FOSS R&D - Android, supported by DeitY, GoI
The Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India supported project on Android carried an objective of enabling effective and full use of the potential of mobile computing devices such as mobile phones, pads and tablets using the Android or BOSS operating systems for the Indian context, by working towards enabling support and standardization for local language, hardware interfaces, and alternative User Interface technologies, and recommending an Open Hardware Architecture for these devices and platforms. CDAC Chennai and CDAC Delhi were also associated with this project. Consultation partners include Swatantra Malayalam Computing (SMC), CDAC Trivandrum and College of Engineering, Trivandrum.
The components handled by ICFOSS are -
Carrying out R & D on localization for Android mobile devices including, but not limited to, mobile phones, pads, tablets and slates. Localization includes standardization of software and the Android OS for computing in Indian languages, including Unicode support, typeface/font support and text input technologies
Standardizing interfaces for Android devices for extensions in hardware for control of external devices and/or data capture from field-based sensors.
GESTURE BASED USER INTERFACE
Exploring Gesture-based User Interfaces (not limited to touch screen, but also 3D gestures based on MEMS sensors for multiple applications such as for control of domestic appliances and for the visually challenged
OPEN HARDWARE ARCHITECTURE
Carrying out standardization, specs creation and advocacy work towards arriving at an Open Hardware Architecture for Android mobile computing devices such as pads & tablets, in conjunction with industry leaders such as Google and the Open Handset Alliance.
Delivered Products and Libraries
The project team in ICFOSS has developed the following as part of this project
Indic keyboard with Indian languages – uploaded into Google Play for public use. This app at present extends Android’s default keyboard and adds support for languages such as Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu. The app supports any device which has Android 4.1 and above. Most of the supported languages have 3 layouts - phonetic, inscript and transliteration.
FUEL Mobile modules -Community reviewed Frequently Used Entries in Localization for Mobile (FUEL-Mobile) Modules for Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada in association with FUELproject. FUEL is suggested as a best practice for Mobile Localization by E-governance standards. CDAC, ICFOSS, SMC and Redhat have significant involvement with FUELProject. FUEL enables consistency in translations, which helps Government or industry to provide mobile usage for various contexts in easy steps.
Gesture Library – Android library to recognize and store real time 3 D gestures. The library helps in making Android apps recognize 3D gestures including circle, triangle, square and various simple line figures like left and right arrows.
Gesture Launcher- An Android service app to launch other applications using accelerometer based 3D gestures. The user can store custom gestures and use it to launch the applications. It is implemented as a service that user can start and stop. When started it detects gestures when performed and launches the preset application for the gesture.
Gesture Music Player Widget -An Android application to start default music player and perform music player actions like play, next song, previous song, stop using 3D gestures.
SensorList –Android app which lists the sensors in a device and send list with device details to pre configured email.
Remote Control – Android library for remotely controlling Open Hardware through Bluetooth and Wifi. The signals including image frames from Open Hardware based system can be processed in the Android application.
Robotic Rover – Remotely controllable robotic rover developed using Open Hardware – Arduino board, Raspberry Pi and camera module. The command interpreter is programmed in Python. The incoming commands include ones for rover and camera movement.
Tele presence Robot – A robot platform which uses an Android tablet as the computing and communication interface. The movement controllers are based on Open hardware. The robot can be controlled through Internet while watching the video from the tablet camera.
Biodiversity Monitoring station - An open hardware based prototype for bio diversity monitoring which transmits the associated sensor data onto Android reporting module using the remote monitoring library.
The work under different components of this project have been submitted in international IEEE conferences in the form of the following papers: Real time Recognition of 3D Gestures in Mobile Devices, Sethu Janaki, Satish Babu and Sreekanth, IEEE RAICS 2013, Trivandrum, India (presented 19-21 December 2013)
- A Software Model for Precision Agriculture for Small and Marginal Farmers, Satish Babu, IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (South Asia Satellite), Trivandrum, India (presented 23-24 August 2013)
- A Hybrid Sensor Network for Flexible, Unattended, Multipurpose Deployment, Satish Babu, IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, San Jose, California, US, ( presented 20-23 October 2013 at San Jose)
- A Crowd-sourced Approach for Wild Elephant Tracking, Satish Babu and Tarsh Thekaekara, IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, San Jose, California, US, (presented 20-23 October 2013 at San Jose)