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IEEE P1908.1™ aims to enable use of Indian languages on smart phones and tablet computers through touch screen interface with little or no training

Vivian Kelly, For IEEE Standards Association
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Arjuna Rao Chavala, Chair, IEEE 1908.1 Working Group
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PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, and BANGALORE, INDIA, 26 November 2013 – IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced that the IEEE 1908.1TM Virtual Keyboard Standard for Indic Languages Working Group (WG) has developed two drafts of Hindi virtual keyboards. The keyboard apps for Android are available at no cost for evaluation and feedback.

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 use of Indian languages.

“The IEEE 1908.1 Working Group started work in January 2012 and received interest from nearly 200 people, and members from around the world participated through monthly phone conferences,” said Arjuna Rao Chavala, chair of the IEEE 1908.1 Working Group. “After assessing the available keyboards, the group focused on Hindi keyboard with alphabetical ordering of layout, while combining the advantages of Inscript and phonetic layouts. The key assignment was optimized by using vowels double up as vowel combiners when preceded by consonants as is common with phonetic keyboards.”

Virtual Keyboard for Indic Languages

The IEEE 1908.1 WG is conducting an online survey to garner feedback on the new draft layouts from potential users and working group members to help speed up future work on the IEEE P1908.1 standard. Completed survey responses are due by 11 December 2013.

Additional information on the draft Keyboard layouts for Hindi. external link

Individuals interested in actively participating are invited to join the IEEE 1908.1 Working Group to contribute and further shape the initiative. Former members can reactivate their membership by contacting the Working Group chair. New WG members can sign up by visiting the IEEE 1908.1 Working Group page. external link

Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc), supported by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) India Special Interest Group (SIG), and the IEEE India office, IEEE 1908.1 is designed to involve diverse stakeholders on an equal footing.

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IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at the IEEE Web site. external link