Researchers, including those from India, have brought Internet of Things into the picture to connect shops at Dharavi Mumbai, which is one of the largest slums in the world. The sole aim of the connected market is to give buyers an enhanced shopping experience and helping them make an informed choice.
Connecting 30 shops in Dharavi’s markets to a physical web through 100 devices called beacons, is all a part of project which is a part of Google’s Internet of Things Technology Research Award.
How does it help? When customers using smartphones are in the proximity of any such beacon-enabled shop, they get a notification via bluetooth. The customers can then browse through products available at the shops using an interactive interface, thus giving a user an overview of the products of all the shops in the area and hence facilitating them in making an informed choice.
The researchers reportedly said that in the greater scheme of things, this development is set to bring a change in the way Dharavi is perceived. Researchers from various institutes such as Swansea University in the UK and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, who were a part of this project, hope to not only boost the customer-seller relation but also attract more buyers to the markets of Dharavi.
Quite infamously famous as a slum with narrow lanes, Dharavi has developed itself, to a large extent, as a self sustained informal economy. Various industries such as leather, garment, recycling and pottery form an important of Dharavi’s economical burst.
And thanks to IoT, it now would be one of the first markets to have network connectivity allowing them to send and receive data and interact with each other.
Shops which are a part of deployment are given a poster that asks people to turn on the Bluetooth to experience the physical web.
The Google IoT Research Award gives students access to 100 beacon devices designed to allow any smart device to interact with real-world objects – in this case, shops in Dharavi – without having to download specific applications.