Microsoft Research Connections Blog
Next at Microsoft
Social Media Collective
Windows on Theory
Posted by Peter Lee, managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond
The last in a series of posts from the directors of Microsoft Research’s labs worldwide, this one from Peter Lee of Microsoft Research Redmond.Given that this was my first full calendar year at the Redmond lab of Microsoft Research, it took quite an effort to comprehend fully the breathtaking scope of ideas and projects carried out by the lab’s more than 300 researchers and engineers. What a hoot! It’s a great pleasure now to reflect a bit on the past year.
Posted by Rob Knies
You’ve no doubt experienced that sinking feeling—we all have—after taking a photo and realizing that you pressed the shutter release just a bit too late. The moment is gone, the action elusive, the opportunity squandered. It’s frustrating, but what can you do?What you can do is download BLINK.BLINK is a brand-new photo-capturing app for Windows Phone 8. The app captures a burst of images beginning before you even press the camera shutter and continuing for about a second. It doesn’t matter whether your shutter finger is a touch too early or a tad too late. Once BLINK has collected the series of images, you simply swipe your finger across the film strip at the bottom of your screen to select the best version.
The term “natural user interfaces” has been in vogue in recent months, generally invoked to describe different ways that humans can interact with computing devices beyond the longtime pairing of keyboard and mouse.Surface computing is one example with its roots in Microsoft Research. Kinect functionalities also benefited from work in Microsoft Research labs. Now, scientists at Microsoft Research Asia are examining ways that you can interact with computers using … your face. Qiufeng Yin, a software-development engineer at that Beijing-based lab, explains.“We envision a world in which mobile devices—phones, tablets, sensors—become more and more ubiquitous,” Yin says. “We hope to make such devices more human-friendly. They can be personalized to a user, and the face is another important, though underutilized, area for interaction, in addition to voice and touch.”
First, there was Kinect. You’ve probably heard of that one. Next, it was KinectFusion, which uses live data from Kinect for Windows to create high-quality, 3-D models of a room and its contents. KinectFusion made a splash in 2011 during the 38th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH).Now, it’s time for KinÊtre, the latest Microsoft Research project that uses a Kinect depth camera to provide novel functionality: Among other animations, it can make chairs dance.No, your eyes didn’t deceive: dancing chairs. If that sounds like fun, you’ve come to the right place.KinÊtre, which can animate all sorts of inanimate objects, will be presented as a talk by Jiawen Chen during SIGGRAPH 2012, being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Aug. 5 to 9.
Posted by Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research New England
We’re thrilled to announce that three leading researchers will be joining danah boyd and the social-media research team at Microsoft Research New England, based in Cambridge, Mass.
Microsoft Research produces some of the strongest computer-science research extant. As the world changes and our business expands, there’s a much broader range of research questions we need to address beyond technology itself, including how we use that technology, why we want to use that technology, and how different cultural norms within the United States and other countries affect how we approach future technology development.