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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Students engineer an innovation

Three friends have created an Android app that makes searching for second-hand engineering textbooks easy

Are your old engineering textbooks gathering dust? Donate or sell them before they gather more dust. Seglio, an android mobile application, may help you do so.
The application has been developed by Prashanth T.V., Shankar S. and Karnik Ram, three third-year engineering students and friends.
“It is basically an exchange portal where people can post and search for second-hand engineering books. You can search by title, author and subject,” says Prashanth T.V., a resident of Raja Annamalaipuram and an electronics and communication engineering (ECE) student at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering (SVCE). “When we were in the first year, we found it difficult to get books. Though books were available in the market, they were quite costly. Once we complete the semester, those books will be sold at the paper-mart. So, we preferred to buy second-hand books. But the search was tough. And we thought, ‘Why not have an exchange portal for second-hand books?’” says Prashanth.
“With some fundamental knowledge in programming we set out to create this app.It took a month to develop the app,” says Shankar S and Karnik Ram, third-year ECE students at SVCE and Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering, respectively.
The portal was launched on June 27 as many colleges reopen in the first week of July. The portal has nearly 150 books now.
“At present, the portal is restricted to engineering books. A few rare books like Field and Wave Electromagnetic by David K. Cheng and Communication Systems by Simon Haykin have been posted at the portal. Gradually, we have plans to extend the services to include books on medicine, arts and science. In addition, features will be added to the app to accommodate books for school children,” the youngsters say.
“It is a no profit-no loss venture. It is up to the buyer and seller to negotiate the cost and we don’t intend to make any profit from the portal,” says Prashanth.
The boys explain the meaning of the name they have given the app: Seglio. “Seglio is a combination of Segundo which means second in Spanish and Biblio refers to books. We have made the user interface as friendly as possible, limiting it to just three tabs.” 
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