12-Jul-2020 22:33:15 ET
Indic Virtua Keyboards Study Group


Develop PAR (details below) till approval and WG formation: (Completed)

For the current work, visit Working Group Wiki home page

IEEE Standard Project No: P1908.1, Virtual keyboard standard for Indic languages

Hindi Keyboard on mobile phone


The standard brings the benefits of Indic language computing to the vast majority of Indic language users.


This standard defines virtual keyboards for Indic language computing, primarily for use on mobile phones and tablets with touch interface. The target languages are the Government of India's official languages and their scripts, as recognized by the Government and Unicode. This standard includes definition for virtual keyboard configurations with a limited set of keys (12), and also for larger set of keys (more than 12). The standard includes prototype reference implementation of device driver and software.

Need for the Project:

The standard helps the industry to implement Indian language input in a portable and standardized manner There is currently no defined, independent standard for virtual keypads for Indian languages. INSCRIPT cannot be adopted easily for the following reasons: It uses the top row (the row above QWERTY) of the conventional keyboard. It has been designed with physical QWERTY keyboard as standard. It does not accommodate the preferences of languages other than Hindi with Devanagari script. With the smaller screen size and resolution on mobile phones, INSCRIPT is not usable for Hindi, as well. Without this standard, and there being no single dominant player in the industry who can drive defacto standards, vendors will implement proprietary versions, which will hinder the growth of the industry and acceptance of Indic input methods by users. Furthermore, very few phones support Indic input, and even in cases where Indic languages are supported, proprietary
methods are used that hinder widespread use of Indic languages. This standards is needed since a large majority of Indians are not comfortable using phones with English support. INSCRIPT layout standardized by the Indian government in 1986 for QWERTY keyboards manifest limitations for certain languages and have thereby prevented widespread, practical use. Phones with touch interface that support standard virtual keyboard layouts will help everyone to comfortably use phones for information comfortably, since a touch interface can display characters for each language.

Stakeholders for the Standard: Stakeholders for this standard include: Smart phone companies; software development companies; telecom companies; government departments or institutions funded partly by government for promotion of Indic

Status: Call for Official working group participation open, For details see Working Group Wiki home page

Time frame:1 year to develop standard.

Telugu keyboard (based on Inscript, Multiling screenshot)