Goa Girl Develops Touch-Free Smartphone Technology

Goa Girl Develops Touch-Free Smartphone Technology

A Goa, India resident has made an innovation, one that allows devices like mobile phones to sense gestures, making touchscreen seem like a thing of the past. This technology will enable users to interact with their devices through merely “air.”

Goan Andrea Colaco, who has graduate and master’s degrees and earned a seat for doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has also bagged the MIT $100K entrepreneurship competition for her innovation. The innovation is a real-time, millimeter accurate 3D gesture-sensing technology on devices such as mobile phones.

Colaco stated, “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 Colaco and co-founder Ahmed Kirmani presented their solution named “3dim” in the competition. 3D-sensing is achieved by employing signal processing methods. These methods of 3D-sensing were invented at MIT by the co-founders.

Colaco said, “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.”

Some 3000 participants entered the competition. Eight finalists were selected. Colaco and Kirmani won the first prize in the completion, as the idea made the most commercial sense to the panel of scientists, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and industry professionals evaluating the eight finalists’ inventions.

Colaco, a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab, said during her pitch in the competition, “The need for power-hungry, specialized hardware has kept such technology from mobile devices-problem that has now been rectified.”

The technology only requires power equivalent to one-seventh of the quantity that is used by a standard smartphone camera.

Antonette, the mother of Colaco, said, “I am thrilled for Andrea and her recent win in the MIT $100k entrepreneurship competition. I had been talking with her over the past few weeks and knew about the preparation involved. While she said her competitors were strong too, I was confident the final would be hers. She has always been an ambitious person with attention to detail.”
Colaco earned her master’s degree in media technology from MIT in 2010 and a bachelors from BITS in Pilani in 2007.
The aim of the MIT $100K competition is to support participating students start their own companies. The competition has three parts, namely Pitch, Accelerate and Launch. The startups are provided funding and mentorship during the competition.


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