Google in its crosshairs
Rahul Sachitanand November 15, 2009
How do you SMS a business associate who is more comfortable interacting in Hindi? A new software for mobile phones could solve this problem and make conducting business easier. Tachyon Technologies, a Bangalore-based software maker, has just launched the Beta version of its Quillpad software for mobile phones even as tech giant Google works to perfect its own translation tool Indic.
THE PLAN: Quillpad offers an accurate translation tool to people sending local language messages across networks. The software—a reasonably-sized 355 KB download—lets you type a word, hooks up to the Net and provides the relevant Hindi options. Then the message is encoded, sent back to the phone and delivered to the recipient in Hindi.
THE CHALLENGE: The software understands distinct sounds that a Hindi alphabet represents. For instance, in Hindi the letter “d” can be used to write both “da” and the heavier “dha”. Quillpad predicts which sound a particular letter should take, depending on the other letters a user has typed.
THE COMPETITION: A year after Tachyon launched its web transliteration tool, Google responded with Indic. Now, it expects Google to hit back on the mobile front, too.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Tachyon hopes to make money from people buying its software, as well as royalty it expects from handset makers and operators.