HP Targets “Next Billion Customers” with Technologies for Growing Economies
PALO ALTO, Calif., April 6, 2006, HP today announced new technologies, created by researchers in HP Labs India, which are designed to help grow opportunities in rapidly expanding economies.
The technologies, which primarily focus on India but also address markets in China, Russia and Brazil, are designed to adapt to the needs of non-Western languages, unique infrastructures, and indigenous cultures and customs.
Some of the technologies were demonstrated at a news conference in Palo Alto today.
“Our goal is to help our customers around the world by improving access to information and communications technologies that best suit their needs and the needs of their economies and societies,” said Dick Lampman, HP senior vice president, research, and director, HP Labs. “We believe this will create opportunities for HP to access its next billion customers.”
HP Labs India was established in Bangalore four years ago and has been working on technologies uniquely designed to fit the needs of Indian society. For example, there are 18 official languages in India and conventional computer keyboard input is not suitable for many of them. HP Labs India researchers are working on input methods for indigenous languages so a broader population can access the power of computing.
Researchers also are creating technologies that leverage television’s role as a mass communications medium in India. With more than 130 private channels available, TV is much more pervasive than the Internet. As a result, HP Labs India researchers are seeking ways to supplement TV broadcasts with synchronized printed material for education and other critical applications.
“We are looking at the many, varied needs of a vast society in India,” said Ajay Gupta, director, HP Labs India. “We want to take into account not only the appropriate technologies, but the economic, cultural and social factors that determine value for our customers. We believe that what we learn here, in principle, could guide HP in developing technologies elsewhere in the world.”
Some of the technologies announced or demonstrated today include:
* The gesture keyboard: Traditional keyboards, based on the Roman alphabet, don’t work for many of the world’s languages. HP Labs India researchers have created a stylus-and-tablet solution that’s easy for people to learn and use, yet affords all the advantages of electronic data processing and storage.
* Pen-based solutions for filling out forms: Business, government, education and other forms can be completed by hand in remote locations using a variety of pen-enabled devices. The “digital ink” then can be transmitted to a central location where the handwritten input is converted to machine-readable text for storage and processing.
* Print-supplemented TV broadcasts: Television has far greater reach than the Internet in countries such as China and India, broadcasting educational and other important information. HP Labs India researchers are developing technology that delivers print material synchronized with TV programming. For example, education programs could be supplemented by printed documents for further study or taking tests. The material could be delivered from a printer located near the TV.
* Multimedia education centers: HP Labs India researchers are working on a technology that enables multimedia access to on-demand broadcast education programming in learning institutions. Educational audio-visual content is tagged with data that enables it to be archived and retrieved in a digital library of broadcast videos whenever students need it.
* Secure paper documents: Throughout a large part of the world, public services are being extended to small towns and villages in remote areas through Internet cafes instead of local government offices. The problem is the need to ensure that, in the absence of local officials, transmitted documents are authentic and can’t be tampered with. HP Labs researchers have come up with a barcode that incorporates a digital signature that can be printed on sensitive documents.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2006, HP revenue totaled $87.9 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to anticipated operational and financial results; statements of expectation or belief; and any statement of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the achievement of expected results and other risks that are described from time to time in HP’s Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including but not limited to the risks described in HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31, 2006, and other reports filed after HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2005. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
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