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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

April - 2010 - issue > Tech Tracker

Computer illiterate? Not anymore

Eureka Bharali
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Eureka Bharali
The keyboard and mouse can be intimidating for the uninitiated while using computers. This is all set to change with HP Labs India’s mission of working on innovations for the next billion customers using "immersive interaction". They have introduced a technology based on touch and gesture which does away with the need for a keyboard and mouse. Now you can stand in front of the screen and with gestures, move pictures of the screen or command the PC to start a slide show or ask the PC to shut down. For doing this, HP is using gestures, lip movement, touch and facial recognition- to identify the user and make it secure.

Other companies are working on similar lines. IBM's 'Spoken Web' project, for instance, is a voice-enabled technology developed by IBM Research-India, which complements the internet, and enables people with little or no literacy, or those with visual impairment, to access and share information, perform business transactions and create social networks using mobile or landline phones.

Microsoft Research India also has its eye on innovation in the world of mobiles and PCs. In 2009, Microsoft had introduced a set of transliteration tools that help users enter Indian language text into computers easily and quickly. This technology uses free-form transliteration and can be leveraged to support other non-Indian syllabic languages, too. The tool was available in Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya and Punjabi.

Tata Consultancy Services' mobile-based advisory platform 'mKrishi' has started pilot projects in Maharashtra. The information system for farmers will help them access localized information and advice on agricultural issues through graphic and voice formats in local languages. Using sensor technology, it is also adaptable to illiterate farmers, who can make a query from a cell phone using voice-specific functions.
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