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India International Science Fair: 15-year-old Jharkhand student develops jacket that helps the blind

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New Delhi: Unlike most children of his age, Prithvi Raj isn’t interested in science experiments like baking soda volcanoes or balloon rockets.A class 10 student from Rajkiyakrit (Government) School at Garwah in Jharkhand, Prithvi has built a jacket which enables visually impaired people to walk more accurately.His innovation won him the bronze at the 5th INSIPRE EXPO at the first India International Science Fair (IIFS) in IIT-Delhi earlier this week.

After working on the concept for more than five months and understanding the basic structure of a circuit diagram, Prithvi Raj created a jacket and a fire alarm device which would help visually impaired individuals. The combined cost of the two devices is less than Rs.1,000 ($15).

A science enthusiast, Prithvi Raj said that he had always desired to build a device which would help the blind live more independently. He said the reason behind this was he wanted to help his grandmother and uncle, both of whom are blind.

“The population of blind people in this country is greater than what we realize. At my home, my grandmother and my uncle are visually impaired. So I’ve always dreamt of helping such people. I kept conceptualizing this idea for five to six months. After that it took me merely 10 days and I made this fire alarm and jacket,” Prithvi Raj told  a news agency.

The jacket can be used in two ways. First, it would help a blind person walk on the streets and second to enable them to perform household chores without any physical assistance.

“This project is connected to a mobile application. Nowadays, each one of us owns a smartphone. I have attached a radio sensor inside the jacket and a vibrator indicator is attached the headset. With the help of an application in Google Play store, information can be sent to this radio sensor. The radio sensor will send signals to the vibrator. So once we select the route (for the blind person), the headset will vibrate accordingly to alert them on directions,” Prithvi Raj said.

“For instance, the left side of the headset will vibrate indicating that the person has to take a left turn and the right side of it will vibrate if they have to take a right turn. If there is an obstacle infront of the person, with the help of a PIR sensor which is installed in the jacket, he/she will get the information about it. We can alter the length of detection for obstacles in this model. Not only will the headset vibrate upon sensing an obstacle, it will also provide information on alternative directions. So not only it will make it easier for a blind person top walk, it would also prevent any accidents. At home a person can be given similar indications with the help of an instrument (which looks similar to remote control),” he added while demonstrating the working of the jacket.

Prithvi Raj has also designed a cost-effective smoke alarm which can be easy installed in households.

“The smoke alarms which are available in the market are mostly used by government or by MNCs in the country. Since their cost is very high, I have developed a smoke detector which will alert a person with the help of sound or vibration once the sensor detects ‘the temperature’ (an average solid-flame temperature of 870 degrees Celsius),” he said.

Nikky Kumar Jha, India’s youngest Paryavaran Ratna, also praised Prithvi Raj’s efforts and said that he would fund his project completely and help him make improvements.

The ‘INSPIRE’ Expo featured nearly 800 projects by students of Classes VI-X from all over the country. While 57 of the INSPIRE students were given awards of appreciation, the three top awards went to young minds from Gujarat (gold), Karnataka (silver) and Jharkhand (bronze).

While Oza Alaykumar of Mehsana topped with ‘Artificial Tree and Wind Tunnel’, Ananya Y.R. of Kadur in Chikkmagaluru district came second for a project on ‘Biodegradable Plastic’. Prithvi Raj won the bronze.(ians)

(picture credit:creativechange.net)

 

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South Korean Tech Giant Samsung to Spur Innovation as Biz Challenges Rise

Samsung said earlier this week it will announce the updated schedule “in the coming weeks”, without elaborating

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To get ahead in the fast-changing tech industry, Samsung said it will expand investment in burgeoning tech segments to propel growth. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has called for senior executives to spur efforts to develop innovative technologies to tackle rising business challenges and foster new growth drivers, the company has said.

Lee, the de facto leader of the South Korean tech giant, held a meeting with senior executives of the IT and mobile division at the Suwon headquarters, south of Seoul, on Friday to discuss global strategies.

The global strategy meeting, which is held twice a year, has drawn keen attention as Samsung is faced with business challenges from the weak memory chip and handset business and uncertainties from a trade war between the US and China, Yonhap new agency reported on Sunday.

During the meeting, Lee called for the company officials to spur efforts to develop new technologies, including the 6G mobile network, blockchain and Artificial Intelligence and to expand global partnerships.

“We have to make bold investments for the future regardless of any changes in the business environment,” Lee was quoted as saying in a press release.

“No company can guarantee they will be around 10 years from now,” Lee said. “We have to have a mindset of starting new businesses, beyond resting on what we’ve achieved so far.”

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The new Samsung S10 phones are displayed Feb. 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that it hopes reverses a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. VOA

His meeting with the handset division executives came two weeks after having a separate gathering with senior officials of the semiconductor and display business as the company was assessing the ripple effect from the US decision to put a ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei.

The world’s largest smartphone maker has grappled with slowing growth in the premium smartphone market, while losing a market share in the low-end and mid-tier segment to cost-effective Chinese makers.

According to industry tracker Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped 71.8 million units of smartphones, or 21.7 per cent of the total, in the January-March period, with its market share falling 8 per cent from a year earlier.

Also Read- TikTok Launches ‘Device Management’ Feature for Safety of Users in India

Although the company tried to boost demand in the high-end market with its Galaxy Fold priced at $1,950, its April launch schedule has been constantly pushed back without further notice over durability issues.

Early reviewers pointed out that the device’s protective screen layer was easy to peel off and gaps made it easy for debris to damage the foldable display. Samsung said earlier this week it will announce the updated schedule “in the coming weeks”, without elaborating. (IANS)