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Windows on Theory
Posted by Rob Knies
Eager for foreign travel but worried about foreign languages? Fear no more, thanks to the Translator App for Windows Phone, updated April 16 and featuring several contributions from Microsoft Research.
The app, powered by the same state-of-the-art technology used in Bing Translator, and available for free download on Windows Phone Marketplace, enables a new travel experience by offering a variety of machine-translation scenarios certain to please the nascent globetrotter. With the app, users can translate street signs, posters, train schedules, and menus simply by pointing and scanning with their phone's camera; download highly optimized, compressed language packs to get translation assistance while avoiding huge data-connection bills; use keyboard input to gain instant translations, some of them featuring spoken playback; and, in German, French, Italian, Spanish, and both U.S. and U.K. English, tap an icon, speak, then tap again for a translation.
For more than half his life, Kevin Schofield of Microsoft Research has been an active participant in the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI). He’s a champion of the group’s research, and his contributions underscore the importance he places on volunteer work.In mid-February, though, he received a bit of unexpected SIGCHI news.“I got an email out of the blue,” he explains, “saying: ‘Congratulations! The SIGCHI awards committee has met and has decided to award you the SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award.’"
Distro, a magazine-like publication from the folks at Engadget, just published its 37th issue, and featured on the cover and in a fascinating Q&A is Bill Buxton, principal researcher at Microsoft Research.The publication is available as a .pdf file, which you can download. You’ll find the Buxton piece about three-quarters of the way down the document.
Victor Bahl, director of Microsoft Research’s Mobile Computing Research Center, has enjoyed an illustrious career, one that is being honored April 17, when he will be one of six recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards presented by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.In the days preceding the awards ceremony, Bahl found time to reflect upon his career and some of his groundbreaking contributions.