What is it? Bill Gates' latest toy, earlier called Project Milan, is a computer integrated into a flat surface (table/wall/door) that has been five years in the making.
That's it? Well, not quite; a touch screen interface allows you to drag and drop files with your fingers, dip your fingers into virtual paint tubs, and… well, you get the picture.
Wow, so when will it be in India? Er…, we have no idea, whatsoever.
Why? It is still an experimental product.
How much does it cost? $10,000 (Rs 4.1 lakh); and the first units will only start shipping in 2008. But, according to Gates and Microsoft, this is the future of computing.
And now, we have smart cabs
What is it? V-Link, a leading fleet management company, has launched a world-class taxi service called Meru with 150 taxis in Mumbai. V-Link will increase this number to 1,000 by December 2007 and plans to have 10,000 cabs in Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune over the next three-to-five years.
What is its USP? Meru operates only air-conditioned Maruti Esteems that have digital tamper proof meters. Passengers get printed receipts for all fares to ensure that they are not cheated.
It will also provide umbrellas to passengers to enable them to reach their destinations without getting caught in the monsoons. The use of GPS technology allows these taxis to be tracked on a real time basis.
How can you get one? You have to wait till the service is launched in your city.
In Mumbai, V-Link offers an advanced booking system for Meru which allows a customer to book for a cab on the phone (022) 4422 4422 or by logging onto www.merucabs.com. Meru cabs have to be booked at least 60 minutes in advance.
(With Kushan Mitra)
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