Back in the early days of Microsoft, our mission was to put a PC on every desk and in every home — an ambitious goal for the time. Behind that was the conviction that computer technology had the innate capacity to enrich peoples’ lives. The trick was applying it in a way that made sense, solved a problem, or generally made life better.
When dramatic technology changes are on the horizon, just describing a possible future isn’t enough – sometimes you have to show it and let people experience it themselves. Over the years, Microsoft has created immersive showcases that show how future technologies could shape our world – first through the Microsoft Home, which opened its doors in 1994, and later through facilities like the Envisioning Lab, which explored possibilities for the workplace of the future.
This work continues at our new Envisioning Center, which is all about imagining how technology could be used to make life easier and more enjoyable, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in revolutionary ones. The Envisioning Center is located here on our Redmond campus and it's been rebuilt from the ground up to incorporate our newest ideas and latest technologies. Today we announced its opening.
The facility encompasses scenarios at home, at work and places in between, and is inspired by our product teams, Microsoft Research and by the trends across the industry. I like to think of it as a concept car that allows us to share what it might be like to experience future technologies with visitors, get their feedback, tweak, remix and discuss. It’s all part of advancing the trends we think have the greatest potential.
As part of today’s opening, we put together a short video that gives a sense of what’s inside – and while none of these ideas are meant to be predictive about our products, they do highlight some of the key trends we’re investing in, such as machine learning and NUI. They also give you a sense of where these technologies could lead us over the next five to ten years.
Over the course of the next few days you’ll learn more about some of the work we’re doing to improve our understanding of how people interact with technology and some of the breakthroughs we’ve made. In the meantime, sit back and get a glimpse of our vision for the future.
Amazing! Just waiting to be hired now. :-)
Amazing! Love Microsoft. Just waiting to be hired now :-)
4 Mar 2013 8:34 AM
The cost would be out of the reach for so many.
My response: People used to say the same thing about cell phones and big screen TVs. Now just look at how many people have both.
The most appealing aspect of the video was the inclusion of how the net should function and how information should be accessible within a highly focused and intuitive interface. Microsoft nailed the design ideology that media rich content should be shown on the largest display possible. O'Brave New World!
"you’ll learn more about some of the work we’re doing to improve our understanding of how people interact with technology and some of the breakthroughs we’ve made."
will this involve breakthrough ideas like making the time visible while using windows?
When I get my own place I'm going to make sure I paint every wall white in preparation for home of the future!
Thats why i like microsoft very much
Microsoft can change the world
... someone lost connection to reality ... or are we only shifting and sorting photos/termins all the time? It seems there are only indian-chiefs, but where are the "really" working indians?
I want that to be me... (as said like Liz Lemon, although she was normally focused on food)
Great way to tell a story that already exists; better mobile touch screens.
Tip: Google Chrome will evolve and eventually replace Windows, since it's free to use. Make future Window releases free and start embedding the apps like the ones above so people begin coming back to your products and not the multiple other options that we're seeing out there. Or else your Office, Windows and SQL serve will end up in the discount bundles bin at Walmart for $9.99
I watched the video. At best, it might be the future for a few people with:
1. Lots of income
2. Very large homes with huge, empty walls and numerous sinks for constant hand washing
3. No pets at all and, at most, only few well-behaved kids
In short, all that expensive 'stuff' wouldn't fit well in most homes or with most lifestyles.
Microsoft makes the future bright and visable!
Tobin, good post. Most of what I see here is already here today, however, I don't have a monitor the size of a wall... yet. It's probably due to the fact that I don't have the finanancing equivalent to a small country to own one.
The down-side with technology as a "future" creates an old issue and omits another.
1. The future is not electronic communication is some hybrid form. Technology is supposed to enhance our lives so we can have more "HUMAN" interaction. The video, regardless of how big, is not human interaction. Even ATT new long distance was the NEXT BEST thing to being there.
2. Which is harder to overcome, never having something or having it, depending on it and then not having it? Clearly, it is the latter. The phrase "don't put all your eggs in one basket" still applies, maybe now more than ever. I'll give you an example: My GE oven has a self-cleaning feature. It also has a touch pad to operate it. Unfortunately, this GE device, and maybe others has a flaw due to a conflict in design. To help protect the home it is installed in from fire or over-heating which might start a fire, GE built-in two thermal fuses that when the temperature of the unit goes above a certain degree, they blow. There is no alarm and it's not a slow-blow type. They have to be replaced. This requires pulling the unit. It's about a 10-minute job but you have to call someone out. Guess what happens when you use the self-cleaning "feature?" GE knew about this and yet, released it. I suspect someone in risk management thought it was the cheaper alternative to a recall.
Technology should save you time for repetative tasks and maybe overall help generate productivity and perhaps in the process preserve some consumables. It should not replace the human element and put your life on hold when you blow a fuse, a circuit or some $.10 element on a non-serviceable board that keeps your TV/monitor from working for which to obtain, requires the purchasing of the screen too because they're not sold separately. Yes, I went through that one too. Another manufacturer I will never purchase from again.
Innovative ideas come from where you don't expect them and don't follow a linear design path. NUI seems better for specific vertical applications. The future is about miniature input devices, augmented reality, multidimensional interfaces (2.5D), bio implants, and a new scalable metaphor to replace the clunky desktop/file manager. Efficiency should be the mantra. However, with that said, there might not be much money in making a new and fantastic OS that is easy to use
I STRONGLY WANT TO PARTICIPATE FORMING THIS FUTURE :)