Intel has partnered with the Chennai based technology company GoDB Tech to launch a multilingual graphical user interface, calling it, ‘Project Darpan’, with an intent to simplify internet experience for new users by offering navigation in native languages.
Project Darpan is essentially a downloadable browser plugin that offers a graphical interface for internet bookmarks for news, entertainment, utilities (bill payment, net banking) and other websites, and RSS feeds, in 5 languages apart from English, namely Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Gujarati.
The app is currently available at Darpan.me for a free download and is compatible with computers running on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Google Chrome users can also try out a demo of the app on Darpan.me
The app offers bookmarks in the form of various content hubs with large graphical buttons that aggregate and link to relevant content from various websites including Times of India, IBNLive, NDTV, Hindu, Yahoo, YouTube, Google and others, through which, users can directly access services or browse through news headlines on an integrated RSS reader and launch the respective website to read the full article. It also offers ‘Favorites’ to save and bookmark existing sites and services and new ones that the user comes across.
Indic implementation: Inside the Darpan UI, once the user selects a particular language, the menu options and system commands are also translated. Further, even the news sources change as per the user’s language. For instance, it offers news from sources like The Times of India, IBNLive, NDTV, Hindu in English language, but if one chooses Hindi as their preferred language, the news sources changes to BBC News, IBN Khabar and Google News. However, there are overlaps at times and we observed that while the RSS news reader offered Hindi news sources, the system interface was in English in the new Window.
Plans: Intel’s Director APAC, Narendra Bhandari mentions that the company is currently working with content providers and software companies to offer relevant content in Indic languages and is also in the process of formulating a monetizing framework for content providers.
We’ve always felt that launching Indic language tools for the end-user who’s not familiar with English should be complemented with an interface that makes it easy for him to navigate through it, since it might be possible that the user is not familiar with computers altogether. Making it graphically involving is a way to address this issue. Also, it’s important to offer an integrated experience not just limited to translating menus and buttons but also keeping it consistent throughout.We’d like to see the tool mature into a rich web interface, removing some of the inconsistencies and making sure that more content is added.