IIT Techfest 2013: Apps demoed for Aakash 2
Rajesh Kushalkar, Project Manager Aakash project at IIT Bombay, is quite optimistic and confident about the capabilities of the Aakash 2 and tells us about the apps being ported to the tablet...
If we keep aside all the mudslinging and the debacle of Aakash 1, then we can truly appreciate the efforts being made to make Aakash 2 ideal tablet for teachers and students.
Rajesh Kushalkar, Project Manager – Aakash project at IIT Bombay, is quite optimistic and confident about the capabilities of the tablet. He says that it’s not fair to compare the two and write off Aakash 2, as it is superior and also stable. He says, "Aakash 2 is a full fledged tablet. In terms of specifications, it is far better than Aakash 1, with superior touchscreen, quicker processor, better RAM and a higher version of OS. This makes the tablet stable than Akash 1."
IIT Bombay’s focus is purely on making Aakash 2 beneficial for students and with that in mind, they have been striving to develop the app ecosystem. We spoke to Prof Rajesh during the Techfest, where the demonstration of Aakash tablet was being conducted. He said they were looking for feedback from people. In his words, "We are looking for more feedback from people to know how to improvise the application or to get more feedback on what kind of applications can we have on the tablet. Because right now whatever five to six applications that we have developed will be ported by default to the Aakash devices that will be shipped. When we receive more feedback on how we can improve on these applications that are there. or get ideas for new applications that can be developed or are already available and will benefit the students, then we can include those on the tablet as well. So Aakash 2 is more concentrated on education part only.
The tablets that have been shipped to the various colleges have these applications and they will be used from the coming semester. And the feedback that we have received so far from the teachers who have used the tablet has been positive and encouraging.”He takes us through the apps that have been developed for the tablet. ProxiMITY appProxiMITY, which stands for Proxy Multimedia Integration Tool for You, is a tool developed by IIT Bombay that allows creating interactive lessons by importing lecture video and presentation slides. It is a tool for offline lectures that are recorded and available.This novel method of interactive lessons has been made available for Aakash 2 users in the form of an app.
The ProxyMITY team has developed the app for accessing lessons directly via Aakash so that students will get access to quality lectures by reputed teachers as well as other content generated or created. This adds flexibility of listening to the lecture whenever one requires the need. There are two versions of the app – ProXimity and ProXimity Wi-Fi. So, ProXimity is a tool that can take data from your SD card or pen drive while the Proximity Wi-Fi lets you stream the lecture over the server. Rajesh Kushalkar points out that there is more to it than just streaming and viewing videos. He explains that the bookmark feature allows you to bookmark things that you feel are important so that you can view them later. Individual students who are viewing the videos can have their individual bookmarks. He also tells us that all the videos are indexed so you can directly move to a part of the video.