Mobile Solutions in Tourism & Environment
The session on Mobile Tourism & Environmentwas chaired by Mr. Rohit Dadwal, MD – Mobile Marketing Association, Asia Pacific Limited and co-chaired by Mr. Vikram Tiwathia, Associate Director General at Cellular Operators Association.
First speaker on the dice was Mr. Amit Panchal, All Events in City, Gujarat. Mr. Panchal started by telling how he and his co founder started last year. Initially they attended events and seminars to enhance their networking. But soon they realized that the number of events that were actually happening in the city were way higher than the number of events that they attended. Thus they thought of a platform where each and every even that was happening in the city could be looked-up to found and this resulted in launching All Events.
All Events is one of the largest event portal that gives you the details of events happening in the city form a small meet up to a big corporate discussion, a small performance to big music concerts all at one platform. It has got event organizers, event enthusiast all under one roof. He shared that All Events has till date registered over 3.8 million events so far from across 12000 cities worldwide. Once you use the app, it automaticallydetects your location and suggests you events nearby you or in your nearby city. It also has features like inbuilt maps, event calendar and live photo sharing.
Second speaker on the dice was Mr. Santosh Ostwal, Nano Ganesh Ossian Agro Automation Pvt. Ltd., Maharashtra. Mr. Ostwal initiated his presentation by presetting a video about his product Nano Ganesh. The inspirational story behind the development of app was very simple. Mr. Ostwal comes from an agrarian family and in his childhood he saw his grandfather rise up at 2 in the midnight, the time when electricity came, to go and start the water pump in his fields. When Mr. Ostwal was done with his graduation, he thought of doing something for the people of his village, who had same story as that of his grandfather.
Nano Ganesh is a mobile based remote control for pumps in village. Farmers can now switch on/off their pumps from any location. They can remotely ascertain the condition of the power supply in the fields. He shared that this has helped farmers across India to save a lot of power and electricity. In past 10 years, Mr. Santosh and his team have installed over 10000+ NanoGanesh plants. This is a very cost effective solution for farmers. Nano Ganesh aims at technology that is not only affordable but very simple to understand. And very rightly they have succeeded in doing so.
Next speaker on the dice was Ms. Shalini Shinagri, Route Finder-get directions on mobile, Tata Teleservices Limited. She was here to presentthe project: Route finder- get directions on mobile. She shared that we travel places everyday and we don’t know the way to each one of them and thus we require an app or service to helps us find places. Though we already have a number of resources, like asking people, paper maps, mobile maps, car navigators and so on; still Tata Docomo has come up with a new service for mobile users. The app is very useful for those having simple feature phones with no GPS or GPRS connections.
The user simply sends a request from his phone with the destination name in it. The systems at Docomo detect the location of request and deliver the results accordingly. The results can be in form of SMS for phones with no data connectivity or in form of WAP page for data enabled phones. This service is for those who don’t feel comfortable in talking to strangers for directions and also helps avoid accidents by conveying the correct routes. The most unique feature of the service is that person needs to pay for the service only when correct services are being delivered to you.
The next speaker on the dice was Mr. Rohan Verma, MapmyIndia, Delhi. Mr. Verma sharedhis parents’ ideology of digitally mapping all streets of India so that people could make correct decisions. He was there to present his product MapmyIndia Aura,a high-end device for smart phones. It gives a proper 3D navigation experience to smartphone users. The company aims at bringing the high end experience of a car navigation system to the smart phones that are becoming more and more capable these days.
He added that the most unique feature in Aura is that it is a complete voice enabled GPS navigationsystem. The second most important aspect is that the company has put the complete data of the country in a compressed form on your mobile phone. This makes this device network independent and capable of use in offline mode too. Its complete 3D experience with almost 36 cities completely mapped in a 3D mode. This makesfinding your destination almost fun. By including the house perfect direction for major cities of country, this service has pure potential to become the best navigation app in the market.
The next speaker was Mr. Sandeep Kothawade, 360 Navigator. Mr. Sandeep comes from Maharashtra and thus presented some statistics about the commutation habits in Mumbai. It was surprising to note that almost 90% of the commuters in Mumbai only take up 10% space on roads and that is through the public transport. Though the number of public transport service is huge, it is very difficult to understand which one is correct for you. As a commuter you might facethe problem of finding right service for you as no collective information is available. 360 Navigator is a simple telephone helpline to guide you from one place to another.
He added that a user can simply call up to know all the alternative ways to get to a place, fares, duration of travel, pass facility, inter-mode transfers and other material information at one place. In addition they have marked 600 tourist locations only for Mumbai which can be accessed any time. Service also has socio economic considerations. Firstly it promotes use of public transport and releases load off the private transport to reduce congestion on roads and more importantly carbon emissions. The service also gives you a travel plan feature. Company also employs underprivileged youth in their call centres. It is a complete solution for anyone traveling by public transport in Mumbai.
Next, Mr. Ravindra V. V, Idea Brahma Consulting Pvt Ltd., Tower management for telecom companies. Their company had worked with a tower company which has almost 1.25 million towers across the company. The company was facing two issues: first, the junior electricians who were appointed to maintain the towers were not responsible. They would just sit at home and fill in the reports. Secondly, the data about the power consumption of towers was being printed required as many as 400-500 pages per tower which certainly is not at all eco friendly.
Idea Brahma then categorized its solution in three ways: fraud management at junior engineer level, controlling theft of diesel resulting in revenue loss and the environmental issues. Idea Brahma has developed an app for mobile phones of technicians. This app starts only when the technician gets near the prescribed tower. It then gathers the required data also clicks a photograph of the tower. The requirement of paper gets eliminated as the data is directly sent to the power control unit. Also another app has been developed that gives audio visual training to the technician to solve technical issues, that too in local language.
The penultimatespeaker for the day was Mr. Raidu, Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, Andhra Pradesh.He shared that the ultimate goal for this society is to reduce the cost of agriculture and make it a profitable livelihood option for the farmers. The inclusivity for the project has seen a growth in leaps and bounds in the last few years. The basic reason why their technical partners Bluefrog have entered is that SERP wants tomake the monitoring of program easy and relevant.
They have provided all the concerned departments with an offline/online mobile app that helps them in tracking the work of functionaries at the grass route level. With the help of GPS and GPRS, real time data can be collected. The department has now been able to have an aggregative look of the situations at the grass root level and thus can take the required steps for improvement.
The final speaker at the session was Mr. Sunil Khandbahale, khandbahale.com, Maharashtra. He was here for his project: Indian language dictionary on SMS. He shared that the mission of his companyis to preserve Indian languages and to convert language barriers into language bridges. Already running a multi-lingual dictionary online, they have now moved to mobile platform for this. To be able to serve even the feature phones well, they have SMS based dictionary service.
You can simply send the key (there is code word or key for every language) along with the word whose meaning you are looking to a specified number. With no premium or hidden charges, you get the response with the meaning of that word. Operating with not for profit purpose, the company looks forward to promote the use of service on a larger scale. With already 10 languages in their armament, the service is making an inspirational effort to preserve India languages.
The co-chair in his concluding remarks raised a very interesting issue. He urged that though the apps presented were fantastic, how convenient or difficult it wasfor a tourist to access them. He may or may not be carrying a phone. Even if he does he needs a local SIM for these services. Thus efforts should be made to ensure that the SIM with preloaded apps like this can be provided to tourists as and when they enter the airport.
The chair added to this by saying that if these apps could be synchronized into one comprehensive solution it would be a great boost for our tourism industry. He also said that be the app for a feature phone or smart phone, there is a market for everyone and we must keep innovating. He was also delighted to see the apps that focused on rural scenario and was very apprehensive about them. To conclude he mentioned mobile as a much greater platform than any other forms of media that evolved till date because of its sheer penetration. The device has a tremendous effect on all issues and we msut create best solution for this medium.