Tapan Parikh – Technology Review’s Humanitarian of the Year 2007

I had the pleasure of meeting Tapan Parikh a few weeks ago when he presented on a panel at a conference to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of my alma mater, IIT Bombay. The panel focused on the latest trends in technology with the rest of the panelists discussing emerging areas in nanotechnology, biomedicine and energy. Tapan provided a refreshingly different viewpoint that emphasized the needs of the end user in developing countries. By harnessing technology to make things simpler, Tapan has provided platforms that make the daily grind of field workers in rural parts of the world a lot easier.

Tapan has applied his research skills in human-computer interaction to come up several innovative ideas that address socio-economic issues. He has also setup a company in India, ekgaon Technologies, to help develop information systems and technologies for developing communities.

One of his innovations is the CAM platform for data acquisition in the field. Realizing that the cell phone was the most ubiquitous technology platform around the world, Tapan and his colleagues devised a system that used camera-enabled cell phones and preprinted, bar-coded forms to allow field workers to easily input data, forms and pictures.

For his innovative and inspiring work, Tapan was identified as one of the 35 Innovators under age 35 by MIT’s Technology Review magazine and named Technology Review’s Humanitarian of the Year for 2007. He continues to teach and research interesting new ideas for the bottom of the pyramid at the University of California, Berkeley.

You can read my complete article at Lokvani by clicking here

You can find out more about Tapan at his home page

Click here for a link to the ekgaon Technologies website

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