With the ban on Chinese apps, PM Modi initiated the 'Make in India' challenge last year, and here I present to you five first-year IIT Delhi students who took up this challenge and were recognized by the ministry of education of India.
Archit Bubna, Rajdeep Singh Dhingra, Ritvik Gupta, Pranjal Aggarwal, and Deepanshu Rohilla are currently sophomores in the computer science and the mathematics and computing department at IIT Delhi. These enterprising students often found themselves discussing challenges and problems, and it was such a discussion that led them to come together and decide to work on an app that could replace the newly banned and popularly used Chinese ones. However, they couldn't participate in that particular competition due to time constraints but did end up creating 'ScanUp', an app to replace CamScanner at the time of work from home jobs and education.
They initially wanted to do something that didn't exist before- convert videos to pdf; however, the first step was, of course, to be able to extract it from images- make a basic functioning app and build upon the already existing apps and then add on more features (which are currently in the works). This app's working is pretty straightforward- you click and add images that go through an algorithm that processes and auto crops it without distortion (you can manually change this too), after which some filters can be applied before you get the final document within seconds.
When asked a rather blunt question- 'Do you think your app is better than the existing apps?', Rajdeep started with a modest reply that he couldn't say for sure whether it was better since apps like CamScanner have existed for a long time and have huge teams working on it. But ScanUp does provide certain advantages over them- ScanUp is entirely offline, unlike some of the other apps which have components that work online. This is important because there is no threat of data breach, and complete privacy is guaranteed. This app is also free to use and without watermarks or advertisements. However, these are just bonus points, in the pure aspects as well, Dhingra declares that their app has much better detection quality and filters than the other Indian alternates that have popped up recently.
This definitely isn't the end of the story; the five have exciting new features up their sleeves that they'll work on as soon as the IITD academics gives them space to breathe. These are- as described earlier, video to pdf convertor. It is often tiresome to click 20 pictures to create a pdf, and they look forward to working on something that would allow you to take a video of you flipping the pages and extract the pdf. They also plan to have a data backup option on the user's personal account (the developers would not be privy to it) and a password protection option for certain important documents. They look forward to bettering their text-recognition option too, which is currently a crude form of what they hoped to make.
As for the response, the app was warmly received and greatly appreciated by the IITD community. The director of the institute also shared it through his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. However, the reach outside of IIT Delhi is not great yet; they plan to work more on marketing once they improve the USPs. However, the app was appreciated and shared through the Minister of Education's social media pages, and that has undoubtedly helped boost the popularity of the app. Currently, there are around 20k downloads of the app at the moment.
The journey has been difficult working remotely without professors or seniors' guidance, but they hope that it will be easier when they're back on campus and can work on it together. However, the development phase, they say, was quite exciting, and they learned a lot- working around 10hrs a day and sometimes scratching their heads over bugs (not the insects) that took as long as 2-3 days to resolve.
Overall, it has been an exciting journey with great results, but their tale doesn't end here. Download ScanUp and watch out for the exciting new features that the 'best brains of the country' have in store!