Tech major IBM has announced an Open Collaboration Research (OCR) project with the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay).
The research collaboration will focus on the development of new designs for mobile device interfaces that can be used by people who are semiliterate or illiterate, as well as individuals who have limited or no access to information technology.
The collaboration, with a core focus on developing simple, inexpensive mobile phone user interfaces, aims to introduce new levels of ease-of-use to mobile phone interaction using open source software technology.
“IBM believes that close collaborative innovation with world-class academic institutions such as IIT Bombay, is the key to finally bridging the digital divide and putting the power of information sources and services in everyone’s hands,” said Manish Gupta, director, IBM Research – India and chief technologist, IBM India/SA.
“Mobile devices are becoming omnipresent. Together, IBM and IIT Bombay will develop smarter technologies around mobile devices that will help individuals and businesses around the world transcend many boundaries – geographical, economic and social.”
The new research partnership with IIT Bombay is the third such engagement in India under IBM’s OCR program. In March this year, IBM announced an OCR project with the National Institute of Design (NID). It was preceded by an OCR engagement with the Indian School of Business (ISB).
“Over the last few years, it has become clear that the next generation innovations in the ICTs will be directed towards solving the problems of developing countries like India,” said Anirudha Joshi, associate professor, IIT Bombay.
The projects with IIT Bombay and NID are part of IBM’s five-year, US $100 million investment to advance mobile services and capabilities for businesses and consumers worldwide.
Through these initiatives, IBM says, it is aiming to drive new intelligence into the underpinnings of the mobile Web to create new efficiencies in business operations and people’s daily lives.
The announcement was made by IBM today, August 4.
Photo courtesy: IBM