Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Humble LED Torch hopes to acquire IoT Swag!

I met Lotos Namgail the other day. Lotos is an alumni of NSIT from the Instrumentation and Control Engineering Division. He is a friend of Prateek Jha, CEDT's collaborator, friend and well-wisher. And in fact, Prateek only got Lotos to my office to discuss some possible business ideas. Lotos is a native of Ladakh and has gone back to Leh after his education here and is engaged in small business related to electronics gadgets. He mentioned that one of the fastest selling products in Ladakh, is a battery bank that people use to charge cell phones etc. According to him, it would make a lot of business sense to design and market a reliable battery bank but with additional features of a powerful LED torch and an FM radio.

This triggered an idea in my mind to take an existing LED torch, hack it and add a battery bank to it together with a single chip FM radio solution but why stop there? Let us go the whole shebang and add a Wifi connection, bunch of sensors, a Bluetooth interface, a graphics LCD and of course a suitable microcontroller, perhaps the Puppy? The result would be a fancy LED torch with IoT features.  Our idea is to enable Lotos to manufacture this battery bank empowered LED torch and FM radio ensemble locally and support it with local populace suitably trained for the task.

For now, here is the torch to hack:


It works off four 'D" type cells and therefore has a large battery compartment and sports a nice 3W LED. Work is in progress to clean up the insides and add all the stuff mentioned above. See the Xiomi 5400 mAh battery bank stripped off the aluminum cover posing with the opened up torch below.


The torch may need an additional lens to provide uniform light output if we want the torch to be used as a study table lamp and incidentally, I just found a great source of information to machine my own lens out of an acrylic sheet!

Prateek absolutely loves the whole idea and has started working on it. He hopes to interest folks back at IISc (his current place of work and research) to help package the final product.

Ladakh, be ready to welcome and embrace us!

1 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Raj Senani said...

An excellent idea!

10:58 PM, January 04, 2015  

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