The Ericsson Innovation Awards were instituted last year in order to promote and recognize the spirit of innovation within the IIT system. A total of 67 projects were submitted by IIT students and these ten were given financial support by Ericsson to complete the initial prototype within two months.
1. A Mask which uses Facial Speech Gesture Sensors to Help the Mute
You could soon be looking at a stylish, facial accessory (something along the lines of a Bluetooth headset/sunglasses combo), which can recognize inaudible, speech gestures to input text into an Android device.
Not only would this be a boon for the mute, but even for regular people on the go who need to type text into documents or mails without using their hands or speaking out loud – while travelling on the Metro for example.
Conventional speech recognition applications use audio or image processing, often a slow and not very user-friendly technology. Placing analog sensors would eliminate current limitations and targeting special muscles, also be made into a predictive application.
This team of 4 from IIT Kanpur; Badal Choudhary, Danny Boby, Sourya Basu and Vaibhaw Kumar are thinking out of the box and developing a product which uses electromyography (or EMG, basically, a process of evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles).
While it is currently used primarily as a medical technique, these boys are bringing this technology to the masses and applying it in daily routine activities.
2. A Smart Paper Calendar Device which even the Blind Can Use
Forget about hanging up all those tacky old paper calendars and wall-hanging clocks which some bank or other sundry corporate handed out for free publicity in your home.
Now there’s a stylish new home accessory which:
- Takes up less space in your home/office
- Consumes less power through a paper-based display
- Organises your daily and monthly calendar
- Records and schedules alarms or events
- Connects wirelessly to a digital calendar (Google Calendar, for ex.) through Wi-fi or Bluetooth
- Can recognize voice commands (such as change the date, schedule an event, enquire about the day on a specific day, and set alarms)
- Has Braille engravings; so is entirely user-friendly for the visually impaired
Nishant Bugalia, an MSR student from IIT Delhi with more than 9 years of experience in the software and embedded industry, has conceived and developed to production this extremely useful, innovative device which has both real life application for regular people and has a humanitarian purpose behind it as well.
3. Intelligent Earphone Isolates different Sources of Sound
Imagine you’re at a large gathering, a party or conference for example, where there are many different people having different conversations, background music, maybe even something disruptive like the sound of some construction happening nearby.
How would you like to be able to pinpoint each conversation and decide which one to listen in on, or if it’s getting too much just block out all sounds and just listen to the music, even fade out the distractive background noise?
Well, it’s almost here. A wireless earphone which connects to your Android device and allows you do just that.
It uses Audio Signal Processing technology and an intelligent ear piece containing multiple microphones to identify different sources of sound and attenuate and concentrate on any chosen one.
Team members Parth Gaggar, Vijay Jain and Rishabh Bhatnagar from IIT Roorkee have gone beyond conventional Noise-Reduction technology and thought about what people actually want to listen to, not what they don’t.
They are working on developing the actual earpiece, but already have the GUI ready for installation into smartphones.
4. The ‘iDitya’ Smart DIY Solar Panel Optimises Power Utilisation
So you want to go green? Or maybe just save some money and run your water heating and other appliances on solar power. Well, there are literally hundreds of options out there for you now.
Firstly, it’s completely Do-It-Yourself, requires no labour or installation charges. Secondly, it’s relatively cheap, can be bought off-the-shelf and lastly, it only requires 3 pieces of hardware, one of which you already own.
The ‘iDitya Solar Assistant’ is an HMI (Human—Machine Interface) based solar power supply system which provides an end-to-end solution to the consumer, i.e. it can be bought, installed and maintained by anyone in a home/commercial environment.
Using the location sensor, the ‘iDitya’ system judges the optimum angles for the panel at any given time of year and they can be adjusted accordingly.
The whole system comprises of a DIY adjustable solar panel structure, an electrical sub-system and a GUI operating on Google’s Android platform.
IIT Delhi team representatives Praneet Aggarwal, Navneet Saini and Anshuman Kumar under the guidance of Prof. P.V.M. Rao have developed the ‘iDitya Solar Assistant’, an innovative, easily applicable and cost-effective solution for the average homeowner or commercial establishment which Greens Up as you Power Up!
5. Advanced Breathalyzer Helmet for Safer Riding
So the cops have gotten strict enough about it, and you know you should be wearing the helmet while riding your motorcycle/2-wheeler… but let’s face it, it’s still largely perfunctory. Even when wearing the helmet, most people don’t strap it on properly, and yes, they still drive drunk! (The numbers with the Traffic Police stack up as proof.)
So, how about a helmet which:
- Ensures that it’s strapped on properly with an adequate pressure gradient?
- Monitors the CO2 levels inside the helmet?
- Analyses the alcohol level in the wearer’s breath and activates/deactivates the bike accordingly?
Well, that last one might seem like too much of a “Daddy’ Call”, but with drunken driving on 2-wheelers being the #1 cause of head-injuries in road accidents, it’s probably a better idea to let someone/something else decide whether you should be riding or not.
Accordingly, Rishabh Babeley, Naman Singhal and Shabham Jaiswal from IIT BHU, Varanasi are developing a helmet which comprises of; a pneumatic sensor to ensure that it’s strapped on properly, a CO2 and alcohol sensor, and a Bluetooth module consisting of an emitter and receiver to activate/deactivate the vehicle.
How’s that for innovative and personal safety-related thinking?
6. SAFER – Guardian Device for Women
Designed to look like a pendant (or a bracelet), Safer is a stand alone security device capable of transmitting over various forms of communication systems (such as Internet, SMS, Near Field Communication) to alert friends and immediate family in a distress situation.
It uses multiple cellular phone towers to transmit data and triangulate the user’s position. In an emergency, the control room dispatches a distress signal to the user’s contact list, the Police, and the RAT (Rapid Action Team)
With no other local competitors yet, SAFER is the only such application available in the Indian market today. Paras Batra, a 4th year Civil Engineering student at IIT Delhi has conceptualised, designed, produced and brought-to-market this extraordinary personal safety innovation. More details can be found here.
7. 3D User Interface for Cellphones which Doesn’t use Stereoscopy
Does your phone have a front camera? If yes, then you’re on your way into entering the (as-yet mostly restricted to R&D) realm of 3D imaging .
Conventional 3D imaging technology involves stereoscopy (or, to put it simply, requires multiple camera angles).
The unique feature of this innovation is that it needs just 1 front-facing camera on a device which is pretty standard on most smartphones today.
Used either as an HMI (Human-Machine Interface) or as a tool for presenting an object in a 3 dimensional perspective, this project has application across the board. eg. e-commerce, where a company like Flipkart or Amazon might want to present a 3D image of their product.
The 3-member team from IIT Kanpur, Lavisha Aggarwal, Mayank Pathak and Pranav Kumar, have developed this one-of-a-kind innovation and stand a good chance at being the next big name in 3D Imagery.
8. Bringing Education and Technology together to Maximise All-Round Potential
You wouldn’t think much about email accounts or MacBooks in the African Bush or rural India, but that’s exactly where companies like Google and Apple are investing heavily in the form of laptops and tablets to impart technology-aided education in the past few years.
Educators aren’t technologists, Computer experts aren’t teachers, and neither are design-oriented.
Coupling the 3 specialties of Educators, Technologists and the creative focus of professional Designers is how this innovative new platform aims to produce an EDA (Education Data Analytics) tool.
It involves Cloud Computing, Data Analysis, Visualisation and Web-design, Data Mining and Open Source computing.
While there are competitors in the field such as Palantir, Addepar and Mixpanel with multi-million dollar backing from Silicon Valley out there, what makes this project unique is that it is the only Open Sourced application in the tech-aided Education sector.
Peeyush Agarwal of IIT Kanpur knows what he’s talking about, having built an open source software as a Google Summer of Code project based on similar lines when he says, “the main challenge is to design a platform that is intuitive and and can handle large amounts of data”.
9. Trafftrend – Traffic Analysis Software based on Social Network Data
Let’s face it; you’re on Facebook, and probably Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and a few other social media platforms out there.
Why not get useful, traffic-related reports while on the go instead of getting stuck in the glut of ‘Who’s getting Whatted’ notifications you’re flooded with every day.
Real-time updated traffic reports at your fingertips which contain; date, time, location and cause of traffic jams. No more tuning in to local FM reports at predetermined timings.
Javesh Garg, Arihant Kumar Jain and Prashant Jalan of IIT Kanpur have set out to enhance commuter experience and provide government agencies with relevant insight into problems faced by the average person on the go.
They have developed a prototype application which provides real-time traffic updates and information on traffic management trends using streaming data from social media sites. After cleaning through the white noise, they feature each relevant post as a vector.
Besides traffic updates, the application provides info on traffic trends, maps based on high, medium or low-risk traffic levels and a Safest Route Finder function
10. Smart Ward – Automated Patient Monitoring System for Hospital Staff
According to recent statistics, the required nurse-to-patient ratio is alarmingly lower than it needs to be. Slightly strange, wouldn’t you say, considering the percentage of our population who choose to go into the healthcare profession?
Well, the unfortunate fact is that, the majority of Medical doctors, nurses, technician and diagnosticians who study in India aspire to practice abroad, where the administrative flow and financial returns are much better than in India at present.
Been to a local hospital ward recently? If so, how well do you think they’d take to a change in standard operating practices?
Not very well, I can tell you from practical experience.
What is needed is a smarter, more intuitive patient monitoring system that makes life easier, not more complicated, for hospital staff.
That’s where Smart Ward, developed by Suryakant Thoraskar, Vineesh VS and Anjaly TR from IIT Mumbai have stepped in to provide a simple, Android-based platform which steps in only when needed to inform nurses and doctors of an important change in a patient’s vitals.
Any guesses on which two of the above were declared winners and got a million rupees in the bank to start their venture with? Find out here