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Technology For The Masses

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DQC Bureau
New Update

MIT's Technology Review and CyberMedia organized an annual conference, named

EmTech India 2009 on March 2 and 3, 2009 in New Delhi. The event also saw the

launch of Techno­logy Review India magazine.

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The opening remarks were given by Pradeep Gupta, Chairman, CyberMedia Group

and Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher, MIT Technology Review. In the

inaugural address, MGK Menon, renowned Physicist and Policy Advisor laid

emphasis on the need to break barriers that lead to stratification of society.

He called on scientists to invest in technologies that can benefit the bottom

end of the pyramid.

Presenting her keynote, Neelam Dhawan, MD, HP India said, “Innovation in

business is the source of solutions that the world needs, and this holds true

across all industries.” She pointed out that innovation is not without

entrepreneurship and that's why there is a need to collaborate with

universities. She urged the industry to create new products that serve the

market needs, so that innovations do not fade out.

After the opening note, a series of sessions went on through the day, which

touched on topics like healthcare, cloud computing, biotechnology, Web 2.0/3.0

and nano technologies. Each of the sessions was chaired by an eminent panel and

leaders in the industry.

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In the session on cloud computing, panelists deliberated over the various

factors, like lock-ins and distance factor, that were coming in the way of

making the technology a popular concept in India. But the session concluded with

panelists agreeing that in time SMEs were sure to adopt cloud computing because

of the cost savings.

On day-two of the event, a fireside chat saw industry veterans come together

to discuss the future of ICT. One of the most successful revolutions in the ICT

space is the mobile phone. The mobile technology has worked for a lot of

reasons-affordability, ease of use, marketing and the fact that it is a

productivity device. For Manish Gupta, Associate Director, IBM India Research

Lab, mobile web is the future. “There is a vacuum created by the Internet-it is

not accessible to the masses of India,” he stated. Taking a cue from this

potential, IBM is developing a parallel web-Spoken Web, that will offer ease of

use to masses. The web doesn't require the user to be educated or literate as it

is voice-based.

During one particularly interesting session, Dr Anil Kumar Gupta of IIM

Ahmedabad showed videos of grass root innovations like an exer-cycle, an

exercise cycle and a washing machine, that allows the user to wash clothes and

workout at the same time. The session centered on technologies for the rural

masses.

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More sessions on the future of bandwidth, homeland securities, predictive

software and open source hardware followed. Each session looked at how

innovations in technology could be harnessed to help entrepreneurs, and if made

accessible to the bottom of the pyramid, could have the potential to help India

relive its golden age of knowledge.

RUTH SAMSON



ruths@cybermedia.co.in

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