Dash for Bharat

Toilet Shop

The mail in my inbox was from an excited Sreowshi Sinha, Co Founder, Frugal Labs. She was delighted and happy to share that KFC India has launched a One click IoT button for ordering. And the entire is developed by Frugal Labs. 

The KFC One-Click button is described by gadgets NDTV as available to select customers and makes reordering selected and beverage from KFC dead easy. Frugal Labs started with IoT training and but good to see them getting into developing complete usable solutions. I am sure more such buttons will come. Way to go Sreowshi!

When Amazon introduced the Dash button on March 31 , 2015 many thought of it as a April Fools joke. However the Dash replenishment service has grown to be popular and many retail brands have joined Amazon in launching brand specific buttons. Some even try to sense the inventory level of the good and auto order replenishment. This is useful for mundane essentials like toilet paper and the smart fridge is going to take over our lives if we let it…http://fortune.com/2017/04/25/amazon-dash-button-growth/

Button Button everywhere

Buttons are an appliance for an IoT world. They come in all shapes and sizes. Most are designed to be very simple and require minimal setup. Connect them to home WiFi and use an App or configure at the retailers website .

Tata Communications Limited (TCL) in India has plans for a no fuss button. The idea is to make installation and set up very easy. They plan to avoid the home WiFi and use a battery based Low Powered Long Range LoRa network to enable consumer convenience in many situation. These buttons are more safer also as no connection to the WiFi at the facility.

The use case for no fuss IoT Device is compelling at a low enough point. Just stick it up on a wall and the device connects to the LPWAN network thru cement walls and basement and start sending temperature, ambient pollution or noise data. A barcode or QR code on the device can allow an App to tag the location and user of the device and the cloud application server can then collect data and show a dashboard and send alerts. If the frequency is not too high a coin cell battery can the device for years…greatly improving the RoI .


I have also seen a Happy-or-Not feedback device at some retail places ( Airports). Come to think of it these are also useful IoT devices

IN an app crazy world using a separate physical device to instrument and take feedback from users has pluses and minuses.

This is great for casual users and useful to position them in high traffic areas to remind and engage with users.

The experience of these devices has been good and vandalism has not been a major concern though that does happen

Happy or Not

My favorite use-case is Gaia Smart Cities Citizen Sentiment Analysis application using a Smart Poll device. Co Founder Bipin @ Gaia Smart Cities when not dashing off to those innumerable government meetings is a source of on-the-ground news on whats happening in the Smart Cities Mission in India.

The Dash for Bharat

The Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (SBM ) is a massive effort for open defecation free (ODF) environment by the government. Toilets have been built on a large scale and technology is being used in measurement and evaluation to help make them effective. Photos of toilets are uploaded and geo-tagged to check construction. The numbers are impressive


The need to check effective use of these toilets lead to the innovation that takes my award for India appropriate use of IoT The Dash for Bharat

These are three button panels where green is a positive feedback and red is a negative feedback. These devices are mounted at public toilets and capture explicit feedback. However implicit data capture help. So the devices can be enhanced to count people coming and going out ( not perfect but good enough) and report on odor levels. This completes the loop with data on actual usage trends, odor levels and explicit feedback.

There are over 350 devices piloted across 12 cities over the last six months and over a million data points have been collected. Bipin tells me this has been included as a recommended solution with 16 marks in the third annual National City Cleanliness Competition, organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, scheduled in January 2018, and will see increased demand in the coming months.

If this scales out it will provide a additional armory to the measurement and evaluation (M&E) of delivery of citizen services . Other application areas like in Metro, mass transport etc open up

May a Billion Dash for Bharat help improve citizen services

[First posted on LinkedIn ]

One thought on “Dash for Bharat

  1. Amazon stops selling Dash buttons, goofy forerunners of the connected home
    Who needs Dash buttons when your printer buys its own ink now.

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