A Chennai-based IIT graduate has been named as one of 35 outstanding innovators under the age of 35 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s magazine Technology Review. Thirty-year-old Ajit Narayanan won this accolade for a unique speech synthesiser called Avaz that he developed for spastic children. “There are not many engineers working in the field of disability. And when you get recognised for working in this offbeat field, it feels very exciting,” he says. Narayanan returned to India from the US in 2007.
The idea for a product like this first struck him when a friend from IIT-Madras introduced him to a school that worked with spastic children. After working on the project between 2007 and 2010, the product finally hit the market in February last year.
“Today, we work with most spastic societies across the country. People can buy the product from my company, Inventions Lab, for a price of Rs 29,990,” says Ajit.