An Indian Student’s Invention Helps People Suffering From Memory Loss

An Indian Student’s Invention Helps People Suffering From Memory Loss

Picture this — it’s Monday morning, you wake up late, rush through a shower and quick breakfast. You get ready for the daily commute to work and ride the elevator down to the ground floor. “Hang on, where are the keys to my car?” you ask yourself. You frantically search your pockets but the keys aren’t there, so you ride the elevator back up and search the bedroom, the dining table and the kitchen but for the life of you, you can’t remember where you kept your car keys.

This is a situation we all at some point or the other find ourselves in, and a very small, loose example of forgetfulness that strikes us all. Shriank, a school-going teenager from Bangalore, has invented a device which will help you locate those goddamn keys and so much more.

Shriank’s invention, KeepTab, was built for a far more serious circumstance, aimed at people who suffer from chronic memory loss, but is equally useful for people who forget where they kept important objects. KeepTab uses a cloud-based deep learning framework to keep track of objects deemed important for the user; medicines, keys, TV remote, phone, wallet, you name it. The incredible bit is that the device does not need to be programmed or setup in any manner. It is ready for use out-of-the-box and has an accuracy of over 90 percent under good lighting conditions. “The device can be worn over one’s clothing and images will be captured as the user moves around. Household furniture and appliances will be categorised as references to find the important objects. All this information is stored on a cloud-database. If I’m looking for my keys, I will just have to say ‘locate my object’ to the voice interface provided by GoogleNow on my phone (which the device is linked to) and the search will tell you where the object was last located,” he said in an interview.

Video Courtesy of Google Science Fair

Shriank’s brilliance in coding and hackathons garnered recognition at the national level Google Science Fair this year stood out at the national-level Google Science. A class 12 student in the National Public School in Bangalore, he witnessed his grandfather’s gradual but stressful memory loss each time he would visit, and that was all the motivation he needed to create KeepTab. “The device has been attracting the attention of many people. I’m planning to make codes available on an open source platform so more can have access to it and develop it further,” he said.

KeepTab consists of three simple components – an Intel microprocessor, a camera and an accelerometer. The camera captures images of common household features like furniture, appliances and doorways as well as important objects like keys and medicines. The accelerometer helps keep track of the user’s location as long as the device is worn and records an event whenever an important object is placed somewhere. The cloud database can then be used to fetch information regarding the location of an object. It really comes as no surprise to us that Shriank wants to pursue a career in Artificial Intelligence.

Shriank was one of two Indians among 16 global finalists at the sixth Google Science Fair. We hope to see KeepTab in the market soon so that Monday mornings are less stressful for the forgetful lot.