NRI in News: AT&T’s High Speed-Network is Helping Suman Kanuganti’s Smart Glasses Change the World

Imagine having just arrived at a busy airport and having to navigate to baggage claim, all the while having your eyes closed. Now imagine having to choose your bag out of hundreds of cases of luggage. This was the scenario that Aira’s Co-founder and CEO, Suman Kanuganti, gave at a 2016 global technology conference. This task, which we are casually able to do, is made exponentially difficult for the blind and visually impaired who make up more than 22 million of the U.S. population.

To help those faced with visibility challenges every day, Suman Kanuganti and his team created Aira, a live-time navigational service company that leverages wearable devices, human assisted AI, and widespread bandwidth. Aira was developed within AT&T Foundry for Connected Health, a workshop that fosters emerging Internet of Things (IoT) companies. Here, Suman was able to work closely with AT&T for nine months before showcasing Aira at CES 2017.

Aira utilizes innovative smart glasses technology, along with a dedicated team of certified agents, to guide the users’ around their surroundings while AT&T Dynamic Traffic Management gives Aira agents prioritized connectivity. The user taps on the glasses to connect to an agent who offers assistance. Using a video camera, the agents can “see” from the wearer’s perspective in near real-time and communicate back to the wearer. This way, Aira is able to help, not just in navigation, but also for various circumstances that require visionary aid. Suman’s goal is to expand on these services and develop better software to help those with dementia or autism.

About Suman Kanuganti

Suman holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance, but more importantly, Suman was able to cultivate his vision from his roots, pulling from his Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Kakatiya University, India. His learnings as well as more than 10 years of expertise in leadership and tech has helped develop Aira into fruition, successfully enabling many to navigate independently and even allowing a visually impaired runner, Erich Manser, to finish this year’s Boston Marathon 2017. Beyond the marathon, Erich stated that Aira is helpful for every-day tasks, from picking out a special-occasion card to navigating through populated airports.

Indian Style Innovation? Generate electricity using bulls

Economic Times has an interesting story featuring Patanjali’s Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna now want to generate electricity using bulls

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Image: ET

Baba Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna of consumer goods company Patanjali are working on a unique form of renewable energy: Bull power.

Research of over one and a half years on the idea to generate electricity with the aid of a bull’s pulling power has yielded initial success. The aim is to ensure that the animals don’t get sent to slaughter.

The experiment is the brainchild of Balkrishna, managing director and primary stakeholder of Patanjali, and involves a leading Indian multinational automobile manufacturer and a Turkish partner. A prototype has been designed and is being tweaked to generate more electricity.

So far the design, involving a turbine, has managed to yield nearly 2.5 kilowatts of power, said those aware of the research project.

“At a time when more and more male bovines are being slaughtered, we want to change the perception that they (bulls) are not very valuable,” Balkrishna told ET, confirming that Patanjali is conducting research on this at its sprawling Haridwar headquarters “While in the morning they can be used in the farms, in the evening they can be utilised for generation of electricity.”

The article and the interesting headline leaves a lot to our imagination, especially since the technique is unproven and hasn’t been demonstrated at scale. If it does succeed, it will be an interesting innovation to watch.
You may also be interested in a more detailed feature on Patanjali (link) including articles on growth of its brand and going global.



Other articles on this topic:

Shah Rukh Khan’s TED Talk

In this charming, funny talk, Khan traces the arc of his life, showcases a few of his famous dance moves and shares hard-earned wisdom from a life spent in the spotlight. “I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people,” says Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s biggest star.

 

With a fan following that runs into multi-millions, Shah Rukh Khan is at forefront of the Indian film industry and continues to rule at the box office in India. (link to TED)

 

Where are most first generation (Asian) Indian Americans settled in USA?

Here is an interesting question from an online forum “Where are most first generation (Asian) Indian Americans settled in USA? Like I know that they came in California, Washington & Oregon… But what about the trends that later followed? Did anyone choose agriculture oriented states like Iowa or Idaho? I can also see that ~500k Indian Americans are in California itself.” 

Response from our editor

The US Census has begun cataloging “South Asians” and Asian Americans. Among South Asians, Indians are the prominent sub-category.

Much of the research on this sub-category and Indian Americans in particular is empirical.

Check out the link: Statistics and Demographic information on Indians, NRIs and Global Asians in the US and North America

The challenge with census data is that a review of “Indian Americans” will include first and second/third generation Indian Americans (e.g Sundar Pichai and Kal Penn). It may also include those on temporary work and student visas, who happen to be legally resident in a state at the time of survey.

Amazon India announces Original series on Subhash Chandra Bose's INA

American e-commerce giant Amazon, that is ramping up its presence in the Indian video streaming space through Prime Video, announced yet another Indian original series based on Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA). The series will be directed and produced by Kabir Khan, who has to his credit movies like ?Ek Tha Tiger?, ?Bajrangi Bhaijaan? and ?Kabul Express?.

The Forgotten Army (working title) will be Khan?s debut in OTT digital video services and is scheduled to start production by the end of 2017.

Roy Prince, Head of Global Content, Prime Video stated,

Our aim is to build a compelling lineup of Indian shows, working with the greatest talents from the industry. Our association with Kabir Khan is one of the many such partnerships that India will see

Kabir Khan also chimed in stating

Amazon Prime Video provides greater access to reach new and vast Indian audiences. They are also bringing in global talent and knowledge to collaborate with Indian scriptwriters and content creators to further hone their skills and know-how. The web series has a scale and reach far greater than any Hindi film.

Media references to the announcement