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Implications of Panini Keypad

The impact of the Panini Keypad technology is social, economic, political and has several other dimensions, the most important of which is digital emancipation, addressing the digital divide for the masses. It is in regard of this that the technology has won so many awards from society, industry and innovation contests.

The Need

India has a population of 1.2 Billion and it has some 800+ million phone connections in 2012. It is assumed that there are 600 million phone users today. Of these only about 10% know English. The others cannot type on the phone and hence are left out from every information enabling applications of the phone. There is a crying need. This begins with not being able to store an address book on the phone, inability to send text messages and a hundred other things going to be offered in M-Governance, M-Health, M-Education, M-Commerce and so on. This will also become truer for every other digital device we shall be seeing into the future.

All of this can only reach the majority of the people of India when regional languages are supported on their phones in an usable manner.

The Challenges

There were a few challenges to supporting Indian languages on the phone, some relatively simple and others more complicated. To support display of Indian languages on the phone is the easy part. All the languages are supported in Unicode which all phones already support. And if the font of the language is present on a phone, content will display. It already does on many phones. The quality of rendering varies between phones but that too is increasingly being fixed by the manufacturers as the consciousness of it is increasing with the users.

The more complicated problem was regarding input and that stems from the fact that Indian languages have a large number of characters and the composition rules for word formation are not like English.

The large number of characters was making it impossible to support typing of Indian languages through Multitap because the number of taps went to 7 or 9 per character which was clearly unusable. There was not even space to print that many characters on the little face of the key.

Also, India had so many languages. Even with the multitap approach and printed keypads, inclusion of one was always at the cost of non-inclusion of all the other languages. Or would have implied building custom phones for each language which was not logistically and business wise viable for manufacturers.

The Solution to typing had to come from a completely different approach and hence a breakthrough invention to type in a new way was required.

The Panini Keypad

The Panini Keypad allows one to type in all languages of India, in all its scripts on a mobile phone/tablet/PC and every other digital device faster and conveniently than was ever possible.

It is easy to use and very fast.

One can demonstrably type in any Indian language using the Panini Keypad faster than one can type in English on an equivalent phone.

It does not demand any hardware change as everything is supported on the existing phone with only a software implementation. It does not require printed characters on the keypad making it possible for the same phone to be sold in every part of India and the user choosing his language as per his convenience.

The Panini Keypad has been developed for all languages and offered for all kinds of smart phones and is used by over a million people in the subcontinent to successfully type in all Indian languages. It works on keypad phones as well as touch screen phones.

It has now been developed as a hardware solution for non-smart low cost phones which will be available in the market soon.

The implication is that all our phones, tablets, PCs will very soon support the capability to type conveniently in all Indian languages.

The details of the Panini Keypad are offered all over this website.

We are very happy that we could take a technology from near the state of the art and deliver it for the daily consumption of the numerous of the most underprivileged. The first software they are going to use in their owned digital device is going to be one which is going to show the hallmarks of an intelligent technology and their expectations will form there. Let us concede that none of the devices, white goods that the mainstream uses appear to be intelligent in any non-deterministic manner. The Panini Keypad indeed is a curious case of a giant finite state machine.


Panini Keypad