For a tech solutions company that was established in 2002, Bankim Chandra, who is the chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Dotsquares, made his bet very early on. The way things have been unfolding in the space of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and augmented reality (AR), over the past few months, he’s been proved right.
In the last 21 years, Dotsquares has developed it all. Apps for Blackberry phones (when they were a big deal), extensively using artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), being a Microsoft gold partner, summit partners with Salesforce and bronze partners with Adobe, to name a few.
“We touch base with various technologies popular in the world. One of the focus areas has been around custom development,” says Chandra, while speaking with HT ahead of the 2023 edition of the London Tech Week technology showcase.
He cannot yet reveal the name of the automaker Dotsquares is working with due to contractual obligations, but the solution they’re working on is to “gamify” automobile manufacturing as a process, by adding a fun but competitive element on the factory floor.
“This year, we have called it the year of kaizen with Dotsquares, which are the Japanese principles for efficiency,” says Chandra. Dotsquares, though it is a UK based company, has opened a new development centre in Jaipur.
That is going to feed a lot of the development for a tech company that not only has current partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, Salesforce, Google and Shopify, but currently works with or has already delivered projects for Fujitsu, Honda, Saint-Gobain and JustEat, to name a few.
“The cultural ethos we have at Dotsquares, is about how to be efficient around programming work and our communication channels” he says, before adding, “I personally feel there are millions of programmers all over the world, but how you deliver it, how you communicate with the clients, and the tools which you use, matter. And that’s where we feel Dotsquares are very different.”
Has being based in the UK been an advantage? Chandra believes so. “I personally feel the connection between India and UK is the best in the world, whether it’s the time zone, whether it’s travelling, weather and culture,” he says. “Of course, we have clients in the US . The West Coast working with India is a big-time difference. We have our office in Melbourne, that is not as suited as India and the UK is we have got teams working according to different time zones to suit it,” Chandra adds.
Much like the most of us, Chandra too is enthusiastic about the prospects of generative AI but remains cautious. He says the development and implementation will have to be done very carefully. He talks about how Dotsquares is using generative AI chatbots too, using an e-commerce example, where the client needs short and long descriptions for certain products on sale.
“Though the usage of ChatGPT, we can put the right keywords and ask ChatGPT to generate a short description a long description. It goes for approval to the client, they make changes to it, and it can be done much quicker,” he says. That is a lot of time saved.
Apple, earlier this month, announced the new Apple Vision Pro augmented reality headset, which goes on sale early next year, but potentially completely revolutionises the AR space for consumers. By eliminating the need to keep a screen a few inches from your eyes, such as a smartphone, Apple has sorted one of AR’s biggest inconveniences.
The scope of potential is incredibly wide. A work computer replacement, a communications device, live sports streaming, watching movies akin to the theatre experience and even a gaming device, this evolution of AR does all this, a bit more comfortably than usual.
“I think all these good technologies would work better if there’s a good connectivity. I personally feel on the network and the connectivity side of things a lot more improvement required,” points out Chandra. He cites the example of how at a Gartner symposium he’d attended in Barcelona around seven years ago, Internet of Things (IoT) was pitched as the next big thing. “The forecast indicated we will be surrounded by billions of IoT devices in a couple of years’ time. I think connectivity has led them down,” he says.
Chandra hopes the new AR evolution will be useful for e-medicine, where a doctor is able to assess a patient the way he would in physical presence, but virtually. But there is definitely the fear that the evolution of such realistic virtual technologies, is reducing human interaction in the society at large.
“What you’re seeing is the human interaction side of things and unfortunately, it is reducing. We are noticing that in young people, who are a lot more in touch with the topic of social media and the various apps which we all have on our phones. The mental pressure and mental happiness is much required in order to be working productively high, and it is still a thing in India,” he says.
There are examples of how every industry is looking at ways of deploying AR and VR. The recent Indian Premier League cricket tournament is an example, with Reliance Jio’s AR headset promising an immersive experience of a cricket match, as if the viewer is sitting in the stadium.
We asked Chandra if business have begun demanding extra use of AI or AR tools for solutions being custom built for them. The answer is affirmative, at least in some cases.
“We build a lot of digital platforms, and the experience is very important for the user. What happens within the background of them is really AI and ML. A tool which we are working with a customer at the moment that works on AI and ML too, makes the search results much quicker. The refined search is exactly what you’re looking for,” he says, unable to reveal more on the details of this upcoming product.
“It’s definitely happening and will happen a lot as we get more intelligent and powerful with the use of technology and different programming languages,” Chandra believes.