This post originally appeared on PakWired on August 11, 2014 by Saman Saleem Farooqi
What is XGear?
XGear is an interesting solution to connect you with your car. Increasingly, the world is becoming more and more interconnected. We are now accustomed to being able to use our smartphone for every possible activity from the basics such as cameras, music players and on the go workspaces, to things like monitoring calories and heart rates, to live security camera footage and as instant scanners.
XGear takes this necessity a step further and allows for a detailed connection with your car allowing data to be sent regularly to a device of your choice regarding engine health as well as usage statistics and feedback on how you drive.
The company’s vision is to “empower you to take informed decisions and be an amazing driver”
How it Works
The device connects to your car through the OBD port which is usually located under the dashboard. Regular data can now be sent to your phone or your laptop through the accompanying application which will be available across phone platforms. Among the benefits offered is information on scheduled maintenance events that can help prevent breakdowns and unnecessary wear and tear. The product also claims to be able to give you an analysis of your driving style and make suggestions on changes such as a reduction of idle time that can help optimize fuel usage by up to 10 percent. This feedback on driving will also be used to coach in an attempt to reduce the possibility of an accident.
General information provided will include things such as detailed trip histories, car start up, shut down and idle times. Live tracking will be made available to monitor driver actions, any incidents and car performance, a feature that will be of great use to car fleet managers for different organizations or even a cautious parent.
Another additional benefit is the attempt to turn driving into a gaming experience of sorts, where there is an online space to share any achievements and win rewards.
Who will it work for?
Every vehicle manufactured in the US after 1996 has the requisite data port needed for installation. It is not clear how large the base of potential users may be in other parts of the world. The device can simply be plugged in and be ready to work. The manufacturers have tested this on different car makes and have also selected a focus group to test the product out as early adopters. Members of this group are based in different locations worldwide to allow more in-depth and varied information.
The small team behind XGear is largely Pakistani and the product has been primarily developed in Pakistan. In their own words,
“We are three people who manage the core operations at One Step Solutions (the company behind XGear), Ahmed Khalid, Usman Khawaja and Kamran Shahid. We are a small team trying to change the world, we believe a few great people can make a big difference.
Ahmed is an engineer by education, a researcher with profound passion about cars and a visionary entrepreneur by profession. Usman has over 8 years of experience in developing enterprise business system, web and mobile applications. Kamran has extensive development experience of Microsoft Technologies and Native Mobile Applications.”
The company behind this enterprise is One Step Solutions, which is a technology startup. One Step Solutions aims to simplify the way people live their life and through XGear it seems to be on its way towards this goal. The company’s previous work seems to mostly be in web design. With XGear, there may be the opportunity to enter new areas and markets.
Awards and Accolades
Though the product is still in startup stage with preorders being offered, it has been creating a significant buzz in the market. XGear has been mentioned in lists of startups to watch for by blogs such as Techjuice and websites such as Tech in Asia. The company also received a P@SHA ICT Award in 2013 in the Green and Sustainable IT category.
The launch date for XGear has been pushed forward and there appears to be an effort underway to raise the capital necessary to properly launch the product. The business was listed on Indiegogo, a crowd funding platform with a target of 10,000 dollars. With a little over half raised, the campaign was closed. It remains to be seen when this promising start-up will turn into a promising business.