Panini virtual keypad, which helps people type messages in Hindi and other Indian regional languages, is set to debut on Android phones.
Noida-based startup Luna Egronomics launched Panini virtual keypad for nine regional Indian languages some two years ago as a paid application for Java based Nokia phones and other phones with multitap keys.
The Panini virtual keypad has been widely regarded as a big step in making local language support practical for people. Till now, people needed to type in English to get a word in Hindi or any other regional language. For example, if one wanted to write grape in Hindi, he or she had to type ‘angoor’ in English, which is not really comfortable for a person who is not well-versed in English.
What Panini does is to display on a virtual keypad the letters on the physical keypad that correspond to letters in Hindi (or any other language), making it possible for people to type in regional languages.
Abhijit Bhattacharjee, chief executive officer of Luna Egronomics, told ‘The Mobile Indian’, “We will soon launch our app for Android, and the best part is that the keypad will be usable across all applications, making it possible for it to be the default keypad of the phone.”
He also said, “Right now the application has to be downloaded by the user, while we are trying to get partnerships to pre-install the application in the phones. We have already signed agreements with players like Micromax and Spice. It is a matter of time before we start seeing the keypad on these devices.”
The company is a winner of the 2011 TiE50 world award, which is given to each of the 50 top technology startups of the world. It also won a Nokia innovations award in 2009, as well as several other awards.
“This is the way people will type in the future,” an upbeat Abhijit said adding that “it is not just for regional languages of the world. Even for English we are developing a predictive text input system, which is not dictionary based but is use based so that commonly used words from around the world are included in our database and will help you type faster.”
The app supports typing in 11 Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi and Assamese.
Users can download the application from here, and can check whether their phone is compatible with the app here.