Category Archives: Mobile Phone

Mumbai resident creates BEST mobile phone app

Standing at a bus stop and wondering about the route the bus takes is a common occurrence. Imagine having a device that would guide you through all the bus routes in the city. Raxit ShethTo ease this difficulty, Kandivali resident Raxit Sheth has created a mobile phone application that helps you get the bus routes and bus route numbers on your mobile phone. “Bus routes are available on the internet but today everybody carries a mobile phone so they would prefer it that way,” says Sheth. This project is titled ‘Mobile 4 Mumbai’.

The idea struck Sheth about four months ago when somebody at the bus stop asked him about a bus route. “I am new to Mumbai and have lived in Gujarat all my life. If a local person is confused about routes, imagine the plight of a newcomer,” says Sheth. He casually mentioned his desire to create such an application to his colleague at Polaris Software Labs Ltd., Deepa Kapadia who liked the idea and the duo began programming the application two months ago.

Raxit Sheth and Deepa Kapadia had several options in mind while creating the prototype for the application. “We could have it SMS based where users could send the query through an SMS and get the answer through the SMS but people may not want to spend their time and money keying the SMS,” says Sheth. “The other option was through GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) but again not all handsets are GPRS enabled or even if they are, it may not be active and it is expensive,” he adds. Finally, Sheth and Kapadia decided to create a simple application that could be installed on Java enabled handsets. “Today Java enabled handsets are really affordable. The cheapest handset is about Rs. 3000 with a bill,” informs Sheth. Sheth is a C++ programmer while Kapadia is a Java programmer. Mobile 4 Mumbai will be very light and just requires about 180 kb – 200 kb free memory space on the mobile phone.

Even though GPRS users can access the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) website on their mobiles, the Graphic User Interface (GUI) is not suitable for mobile phone browsing.

Sheth and Kapadia, both computer engineers, have been working on the mobile phone application during the weekends and after office hours. Even though they have invested lots of time and energy, the duo will wants to give out the application free to their families and friends who in turn could give the application to others.

The duo has not decided whether they will present the prototype to the BEST once it is ready. “This is a very good idea. We did not realise that we could even reach out to mobile phone users. It will be good, if Sheth and Kapadia approach the planning department of the BEST. We can give them all the possible support,” says a BEST official.

The application is currently in its final stage of creation. By next month, the beta version will be out and only after three months the application will be available to the public.

If this mobile phone application is successful, they will adopt the same prototype for bus routes in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Pune.

 

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Charge Your Mobile Phone as You Exercise!

Bhaskar Ajgaonkar, a third-year information technology engineering student of Rajendra Mane College of Engineering and Technology, Ratnagiri, has developed a bicycle that when pedaled produces electricity and charges mobile phones of any brand.

This 19-year old resident of Dombivli, a distant suburb of Mumbai, was inspired by the two-seater cycle ridden by Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in the movie Shaan. He was in Class VII then. It was his father Vijay Ajgaonkar, an electronics engineer, who encouraged him. The bicycle with mobile charging facility took nearly two years and around a thousand rupees to build.

Bhaskar describes his device: “The circuit is so flexible that you can connect a cell phone of any brand for charging. The electricity generated through a dynamo is regulated through the circuit. Therefore your riding speed will not affect the current flow.”
An extra chain is attached to the rear wheel, which is connected to a micro-dynamo attached to the cycle carrier. As the cycle is pedaled, the dynamo rotates to generate electricity. The electricity is then passed towards the circuit fixed on the bell attached to the handle. The circuit has an LED that confirms reception of electricity.

A cable coming out from the circuit has a plug, which can be connected to a mobile phone to charge it. A chain is connected to the micro dynamo and cycle’s gear box. As you pedal the cycle forward, the chain rotates the gear box. The invention thus not only saves electricity but also helps the rider stay fit while he charges his mobile phone.

Bhaskar’s skills have brought him three national awards and several state awards. His most recent award is the KDMC mayor’s award. He has more than 25 innovative cycle designs to his credit. He has won a national award for presenting a prototype of this bicycle at a seminar conducted for Alternative Energy Sources at VPM Polytechnic in Thane in 2005. He took his project further by designing the micro-dynamo with the help of industry experts.

When asked why he decided to work on a cycle instead of cars, Bhaskar said, “The Wright brothers had a vision. They wanted to fly. Similarly, I felt there should be some innovation in cycles too.”

By December this year, Bhaskar hopes to complete the prototype of a talking cycle, which will have photo sensors fixed on it. “The bicycle will warn cyclists about potholes ahead and will say sorry to the rider if it misses one. In addition, this talking cycle will caution riders against unnecessary jerks and accidents.

Though his father Vijay Ajgaonkar is currently undergoing medication for cancer, it hasn’t deterred Bhaskar from pursuing his dream. He has written a book titled Cyclecha Zagat Mi which is due for release in December.

The budding inventor now hopes to to come up with a flying bicycle based on the airplane model created by the Wright Brothers.

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