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11 Jan 2014
Alumnus Pranav Mistry Felicitated by Vidyamandir Trust, Palanpur

Pranav Mistry

The Vidyamandir Trust, Palanpur felicitated alumnus Pranav Mistry, Head of the Think Tank Team and Director of Research of Samsung Research America for his spectacular achievements in the field of digital technology on Tuesday January 7th in Mumbai. On the same occasion, Pranav gave the Inaugural Talk under “The Inspiration Series : Connect. Ideate. Grow.”, an initiative launched by Palanpur Samaj Kendra and Palanpur Online.

Ashish K Mehta, Managing Trustee of Vidyamandir Trust, Palanpur started the programme by giving a brief presentation of the Trust, a major institution in the field of education in Palanpur. He outlined the growth of the Trust’s activities  which are today spread  over fourteen campuses, encompass 136 institutions, and bring together over six thousand children from varied backgrounds, and with different needs. “With its focus on holistic education, Vidyamandir has emerged as one of the most academically successful institutions in Gujarat,” he said.

Russell A Mehta, Facilitator of the External Speaker’s Talk programme of The Inspiration Series, gave a brief introduction to the initiative and various activities which would be taken up under the banner.

Rajiv P Mehta, Chairman, Vidyamandir Trust Palanpur, traced the journey of Pranav Mistry, who was born in Palanpur, from his days as a young student at Vidyamandir to centrestage in the international digital technology arena. Pranav today is amongst the most significant inventor-innovators of our time and is the Head of the Think Tank Team and Director of Research of Samsung Research America. The AV at the end of his speech brought alive the significant moments of Pranav’s life through this journey.

Nawab Muzaffar Khan of Palanpur, bestowed upon Pranav an elegant plaque which celebrated his achievements.

Nawabsaheb felicitates Pranav,
as Kirtibhai Mistry, Pranav's father looks on

Best known for Sixth Sense a revolutionary wearable gestural interface shaping NextGen smartphones and handheld devices Pranav is also the recipient of numerous awards, the most recent being ‘Young Global Leader 2013’ by World Economic Forum. Earlier, Pranav had received the Invention of the Year Award from Popular Science in 2009, for his invention Sixth Sense.  In the same year he also received the Young Indian Innovator Award from Digit Magazine.

Pranav was a Nominee for Forbes India’s Person of the Year 2009 and was named as the 50 Most Creative People of 2010 by Creativity 50.

In a vibrant and exciting presentation, Pranav outlined his many inventions of the past and also provided a peek into the shape of things to come. This was followed by a lively conversation between Russell Mehta and Pranav with the audience also quizzing the innovator. The presentation and discussion gave many insights into Pranav’s work and perspectives

 “Technology often seems like magic. It constantly evolves to make the impossible possible,” he said while detailing inventions which seemed to be truly so.

In conversation with Russell Mehta

Pranav has used Sixth Sense technology to help the visually impaired to communicate: the gestural interface translates sign language into words. An inbuilt computer then lends voice to the words. Amongst his uniquely innovative work, Pranav has invented Mouseless – an invisible computer mouse; Blinkbot, a gaze and blink controlled robot; and a pen that can draw in 3D.

“Researchers and inventors across the world are already experimenting with the new technologies of tomorrow,” said Pranav expounding on the immense possibilities of the future. “We could have a human-computer interface directly from the brain to the machine; we may see levitation of physical objects using ultrasound waves; we may have humans interacting with distant 3D objects through the virtual world.”

The Vidyamandir alumnus referred to his Alma Mater several times in his speech as being one of the most important influences in his life. “My school and my teachers gave me a strong knowledge base and laid the foundation for my constant scientific inquiry. But more than that, it instilled in me the urge to constantly improve and be ‘Better Everyday’,” he says, referring to the school motto. This is something which inspires him on a daily basis he said: “I wake up every day and ask myself how can I be better today than I was yesterday?”

In an emotional moment, Pranav confessed “If I am reborn, I would want to be reborn in Palanpur, and to have another chance to do my schooling again at Vidyamandir.”

Finally, with his typical modesty he says he wants to be remembered for his inventions and not for himself. “We don’t remember those who had lots of wealth; we remember those whose work impacted society and people’s lives; those who made a difference. I want my work to be remembered more than me.”

He told the audience about how several years ago he had introduced the technology for people to be able to type on their phones in languages other than English so that people were not limited by language. Sharing a poignant moment, he says “One day I was at the Borivili station and a man standing next to me showed me his phone and said, ‘Do you know I can type in Hindi? Have you seen this?” I did not tell him that I was the one who had made this possible, but I was really touched at that moment. If my technology can help someone that is the best reward for me.”

“I want to make computers accessible for all, by developing technology that satisfies the needs of the 2/3rds of the population who have no access to it at all today,” Pranav says outlining his aim.

As if Pranav’s riveting talk on technology was not enough, there was further delight in store for the audience. The multi talented young scientist gave the audience a glimpse into a totally unexpected and different facet by part reciting part singing Kailash Pandit’s “Kya Khoyavu Bachpan Maru?”.

Everyone listened in pin drop and fascinated silence to the wonderful rendering by Pranav. The thumping ovation at the end, was evidence of how very successful the evening had been.


To view videos :

Pranav Mistry's Talk at Vidyamandir Function on 07 Jan  - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1UX-AQJWbI&feature=youtube_gdata

Pranav Mistry reciting Gujarati Shayari at Vidyamandir Function on 07 Jan - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0U27SlinYw

Pranav Mistry's Felicitation by Vidyamandir at Vidyamandir Function on 07 Jan (Complete Event)  -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ2-cc4xihA



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