The Marathon Drive

“The miles is the goal” says Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) in the movie “Up In The Air”. He is talking about the frequent flier miles he aggregates on living life out of a suitcase, as he travels across the states in air. When I say “the miles is the goal”, I am on the ground and I refer it to the miles I accumulate for my monthly runs :).

I owe it to my elder brother Yogesh, who inspired me to take up running as a sport. I was never a runner, per se. The two sports that I played in my school days were tennis and soccer. And it does involve running, lots of it. These sports took up a back seat when the academics came into forefront, reducing the once passionate sports to once-in-a-blue-moon events.

I took up running after I bid goodbye to the Midwest weather and landed up in a cheerful spring in Texas. Running was completely new to me. I started off by walking, and then to brisk jog – discovering that my shoes, my sheen and heels were not in the right shape to get me running.  The greatest challenge for the first two weeks was to run a distance of 0.25 miles (0.4 kilometer).

Last year, I went on a month-long trip to Pune (India), my home town. One day, on an early morning run, I was stopped by a very old man. I had seen him run the previous day. He asked me if I was training for the international marathon (held in Pune every December). I said I was not. He said “You should try. I am hoping to better to my record for 10K race. My age is 73”.

Last month, I ran the half marathon distance (13.1 miles = 21 kilometers) in 2 hours 1 minutes 33 seconds. Series of long and short runs helped me to achieve this milestone.

Every month, my target is complete 100 miles. Depending upon the time I have, my travel and weather outside, I plan runs and reach the goal. I am often asked by my family members when will I be able to complete a marathon. I don’t know. It took me a year to complete the half marathon distance. Perhaps, soon.

Two books have helped me understand different aspects of running. The book “Born to Run” by  Christopher McDougall is a non-technical, non step-by-step guide and yet an informative read about human origins of running to the latest ultra-marathon species called Tarahumara Indians. “Running with the mind of meditation” by Sakyong Mipham offers another compelling view of running practiced in conjunction with meditation.

Nike+ app is a good way to record your running activities. Its fairly accurate, comes on Android and iOS devices. I would love to connect with fellow runners. If you are using Nike+ app, can add me to your friends list.

Based on the app usage, I have created a concept for a running app. I am sure it will undergo iterations, I am presenting the first draft.

Running App Concept - Page1

Running App Concept – Page1

Running App Concept - Page2

Running App Concept – Page2

 

The Conference Calls

How does your average work day look like – are you engaged in office calls / conference calls? Twice, thrice to the max? As your responsibilities increase, you daytime is divided mostly in the calls. You don’t keep a count of the calls, you just join them.

The app that I am presenting is in the works, it will be launched soon. The app will help the user to join calls over voice and Wi-Fi calling.

This app takes away the pains of joining the conference calls – once it is installed on your mobile it scans the inboxes, collates the calendar invites and keeps a sequence of conference calls ready to join. It prompts you before the call, dials in 10 digit toll free / call numbers, pin codes automatically (dials intelligently the country codes as per your phone number). It gives you an advance information about upcoming calls.

If you want to patch in someone, it gives you a dialer / recent calls / favorites list to call and allows you to merge the calls. Its coming on iPhone, Android and Apple Watch.

iPhone App - Page 1

iPhone App – Page 1

iPhone App - Page 2

iPhone App – Page 2

iPhone App - Page 3

iPhone App – Page 3

Android App - Page 1

Android App – Page 1

Android App - Page 2

Android App – Page 2

Android App - Page 3

Android App – Page 3

Android App - Page 4

Android App – Page 4

Apple Watch App

Apple Watch App

 

The Electric Generation

We are indebted to the scientific society of the 1900s who invented technologies we take for granted.

One of the inventors happens to be Nikola Tesla. Elon Musk is redefining the electric cars through his venture Tesla Motors. Major automobile manufacturers have taken their steps building electric cars – Nissan, Chevrolet, Toyota. Those who are genuinely interested in understanding the electric car history can read about Better Place (started by Shai Agassi, now closed) and watch the documentary “Revenge of the Electric Car” on Netflix.

While the electric cars’ evolution is on, it has not stopped the automobile world to leverage their technology to the most ubiquitous form of transportation in most countries – the bike. One of the companies that is manufacturing an electric bike in US happens to be Mahindra, naming its electric bike as “GenZe”. If you happen to be in Bay Area or Los Angeles, chances are that you might have seen that bike on the road.

I designed a mobile app concept for GenZe. The users of the mobile app are students, pizza delivery guys. The idea of the app was simple – know the bike’s essential parameters before turning the engine on. 100+ parameters of the bike are up in the cloud. There are sensors on the bike that give crucial data about the bike’s mechanics, electrical, tire pressure, etc.

The iOS and Android app offer the similar experience, with one exception. Android phones have a desktop widget of the App – no need to launch the app. There is also a micro-website that gives detailed analysis of bike’s usage.

GenZe iPhone app

GenZe iPhone app

GenZe iPhone app

GenZe iPhone app

GenZe Android app

GenZe Android app

GenZe Micro Website

GenZe Micro Website

Those cricketing ideas…..

At the moment, India is the ICC Cricket World Cup Champion defending its title in the 2015 edition. As I write, India has started off the defense campaign by a win over Pakistan. Online media, social networks and messengers are loaded with anecdotes, videos, game analysis, predictions and player trivia.

Indians are passionate about two things – Cricket and Bollywood. I have grown up on other sports in India too – tennis and football (soccer). But when it comes to the World Cup of cricket, other sports take a backseat. This will be the first time in 20 years, Indian cricket team will be playing without Sachin Tendulkar. He had been a regular figure in last 5 world cups, garnering maximum accolades to the team.

Over the years, the data visualization aspect of the game has improved. Nowadays, a cricket match analysis is replete with infographics and tools like wagon wheel, projection deliveries, momentum, hawk-eye, snickometer, etc.

There are multiple cameras that capture the action on the pitch and ground through different angles and get the granular data. From the sports data scientists’ point of view, the golden age of sports data (or rather cricketing data) is about to come. We now hear about the video analytics tools deployed by respective cricket teams to gauge the weakness and strengths of players.

Four years ago, I worked on two concepts related to cricket. One is the cricket scorecard and second is an iPad application.

I wanted to change the way cricket scorecards were presented to the users on television and websites. I wanted to give a new feel to it. This was my humble creation as I was just entering into the world of infographics design. Now, I look back and wonder at these designs and think they can be designed better :).

Scorecard - 1

Scorecard – 1

Scorecard - 2

Scorecard – 2

Scorecard - 3

Scorecard – 3

The second concept I did was a Twitter based cricket application called “IndiTalk!”. The premise is simple – talk, talk and talk about cricket. iPad was just launched, back then. The app UI bears good resemblance to the first generation iPad apps. This app, if designed today will probably have a different character to it.

IndiTalk_1

IndiTalk_1

IndiTalk_2

IndiTalk_2

IndiTalk_3

IndiTalk_3

Design for food

Let’s step away a while from the telecom domain :). I am going to present sketches I did for a pizza restaurant in Pune (India), Greens & Olives.

A brief history of Greens & Olives (G&O) should be told here. G&O was started in a place that was perceived as jinxed. The earlier occupant was a restaurant too. Before that, there was a retail outlet. The locality is brimming with 70+ restaurants. Moving to an already crowded competitive space was necessity. G&O decided that the food menu will be vegetarian, no liquor will be served. With odds stacked against it, it was going to be swimming with the sharks for G&O.

In the last two years Aditya Nilangekar, Pavan Iyengar and their team has excelled in creating G&O an exciting restaurant in Aundh, Pune.

Food and ambience is great. Chef’s recommendations are superb too.

The mobile app I designed complements the customer experience G&O team has created in 2 years. The iOS app and Android apps are being designed.

Here are the sketches of the mobile app (mind map and app UI):

Mindmap

Mindmap

Mobile App Concept - Page 1

Mobile App Concept – Page 1

Mobile App Concept - Page 2

Mobile App Concept – Page 2

If you are living in Pune, head to Aundh. Here is the address (opens a new Google Maps window) – Opposite Tangent Furniture Mall, Nagras road, Aundh Pune, Maharashtra. Call: +91 20 3267 3030