The Linux Foundation has recently welcomed a variety of new members. I had the opportunity this week to talk to one of our newest members, KeyPoint Technologies. In this Q&A, the company’s CTO Sunil Motaparti explains what is OpenAdaptxt and how Linux and open source software figure into the KeyPoint Technologies’ strategy.
What is KeyPoint Technologies? OpenAdaptxt?
Motaparti: At KeyPoint Technologies, we are a team that is passionate about combining linguistics and computing to deliver new experiences for consumers. Our initial focus lies in improving the current text input experiences across all types of connected devices like smart phones, feature phones, tablets, connected TVs and IVI systems. We are a trusted partner for OEMs, platform providers and developers looking to innovate and deliver an enhanced user experience in this area. We are privately owned, with our headquarters in Scotland and offices in India and the US.
OpenAdaptxt is an open source community project that we launched recently by contributing key technology and language assets developed for our flagship, best-in-class Adaptxt prediction and error correction engine. With OpenAdaptxt, our goal is to facilitate the development of a leading, open, next-generation text input platform and standard, enabling different players in the ecosystem to improve the quality and effectiveness of text input experiences across different types of connected devices.
We are actively inviting members of the open source community, hobbyists, developers, linguists, OEMs and application developers to join us in the project and accelerate its development.
Why did you decide to open source your text input technology?
Motaparti: The simple answer is that we believe this is the only way forward.
When we started working on text input technologies, our discussions with OEMs, end users and developers all indicated that they were experiencing lots of pain points around text input and most of the issues came down to the proprietary monopolies that have been established in this space over the last decade or so. We felt that simply introducing new technology while pushing the problems with the development, innovation and business models under the carpet would not allow us to address all the pain points effectively.
On the other hand, we saw a number of benefits by approaching the problem from an open source perspective. At a high level, we believe it will facilitate more innovation, increase the reach of the innovation to more users speaking more languages, lower costs for everyone, avoid vendor lock-ins again, etc.
What are the supported platforms for the project and the target devices?
Motaparti: Currently, OpenAdaptxt works on Linux-based platforms targeted at ARM and X86 (e.g., Android, MeeGo, etc.) powered devices. All devices that require a reasonable amount of text input from end users would be potential targets.
How do you use Linux to advance your technology? What is the roadmap for OpenAdaptxt on Linux?
Motaparti: Tremendous! Over the last few years, Linux has played an ever-increasing role in the development of new platforms for connected devices and almost all of these platforms focus quite a bit on making two-way exchange of information very easy for users. It is not sufficient to just create a good content consumption experience any more, the content creation experience has to be equally good. Whenever this is the case, OpenAdaptxt could have a role to play and contribute to the success of such platforms and Linux overall.
With respect to our roadmap on Linux, we are very keen to integrate OpenAdaptxt with leading Linux-based platforms for connected devices of different kinds. This would also involve actively engaging with players working on the development of those platforms and devices to understand the use cases for text input that they envision and making sure OpenAdaptxt stays at the leading edge and meets those needs. We are also quite keen on helping Linux-based platforms and devices reach as large an audience as possible from a Localization/Internationalization perspective.
Of course, these are some of the thoughts we have for OpenAdaptxt purely from a KeyPoint Technologies perspective. We would be very interested in understanding what other members of the community around Linux and OpenAdaptxt think should be priorities for the project and incorporating the same to the roadmap.
Tell us more about your recent membership decision to join The Linux Foundation. How will you be working with the organization and the Linux community?
Motaparti: With the recent launch of OpenAdaptxt, we have just taken the first steps in contributing to the wider Linux-based ecosystem with respect to a key user experience component like text input. As I mentioned earlier while outlining some of our roadmap plans for OpenAdaptxt, there is still a lot of work to do to build on this start and we felt that becoming a member of Linux Foundation would help us do this more effectively. With OpenAdaptxt, it is our goal to constantly make sure Linux-based platforms and devices provide the best possible text input experience across a wide set of languages. We would love as many opportunities as possible to work with Linux Foundation and the Linux community to achieve this goal.
Thank you to KeyPoint Technologies for telling us more about their projects and vested intersted in Linux. You can learn more at the OpenAdaptxt website. You can also read more about how KeyPoint is using open source development to bridge the text input gap on devices in this BBC story.