Thursday, March 29, 2012
Thomson to light up the whole of North America
Tech Theatre at Em Tech India on Tuesday served as a kaleido scopic show case of evolving trends and emerging paradigms in three industry verticals list. Conceived as a futuristic perspective on innovation and engineering, the session brought out intriguing facets of energy, electric mobility and communications and what lay ahead for the sectors as well as the rest.
'Know the market'
Innovation is not the same as invention, nor has it got to do just with a component, but the entire system, like how Thomas AlvaEdison did with the practical electric bulb, though a few others had designed working laboratory models. Mr.GopichandKatragadda, managing director of GE India Technology Center, was crystal clear in driving home his point. GopichandKatragadda said science, engineering and market should all be combined for any innovation. "Financier J.P. Morgan helped Edison and advised the latter to tie up with Thomson to light up the whole of North America," explained Mr.GopichandKatragadda. The ability to take technology and make it suitable for markets, according to him, was a crucial aspect. Procter & Gamble was an apt example, GopichandKatragadda said, adding how the conglomerate couldn’t sell its diapers in China initially, but after understanding the customer behavior, which indicated their proclivity to use cloth alternatives, they could succeed in selling night diapers for babies in Shanghai in about two years. He also spoke about a diagnostic device being developed by GE in Bangalore that helps view vascular system in the human body, by screening the skeleton. "Know your end customer, business and market priorities, find and articulate your passion, develop the voice of future and set aggressive goals," advised Mr.GopichandKatragadda, adding growth through innovation, by creating, nurturing and changing, is the way forward.
Zooming in on electric vroom
Chief of technology and strategy at MahindraReva Electric Vehicle Company, ChetanMaini, felt energy, pollution and congestion would be the buzzwords in the future for electric mobility. "In Bangalore, where I grew up, the pollution levels are about 4-5 times higher than how it was three decades ago. The average road speeds were faster in 1900s, before motor cars, in London than now, due to congestion." Technology- and ecosystem-related changes are important in future, he stressed, adding that solar was a key area. "A 3X3 panel at an investment of about Rs.. 1 lakh can give you 15,000 km per year and is free for life." MahindraReva, said ChetanMaini, had over 40 per cent of its workforce on R&D and had created 23 different prototypes. He also announced that they would launch the NXR version this year. Their REVive technology aids customers tap into remote energy charge, through calls or text messages, employing advance telemetrics system. "It turns it into the next digital space," he added.
Innovation through research
The way innovation happens these days is through leveraging existing platforms. "Outside online, other verticals should also exploit existing platforms to innovate, though it might take longer. We can't claim that we don't have enough information anymore," said ViswanathPoosala, head, Bell Labs India. Lamenting that people have become very good consumers, he suggested that they calmed down, sat and thought about something new. He also quoted the example of how Google monetizes people's profile information by getting appropriate advertisements and a rival that fashions itself as a competitor to the search giant said in a campaign: 'Google tracks you, we don't.' ViswanathPoosala finally touched upon Bell Labs' light radio, a wireless device, which could be an alternative to mobile towers. "It's actually lighter than a Rubik's Cube. It will bring back all the trees that are being uprooted to accommodate the towers."
Source: CIOL Bureau