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Infomart Develops “Kaii” Linux PDA

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Even as IISc works furiously on its reveloutionary Simputer project aimed at providing cheap PDAs (Personal Digital Assistance) for the populace, Bangalore based Infomart has completed its Project Kaii, designing and developing India’s first home grown PDA.

In an exclusive interview, Infomart Managing Director Devesh R Agarwal said his marketing team was in Singapore to sign up licensing agreements with major manufacturers for the design.

Agarwal, with a Masters in Information Systems from the University of Texas, has been a marketeer and distributor for a whole range of IT software and hardware products the last few years. “Over a year ago I started my hardware venture and we began working on hand held devices.” Within months his team put together a palmtop equipped with a Hitachi SH3 processor running at 160MHz with 64 MB RAM and 32 MB ROM. The monochrome version of the device will be priced below Rs. 10,000 and the full color at Rs. 15,000. MNC produced palmtops cost upward of Rs. 25,000.

Kaii, meaning hand in Kannada (“It’s a popular word with our youth”), has a Personal Information Management (PIM) suite that focuses on business productivity and day-to-day mundane applications. Included in the application suite is an Email client and an Opera Web Browser. The client supports POP3/SMTP. The integrated QWERTY keyboard provides ease of use and effortless email creation.

Opera well known for its small size, fast performance and standard compliance, offers HTML 4.0, CSSI, JavaScript 1.3 and Cookie support. Also included is a Sun certified Java Virtual Machine (JVM) Jeode.

Kaii comes with a multimedia player (MPEG1, MPEG2 and MP3). Users can also rotate the display to either portrait or landscape and play videos in full-screen image mode. It also includes an image viewer and several games including Snake, Patience, ParaShoot and Mindhunt.

Kaii includes a text editor, international clock and calculator. “Also to ensure that users have full control over their environment, a comprehensive suite of system control applications have been included,” says Agarwal. Plus Kaii’s system application suite, Qtopia, includes a Command Line Terminal and File Manager, applications typically of most use to developers and power users.

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