Xiaomi phones to have Indian language keyboard from Bobble
Aug 27, 2019
The humble keyboard has suddenly gained traction amongst technology companies; Flipkart last year acquired start-up Liv.AI, which has a platform that converts speech to text in 10 Indian languages
Sonal Khetarpal New Delhi Last Updated: August 27, 2019 | 15:27 IST
Bobble has similar partnerships with home grown handset maker Lava and tech giants such as Baidu and Foxconn. As Xiaomi plans to leg up its India growth story by focusing on the next billion first-time smartphone users, it is launching a plethora of 'Indianised' features in its phones. One main feature will be its Indian language keyboard and selfie stickers provided by Gurgaon-based startup Bobble. "We're launching a new keyboard, which is exclusively for Xiaomi phones, which is being designed keeping in mind the real India," said Ankit Prasad, Co-founder and CEO, Bobble AI. Without disclosing more details, he added, "It will be still the keyboard but its use cases will be very different, something like a shirt company has formal shirts, informal shirts, beach shirts etc." The keyboard is the interface that lets a user communicate with the smartphone. Most are designed for English speakers. As more and more native speakers come online, there is need to customise the input software platform as per the needs of the non-English speaking population. Bobble has similar partnerships with home grown handset maker Lava and tech giants such as Baidu and Foxconn. Currently, five million users access the keyboard daily. It is available in 22 Indian languages and six dialects. Prasad said they have a revenue sharing model with Xiaomi where the profit earned from the keyboard will be shared by the two firms. This is done through branded stickers and GIFs. Bobble has worked with IPL, Adidas and Zomato in recent times. "Stickers is a clean way to enter Whatsapp which otherwise doesn't allow any ads," he says.