They changed the way India voted. Now they might redefine the way you use energy at home, bachelors cook a meal, the visually challenged view animation and Mumbai’s suburban railway stations manage chaos.
The Indian Institute of Technology’s (IIT) Industrial Design Centre (IDC) is already attracting investors with its new flush of designs created by students. Bharat Electronics Limited took up IDC’s electronic voting machine (EVM) idea and mass-produced the gadget to be used first in 1998 elections.
This time around, one finds a household cylinder on which you can read the gas level, a mobile phone for your grandmother which sends automated messages every time her pressure dips and a personal water vehicle on the students’ list of creations.
“Some of these solutions are sought after internationally as well. We would be delighted to take up their ideas, and if they fit well with our strategies, we will be more than willing to set up pilots with them,” said
Banmali Agarwala, executive director, strategy and business development, Tata Power Co Ltd.
“Anything that has to do with the environment has a lot of demand, and because expenses are low if it is from India, the process is cheaper.”
IDC has found a partner in Funskool, the toy company which will launch 10 games developed at IIT.
Apart from Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, many venture capitalists too are considering buying their ideas.
“Of the 500 ideas we consider, we can pick only a couple based on how big the market is, whether or not the team will deliver and how much they can differentiate their product,” said Alok Mittal, managing director of Canaan Partners.
Identifying the ‘need-gap’ and bridge it is the challenge for the students. “We try to develop ideas that could eventually come to use,” said Shruti Agarwal, IDC student.