Railways, Rajinikanth and Eternity


   I suppose that you have had an experience traveling by Indian Railways. It’s the world’s largest network of railways. Besides this there is nothing much to be proud about except that it gets you from place A to B on the promised date (if you are lucky then sometimes on the promised time). Today’s post would like to draw your attention to another aspect of the Indian Railways setup that many would have observed despite the noise at the stations. The Public address system at the Railway station which announces the arrival and departure of trains. 

     Did you notice that the announcement is at-least made in 3 different languages? Also did you notice that the announcements are pre-recorded voices (mostly a single voice, but sometimes different tones interlude each other)? Now I could imagine that with roughly 7500 stations (or destinations) and 10,000 trains plying every day to help 24 million passengers reach their destination everyday must have been a humongous task to pre-record. However the people who have built the system are clever as they have recorded common messages in all languages and stitched them together with names of destination, train numbers and arrival and departure times. For e.g. a five digit train number like 16226 needs recording of one, two and six and then with repetition we get one-six-two-two-six. With this you have a system which will work for many years to come. This public address system has a certain quality of timelessness to it.

   Now lets come to a completely unrelated topic. Rajinikanth‘s new movie ‘Kochadaiiyaan‘ (to make it simpler for you to pronounce it, lets say its a King with long mane) is finally releasing in India. This movie has been made with Motion Capture, where actors are attached to sensors and then act. The recordings are then used to animate a computer generated 2D or 3D character of the actors. Nothing new you would say, its been done since the 80’s. The movie Avatar was the tipping point of this technology.
What makes me excited is this. Just like the Indian Railways public address system, if for e.g., Rajinikanth wants to record all the possible actions or movements in Motion Capture which can then be used as a repository to create a sequel of movies, long after the actor stops acting. Wouldn’t that be great? In fact, if we have a perfect graphical model of all the actors, using motion picture we could always create new movies anytime. And when the Motion Capture technology becomes commoditized one could probably open up the repository of computer generated models to the fans who could make their own fan movies in tribute to their favorite stars.

 Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy watching Rajinikanth’s antics for generations to come?
I would love it! How about you?

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One response to “Railways, Rajinikanth and Eternity”

  1. Akshatha says :

    I would love too….awesome analogy between public adress system and motion capture!!

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