Imagining the services for (much talked about) WIFI enabled railway stations in India

October 4, 2015 at 6:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In a much publicized US visit of the honorable PM, Narendra Modi, a variety of initiatives had taken a considerable step. One of them and perhaps the most publicized one was enabling India’s 500 railway station with wireless internet connection. This initiative has got lot of applaud as well as criticism. However, one thing on the radar of many startups and established IT firms would be leverage the potential of internet connectivity at railway stations.


(This is a representative image adapted from

Let us first briefly understand the larger user base it could form – First, the wifi is free for initial 30 minutes and expected to charge 25 Rs for next 30 minutes and 35 Rs for one hour. It is believed that it will benefit 10 million users who will be traveling everyday for different purposes. There would be different user segments such as daily commuters, travelers, less frequent (but higher numbers than travelers) commuters and just passer by (who would use the opportunity of free wifi, but not travel). These user segment consists of people from different educational and technology literacy, languages and different region-religion and socio-cultural backgrounds. Catering to these diverse audiences would be a challenge for service providers, however opens interesting opportunities for service providers to intervene. Here are few of them:

  1. Contextually relevant advertisements for commuters – imagine a local chaiwala advertising his “world’s best chai” on your mobile phone, why not have a tea till you wait for your train
  2. Intelligent and user preferred local services – you added “startup sutra” on your wishlist on Amazon, why wait to order? Buy it immediately just a minute away (just besides where you are standing)
  3. Local and physical social network – have you seen group travels in local trains of Mumbai? Imagine a service that could gather people with similar interests, workplace, areas and so on!
  4. Dating services – free for 30 minutes?? Lets find a suitable match whom you can meet immediately
  5. Free internet beyond 30 minutes – someone with multiple mobile phones (and wifi hotspots) could help you access wifi beyond 30 minutes at cheaper rates – may be extra 5 Rs for additional 30 minutes!

I believe that 80% of commuters would use free wifi and not extend to paid services. What can you give in 30 minutes which can be used for another 1 hour 30 minutes of empty travel time?

The possibilities are endless. It is now, who-when-where and how you grab the opportunity to access 10 million commuters everyday. Trust me, it has huge potential market, not even e-commerce has 10 million users everday

Blush Blush!!

September 4, 2015 at 10:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Charles Darwin called blushing “the most peculiar and most human of all expressions“. A study by Dutch psychologist found that humans are more likely to give people a second chance if they blush when they betray us. The fundamental point here is that the ability to blush acts as a signal that you are sensitive to the social rule you have just broken.

So next time when you commit a mistake, then make sure you blush – who knows you get another chance.. yet again!!

Note: The image a representative image!

The Good Men of India – Interaction Design Perspective

October 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Posted in interaction design | Leave a comment
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One advantage of Facebook is a shared source of knowledge among people of similar interests, sometimes diverse interests as well. Having said that, a Newyork Times Article was often circulated across my newsfeed for several days. Anticipating something interesting, i read the article and came across an interesting representation of “persona” described by a new reporter.

The article gives a realistic view on not so publicized side of Indian men. Interesting article, and perhaps many wise people can provide more detailed analysis of the article from journalism, cultural, social etc. perspective.

The paragraph which strikes the most is where the Common Indian Male is explained through various cultural, social and behavioral aspects. The paragraph may not have been intended to explain a persona – a theory which Interaction Designers often use to detail the target users, but without any doubt, a very detailed yet compact persona of Common Indian Male is explained in this article. Here is what is says,

“Common Indian Male, a category that deserves taxonomic recognition: committed, concerned, cautious; intellectually curious, linguistically witty; socially gregarious, endearingly awkward; quick to laugh, slow to anger. Frequently spotted in domestic circles, traveling in a family herd. He has been sighted in sari shops and handbag stores, engaged in debating his spouse’s selection with the sons and daughters who trail behind. There is, apparently, no domestic decision that is not worthy of his involvement.

There is a telling phrase that best captures the Indian man in a relationship — whether as lover, parent or friend: not “I love you” but “Main hoon na.” It translates to “I’m here for you” but is better explained as a hug of commitment — “Never fear, I’m here.” These are men for whom commitment is a joy, a duty and a deep moral anchor.

At its excessive worst, this sensibility can produce annoyances: a sentimentalized addiction to Mummy; concern that becomes judgmental and stifling; and a proud or oversensitive emotional landscape.”

A good example to be used in my Interaction Design courses!!

EILab website gets a new look

May 1, 2012 at 4:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Around 6 months back I have opened a lab called Embedded Interactions Lab (EILab) with a vision to explore and experiments in the area of Tangible Interaction and Embedded Computing. We have come across some interesting projects at our lab, however we have a long journey to go. Additionally, we have changed the look of our website which will continuously be updated in future.

Here is the new website:

Embedded Interactions Lab (EILab)

July 24, 2011 at 4:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I completely forgot to post about the new lab that has been set up at department of design (DoD), IIT Guwahati. The lab has been set up few months back by me and we are in process of developing it. Though more details can be found at

Grocery shopping at Public transit

July 11, 2011 at 3:35 am | Posted in interaction design, technology | Leave a comment
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Imagine how technology is transforming lives and our comfort level. A recent launch from Tesco (Homeplus in Korea), where grocery shopping made easy through a QR code based smart phone application, allowing people to buy grocery items on the transit path.

I was wondering, what if technology is involved in all tasks around us to make it easy, would that be interesting or will we consider it as technology invading our lives? An interesting debate, isn’t it?

flexibility design – interesting concepts

June 30, 2011 at 5:29 am | Posted in creative | 1 Comment
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Though this post may not be related to interaction design, i thought it has interest set of concepts, which provocates design thoughts and discussion. Here, i am putting few of them to start a design conversation. Hope you like it.


significance of research and paper writing by Dr.Dinesh Katre

June 11, 2011 at 4:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Though it is a bit late, but it will be important to share those who do not know about it. They may find it interesting and motivate them to write a paper. This topic was conducted as a part of a workshop at Symbiosis, Pune. Here are the videos showcasing the session:

arduino the documentary

January 10, 2011 at 4:41 am | Posted in physical computing, technology | 2 Comments
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One of the wonderful prototyping tool name arduino has now a documentary on its name. It is interesting to see arduino’s progress, world wide usage by varied professions and people and for sure, its spoofs :) Just to infrom, arduino’s actual work started in 2005 in Interaction Design Institute Ivrea by a bunch of people (you will get introduced to them in this video). Arduino is widely used for making sensor based applications, installations and prototyping. Hope to see more and more success from arduino

Here is the link:

Website development cycle

January 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Posted in interface design | Leave a comment

A post after a looooong time, uh!! Recently i came across a post on IXDA about website development cycle. One of the IXDA member Shenoa Lawrence had actually development his perspective of website development cycle. Thought people would like to see.

So, what you think about it?

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