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Enabling Mobile & Wireless Handheld Devices with Indian Languages

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Presentation on theme: "Enabling Mobile & Wireless Handheld Devices with Indian Languages"— Presentation transcript:

1 Enabling Mobile & Wireless Handheld Devices with Indian Languages
WELCOME Swapnil Belhe Team Lead C-DAC, GIST, Pune

2 Telecom Subscribers Base in India
Ref: TRAI Press Release Dec 2011 70% of India’s Population lives in Rural Parts ~800 millions [Census 2001]

3 Future Growth Language enabled mobile devices
Big and easy to read displays Multi-modal interactions (like keyboard, pen, speech etc) Indian language contents and applications “..What matters most about a new technology is not how it works, but how people use it and the changes it brings about in human lives…” …. Frances Cairncross

4 CDAC-GIST: IL Display Solution Scalability
Indian Language Ecosystem on All Devices Public Display Systems Printers with Indian language Support Mobiles (Feature Phones & Smart Phones) Tablet’s Set Top Boxes Lifts, Washing Machine, Microwave Oven etc.

5 What is required from Handset?
The mobile or PDA’s are important means of communications today. We believe the end-user expects minimum following text based Indian language components from mobile’s/PDA’s SMS editing Indian language Menus Phonebook data Notes/Notepad/Word Indian language based Games Browser supporting Indian Languages. Multi-modal inputting e.g. Handwriting etc. Text to Speech VAS (Value Added Services) alerts, reminders, mandi rates, farming tips etc.

6 Some Inputting Methods for Smart Phones

7 W3C MW4D IG 2009 Recommendations Targeted at network operators
Implementing Unicode support for SMS on all networks Targeted at handset manufacturers Handsets should be extensible to support external/new character sets and to be usable in all languages of the world Handsets should provide software modules such as Text-to-Speech engines to improve accessibility and offer opportunity for a greater support of voice

8 Challenges in Wide Spread usage of Mobiles other than for Voice Calls

9 Mobile Handset Scenario - Past
Initial mobiles contained small display sizes like 64 x 64, 96 x 72 128 x 128 etc. And contained very small memory in Kilo bytes(KBs) This was sufficient for English like languages which contained only 52 linear characters There are many such legacy phones still in the market

10 Mobile Handset Scenario
Now a days with the advent of better LED and TFT displays the screen sizes have increased to 256 x 256 512 x 420 640 x 480 And available memory is in Mega bytes (MB) But there is also increase in types of Operating Systems (OS) like Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android, Embedded-Linux, etc. Mobile Handset Features IL Communication through Low End SMS Picture SMS Mid Range SMS, MMS, WAP, J2ME SMS, MMS(image) High End SMS, MMS, WAP, J2ME, Browser, SMS,

11 Mobile Handset Scenario
Even though the memory & display size have increased still to get seamless support to Indian languages on handsets requires following, Indian language Keyboard for text inputting Rasterizer for displaying text Indian language Layout engine Fonts Common storage format Ideally all these components should be backward compatible with legacy handsets

12 Indian Language SMS Indian Language SMS Garbled Characters
Current Scenario : In most of the handsets the Indian language text would appear garbled. Only few compatible handsets will display text properly Indian Language SMS Garbled Characters

13 Most mobile manufacturers support Indian languages
then where is the problem? Proprietary picture SMS based solutions Require picture enabled handsets to display; message size is limited to 72x28 to 72x56 hence only few words can be sent Different SMS encodings Keypads with Indian languages available but everybody's keypad differs in Number of characters on each key Choice of characters placed on different keys Position of characters on a specific key Height and width of characters displayed on the keypad Everyone is using different proprietary keyboard layouts

14 Fonts There are three types of fonts
Bitmap fonts (used by low end handsets) Truetype fonts (used by high end handsets) Opentype fonts (currently not widely used)

15 Issues - Fonts Every handset model is different from other in terms of, Screen resolution Screen color depth Screen technology (especially display pitch) Available Memory Thus bitmap font designed for one handset model may not be readable on other handsets. Hence the fonts have to be custom designed as per specifications of every model For Truetype fonts the display is governed by handset’s operating system (Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android etc.)and availability of Indic layout mechanism

16 What is Layout Mechanism?
Layout mechanism allows proper display of Indian language text. Without layout mechanism, re-ordering of text will not happen e.g., Lay-outing provides basic facilities like Text Re-ordering Bold, Italics Insert, delete characters Cursor movement Word wrapping Text Scrolling

17 Other Issues/Challenges for Mobiles
Indic Languages One script many languages Covering only 10 languages may not support all 22 official languages. Some of the languages are written in more than one script and thus there is dependency at the implementation level. E.g. Sindhi can be written using Devanagari and Perso-Arabic Santhali can be written using Devanagari and Ol chiki script. Manipuri can be written using Bangla and Meetei-Mayek

18 Other Issues/Challenges for Mobiles
To view Indian language websites, sending s from PC, displaying files created on PC has some issues like, Lack of ZWJ/ZWNJ support on Handsets

19 Explicit Virama: Halant is a dead consonant in the 1st case

20 Half Explicit consonant:
Example of usage of ZWJ character क + ् + ष = क्ष क + ् + ZWJ + ष = क्‍ष Kannada example, ಕ + ್ + ಷ = ಕ್ಷ ಕ + ್ + ZWJ + ಷ = ಕ್‌ಷ The ZWJ in the above example prevents the ligature and displays Virama form of Ka.

21 Challenges in Overall Framework
Stake Holders • Mobile Subscribers • Handset Manufactures • SMSC Vendors • Mobile Operators • Content Providers

22 Need Standardization SMS: 3GPP TS standard for sending receiving SMS and its versions are primarily made for English and European scripts Work has started by CeWIT USSD: GSM (ETSI TS ), GSM (ETSI TS ) No work started for Indian languages CBS: 3GPP TS SABP Standard CDMA: TIA/EIA IS-824 Above standards and many more other standards describes SMS protocols, trigger alerts, news broadcast etc. At present these standardizations do not cover Indian languages Supporting Indian Language USSD & CBC will allow emergency disaster alerts and other e-governance alerts to be sent/broadcasted to handsets

23 Cell Broadcast (CB) It is the most important protocol which is overlooked and urgently requires Indianization. Cell Broadcast is a genuine one-to-many geographically focused messaging service. Cell Broadcast is ideal for delivering local or regional information suited to all the people in that area, such as, hazard warnings, local weather, health concerns (such as Swine Flu outbreaks), flight or bus delays, tourist information, parking and traffic information. Regardless of network state (congested or not) CB is always available. The CB is a mature system that has been around for over a decade and robust to support national public warning systems. There is no cost to the subscriber to receive the message. [ref: W3C MW4D 2009]

24 Encoding Scheme 3GPP TS GSM standard supports 7-bit default alphabets (and their octets) and UCS2. Possible schemes include use of either of following encodings, 7-bit Default GSM Alphabets UCS2 7-bit EA-ISCII

25 Encoding Scheme for SMS
Complexity of Indian scripts requires more characters to be entered than English 7-Bit GSM : Supports Latin character set UCS : Supports all languages of the world Cost of the SMS becomes high in case of UCS-2 … But considering its advantage, it should be made mandatory to all Service Providers and SMSC’s to support UCS-2 without escalating the cost in order to promote use of Indian Languages

26 Encoding scheme Efforts are underway to add Indic language enhancements to 3GPP for sending SMS But it does not cover support for ZWJ and ZWNJ characters. Hence it will not be pleasant to read Indian Language Websites. It also does not cover layouting of Indian text which is very crucial for common display and common storage of text in all handsets. Hence even if this standard is implemented it will be falling short of the goal of reaching out to more people.

27 Recommended Best Practices For Indian Languages on Mobile
Parameter: Usable Screen Width – 120 Pixel min. With respect to Indian language text matter, to accommodate a complete valid word with limited width of 120 pixels should not exceed the text height by 16 pixels. For higher pixel height font the effective width of the word or syllable may cross the 120 pixel width, and hence complete word or syllable may not be able to displayed without panning. Breaking/Wrapping of the text Additional guidelines to be provided for breaking the text at word level or at the syllable level. This depends upon the font size and display size. Guidelines for hyphenation mechanism to be provided for breaking the words to enable the text wrapping.

28 Line Wrapping for Indian Scripts
Wrong Line Wrapping Syllable Level Wrapping With Hyphenation Word Level Wrapping With Hyphenation

29 Guidelines Cursor Movement Also guidelines should be provided for movement of cursor and deletion of the character/syllable. While editing text in Indian Languages cursor position should be changed as per the syllable instead of individual character/vowel. Deletion While deleting the characters from the entered text, a syllable wise deletion should happen so that it will reduce the burden of processing and redisplaying the half syllable. ‘Clear’ key to be used to delete the Syllable next to the cursor position and ‘Back’ Key to be used to delete the syllable which is just before the cursor position URL With Indian Language Domain Names (IDN) likely to come, like .भारत etc. It will be required to provide this as a separate key (like .com) while typing in the browser URL bar. Also, for handsets sold in India, .in key should be made available on all handset.

30 Very Important points to achieve common Indian Language Support
Indic eco-system All the handset manufacturers must use same fonts and layout engine and same inputting scheme for all models of the handsets. All content providers must use the same encoding scheme for sending/recieving SMS’s. May be UCS-2 which is a global standard. Ideally all of the above should implemented by single entity so that updating and maintenance will be easy especially since Indian language computing is constantly involving with use of new standards like Unicode 5.2, 6.0, 6.1 etc.

31 Regulation & Certification
3GPP Specification states that, Current work undertaken for including Indian languages in 3GPP TS is not intended to be implemented until a formal request is issued by the relevant national regulatory body. There should be independent verifying and benchmarking agency which can endorse compatibility of latest equipments SMSC/RNC/Handsets etc. to prescribed Indian standards. Verification and certification agency should have thorough knowledge of Indian Language issues (all 22 languages) and mobile computing background

32 Challenges - Mobile Subscriber : Handset Manufacturer: SMSC Vendors:
Do I have to change mobile which supports IL ? Is messaging in Indian Languages costlier? Handset Manufacturer: Supporting Indian languages, will it increase our handset cost ? How do I upgrade our current handsets with IL ? SMSC Vendors: If new encoding scheme comes, do we need to upgrade our SMSC’s ? Should be able to transcode or transliterate messages if recipients handset is incompatible Who will validate and certify our upgraded SMSC ?

33 Challenges - Mobile Operator:
Do we have to charge more for IL SMS? Or volumes will reduce the cost ? How do we educate people to use this IL features ? Content Provider: how do we make sure that the right contents go to the right customer? How do we send same message to multiple handsets in multiple languages?

34 Challenges - Currently if person X and Y having Indian language support in their handsets are not able to exchange SMS’s, and find boxes appearing on screen. This is because their Service Provider’s are different and use different protocols for transmission of SMS’s Many proprietary implementations of Indian languages have also hampered the growth and seamless use across, various handsets Since if person changes handset then his new handset may have different inputting method this also discourages Indian language inputting

35 Thank You

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