Thursday, June 1, 2006

BANGALORE: HP on Wednesday announced a revolutionary pen-based technology that allows users to compute in their respective languages even without prior knowledge of English or typing.

The gesture-based keyboard [GKB], developed by researchers at HP Labs India, also holds the potential for Indian languages derived from the Devanagari ? Tamil scripts and Kannada scripts ? to be used in a similar manner. This is to benefit more than 1.5 billion non-English speaking people, including Indian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and other phonetic script users.

Unlike other prevailing Indian language entry methods, which either use bilingual keyboards or display the Indic keyboard layout on a monitor, HP GKB is a low-cost and rugged solution that helps solve the phonetic language entry problem by allowing users to input data the way most people learn to write ? with a pen.

This simple but intuitive data entry method could make it easier to communicate for people who may not understand English or know how to type.

“The gesture-based keyboard can help bridge the digital divide by simplifying the use of IT,” said Dick Lampman, HP Senior Vice-President, Research and Director, HP Labs. “HP Labs India is working on a wide range of other new information and communications technologies for India and other rapidly growing markets by understanding the relevant social, cultural, economic and technological drivers.” The device is expected to be manufactured and distributed by a third party, based on technology licensed from HP.

In addition to text, GKB, which can also be used as a mouse, allows the capture of signatures, pictures and other visual elements.

Source: The Hindu (link opens in a new window)