ICFOSS to launch Android R & D, possible tie-up with Google

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Tvm: The Technopark based International Centre for Free & Open Source Software (ICFOSS) is set to commence research and development activities on the popular smart-device platform, Android, through a composite project awarded to it by the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India. Android is a FOSS-based generic Operating System platform for mobile phones, pads, slates, tablets and a variety of other emerging devices. It is promoted by the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 84 IT and Telecom firms led by Google, which originally owned the platform.

The components of DIT Project include supporting Indian language localisation; standardising hardware extensions to Android devices; exploring 3D gesture-based User Interfaces; creating a context-aware framework for Android; developing multipurpose applications on the platform; and providing policy recommendations for open hardware architecture in view of the rapid obsolescence of these devices. Four out of the six project components approved are to be implemented by ICFOSS at Technopark, Trivandrum, while the other two are to be implemented by CDAC Delhi and CDAC Chennai.

In a release, Satish Babu, Director, ICFOSS said, “The DIT project on Android will help ICFOSS to create and incubate an internal R & D facility. The Governing Body of ICFOSS has decided to take immediate steps required to encourage such R & D, including the possible setting up of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in smart devices such as mobile phones, pads, slates, tablets and newer developments such as wearable computing devices. Our proposed international campus will have a strong R & D focus besides Academic Research, Advocacy, Outreach and Training”.

He said that the initiative represented an opportunity to build linkages with industry leaders such as Google, and that such collaborative R & D would have positive payoffs for Kerala, both for the IT Industry and for the Academic Community, especially students. He further said that initial response to the proposal from Google has been encouraging.

“For ICFOSS, Open Source platforms such as Android also represent a step towards its ideal of FOSS for all citizens. It is now clear that mobile phones and smart devices such as pads, tablets and slates, will be the only ‘computers’ that most citizens will own and use. It is therefore important for us to support platforms used by these devices, and create applications that are of use to the largest numbers of users from all sections of society”, adds Satish.

Kerala IT News

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