The competition was jointly created by ‘Tryst’, a technical event of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) and the Tata Group
Students from a clutch of Indian colleges have come up with two innovations with the potential to change communication modes. The inventions were presented at the recently held ‘Tata IIT Delhi Pioneer’s Makerthon’, a competition to build the messaging tool of the future. The competition was jointly created by ‘Tryst’, a technical event of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) and the Tata group.
The winning team ‘Pojo’ comprised of Ankur Singh, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT Delhi), Ishan Khanna, Bhagwan Parshuram Institute of Technology, Mayank Sharma, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Delhi and Saurav Tomar, Delhi Technological University (DTU), have built a successful prototype to democratise video conferencing. The concept can enable video calling on low bandwidth speeds by advanced techniques of compression and face tracking.
The runners-up team ‘Chitchatters’ comprised of Anoosh Kotak, Ojasvi Alankar, Deepak Bansal, and Jitendra Gadhwal, all from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, have built a messaging app that uses algorithms to detect topics of mutual interest between two ‘chatters’ and suggest content accordingly, in a bid to make online messaging more exciting.
The winning team was awarded INR 2,00,000 and the runner-up team was awarded INR 1,00,000 as prize money.
Commenting on the response and the enthusiasm of the participants, the Chief Technology Officer of Tata Sons, Dr. Gopichand Katragadda said, “It’s always an exciting prospect to interact with young minds of the country. The Makerthon was part of the efforts by Tata group to engage with students to build technologies of the future. The students were encouraged to ‘make’ and go beyond an idea into a working prototype. The specific challenge provided at this edition of the event was to create the future of messaging. I take this opportunity to congratulate all the teams for their outstanding prototype models and encourage them to not stop in their pursuit for excellence.”
The brief for the competition was simple – ‘Create a messaging tool that will define the future of communication.’ The event was conducted in 3 stages. The first round required a one page abstract of the idea along with the wireframes of the tool. Following this, shortlisted teams were invited for Makerthon that was held at IIT Delhi. Here, teams were required to build working prototypes of the messaging tool during the event. The teams sweated it out over a period of two days, to build their app under the careful mentorship of TCS, who helped them fine tune their working model. Praveen Gupta, Head of Brand Marketing and Digital, Tata Teleservices, selected the top 5 teams for the finals. The top 5 teams battled it out in front of judges, Dr. Gopichand Katragadda and Sandeep Saxena, Principal Innovation Evangelist, TCS.
About the Tata group:
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’. Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation and art and culture. In 2014-15, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $108.78 billion. These companies collectively employ over 600,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders. There are 30 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $134 billion (as on 31st March 2015). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels.