Young innovators connect technology to society

By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 30 November 2010, 02:21 Hrs   |    8 Comments
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Young innovators connect technology to society
Bangalore: Most of the modern day innovations eye the rich, the affluent and the technologically well-read. The current generation of India's technical students has shown their mettle in the world stage where their technological innovations are considered to be the best. But India being a nation consisting one third of the world's poor needs more innovative ideas and concepts directed towards improving the human conditions of the less privileged and the downtrodden.

It's here the creation of three young innovative minds from the Sinhagad Institute of Technology gains its significance. They have created the S.N.A.P. Eyewriter that costs only 750 which can make the mouse obsolete and come to the aid of quadriplegics and paralytics, reports the Pune Mirror. Nitesh Prakash, Sumit Kumar and Paras Kumar all third year Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering students of SIT, took up a social cause for their collage project and came up with an eyewriter which will use the eye as an interface to point to icons or even write on a screen.

Inspired by Pranav Mistry who has worked on the Sixth Sense technology, the boys also consulted James Powderly who lent them an open source software that they needed for the S.N.A.P Eyewriter. To make the price cheaper, they bought a locally made camera and used regular film.

The S.N.A.P. Eyewriter, uses a spectacle to navigate the computer screen. The students used a camera, Infra Red (IR) LED transmitters, an IR filter, eyeglasses and wire for hardware. The software detects and tracks the position of an eye and uses a calibration sequence to map the tracked eye. It also has an eye-drawing software which creates strokes on the screen. Although it works separately now, they have plans to release a combined version too.

The project report by the trio details the use of this device. It can be used for paralyzed people, who cannot move any other part of their body except for their eyes. It is a great relief for the paralyzed as it adds a recreational purpose to it whereby gaming experience can also be enhanced by replacing the mouse pointer with the eyepointer. On the future plans, they say the system can be used not only to write or draw but even to operate a wheelchair and any other robotics could also be controlled with it.

This is just the beginning by the youngsters, but this is really an eye opener for the economically privileged students in the reputed technical schools who can change the so-called 'undeveloped and poor India' image by their innovative ideas. We have organizations such as National Innovation Foundation working towards eradicating poverty and degradation from the Indian soil. The recent innovations such as solar lamp and water filter have helped the poor to a great extend. What we need is the bright minds of India that can connect innovations with society and enterprise and which can impart the scientific and technological knowledge to the masses, the illiterate and the needy.

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