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SAMBAD: Computing for illiterates

Amongst the many softwares featured at the CAN Soft-Tech 2007, one of the most interesting software was that being created by Sambad, an ongoing research project at Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya. The research aims at helping the illiterate and the semi-literate people interact with computers and the Internet. With the majority of Nepalis being illiterate or barely able to read and write, Sambad is a huge step towards making information and technology more accessible to the masses.

The software Sambad has a  a Multimodal Web Authoring and Browsing (MWAB) tool. The tool makes use of Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) to create an interface that will enable the educationally disadvantaged people to create their own multimedia contents. This project is still in development stage and when complete will contain the following functions:

  • Interfaces with highly localizable speech annotations.
  • User identification and user authentication system.
  • Authoring tool which enables composition and editing of multimedia documents of speech and pictures, which comply with the standards of web.
  • Storing and retrieving of collections of multimedia documents.
  • Communication between users.

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