Touch-Free Phone Technology

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Goa girl develops touch-free phone technology:

The next 'in' feature for your smart phone might very well be gesture-recognition and it is a young Goan who is behind the innovation. The creation is set to make touchscreen technology passe and would allow users to interact with their devices through thin air.

Native of South Goa's Velim, Andrea Colaco, has not only earned a graduate and master's degree, and later earned one of the most-sought after doctorate seats at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT), but has earlier this month won the MIT $100K entrepreneurship competition for her innovation which provides real-time, millimetre accurate 3D gesture sensing on devices like mobile phones.

"What is the next interface for cellphone devices? It is gesture recognition. Every cellphone-device manufacturer is scrambling to bring gesture-recognition into their devices. This is an immediate and unaddressed market," Andrea said.

The innovation was presented at the competition as '3dim' solution, set up by Andrea with co-founder Ahmed Kirmani. It achieves high-quality 3D sensing by employing patented signal processing methods invented at MIT by the co-founders.

"Now with the prize money, 3dim will go full steam. We will develop the technology for customers-smart-device manufacturers-who have already expressed interest in the product," she said.

The Goan's business idea made the most financial sense for the panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, scientists and industry professionals judging the eight finalists of the over 3,000 participants.

Andrea's success though had seemed certain from the early years. The student of Margao's Fatima Convent High School had ranked second at the Goa board Class X exams in 2001 and two years later topped the Class XII exams with an impressive 96.17%. Her record of cent percent score in physics, chemistry and biology remains unmatched till date.

"The need for power-hungry, specialized...
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