Wednesday, June 13, 2012

To keep browsing, switch off your Internet

First things first -  for those lesser mortals who do not know Rajnikanth, Rajani is a South Indian film star whose fame and glory is so great that it cannot be described by words. Hence we wont attempt do that - instead we will directly jump into the cool technology that makes us access his website only when you disconnect from the Internet.
This was in the news in the early part of this year (January) - for those who missed it, here it is -
It may sound like another Rajinikanth joke, but a new website dedicated to the superstar runs ‘without an Internet connection’! Visitors to are greeted with a warning that “He is no ordinary man, this is no ordinary website. It runs on Rajini Power” and are advised to switch off their Internet connection to enter the website. Only when the web is disconnected, one is allowed to explore the site. 
“The unbelievable spectacle of running a website without the Internet is a tribute to Rajinikanth’s larger-than-life image,” claimed Webchutney’s creative director Gurbaksh Singh. Singh told PTI that the website is based on a complex algorithm running in the back-end that keeps an eye on the propagation of data packets between two terminals. Magic kicks in soon as the Internet speed is down to zero, which is the basic premise on which the site and the concept has been constructed. “The website has received a phenomenal response and has gone viral with several thousand hits and counting, along with innumerable shares and mentions across the web, especially on popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,” Mr. Singh said. “After a few iterations and testing, we cracked the code required to build the world’s first website that runs without the Internet — a website that runs offline — which is as awesome and unbelievable as miracles and stunts associated or performed by Rajini himself,” he said.
Acknowledgement - I got to know about this stuff from my friend and TRIZ expert Prakash - Prakash co-founded TRIZ India ( and is in the editorial board of International TRIZ Journal. Read more about this idea in his blog
 IP - Innovation in Practice - :
Prakash writes:
What if the same concept is used in other important websites around us, especially for the rural areas of developing countries like India and yet to be developed countries where there is no power (or power only for few hours), internet connectivity is rationed?
I have read some interesting innovations similar to this where this kind of offline websites are syncd with servers twice a day in rural areas when a vehicle fit with the remote satellite connection pass through the villages. Now, we probably have better resources like mobile phone. How about a mobile mesh network connecting to this offline website and the realtime information is available through simple txt (SMS). The mobile mesh is again created by using your and my cell phones in the rural area..

Key Takeaway
Here is a technology that is used to introduce a fun element and to break the monotony of conventional websites. But looking at it from a broader perspective, this could trigger innovative solutions for rural India where the solution should work even in the absence of  power and internet connectivity.  
Always expose yourself to such simple and fun ideas that exist around - it could seed bigger ideas  - you could borrow and marry these fun ideas to critical problems and make an impact. 

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