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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mobiles to detect fake notes: Courtesy 21 yr old

Bangalore: A 21-year-old engineering student Neha M, has developed a mechanism by which a cellphone can double up as a counterfeit note detector, and for this project, she won the Rs. 1 lakh prize at the Innovation Challenge, organized by Schneider Electric India, where Neha competed with 150 entries from engineering colleges across the country, reports Gayatri Nair of Bangalore Mirror.


Neha, a student of Vidya Vikas Institute of Engineering and Technology in Mysore says, "The increasing number of counterfeit notes in the country prompted me to develop this device. A trained eye can detect a fake note, but not the common man."

Her aim was to empower the common man with a easily available device to help him detect fake notes. That's why she decided to use a mobile phone for her project, which she started off seven months ago.

"I read a number of surveys by the Intelligence Bureau on the circulation of fake notes, features of currency notes, security features, including water markings and magnetic ink," said Neha who is an alumni of Jyoti Nivas College at Koramangala.

The most important tips came from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). "In October, the bank held an exhibition, where officials discussed various features of currency notes and how they are printed," she said. Neha took the opportunity to ask the officials about fake notes. However, she faced a problem when she wasn't allowed to touch fake currency, as it is against the rules. "But, after much persuasion, I got to at least see the notes," she recalls.

She came to know the differences between genuine and fake currency, and used her knowledge to modify her phone to detect fake notes. "The modifications do not disturb any of the normal functions of the cellphone," she says. The only requirement is that the cellphone should have the camera feature. However, she refuses to reveal the specifics.

Now Neha is hoping that some mobile phone company will pick up her invention. "I have done 60 percent of the work. For the rest, which includes installing and design modification, I want a cellphone firm to endorse the software," she says.

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