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Posted by P. Anandan, managing director of Microsoft Research India
The latest in a series of posts from the directors of Microsoft Research’s labs worldwide, this one from P. Anandan of Microsoft Research India.
Another exciting, eventful, and successful year comes to an end. Perhaps the most visible event during the seventh year in Microsoft Research India’s history was our move from our little nest called Scientia in the relatively quiet neighborhood of Sadashivnagar to a nice, new building named Vigyan in the heart of Bangalore. The space is larger and the neighborhood busier. We have managed to preserve the open, studiolike ambience our lab is famous for, thanks to careful design choices. The lovely courtyard on our floor, with its classical Indian wooden pillars, the vertical garden, and the slanted, tiled roofs, is perhaps even an enhancement over our previous digs.
Posted by Rob Knies
Imagine that you walk into a store, select an item to purchase, and approach the cash register. A wireless-proximity transmitter within your smartphone detects your presence, and a facial-recognition program determines your identity. The transaction is recorded onto video, and, as you stroll out, a receipt is emailed to you, along with a link to a video of the purchase.It’s convenient, it’s secure, and, given the popularity of smartphones, it just could be the future of commerce.The scenario above is no idle fancy. In Building 99 on Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus, it’s currently a reality, part of the Zero-Effort Payments research project, a rethinking of mobile payments by the Mobility and Networking Research group at Microsoft Research Redmond.
Over the last few months, I’ve published a series of feature stories to outline the contributions Microsoft Research has made to the groundbreaking Kinect for Xbox 360 product, which Guinness World Records has dubbed the fastest-selling consumer electronic device ever. This week, the Kinect team is marking the one-year anniversary of Kinect. With that in mind, I offer this video, which provides a valuable overview of the research behind Kinect, featuring research personnel from around the world: Ivan Tashev from Microsoft Research Redmond, Baining Guo from Microsoft Research Asia, Jamie Shotton and Andrew Fitzgibbon from Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Oliver Williams from Microsoft Research Silicon Valley. And Alex Kipman, general manager for Incubation for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, provides a product-group perspective on the contributions.For more detail, you can take a look at our feature stories, the latest of which was published just yesterday:
This week at Techfest, the Technologies for Emerging Markets team at Microsoft Reearch India is showing a lightweight, inexpensive system to instantly gather responses from students in classrooms.
Last year, David Rothschild of Microsoft Research New York City used a versatile, data-driven model to predict correctly the results of the U.S. presidential election in 50 of 51 jurisdictions—the nation’s 50 states and the District of Columbia.Given the overwhelming accuracy—better than 98 percent—of those predictions, it’s no wonder that the work of Rothschild and a few other individuals trying to learn how to harness the value of big data gained the attention of the news media. “Some things,” wrote Steven Cherry in IEEE Spectrum, “are predictable—if you go to the people who rely on data and not their gut.”People, in other words, like Rothschild, who readily admits that his role is to “push the boundaries of information aggregation.”Now, as the next effort in his quest to make use of big data to reinvent how we think about predictions and forecasting—and, coincidentally, to make potential contributions to enable Microsoft to build better products and services—Rothschild has turned his predictive attention toward another major media event of global proportions: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 85th annual Academy Awards.