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In the EYE of Kerala’s Innovation Storm; Arvind Sanjeev, DIY Hacking (Do It Yourself!)

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The New Indian Express | Rajeshwari Swaminathan  | 14th September 2015 |

Everybody would love to own a Google Glass. But the price tag that it carries and its rather uncertain release date have made it one of those out-of-reach propositions. Not for Kochi-based Arvind Sanjeev. He decided that he would try to make something along the same lines and ended up with the Smart Cap. “The glass was launched when I was studying Engineering at Toc H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST), Kerala and I was a big fan. With my technology grounding, I did not think it was any use spending so much money on it, so I decided to develop one of my own,” he quipped. And so it began. While at the hostel, with an allowance of just Rs 3,000 a month, Arvind decided to work on his own version of Google Glass. “I worked with everything that was readily available with me or could be easily procured from the market, to make the Smart Cap. There wasn’t too much that I needed that was beyond the scope of my reach, even at that point in time,” he explained with a short laugh. After working awhile, he came out with a head mounted device with camera and face recognition features.

Head mounted displays are primarily used for video sharing, navigation, checking notifications, etc. Their use in a device of this nature remain largely untested, “These glasses promote augmented reality, such that you can source every other detail of a person whose image is present in the camera,” he explained. In case he decides to market them, Arvind estimates they can be made available for as low as six to seven thousand rupees. But he doubts if it will ever be commercially produced. “ Such innovations are not developed with a commercial purpose. It is purely for the benefit and learning of students.” He wants to promote these innovations as open source learning so that the technology can be broken down and put across to students in a very basic format. Recounting where the inventorial spark was lit for him, he said, “When I was a kid, my parents would buy me battery operated toys. I was more fascinated in hacking the toy, than playing with it. Initially when I would take a toy apart, especially a new one that they’d just spent a lot of money buying, they would get really agitated and wonder what was wrong. When they saw that I could build something new using the components of the toys, they were amazed,” he reminisced. He confessed, “The internet provided me with a lot of knowledge and skill-based learning, much more than the education system did anyway.”

The hardware geek has also set up a company for lateral thinking called DIY Hacking — an open source platform where students can get guidance in fields such as start ups, internships and projects. “Most of the engineers graduate and find it hard to match to the skill requirement of tech firms and ultimately take up jobs with BPOs. In a bit to streamline this issue we have launched the DIY-hacking, a website, a non-profit organisation which works to promote the Maker culture and IoT based products from our country and create the engineering revolution India deserves. We provide free DIY tutorials, open source projects and eBooks which will allow an individual to prototype and bring their ideas to life.” Arvind is currently working as a fellow with the Kerala government’s initiative to set up the Kerala Start-up Mission in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, assisted by MIT. With lot more ideas and even greater zeal this young thinker is sure to drive India to its next level of technological development. We’re sure he’s going to get there soon! YOUNG GUN:        He is working as a fellow with the Kerala government’s initiative to set up Fab Labs in Trivandrum and Kochi, assisted by MIT, who will help with development and innovation. – Courtesy

DIY Hacking (Do It Yourself!) is a non-profit organisation which works to promote the Maker culture and IoT based products from our country and create the engineering revolution India deserves. We provide a prolific range of free DIY tutorials, open source projects and eBooks which will allow an individual to prototype and bring their ideas to life! We also strive to setup Maker Labs and host workshops to tutor students on technology development and imparts pragmatic knowledge required for them to build products on their own! We mentor, support and guide thousands of students and individuals from the country through this platform. If you like what we are doing, you can also help us augment the platform and take it to the next level. Visit  DIY Hacking (Do It Yourself!)


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