What is the limit of your imagination? And does your ability to duplicate that in real life end too soon? Not for these students.

Novelty could well be the middle name for the participants of the innovation awards competition jointly held by Samsung and the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer here on Thursday.

If these innovations are awarded with mass production, then they could provide solutions for a host of problems — right from climate change to the pocket-unfriendly visits to spectacles shops.

The innovations showcased by students of Indian Institutes of Technology at Delhi, Mumbai, Roorkee and Kanpur could be the next big thing in robotic technology and give a new lease of life to semi-paralysed patients.

In the product design category, Drishti, developed by a group of four students — Bhushan N. Kharbikar, Nitin T. Pawar, Ajay V. Suryavanshi and Chaitali Joshi — could well push eye-wear brands out of business.

The product, which includes an intelligent and an auto-tuneable lens system, seeks to correct refractive vision errors without human interference.

Simply put, it would mean having “eyeglasses” that will adjust themselve according to the error in vision. Only, they would not be glasses at all!

The lens would consist of what Suryavanshi called ‘hydrogen-controlled liquid meniscus’ encased in a solid casing of plastic or poly-carbonates.

Another winner, also in the product design category, is the CLASAT. This product can detect audio signals in any environment and recognise atypical sounds and report them to the users.

So, the product, which has been visualised as a mobile-phone application by creators Anurag Kumar and Pranay Dighe, could help in remote surveillance of the desired environment. Kumar explained, “Say, if you have an arrhythmic patient at home and want to monitor them. One could feed the app into the phone, which would monitor the heart beats and at the smallest sign of uncharacteristic beats it would immediately alert the person who set up the surveillance.”

Further, what makes this product so important is the time lag. It can potentially pick up sounds, send it to a mobile server that processes it to figure out if there’s anything wrong, and send an alert — all within five to 10 seconds!

Abhishek Gupta, Devashish Tyagi, Saurabh Kumar, Sherjil Ozair and Utkarsh received the Award in the Web technology category for their project Zumble.com, an application that uses neuro-linguistic programming and sentiment-mining to match strangers over the Web, creating an environment in the virtual world where strangers can chat anonymously but not uselessly.



(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 11, 2012)
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