Now that the Indian rupee has an identity, the question is: how soon will our computer keyboards start reflecting it? Very quickly, it seems. Vendors say they will roll out the symbol as soon as the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) sets the guidelines, since it takes only a minor software change to incorporate it.
Techies say what is required is simple internal coding to assign an additional function to any one of the existing keys that currently holds a single function. The IT industry is awaiting standards from BIS on where and how the new function has to be allocated. "We are fully equipped to integrate the rupee symbol; it requires only a software code change. It would not take more than a production cycle, or about three months, once the standard guidelines for adoption of the same are introduced," said an HCL Infosystems spokesperson.
It would be interesting to see which single-function key (Insert, Page Up, Page Down, Delete or some function key) will bear the rupee symbol. According to S Rajendran, chief marketing officer, Acer India, technically it's an almost inconsequential issue.
"It requires some simple internal coding. We just have to tell our manufacturers to make the plastic injection moulds with the new symbol. We can bring out a changed keyboard almost immediately. But it's important that the entire ecosystem first accepts it and starts using it." Keyboard supplier Intex Technologies has launched talks with vendors to incorporate the new symbol in their products.
"This will gain momentum as soon as we receive the authenticated design. Similarly, we have asked mobile handset vendors to incorporate the new symbol in their software," said Ramesh A Vaswani, executive VC of Intex.
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