'MagiKeys' has been developed by Israel based software company FTK Technologies Ltd and will be introduced to government schools in the country in collaboration with Educomp.
This initiative is being supported by Intel's World Ahead Education Program. In India Intel and Educomp are involved in a number of initiatives aimed at bringing the benefits of technology to students and teachers.
MagiKeys was launched by Goa Minister for Information Technology Dayanand Narvekar at the inaugural session of Goa IT Conclave held at the Marriot Hotel in Panjim.
Speaking on the launch of MagiKeys, Soumya Kanti, President-ICT, Educomp Solutions Ltd said, “We perceived a great need for this technology over the years while implementing computer-aided learning in Government schools across the country since most children speak and write in their mother tongue. While we provide curriculum content in local languages, it is difficult for these children to write emails, chat online or prepare documents on the computer since they are not proficient in English.”
He added, “These children will now be able to enjoy computers in their own language. Using Educomp MagiKeys online, they will be able to e-mail, communicate on the web, create blogs, chat, all in their mother's tongue, exposing them to new friends and new experiences. In addition, it will also empower teachers to communicate effectively and make presentations for teaching and learning purposes in regional languages”.
India is a multilingual country with 18 formal languages. These 18 languages use 10 different scripts and include hundreds of different characters. It is virtually impossible to arrange Indian languages characters over regular keyboards (too many characters). As a consequence, Indian languages keyboards are not widely available. According to a market research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, less than 10% of Indians can read or write English, therefore the vast majority are prevented from using computers. Lack of Indian languages keyboards have therefore prevented majority of Indians from using the Internet, sending emails, chatting, online shopping and basic word processing.
Director, FTK Technologies, Shlomo Ariel said, “Our vision is to provide hundreds of millions of Indian languages speakers a tailor-made Online Word Processor. We are happy to collaborate with Educomp to bring our revolutionary software application which act as a substitute for Indian languages keyboards to millions of government schoolchildren across India”.
He added, “MagiKeys' USP is its ease of use. Unlike some other regional language keyboards that require extensive training to be able to use, MagiKeys requires no training and moreover it has an intelligent and intuitive software that predicts the next letter to be typed making it not just easy but also the fastest system for typing in regional languages.”
Based on a technology developed by FTK Technologies, Educomp MagiKeys provides a user-friendly, Indian language Online Word Processor, with virtual keyboard. The dynamic virtual keyboard provides the first comprehensive Indian languages data entry tool. It includes features like a Web Based Editor, quick e-mail creator, over 3000 different letters and combinations in 11 Indian languages (Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, Urdu, Telugu, Bengali and Konkani), making Educomp MagiKeys a holistic solution for the educational needs of children in India.