Tuesday, January 17, 2012

IEEE P1908.1 Working Group to develop virtual keyboard standard for Indic languages

PISCATAWAY, USA & BANGALORE, INDIA: IEEE announced that a new Working Group (WG) is being established after the first project approval by the recently formed IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) India Standards Interest Group (SIG).

IEEE P1908.1 – Virtual Keyboard Standard for Indic Languages is being launched with an inaugural meeting via teleconference scheduled for 25 January 2012, which is open to all interested parties from across the world to participate in by phone.

Once the standard is developed and adopted, IEEE P1908.1 will make it possible for the first time to display Indian language characters dynamically on smart phones and tablet computers, which is expected to lead to the increased usage of Indian languages.

“The availability of smart phones and tablet computers with touch screen interfaces at affordable price points are about to revolutionize the use of Indian languages which benefit 17 percent of world’s population,” said Arjuna Rao Chavala, chair of the IEEE P1908.1 Working Group. “A standardized input method for Indian languages, coupled with the ability to display the Indian language alphabet using the touch screen interface will be a great enabler and a game changer.”

This project is an outcome of the study group whose members included representatives from government, research institutions and industry, all of whom are passionate about Indian language computing. They have spent close to a year assessing the status of different initiatives and defining the scope of the project.

IEEE P1908.1 will address the limitations of previous standards efforts that have been unable to fully accommodate the preferences of languages other than Hindi and/or that have a high learning curve because of lack of phonetic mapping between English and Indian language characters or lack of dynamic presentation of Indian language characters.

“Once the standard is developed and released, consumers will benefit from being able to operate their computing and communication devices in their native language, while not worrying about any learning time, when using different devices,” added Chavala.

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