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Techies take the ‘social’ route

The team of Just Kapture

The team of Just Kapture  

It’s always good to have an application on your desktop or a mobile at your service within a click of a button. The purpose of their creators in most cases is to meet their commercial ends but the efficiency gets wider visibility whenever the initiative has a social perspective. On that front, a small bunch of techies have given interesting spins to their products that deserve a glimpse.

Fresh after their impressive performance at Ericson Innovation Awards that celebrates the best on the technological front in the country, an event held in New Delhi earlier this month, Raj Desai and Pratik, two commerce students, and owners of the Think Scream firm, came up with an idea of a ‘Wifi Trash Bin’ which has the person who throws trash into a specially designed garbage bin receiving a complimentary wi-fi usage time of 30 minutes.

This, they feel is a project that celebrates rewarding. “In our country, people generally lose the drive to keep their environs clean as none even cares to give them the due credit. Our plan, if it goes functional in major corporate firms and public areas, will help them get a good pat for the little duty that they do,” Raj, says.

When we ask how he plans to expand it in a nation which has its 70 per cent population living in villages, he says,

“That’s the next thing we have on our mind, with the lack of net connectivity and smart-phone accessibility” and assures us of having a plan.

Ozonetel, a Hyderabad-based CaaS (communication-as-a-service) start up founded in 2013 is pitching in something interesting too. They have now launched a speech recognition technology that’ll help illiterates, who specifically can’t respond to instructions given on the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) over phone and improve on customer communication. This, on the lines of an Apple Siri, will help them respond verbally in local languages, thereby widening the markets of businesses to under-developed rural sections too.

The men behind JustKapture.com in the city, Rahul Agarwal and Manish Agarwal, IIIT Hyderabad products, too are giving crowds some fun as they go about their work. Functioning since March this year, this website helps people print images of their choice from Facebook and Instagram accounts at their doorsteps free of cost. The party is on to a user who can avail this service up to six times a month. Expectedly, there’s a flipside to the website that boasts of 30 sign-ups a day. They make revenues by placing location-specific advertisements behind the printed image.

“Our intention was to emerge as a unique advertising medium. The space behind a photograph noticeably goes unused when printed. By placing them in a location that’s not annoying to a customer and by giving them relevant ads to look into, it works perfect for both ends,” quips Rahul, as he throws a hint of having advertisements personalised according to the photographs, in future.

The Helping Faceless app happens to be a brainchild of Shashank, who was abducted as a child and was luckily rescued. The app took shape when he didn’t want others to face a similar turmoil. Whenever you see a child on the roads going astray and you take an image of him/her on your mobiles with the location and send it across through the app, their team makes sure that the nearest police station is alerted. “On a larger scale if the issue is serious, we have a software that compares the images of the child to the 70,000 odd children database in our system who have been reported missing. The matches appear as per a ratio and we take it forward with the police,” states Sai Meera, managing the operations division of the Mumbai-based group. The objective is to let a child be safe, be it in an observation home or a child-care group; when they’re left homeless, children can be subjected to unimaginable perils that exist in a society, she adds.

The app scene doesn’t end just there. As Hyderabad gears up for an app-based service in a tie-up by GVK and EMRI that is under development now, that will ensure ambulance services in the nick of time, when there’s an emergency in a location. At a time when we complain of technology consuming our social life, these apps are examples of how it also enables empowerment.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:24:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/techies-take-the-social-route/article7607734.ece

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