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Multilingual keypad attracts interest of telcos, software firms
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<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px ;" src="http://telecomyatra.afaqs.com/images/news/inside_946.jpg"/>Luna Ergonomics, a Noida-based software company has created what is known as the Panini keypad. This mobile software is a virtual keypad that works based on statistical predictive texting. The keypad is an application that places characters in a three-by-four grid (mimicking the phone’s keypad) and displays them from the top left (most used) to the bottom right (least used). Depending on what a user types, the algorithm predicts the next list of characters in another grid and so on. Using the Panini keypad, users can type in 11 Indian and 9 foreign languages.

Abhijit Bhattacharjee, founder and product manager, Luna Ergonomics, believes that this product will benefit handset manufacturers and operators alike. He told Telecom Yatra, "It would be a key differentiator in terms of features for handset manufacturers who won’t have to clog the keypads with multilingual characters. The biggest beneficiary, however, will be the telecom operators who can generate huge revenues by the use of this application, in the current competitive scenario."

Bhattacharjee further adds, "Today we have so many data applications and other value added services, and all of them make use of typing. However, this is just restricted to English language. SMSs today are restricted to the English language. SMS usage is the most revenue efficient part of an operator's business. An SMS is just 160 bytes. Even if SMS prices drop to 20 paise or 30 paise, it is revenue efficient. With addition of more and more local languages, the prospect of revenue for operators via VAS and SMS usage grows." The mobile marketing field could also receive a boost if more interactivity in local languages had been possible.

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