product, PK says, “When you launch a completely new technology in a mature market like India, you end up investing so much capital in educating the customer that it is near impossible for a startup to sustain itself. So it is important to at least operate in a space where the Indian customer is aware of the product you’ve built. The startup should not be counting on getting the customer educated with respect to the product offering and then selling it.”

With more than 2,000 customers since the product’s launch, the company is busy expanding its sales and taking feedback from existing customers to come up with the next generation of products with a pricing range that spans from entry to premium levels.

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Yashasvini Razdan
Yashasvini Razdan
Yashasvini Razdan is a journalist at EFY. She has the rare ability to write both on tech and business aspects of electronics, thanks to an insatiable thirst to know all about technology. Driven by curiosity, she collects hard facts and wields the power of her pen to simplify and disseminate information.

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