Saturday April 21, 2018

Mobile app recreates Kolkata’s history in real-time

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Kolkata: Heritage enthusiasts and tourists can now travel back in time to experience the grandeur of 19th century Kolkata through a unique mobile app that offers a glimpse of the city during the British Raj by a mere pointing of a smartphone at a monument.

Christened ‘Timescape: Kolkata’, the app incorporates more than 100 geographical points (such as National Library and Victoria Memorial Hall) and historic images of the city, going back into the past as well as depicting the landscape today.

It is essentially a blending of virtual reality and real life into what is technically known as augmented reality (AR), a hot digital trend through which users can imagine themselves in the 19th-century environment accompanied with audio and video.

The app is a collaborative effort between Kolkata’s Jadavpur University and University of Liverpool in UK in association with the British Library.

Many of the images used in the app are from British Library’s photographic archives and date back to the 1800s.

Speaking ahead of the app’s launch at the Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH) here on Saturday, its curator Jayanta Sengupta said: “If you point your smartphone camera at a particular location, the app recognises where you are in the city based on GPS location co-ordinates. The image on your screen will then be augmented by a corresponding 19th-century photograph.”

“It basically brings history to life and merges past with the present,” Sengupta told a news agency.

The VMH has also provided images and other data so that historic images of Kolkata can be embedded in an interactive map.

The team of developers includes Nandini Das, project lead from the University of Liverpool’s Department of English, Supriya Chaudhuri from Jadavpur University and John Falconer, lead curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the British Library.

Supported by the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), the project aims to explore the critical role played by Indian cities in negotiating contact between India and the rest of the world.

(IANS)

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Swiggy to use digital payments for delivery fleet

Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to "change the way India eats" and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others

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Another step towards digitizing India
Encouraging Digital Transactions by exempting service tax on Cards (Wikimedia commons)
  • Swiggy is an online food ordering platform
  • It will now allow digital payments for delivery feet
  • this method will prevent any leakage in cash payment process

Online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy on Monday said it would use privately-run ICICI Bank to allow its delivery fleet to make digital payments.

“Through the use of Unified Payment Interface (UPI)-based solution for instant fund transfers and automated cash deposit machines at ICICI Bank branches and ATMs across the country, the delivery fleet will have a hassle-free way of transferring funds,” the company said in a statement. Swiggy operates with a fleet of over 20,000 delivery persons delivering food from over 25,000 restaurants across 12 cities.

These digital payments will prevent leakage in cash payments. Wikimedia Commons

With cash-on-delivery being a widely used method of payment on the platform, the digital payment methods allow the delivery men to quickly transfer the funds to Swiggy, saving their time, according to the statement.

“With the delivery fleet being the backbone of Swiggy, the adoption of the digital payment solutions will support the ease of operations and save their time and thousands of kilometres of travel,” said the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rahul Bothra in the statement. The digital payment methods will also help in preventing any cash leakages, the company said.

Also Read: Rise Of Digital Media Unstoppable: Experts 

Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to “change the way India eats” and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others. IANS

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