Source: The Star
|Five Indians among Top 35 innovators of the year|
|Technology Review named Kevin Fu of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as the 'Innovator of the Year'|
|Wednesday, September 23, 2009|
Five Indians made it to the Technology Review's 2009 TR35, its annual list of 35 outstanding men and women under the age of 35 who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology.
Ranjan Dash, Ashoke Ravi, Vik Singh, Pranav Mistry and Shwetak Patel will be honored on September 23 at EmTech 2009 to be held at Cambridge campus of MIT, for doing ground-breaking work in Nanotechnology, Telecom, Internet and Hardware, respectively.
This year's winners are united in their urgent desire to do things better and get them done sooner, to help us achieve more and live better. Technology Review also named Kevin Fu of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as the "Innovator of the Year" for his work defeating would-be hackers of radio frequency chips in objects from credit cards to pacemakers. Jose Gomez-Marquez of Innovations in International Health was selected as the "Humanitarian of the Year" for his work creating practical medical devices for use in poor countries.
"Discovering the amazing young men and women who make up the TR35 is one of the highlights of the year for us," said Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review. "We honor them for their achievements today and look forward to their future accomplishments."
Ranjan Dash, 32, co-founder of Y-Carbon, a startup based in King of Prussia, PA, commercialized a technique which enables nanoporous carbon power hybrid cars. As the chief technology officer he led Y-carbon develop a prototype ultracapacitor. The plan is to partner with other companies to develop this and other applications for the porous material, which Y-Carbon will manufacture. The first ultracapacitor products could be on sale in about two and a half years, says Dash.
Ashoke Ravi, 32, a researcher at Intel, is working on how future cell phones and netbooks won't need separate circuits to transmit multiple radio signals (over a cellular network, Wi-Fi, and WiMax, for example); a single transmitter will handle all of them. Radios that use software to receive signals over different wireless protocols exist, but progress has lagged on the transmission side. Ravi's software-controlled transmitter solves the problem.
Vik Singh, a programmer with Yahoo, at 24, developed the BOSS (build your own search service) model which enabled developers take Yahoo search results and manipulate them to provide services tailored to users' needs, in some cases by considering personal data that a website has collected.
For instance, Singh says, typing jobs into Yahoo gives a user links to job-search websites such as Monster.com. But a social-networking site could use BOSS to design a search that considered a user's hometown and current job, or even where his or her friends work.
Pranav Mistry, 28, a graduate student at MIT, has made it easier to retrieve information from the Web while traveling. With Sixth Sense, an economical device worn like a pendant, digital information can be superimposed on the physical world. Users control Sixth Sense with simple hand gestures; putting fingers and thumbs together to create a picture frame tells the camera to snap a photo, while drawing an @ symbol in the air allows you to check your e-mail. It is also designed to automatically recognize objects and retrieve relevant information.
Shwetak Patel, 27, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, has shown that each electrical appliance in a house produces a signature in the building's wiring; plugged into any outlet, a single sensor that picks up electrical variations in the power lines can detect the signal made by every device as it's turned on or off. He has shown that slight pressure changes in gas lines and water pipes betray the use of specific appliances or fixtures, such as a stove or faucet. Patel believes that providing people with information about their patterns of resource consumption can help them reduce it.
The 2009 TR35 were selected from more than 300 submissions by the editors of Technology Review in collaboration with a prestigious panel of judges from leading organizations such as Caltech, Flagship Ventures, Google, MIT, PureTech Ventures, and the University of California, Berkeley.
The EmTech@MIT 2009 Conference, being held from September 22 to 24 at MIT, will honor the winners in a series of "Meet the TR35" presentations, dedicated breakout sessions, and receptions.