Global platforms like Google might try to do it all, but they cannot get on the same granular level as those in an affected market.
That is the opportunity that Bhala, a start-up rolling out an impressive virtual keyboard, saw before delving into their venture.
While platforms like Google’s Gboard and other virtual keyboards try to get all the languages right, they tend to focus on some languages more than others. African languages are usually some of such that get lesser attention. Thus, Bhala stepped in to correct that oversight.
Via its eponymous virtual keyboard, Africans can now access languages like Sesotho, IsiZulu, Kiswahili, SiSwati and IsiXhosa, among others. Besides offering natural support for testing in these languages, the keyboard is also geared towards autocorrect, autosuggestion and such other powerful features you would expect from a keyboard.
Speaking on the recent rollout, the director of operations at the start-up, Njabulo Sandawana has said that the keyboard is ‘built by Africans, for Africans and for African needs.’
He also stressed the fact that the keyboard does not invade user privacy while embracing top ethical considerations.
Having currently crossed the 10,000-download mark, the self-funded start-up is truly doing well and is on its way to global recognition.