Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Google Sky Map Weds Karva Chauth

For those of you who read the headline and returned to read the article after discounting it for its earthly Indian reference I do not blame you. A small anecdote here might explain why. Only three months ago I asked a close friend about the sensibility in purchasing a phone that would be android enabled. He laughed and said looking at the speed at which 3G is taking over the country your investment might show results during only the 15th five year plan. Return to present day India where multiple cellular labels are already readying their turf for the android phone market and several thousand women celebrated Karva Chauth a week ago. The application would have never found its way into the Indian domain in a manner so basic and surreal. At work and unable to know if the moon was out and my mother had broken her fast, the usual responsibility of finding out the direction and location where the moon would make its presence was a little easier this time around. The application installed on my phone made way for all the excitement to be narrowed and the curiosity to be put to rest with the Moon showing itself up in the described direction. Not to take any credit away from another application the Accuweather Clock informing me of an overcast night sky that would prevent a clear sight of the same.
What is wonderful is the fact that these applications are not only precise but of actual practical use unlike several others that prevail for time kill and entertainment purposes. On the other hand it’s amazing what technology has come to with the phone being dissected into a billion opportunities. Now I only wish if an application was developed to tell me the sun would rise a few hours than later, but then if wishes were horses beggars would ride. That being said I am sure looking at technology that one day they would ride for sure.

Accuweather clock for Android can be downloaded on http://accuweather-com.en.softonic.com/android and Google Sky Map on http://www.google.com/mobile/skymap/. Both the applications are highly recommended for Skygazers and astro-enthusiasts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Augmented Reality – Demented Perceptions

A few days earlier while returning home via the Deccan Queen’s meandering journey cutting across the Western Ghats, a civil argument punctuated the silence of my compartment. A Parsi woman in her mid-forties engaged in a verbal duel with the ticket collector who did not give his consent to a ticket that was being shown to him on a fellow travelers laptop. A few words and a fine later the matter was settled and the TC proved right from the rules displayed across the ticket of another traveler. What struck me was how long it would be that the Indian Railways would come to recognize the power of the digital. With geo-targeted social media and 23 million smart phones across India waiting to ride the android bandwagon, the Railways must listen up. The solution to the problem lies in the digitalizing of tickets. With Android enabled smart phones hosting multiple code recognition software’s this would make life one step ahead with the only cost borne by arming the ticket checkers with scanners enabled to do the same. It is important to note that these tickets that are already in vogue. In places like New Delhi’s metros they have been incorporated successfully. Bus ticket collectors in Mumbai & Pune are already armed with digital receipt dispensers. The technology ready for the taking only needs the initial push for solutions to come through at a national level for a transport system that carries on million Indians annually.
It is also important to note that the technology integration required is only one sided and does not concern the traveler. Well of course details like train-train number and date and time of departure will be borne on the reverse of the ticket like always. The solution will not only drive business solutions but also contribute to the reduction of the carbon contribution due to enormous truck loads of computer generated print outs at either end.
And, in a country like India where trial and error is the usual route instead of research and development this attempt might just turn tables on record of the past.

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