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From: IEEE Standards Association <reply-151...@ieeestandards.org>
Date: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Subject: Call For Participation: IEEE P1908.1™ Working Group


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IEEE Standards 
Call For Participation
 IEEE 1908.1™ Working Group
 Virtual Keyboard Standard for Indic Languages
     IEEE 1908.1™ Working Group is seeking participants to develop IEEE
P1908.1™. Sponsored by IEEE Communications
the standard is for Indic virtual keyboards.

[image: An example of Virtual keyboard for Hindi on smart phones adapting
INSCRIPT (Courtesy: Multiling keyboard)]Individuals working independently,
and/or supported by their employers from industry/ government/ academia/
non-governmental organizations, with interest in Indic (Indian) languages
and  their computing needs, are invited to participate in this new working
group.  The objective of the working group is to deliberate the virtual
keyboard technologies and issues for modern phones/tablet computing device,
with touch screen interface, and compose and shape the standard.

This standard will contain a conceptual model applicable to all Indian
languages with appropriate customization for each language.

*Need for the Standard:* A large majority of Indians are not comfortable
using computing devices with an English keyboard interface. INSCRIPT layout
was standardized by the Indian government in 1986 for QWERTY physical
keyboards, with the aim of interoperability and touch typing for all Indian
languages.  Due to limitations in accommodating the preferences of
languages other than Hindi, the high learning curve because of lack of
phonetic mapping between English and Indian language characters, and the
lack of availability of physical keyboards with Indian language characters,
alternate layouts, and transliteration based input methods as per the
preferences of vendors and users proliferated.

Phones/Tablets with touch user interface can display characters on keyboard
dynamically for each language. This can help people easily use their phones
for data needs in their native language.  INSCRIPT cannot be adopted easily
for the following reasons: it uses the top row (the row above QWERTY) of
the conventional keyboard and punctuation keys for Hindi alphabet. With the
smaller screen size and resolution on mobile phones, the virtual keyboards
are limited to only four rows, covering the basic English alphabet needs.
Therefore INSCRIPT is not usable readily even for Hindi. The proposed
standard will help in taking the benefits of computing and communication
technologies to everyone.

Sign up for membership in the working group (prior to the group’s inaugural
meeting, which is tentatively set for *January 25, 2012*) by visiting
the working
group wiki page
following the instructions. Information for attending the first
will be sent to all the registered people prior to the meeting.

For any further clarifications, please contact *Arjuna Rao Chavala, IEEE
P1908.1 Working Group Chair, *at* arjunar...@ieee.org. *

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