Ideas, ideas and more ideas. For students of technical institutes across the country, it was a race to come up with the most innovative ways to simplify day-to-day life.
Students had to come up with innovations in cloud computing, human-machine interface, and the Internet of Things as a part of the recently held Ericsson Innovation Awards India 2016 at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. Three winning teams will get financial support of Rs. 13 lakh each to incubate their projects.“The three winners will be provided financial support of `13 lakh each towards incubation of the winning projects.The students need to incubate their projects at IIT approved technology business incubators. They will be mentored by Ericsson during the incubation phase. The patents for their innovation remain with the students,” says Paolo Colella, head of region India, Ericsson.
Let’s take a look at what the winners did.
Making security surveillance safe and cheap
Students from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani designed a device for secure, private, cheap and efficient security checks at various places including banks, defence areas and other high security areas.
Chandradeo Arya, one of the team members said, “Currently applied systems based on face, fingerprints, iris recognition have certain limitations. In fingerprint systems, for instance, you have less privacy of data and your fingerprint can be re-developed and used to gain access to your system. Similarly, face recognition requires good lighting condition, and iris based systems are too costly.” Arya had seen how a Microsoft Kinect sensor tracked a person’s movements and realised its potential to track and recognise movement, body features like the height and length of different body joints. So he, with friends Anuj Bansal and Honney Goyal created a prototype using the Microsoft Kinect sensor that can enable security surveillance by recognising a person based on their way of walking, length of body joints, enabling a better and robust system with full privacy and security.
The only cost involved in creating this prototype was the price of the Microsoft Kinect sensor, which was `10,000. “The final product will be cheaper and more accurate. We need to improve its correctness by improving the algorithm currently being used. We also need to make a customised infrared sensor for better tracking,” says Arya.
Communicating at speed of light
Now, if you are unable to view the status of your train on the railway information display LCD board, don’t panic. The light from LED bulbs around you at the railway station will help you transmit all the data on the display board to your smartphone or laptop. All you need to do is plug a USB dongle to your electronic device, if you are within a range of four metres from the nearest ceiling light bulb.
Four third year students of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay have designed an information broadcasting device (termed beacon) that allows you to transmit information on the nearest digital display boards to your smartphones and laptop using visible light.
Not just a railway station, the students aim to set up this technology at public spaces such as shopping complexes, museums, auto-expos where there is a need for indoor navigation and localised information broadcast.
This is how it works – Every LED bulb will have an electronic module, containing the information, attached to it. Users can access all the information on their laptop or smartphones, by plugging in a USB dongle in their handheld devices. Information is basically encoded in the subtle changes of light intensity which the human eye cannot perceive. So what one gets is an illumination device (LED bulb) which doubles up as information broadcaster.
Dheeraj Kotagiri, Rishabh Gupta, Sambhav Jain and Nithin Murali designed a prototype of both the transmitter to be connected to the LED bulbs and the USB dongle that can receive the information being broadcast with the help of light around it.
“The aim of our project is to help solve the problem of Indoor Navigation and localised information broadcasting using a disruptive communication technology known as visual light communication. We found many benefits of this over conventional RF based technologies such as bluetooth and wifi. Due to larger available bandwidth in the visible spectrum, higher data rates and user capacity can be achieved. Also it’s more secure and cost effective,” says Kotagiri.
The most important aspect of this project is that any LED bulb can be converted into a beacon by connecting transmitter module to it which opens us to nearly limitless opportunities.
According to the estimates, the cost of the final product will be `500 for the transmitter LED bulbs. “We intend to form a start-up in the field of indoor navigation and location based localised information broadcasting in the near future as we see a huge business opportunity in this field.”
IIT BHU student innovation to help reduce road accident deaths
A ‘smart helmet’ designed by four Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University students can help keep drunk drivers off the road. It’s integrated with the two-wheeler and once worn by the rider, it analyses whether he/she has an allowable alcohol breath level for riding the vehicle. In case of an accident, the helmet will help send the victim’s location to the ambulance, inform family members and also connect to a cloud server that will offer him/her the necessary medical help immediately.
“This helmet will not only keep the riders safe but also pedestrians who might otherwise become victims of drunk driver. “The features of our product will help reassure parents that their children are being monitored when they take two-wheelers out on roads,” says Naman Singhal, one of the team members.
The helmet is unique to the two-wheeler as the vehicle cannot be started without it, making it theft-proof says the team, comprising Shubham Jaiswal, Rishabh Babeley, Devendra Gupta and Jagjeet Shyamkunwar.
This helmet, named ‘saviour’ by the team will be sold through the channel of showrooms in Delhi, to start with.