We are experiencing a revolution of information access. Technology is the enabler of this revolution. When we talk about information access we normally emphasize on the way digital disruption is happening in our lives. Mobility has a major role in this, multi-lingual capabilities have been it’s front runner drivers. Debashis Roy, Mobility Head of Reverie Language Technologies have explained trends in this space in an exclusive interview with Faiz Askari of SMEStreet and emphasized on how localization is influencing the information access.
How technologically are we ready and capable of multilingual feature on mobile handsets?
Reverie focuses on four very important aspects for Language Localisation for OEMs:-
Display solutions for smartphones and feature phones – Reverie provides open type scalable fonts for smartphones, and fixed size fonts for feature phones of different low screen resolutions, for 22 official languages of India and other South Asian languages.The fonts and rendering solutions have the lowest memory footprint in the industry with legibility and aesthetics, and efficiently run on handsets with even lesser RAM size.Built in ligature formation rules for complex scripts in their display solutions prevent inaccurate rendering of text on phones.
Input solutions for smartphones and feature phones- Reverie provides language input solution for smartphones, named Swalekh, which is available in 22 Indian languages. In addition to English and Native mode, it has phonetic mode typing in which a user can type phonetically in English script and the text is converted into native script on the fly. You need not to be connected to the internet for this feature, it works offline. In addition, Reverie provides input solutions for Feature phones and smart feature phones for 22 official languages of India and the language switch is easy. The input solution takes lowest memory among of all other solutions present, and has multi-tap and R9 predictive typing. Reverie also provides menu localization of static strings for feature phones.
APIs on cloud – Reverie’s cloud houses the transliteration API that can be used for transliterating content of contacts book etc, and has localisation API that can be used for localising dynamic or static contents in an app such as SMS, notifications etc.
How will the mandate positively impact Digital India campaign?
The mandate will help create and evolve the usage of local language content on the digital platform. Lots of regional content in local languages will get created, and the same would get consumed through the length and breadth of the country.
India’s non-English speaking population who are literate in Indian languages, population that is English literate but are comfortable in their own mother tongue, population that is English literate but more inclined ethnically & emotionally towards one’s language, will feel empowered digitally.
Digital India campaign is bringing more and more people online via mobile phones from various segments of the country. Recent developments in terms of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) is promoting cashless economy and with it usage of applications like BHIM. The ecommerce sector also witnessed growth last year particularly from Tier 2 and below cities. The recent mandate from government to have multilingual support on handsets enables app makers and service providers to reach their multilingual customers in India. Without basic support of display, multilingual services like SMSs, app usage cannot be realized.
How did Reverie start its OEM Localization journey? Can you name a few of your OEM partners? How is Reverie supporting them?
Reverie started its OEM localisation journey in 2012 mainly as a localisation partner to Qualcomm. During those times Android Ginger Bread supported very few Indian languages, and hence Reverie filled the gap.
The association with other OEMs followed, viz, Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, Zen, Ziox, and many more. Also with other chipset companies viz, RDA Microelectronics and Spreadtrum.
Reverie enables the OEMs with holistic localisation, Fonts and text rendering engine, multilingual input tools, and other applications those form basic building block for a non-English user. Reverie does ODM level integration with all of these partners.
What are the challenges that Reverie is trying to overcome in helping OEMs take the next language leap?
Language solutions need to be holistic;hence, it is important to create a complete language ecosystem. While there should be support on device to render all Indian languages and enable every device to have error free typing tool, more content creation and consumption should also complement. Reverie not only works with the OEMs but also enables enterprise businesses and developers to go multilingual and support languages on their apps and platform. Reverie also builds the concept apps and exhibits to OEMs the possibilities and potential of building apps around languages and regions.