Dr. Ramesh Jain, born and brought up in Nagpur and who studied Engineering from VRCE ( now VNIT) is now an established serial entrepreneur, researcher and educator in USA. He is credited to have made the first innovations and progress in multi media earning him the epithet of being ‘Father of multi media’ just as Berners Lee is the originator of the world wide web.
Though he is still a full time Professor of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Irvin and involved in the running of two companies he still finds time to come to Nagpur once or twice a year – even if just for two days.
During this visit of his, he addressed Nagpurians at a TIE “The Ideas to Enterprise” hub and then through Nagpur First. Both meets were held at the Chitnavis Centre on Saturday 25th April. At both places he spoke about his latest brain child ‘Krumbs’ which will revolutionize the world visual media and the way we look at and use pictures that we take so casually and constantly with our cell phones. The potential of this new ‘medium’ is mind boggling considering that in 2014, 900 Billion photos were uploaded to internet.
The ways these photos could be stored and retrieved can have multiple applications in industry, health, agriculture and many other sectors.
What is most important, Ramesh Jain wants to give Nagpur a chance to house ‘Krumbs’. Not just out of filial duty but he strongly believes it would be a logical place for it to be headquartered in.
Just like the reason why the success rate of computer companies based in California is 80% since the place has the right synergy for IT companies, so also will Krumbssucceed in India and in Nagpur, says Ramesh.
Among the 5.5 cell phone users all over the world, a very large proportion live in India. India easily has more cell phones than USA since it has four times more population and almost every Indian has a cell.
Taking the rapt listeners through multi media and internet usage history Dr. Jain in fact spoke about man’s evolution as an intelligent being capable of having thoughts, expressing them and chronicling them.
“This is what has differentiated us from other animals. We are the only ones who progressed from speech, to writing , to printing and then to computers. It is important to remember that before speech came pictorial communication, which we can still see as primordial drawings on cave walls. May be the time has come to complete the circle and go back to communicating through pictures” said Ramesh.
Dr. Jain who has pioneered companies like PRAJA, Virage and Image aware, apart from being a mentor to Lambent in Nagpur, came upon the idea for Krumbs as he was sorting through the many photos his wife and he take of family events and the pet dog!
“Suppose I want to locate a picture I had taken a decade ago on a particular day of a particular person?” Ramesh asked himself. Of course there are folders and pen drives and such but still it is impossible to look for old digital photos, unlike albums which have become outdated now.
The number of photos we click now almost daily is humungous, but they are still unique and have their utility, not just as memorabilia but as documentation of data. Explained Dr. Jain.
So how could they be stored and ‘cataloged’ in a easy to access format ?
Doing a lot of thinking and research on this question, Dr. Jain utilized something akin to ’emoticons’ to define where, when and why the pictures were taken. Also who all was in the pics. When usage of the ‘Krumbs’ technology becomes rampant one will not even have to take special efforts to catalog the photos taken. The computer in your smart phone will do it automatically.
The applications for this would be limitless. Even sky would not be the limit.
Just like all those years ago a Britisher called Tim Berners Lee looked at all the data people had on their individual computers and asked himself the question – “suppose all the information stored on computers was linked. And suppose I could program my computer to create a space in which anything could be linked to everything?” Out of this idea he created the world wide web which was followed by google and now looking for any information on google has become so common that ‘googling’ has become a verb!
In just the same way the photos everyone takes and uploads could be retrieved by anyone else based on subject, time and place – imagine what could be achieved? What ALL could be achieved?
As Dr. Ramesh Jain talks about all these possibilities he sounds so passionate that you can quite believe that what he is saying could be the next net revolution.
And he desires that Nagpur should be the ‘epicentre’ of it.
Introducing him at the beginning, Shashikant Choudhary, the pioneer of IT industry of Nagpur and Director at Global logic spoke about Ramesh Jain’s dedication to Nagpur and its growth. He narrated that he had personal experience of how when he began his first company Lambent with very little capital, Ramesh Jain came as a Godfather and not only sent him a cheque of $ 25,000/ as a token of trust in the venture but also helped in its growth.
Dr. Jain, began his talk at TIE by stating that whenever he comes to Nagpur he is flooded with nostalgia since the place has changed so little and at such a slow pace. He went to a school called Hindi Bhashi Sangh in Itwari and then to college in VRCE. He cycled his way from one end of the city to the other everyday.
So though one part of him feels happy that home is still as he left it all those years ago, another part is saddened and unhappy. Specially when he comes to Nagpur after having been in Beijing or Singapore where buildings are torn down in just 2-3 years to make way for new ones so fast is the progress there.
“Why not Nagpur?” He wonders.
Now with Dr. Ramesh Jain and other people like him from ‘Nagpur First’ making it their mission, may be Nagpur will also change beyond recognition. But it will still make Ramesh happy!