8th January 2015
Ford to pilot share-car project in Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Jan 7 (IANS) Automotive major Ford Wednesday announced that it would pilot a share-car project here to create a model for easy vehicle sharing among small communities such as office workers, apartment dwellers and families.
“We will test the sharing concept in Bengaluru that would allow small groups, such as co-workers, apartment dwellers and families to share a vehicle among multiple drivers,” the company said in a statement on its smart mobility plan and 25 global experiments, it flagged at the ongoing 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the US.
The share-car approach will help consumers who can’t afford a car but want benefits of owning one.
“Our researchers plan to develop a model for vehicle scheduling and managing ownership,” Ford chief executive Mark Fields said.
Noting that the experiments were designed to change the way the world moves, Fields said the auto major would test new ideas and address growing transportation challenges.
“We are driving innovation in every part of our business to be a product as well as a mobility company and, ultimately, to change the way the world moves just as our founder Henry Ford did 111 years ago,” Fields said.
Of the 25 experiments, eight will be conducted in North America, nine in Europe and Africa, seven in Asia and one in South America, as they are designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation ecosystem.
“We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion, and people share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute,” Fields said.
The experiments will address four global megatrends – explosive population growth, an expanding middle class, air quality and public health concerns and changing customer attitudes and priorities, which challenging today’s transportation model and limiting personal mobility, especially in urban areas.
20TH SEPTEMBER 2014
Bihar toilet project founder is $1,00,000-
global award finalist
US Northwestern university environmental engineering graduate Anoop Jain, who started a project for greater toilet access to the residents of a Bihar village, is one of two Indians among the four finalists for a $1,00,000 global citizen award.
The award will be presented next week at a function in the iconic central park of the US city of New York next week, to be attended by visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Apart from Jain, Swapnil Chaturvedi is the other Indian finalist for the Waislitz global citizen award which is presented to an individual who meets the criteria of global citizenship, impact, innovation and potential.
Other VVIP guests expected to be present include UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.
According to the organizers of the event, Modi will highlight the need to bring an end to open defecation in India.
Jain and Chaturvedi have been shortlisted for the award for their efforts to improve sanitation facilities and increase public access to toilets.
Chaturvedi is the founder of ‘Samagra Sanitation’ which focuses on providing sanitation services to the urban poor. Since March 2013, ‘Samagra’ is implementing its sanitation engagement platform called ‘Loo Rewards’ in two urban slums of Pune.
Jain founded ‘Humanure Power’ (HP) in Bihar in 2011 that has been building community sanitation facilities at Sukhpur village in Supaul district of north Bihar.
‘Humanure Power’ opened its pilot community sanitation facility on July 10 this year with 20 toilets total – 10 for men and 10 for women. Since then, “it has already over 17,000 users, while hygienically disposing of 8 tons of human excreta”.
Utilizing a $30,000 award won in Dell’s Social Innovation Challenge in 2012, Humanure has set out to build community blocks of toilets that convert human waste into energy, charging 12-volt batteries for household use.
“Humanure Power continues to fight alongside communities to end outdoor defecation as a key step in an ongoing struggle for health equity and social and economic justice”, said a note published on its website last month.
The Waislitz global citizen award seeks “to honour an individual who embodies and exemplifies the values and practices of a global citizen, has substantial record of making lasting changes and opportunities for the world’s poor and brings new thinking to overcome the challenge of ending poverty”.
The other two finalists are David Auerbach, who co-founded ‘Sanergy’ which builds low-cost, high-quality sanitation facilities and Nargis Shirazi, founder of the Wo-man Foundation, which works towards improving sexual, reproductive health and rights of women in her home country Uganda.
The function on September 27 will be hosted by Hollywood actors Hugh Jackman, Jessica Alba and Katie Holmes and will have performances by American rapper Jay Z and singer Carrie Underwood.
11TH SEPTEMBER 2014
This Smart, Motion-Sensing Lightbulb
Adjusts According to Your Behavior
In the home of the future, there will be no light switches, but the light will always be perfect, syncing itself with the sun and adjusting to your circadian rhythm. The smart home vision for future of lighting is energy efficient and completely responsive. And according to Stack, that future is now.
The lighting company just announced the Alba, a smart LED bulb that adjusts itself based on your behavior. Equipped with proximity sensors, the app-powered system pays attention to your movements and the time of day to decide the perfect type of lighting. It’s cooler in the morning when you’re waking up, and warms up into the evenings to help improve your sleeping patterns. The company says that the Alba setup completely does away with the need for light switches and will save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.
Well, that sounds pretty futuristic, although motion sensors have done away with the need for light switches in plenty of places. The proximity sensors aren’t just there to automate when the lights go on and off, though. They turn your house or building into a bit of a brain. “The way we see it is because we have these sensors in the bulb-and if you think about it, generally lights are the most common electronic devices in a building … we become the backbone of a responsive sensor network throughout the house,” Stack CEO Neil Joseph, a former Tesla engineer, told TechCrunch.
5th SEPTEMBER 2014
RESPIRON-SAVING LIVES OF ASTHMATICS
The season 3 of Innovation Jockeys culminated in a glittering awards ceremony at the Taj Vivanta in Bangalore, that saw Team Dexter of Manav Rachna College of Engineering take home the Grand Prize for their innovation Respiron – an device aimed at saving lives of asthmatics. As a part of the prize they will get to visit the Accenture Technology Labs in China and witness cutting edge innovation firsthand.
“It’s like a dream come true for me,” says Shanu, an embedded programmer who brought the team together in 2013. Each of the team members has an ambition to transform Respiron into a start-up company in the long run and lead it with the same people who brought it to life.
The caliber of innovations has continued to grow enormously with the strength and prestige of the contest as proved by the entries this year. Gram Seva Kisan, a smartphone application to help farmers, created by Neil Mathew from Amity Business School won the ‘Best Innovation in the Digital Government category’ and Saviour Suit, a device for women safety, designed by Karan, Anjali, Yogesh and Roopam from Manav Rachna International University, won the ‘Best Innovation in the Internet of Things category’.
Jury’s choice award in the Internet of Things category went to Eco Mappers, a device created by Gaurav, Jay, Dhiraj and Amit of K.J Somaiya College of Engineering that kept people informed about the pollution in different areas. In the Digital Government category, the jury’s choice award went to Shreenath, Shivaraman and Sundarganesh of Easwari Engineering College for the Wireless Intercommunication Network Device, an innovation aimed at improving the security system in industries and organizations across India.
The jury panel that carefully picked out the above mentioned winners included:
Arvind Sanjeev, Founder and Chief Innovator, ARS Devices
B.S. Satyanarayana, Principal, RV College of Engineering
Deepak Ajwani, Deputy Editor – Online, Forbes India
Hari Vasudev, VP & Head, Yahoo India R&D
Lakshmi Pratury, Host, The INK Conference
Sanjeev Vohra, Managing Director, Digital Lead – Global Delivery Network, Accenture
The morning of August 22nd was a rather nerve-racking one for the 13 shortlisted teams who spent the day presenting their innovations to the jury. The finalists were picked out of 1300 innovative ideas submitted towards the themes “Internet of Things” and “Digital government”. However, the stress of the day gave way to an evening of celebration and unprecedented intellectual stimulation.
“All the problems of the world would be solved only if people would ‘think’,” said Sanjeev Vohra, M.D. Digital Lead – Global Delivery Network, Accenture, in his welcome address to the audience at the awards ceremony of Innovation Jockeys 2014. “The trouble is people very often resort to all sorts of devices not to think because thinking is hard work,” he added.
The evening took on another dimension as the audience was treated to inspiring talks by INK founder Lakshmi Pratury and co-creator of the world’s cheapest 3D printer – Nikhil Velpanur. A stunning performance by Charles Ma, a male bharatnatiam dancer of Chinese and Nepalese descent – yes you heard it right – brought home the importance of passion in the pursuit of excellence.
Lakshmi Pratury, who also brought TED to India, spoke about the importance of failure, “When you fail, you get the freedom to move on from focusing on getting grades in school and finally start learning.”
At the end of the season finale, Srikanth NR, Accenture, in his vote of thanks confirmed, “This is not an end to Innovation Jockeys Season 3 but a promising beginning to Innovation Jockeys Season 4.”
2nd July 2014
Cisco ties up with Elcia for innovation hub
Networking giant Cisco on Wednesday said it has entered into a strategic engagement with Electronics City Industries Association (Elcia) to develop what the company called “Asia’s first end-to-end ‘Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Hub’” in Bangalore.
Riding on India’s fast growing Internet penetration, this collaboration will help establish the foundation for a new ecosystem to help Electronic System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) companies and other companies of Electronic City engaged in IoT product development, Cisco President, Smart+Connected Communities and Deputy Chief Globalisation Officer Anil Menon said.
Cisco will help provide the network infrastructure and expertise for testing and production of electronic product prototypes for an IoT-enabled smart city environment. Through the ‘Living Lab’, ESDM start-ups and other companies can build solutions for city infrastructure management (CIM), including smart parking, smart CCTV surveillance, smart street lighting, smart water management, and community messaging.
The first phase of this smart city project will be rolled out in Electronics City and will serve as a replicable model for the rest of Bangalore as well as other cities in India and other emerging markets. Elcia was chosen for the project as it is the only brownfield ESDM cluster in the country
23rd May 2014
Smart SIM to solve card size issue
Airtel recently launched the Smart SIM in Bangalore, allowing its customers to use the same SIM card across different mobile devices for multiple purposes. For instance, this SIM could be used on a data card or on a feature phone when the smartphone turns off due to low battery.
22nd May 2014
2014: 40 years of the Rubik cube
It is a simple toy whose complex solution has seduced people for 40 years.
The “magic” Rubik cube, that completes four decades, has also taken the digital leap with Google paying homage to the multi-coloured icon with an interactive doodle.
The toy’s 40th anniversary, however, is not exactly today.The architect Erno Rubik, who invented it, fixes the general date to the spring of 1974 even though the registration in the patent office happened Jan 30, 1975.
“I become desperate only to see those colours, those small faces within the cube, and to think of the possible solutions,” Emma, a professor from Budapest, told Efe.
For others, such is the passion for this toy that there are championships that record the time taken to solve it. According to the World Cube Association, the Hollander adolescent Mats Valk set the record in March 2013 for solving it in 5.55 seconds.
There are also other records. Feliks Zemdegs, an Australian, holds the record for solving it with one hand in 9.03 seconds while the Polish Marcin Zalewski holds the record for solving it in 23.68 seconds with his eyes closed.
In this last and complicated version, the player observes the cube for a few seconds after which his eyes are covered so that he can solve it without seeing the coloured faces of the toy.
The success of the toy since the early 1980s has made it a cultural icon that has also featured in many movies such as ‘Being John Malkovich’ (1999), ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ (2012), ‘Armageddon’ (1998) and ‘Prometheus’ (2012).
In 2011, artists, including the US designer Pete Fecteau, created a mosaic of the portrait of the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. using 4,242 Rubik cubes.
Nowadays, there are 4x4x4 cubes for people with eyesight problems known as “mirror” that are composed of different shaped units, which when assembled become a cube, among many other complex formulas inspired by the original toy.
During the last four decades, the cube has come to be “an icon of European ingenuity”, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, European Commission president, said in a lunch hosted for the Hungarian architect.
Budapest is expected to build a museum by 2017 presenting Hungary’s “intellectual achievements” in a building shaped like the Rubik cube, although that project is yet to take off.
Microsoft to Unveil Sport-Centric Smartwatch
Tech giants Microsoft are soon coming out with a smartwatch that are focused on fitness, heart rate and health. The smartwatch will likely track a user’s position and route via GPS, measure movement with motion sensors and measure heart rate using optical sensors, similar to those found on other fitness device, reports Techradar.
Microsoft’s smartwatch patent though mainly focuses on biometric applications, it states that other functionality like music player, alarm clock, messaging and phone call apps may also be provided beyond the fitness app. The company is also planning to embrace other more recently developed applications, including its Bing search, Cortana voice assistant and Skype too.
23rd April 2014
IIT Delhi comes up with more innovations
Take, for instance, a Braille tutor developed by the students of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and mathematics. Showcased at the 10th open house at IIT Delhi last week, the project was designed as a low-cost device which can be used for language tutoring in the Braille script for the visually challenged. “The user interacts with the device through on-device buttons and Braille keyboards attached as peripherals, along with voice assistance for navigating through the menu and device software. Braille tutoring is achieved through exercises and games on the device, with support for multi-player games and multiple languages, which will be added later,” says Samarth Bahuguna, a student of electrical engineering who has worked on this project.
“While it is at present limited to being a Braille tutoring device, it has the potential to be used as a note-taking device, or for storing contacts and other important information,” he adds.
Students of civil engineering have also come up with some remarkable ideas aimed at creating sustainable tall buildings which meet the housing or commercial needs of the present generation without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Says Ashish Jayaswal, a student of civil engineering, “The development of such a building design is important keeping in mind the pressure on non-renewable sources of energy and other natural resources (like water, fuel, etc.) and their ever-growing rate of depletion. Our proposed green building will comprise all the feasible methods by which energy consumption can be reduced and natural resource utilisation be optimised.”
Some of the sources of the building’s sustainability are energy saving integrated photovoltaics and daylight responsive controls, double low e-glass for window panes and walls, geothermal heat sinks, ventilated facades, T5 energy efficient light tubes, LED lights, resource optimisation, rainwater harvesting, waterless urinals, harnessing wind power using large scale wind turbines, sensor activated faucets, root zone technology for waste water treatment, and using recycled paper for toilets.
Another group of mechanical engineering students has created a product that includes a computing or electronic device for programming a medication regimen. “This includes a prescription, a docking station, a personal medicine container for holding a daily or weekly supply of the medication. The personal medicine container is carried by a user and includes an alarm for reminding the user to take or administer the medicine in accordance with the regimen. The device automatically opens the docking stations schedule for medication,” says Akash Verma, who has worked on this project.
Faculty members who have mentored these projects feel that the engineering curriculum should focus more on innovation. “As the country faces a clear decline in manufacturing along with the spectre of increasing unemployment, the challenge before the IITs is to produce successful role models of techno-entrepreneurs. The additional challenge of interdisciplinarity in curriculum, especially for student projects, also needs to be addressed,” says M Balakrishnan, professor, department of computer science and engineering at IIT Delhi.
What’s cooking at IIT Delhi
TrueHb Hemometer: Developed by Ambar Srivastava, an alumnus of IIT Delhi, this device can check for haemoglobin and identifying cases of anaemia easily
Lipoprotien analysis: A device which can check your cholesterol levels at a low cost has been developed by the department of chemical engineering. Tests will become cheap as this proposed method can analyse for whole lipoprotein profile (VLDL, IDL, HDL, LDL and its subfractions) for just Rs. 120
Waterless urinal: This low cost waterless urinal is capable of saving over 100 thousand litres of water per urinal per day. It recovers nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus salts from urine, and is a low-cost technology to recover fertilisers from human urine.
9th January 2014
Bio-metrics For Wellness
Investments – CES 2014
Aura, the smart sleep system from Withings lulls you to sleep and waits for the right moment to gently ease you back from your deep slumber. Tucked underneath the mattress is one of Auras dual sensors, to track movements of the sleeper, breathing cycles and heart rates, while the other one placed next to the bed senses the light, noise and temperature levels in the bedroom. The bedside device packs in a clock, an alarm sounding speaker and a circular Light Emitting Diode(LED) lamp. The multi colored LED lighting works in sync to the proven research on the body’s responses to different colors of light and their effect on melatonin, the hormone responsible for deep sleep.
The companion app with ‘Aura’ collates all data corresponding to the sleep patterns, enabling one to understand and compare notes on individual awakening and deep sleep patterns.
28th December 2013
We had been to Supermarket to buy the groceries and we found this tiny product innovation, a highly effective Orange peeler. Better than Orange, we use for Pomegranate peeling and Yes, you get it right!
26th December 2013
THE AMAZING INNOVATIONS IN 2013
i-Pads are just so…rigid – right? What the world needs is a tablet you can shove in a bag without worrying about it, read like a magazine and – potentially – wear as part of your clothing. The Papertab is made entirely from plastic, uses an e-ink display like a Kindle, and as you can see, is pretty flexible. This year the Cambridge company demonstrated the first full-colour prototypes, with resolutions approaching HD levels.
Some innovations have an eye on the future; others solve a current problem. Revive a phone is firmly in the latter camp, and it does what it says on the tin: brings water-damaged phones back to life. Better than any DIY cures (rice in the airing cupboard) it actually uses a liquid solution to remove mineral deposits that have accumulated on the phone’s circuit boards. It’s easy to be skeptical, but with a ‘results or your money back’ policy, Revive a phone may be able to save waterlogged iPhone owners a lot of money.
Not just another massive telly, this. Samsung’s 55-inch OLED TV is, as the picture suggests, beautifully curved. They say this is so every portion of the image is equidistant from your eye – we say, it’s because they can. It doesn’t end there: the high-quality display can show two channels at once, interlaced with each other. Viewers have to wear glasses for this to work, however. It’s on sale now for £6,999.99.
Lightbulbs are not often found on lists of great innovations. But the Philips Hue isn’t an ordinary lightbulb – it’s an LED bulb with wireless connectivity. This means you can set it to be any colour you want; to change colour according to the time of day, and turn it on and off remotely. The bulbs link up to your home wifi and come with an app to control them, which also lets you pick any colour from a photograph and set that as your living room theme. Great for bringing some sunshine to winter mornings or for livening up a party.
The Motorola password pill. Since becoming part of Google, Motorola has been spitting out all kinds of interesting ideas. It’s a commonly accepted idea that the days of written passwords are numbered; but Motorola’s alternative is genuinely innovative, if totally creepy at the same time. The edible password pill contains a tiny chip that is powered by the acid in your stomach – it then emits a signal similar to an electrocardiogram (ECG) which can be uniquely identified by your phone, tablet or computer. It is approved as safe by the US FDA.
The Illumi-room is the next step for Microsoft in immersive gaming. It combines the Kinect module with a projector to expand whatever game you’re playing to fill the room. Turn the lights down and watch as your living room is transformed into a racetrack, snowy blizzard or a war zone. The Kinect senses what’s in the room, letting the projector cover the surfaces appropriately. Games really do feel as though they’re coming out of the screen at you. Expect some version of this to appear on the Xbox One next year.
If the Microsoft Illumiroom is about thinking big for gaming, the Oculus Rift is about thinking small. Kind of. It is the world’s first fully-functional virtual reality headset, designed to plunge you totally into a 3D world that occupies your entire field of vision. Your movements are tracked, enabling you to look around the virtual world just as you would in real life. The premise is simple enough – two cameras that present each eye with a separate image to generate the illusion of a 3D world – but the potential is enormous.
Thalmic Labs’ MYO puts technology at your beck and call. It’s a flexible arm band that uses muscle sensors and a 9-axis motion sensor system to recognize a wide range of gestures. Connect it with bluetooth to your device of choice and you’ll be able to run a presentation by waving, steer a helicopter drone, or simply control your TV or hi-fi with simple movements. Another gesture turns it on and off. It’s at the developer stage, meaning products aren’t yet on sale that work with it, but enthusiastic early adopters can order one now and start tinkering with anything that has a bluetooth connection.
10th December 2013
Thomson Reuters Releases 2013
State Of Innovation India Report
The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for businesses and professionals, unveiled the results of its analysis of patent activity for inventions originating in India in a 2013 State of Innovation India report. This information was made publicly available at the recent Innovation Awards 2013 ceremony the company held acknowledging India’s top innovators.
Using data from the Thomson Reuters proprietary Derwent World Patents Index, the world’s most trusted, authoritative source of patent information for 50 years, analysts uncovered that the largest sectors of innovation activity by Indian companies are Pharmaceuticals and Transportation. Computing & Control and Communications, which ranked second and third following Pharmaceuticals and before Transportation in total volume, respectively, have a mix of domestic and foreign (non-Indian) patent owners.
The most prevalent area of India innovation overall is in organic Pharmaceuticals. This technology area comprises 54 percent of the entire Indian Pharma sector with 1,065 unique inventions in 2012. Computers was the next most prolific area, representing 82 percent of the Computing & Control technology area with 949 patents/published applications. Pharmaceutical Natural Products & Polymers was the next most active, with 500 inventions, followed by Telephone & Data Transmission Systems, part of Communications, with 462 unique innovations.
Above is a black and white optical illusion. It’s a drawing of a group of trees. Hidden in the trees are a number of animals, including a lion, deer, pig and a horse. At least, that’s what I first picked out.
How many animals can you spot? Hint: I think there are at least eight hidden in this image.
Note: This page is related to all new ideas/innovations presented from the individual inventor, patent holder irrespective of age barrier.Interested entrepreneurs can think of production and release to the market based on their feasibility studies.Contact the Editor for more details.