- Name of the Maker – Hemkesh Agrawal
- What does it do?
The project Be-Hold is a wearable device (a glove) which enables the user to make and receive phone-calls through simple and intuitive gestures. Be-Hold is a battery run, completely independent device which has an inbuilt speaker and a microphone. Gestures like counting on fingers are translated to ‘dialling a phone number’.
- The brain of the device prototype is an Arduino Mega
- There is a GSM shield to support the phone/SIM related functionalities
- The fingers of the glove are fitted with metal buttons which are connected to the circuit.
- Each button is sequentially assigned to a digit (just like a dial-pad)
- The user can dial numbers by tapping on the respective buttons.
- There are dedicated buttons to receive and disconnect calls.
- To talk, bring the thumb closer to the ear and the little finger closer to the mouth. The rest of the fingers can conveniently be folded.
I wanted to pursue this idea to bring a more human-centric design approach into the common chore of making a phone call. More importantly, I felt, this could help the Visually Impaired by making them less dependent on carrying a phone as this device will always be with them like a piece of clothing. This is only a prototype but with further improvement and investment, this can potentially evolve into a much more sophisticated form, leveraging the recent trends in the world of technology.
At present, the Be-Hold prototype only has the basic functionality of making and receiving calls. Below are some of the future plans for improving the device and making It much more useful for the target customer –
- Improving the design and appearance to make it smarter, sleeker and more efficient
- Adding the functionality of memory/storage
- Providing an internet backed, voice recognition enabled personal assistant like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant etc.
|SIM card + Recharge
|Speaker and Mic
- Story of struggle if any/ interesting experience
The entire development experience has hitherto been a roller-coaster ride as there have been instances where everything worked in first attempt (surreal moments of epiphany) and then there were sleepless nights where everything seemed stalled nothing worked!
One interesting (and annoyingly taxing!) experience was with my GSM shield. One evening, I was trying hard to integrate the GSM shield with my circuit but it was not even booting! I exhausted all options, ranging from altering current supply, changing the capacitor etc. but nothing seemed to work. Disappointed, I lost hope and decided to urgently buy new components from the market. In utter desperation, I rushed out of the home and within a span of an hour I travelled for approximately 20km to buy two new GSM shields but only to find those refusing to boot too! Completely enervated and worked-up, I went to bed in a state of despair.
Next morning when I woke up, I had this sudden realisation of trying something as basic and simple as altering the voltage (which my fatigued mind had forgotten to consider the day before). And voila! My original GSM shield worked!
So, as it turned out, my commute and extra expenditure had all been in vain. And, more importantly, the sharp contrast between the horrors of a worn out and the wonders of a relaxed mind taught me an important lesson for life – Whenever stuck, grab some sleep!
I am very lucky to have such a motivating, helpful and supportive family! They always help me out in times of crisis, provide the requisite resources for my projects, connect me with relevant people, understand my interests (they never unnecessarily press me into doing anything), teach me the proper way of doing things and scold me too whenever needed!
My father helped me with logistics, industry knowledge and patent related work. My mom, being a Physics major, has helped me with the components and design of Be-Hold. My two sisters, both of them Computer Engineers (the elder one is also currently pursuing her MBA) have always been helpful in answering my doubts and brainstorming with me on taking certain technical decisions.
- How will it help people /society?
Be-Hold, though can be used by anyone, is primarily targeted to benefit the Visually Impaired as they can wear it and not worry about ‘keeping and forgetting’ the phone somewhere! Moreover, its gesture driven nature makes it even more user friendly! Also, the future plans for this project aim at evolving it into a much more powerful and connected device which will empower the Visually Impaired to fully leverage the fruits of the technological marvels and inventions (at present most of them are heavily dependent on the sense of sight).