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Designing tomorrow

india Updated: Jun 25, 2010 02:02 IST
Kiran Wadhwa
Kiran Wadhwa
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The Aaroha design show at the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) brought together innovative, futuristic designs to make your life easier. From interactive toys for children to speech translators in mobile phones, the graduate batch of the students of masters in design put their projects on show.

But do these futuristic designs have a place in the real world? “We focused on application-based designs,” said GG Ray, head of IDC. “Most of the projects have been sponsored by organisations, so the products are already beyond mere ideas.”

This year, a lot of products focus on the elderly. The Department of Science and Technology has increased focus on products for the elderly and five students at IDC have been funded entirely by them.

Designing these products go beyond just an idea to make life more convenient. A lot of research goes into understanding the target segment. “The bulk of work is understanding your audience, especially in India where the needs of people are very different from the global norms,” said Shashank Khanna, who has designed a youth mobile. “For example, abroad, youngsters lay a lot of stress on the cool factor when they buy a mobile. In India, it is more about utility.”

The exhibition will move to the Nehru Centre over the weekend, and will be open from 10 am to 5.30 pm.

Luggage design for mid-sized family

Developer: Sanjay Nair

‘Stanz’ is a four-wheeled, upright bag that allows you to pack your things in an upright position for easy access. Three separate zippered compartments ensure sufficient individual space for each family member. It is made of lightweight ABS plastic, which flexes on impact and returns to its original shape.

Speech-to-speech translator

Developer: Saurabh Srivastava

The mobile phone will be the new speech translator. Once a person says something, the software in the phone, will translate it into the language desired . The translator aims to provide a better platform for the people who are living or are going to live in an environment in which they are alien to the local language.

Learning aid for hearing impaired children

Developer: Amalendhu SP

The aim of the playing kit is to encourage students at the pre-linguistic stage (5-8 years) to learn to speak through play. It includes a card game, a board game and involves role-play. The card game is for two players and uses Hindi as a medium. It includes 16 verbs that a player needs to speak while the other guesses the word. The masks introduce various characters in the game.

Security for the elderly

Developer: Shaswath Vaidyanathan

A simple finger ring worn all the time will be embedded with a tag, which will trigger a warning system with just a touch. The system will alert either neighbours or building security. The basic aim of the product was to find the easiest way for the elderly to communicate in case they need help. Important in a city where the elderly are especially vulnerable.

Exploration in tangible story-telling

Developer: Radhika Gujar

The kit is designed to help children learn the art of storytelling. It helps them create stories with the given objects [cloth toys]. These tangible toys trigger children’s imaginations. The kit comprises a board with a magnetic sheet pasted on it. Along with the toys, there are several backgrounds for different stories. For example, children can create a story using objects in the kit such as the sun, clouds and trees.

Banking for urban low-income groups

Developer: Shashank Khanna

With technology, banks have modified their functioning but a large section of lower-income society still remains ‘unbanked’. The aim of the project was to understand the needs and cognitive potential of this user segment. The prime need of this user is easy account enrollment, credit and easy micro value transactions.