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NEW DELHI - 04 Aug 2010: Continuing to foster greater innovation through joint research collaboration with world-class academic institutions in India, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an Open Collaboration Research (OCR) project with the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay). The unique research collaboration will focus on the development of new designs for mobile device interfaces that can easily be used by people who are semiliterate or illiterate, as well as individuals who have limited or no access to information technology.
The collaboration, with a core focus on developing simple, inexpensive mobile phone user interfaces for everyone, regardless of geography or education level, aims to introduce new levels of ease-of-use to mobile phone interaction via developed software technology that will be made available to the public through open source.
"IBM believes that close collaborative innovation with world-class academic institutions such as IIT Bombay, is the key to finally bridging the digital divide and putting the power of information sources and services in everyone's hands," said Dr. Manish Gupta, Director, IBM Research – India and Chief Technologist, IBM India/SA. "Mobile devices are becoming omnipresent. Together, IBM and IIT Bombay will develop smarter technologies around mobile devices that will help individuals and businesses around the world transcend many boundaries – geographical, economic and social."
The growing acceptance and popularity of mobile phones globally has opened up a new platform for taking information and services to a vast population, who hitherto has been lacking them. The multimodal interface will offer a simpler, inexpensive option for the underprivileged to reap the benefits of information technology.
"Over the last few years, it has become clear that the next generation innovations in the ICTs will be directed towards solving the problems of developing countries like India. Many of our design students and researchers enjoy working on such problems. The collaboration between IIT Bombay and IBM gives us the opportunity to explore and apply some of the newest technologies for this purpose. It is not only mutually beneficial but also intends to address larger socio-economic challenges," said Prof. Anirudha Joshi, Associate Professor, IIT Bombay.
The new research partnership with IIT Bombay is the third such engagement in India under IBM's OCR program. In March this year, IBM announced an OCR project with the National Institute of Design (NID). It was preceded by an OCR engagement with the Indian School of Business (ISB).
The projects with IIT Bombay and NID are part of IBM's five-year, US $100 million investment to advance mobile services and capabilities for businesses and consumers worldwide. Through these initiatives, IBM is aiming to drive new intelligence into the underpinnings of the mobile Web to create new efficiencies in business operations and people's daily lives.
For more information about the Open Collaborative Research program, visit
For more information about IBM's mobile web initiative, visit
For more information about IBM Research, visit http://www.research.ibm.com.
About IIT Bombay
IIT Bombay, set up by an Act of Parliament, was established in 1958, at Powai, a northern suburb of Mumbai. Today the Institute is recognized as one of the centers of academic excellence in the country. Institutes in positions of excellence grow with time. The ideas and ideals on which such institutes are built evolve and change with national aspirations, national perspectives, and trends world - wide. IIT Bombay, too, is one such institution.
Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay
Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at IIT Bombay offers an excellent environment for academics, research and applications in the field of design. The aim of the Industrial Design Center is to prepare students to enter into new creative activities as designers and design researchers. IDC has masters and PhD programs in the areas of Industrial Design, Visual Communication, Interaction Design. Animation and Mobility. The education program at IDC is a unique mix of pedagogic experimentation with pragmatic design approach and blends hard-core problem solving with design research. New thoughts, philosophies and research into several aspects of design are experimented and integrated to have continuous revitalization of the academic program at IDC. Faculty members and students work on several areas of design research, including design pedagogy, design for development, design methods, design management, creativity and problem solving, ergonomics, aesthetics, design traditions, crafts etc.
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