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How These Social Entrepreneurs Are Using Technology To Make This World A Better Place From digital Braille solutions to mastering emotions, these entrepreneurs are leveraging technology for the greater good

By Vanita D'souza

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Entrepreneurs around the globe are trying their best to use technology and improve customer experiences with better products and services. And social entrepreneurs are not behind in the race. Following are some of the few social startups that are using modern technology like IoT and virtual reality to help people:

Innovision

Founded by IIT Bombay alumnus Shyam Shah and Surabhi Srivastava, Innovision is developing technological solutions for the empowerment of people with visual disability. The company also claims to have developed the first ever affordable Digital Braille solution enabling the visually impaired to access digital content.

Surabhi Srivastava, COO, Innovision, said, "The product will enable users to read, type and navigate digital content in their own tactile script bringing computers, smartphones, tablets etc. within their reach. The core USP of BrailleMe is its patented Braille actuator technology, which brings a 10X price advantage over all competitor products globally."

The company plans to deploy this product as a Braille tablet in schools in stand-alone mode with SD card/ USB drive as a substitute for Braille kits for education. Additionally, they are hoping to empower employment opportunities through BrailleMe, by pairing it with computers via Bluetooth for applications in BPO, IT, coding and data entry jobs.

BleeTech

BleeTech was started by Janhavi Joshi and Nipura Kirloskar and works towards improving the lives of hearing-impaired people with the help of technology. Their first product is a smart-watch called BleeWatch that helps people know when the doorbell rings or alert them during fire alarms through vibrations and colour-coded icons. Moreover, Joshi shares the watch can also talk back.

"User can save any emergency sentence (I am deaf, can you please write down?), phrase (Thank you!), name (Mom) in the app. With a press of a button, the BleeWatch speaks out selected sentence/ phrase/ name," said Joshi.

With the help of a crowdfunding campaign, the product is currently under a test run in different parts of India.

Ahhaa

Started by Ashwin Srisailam, a former Monk, along with Diane Quddus, Ahhaa creates content for virtual reality that helps people master their emotions.

Elaborating on the company's vision in a previous interview with Entrepreneur India, Srisailam said, "Life is tough, busy and fast. Going forward, they (people) seek opportunities to feel good inside but they don't know where to go. We want to show the healthy way of feeling good inside which is also cool and intoxicating, but good."

Zaya Learning Labs

The education and social startup aims to change the landscape of the sector by targeting underprivileged students across the country. The company was founded by IIM alumnus Soma Vajpayee with Neil D'souza.

Explaining the feature of the product, D'souza shares, "It collects all the high bandwidth content from the internet, caches that into a SchoolWiFi and then streams it to different wireless devices in the classroom. As the number of devices in the classroom increases and the type of content being accessed changes over WiFi, this IoT hub becomes very important. It plays a very significant role in improving the user experience."

Furthermore, the software that runs on the SchoolWiFi device, is always connected to the cloud creating one of the largest school content networks in the country.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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