Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world, just became more technologically advanced thanks to the efforts of students from IIT-Bombay. They have implemented a pilot Internet of Things (IoT) project in the area that will allow shop owners to connect with their customers through the Internet and smart phones.
IoT, one of the biggest trends in the digital world, connects every day objects (anything including refrigerators, cars, homes, etc.) to the Internet. It then allows users and the objects to communicate with one another.
How does that help shops at Dharavi? Students of Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at IIT-B have collaborated with Swansea University in the UK, and have installed devices known as beacons in several shops in the region.
These beacons can communicate with smartphones that have internet data, GPS, and Bluetooth. The beacons are part of a grant from Google, which is helping IIT-B with this experiment.
Image for representation only. Photo source
If you are in the area and your phone data is turned on, it will immediately let you know about the shops nearby and the products on sale. This will make shopping all the more effective and successful. Shop keepers and owners will be able to provide a more engaging customer experience thus growing their businesses.
“This enhanced shopping experience aims to not only boost the customer-seller relation but attract more buyers to the markets of Dharavi. In the greater scheme of things, this will bring a change in the way Dharavi is perceived,” read an IIT-Bombay statement in The Hindustan Times.
Shops that are part of this pilot have posters urging their customers to turn on their Bluetooth. Students who are spearheading this pilot will submit a report to Google once it is over and the organisation is likely to provide more grants to the ambitious venture.
The next time you are in Dharavi, make sure your phone is prepared to help fulfil all of your shopping dreams.