WIth the Kinect, Microsoft opened up the world of gestural controls to the masses, allowing users to manipulate video games and otherwise control their devices with simple motion controls. Now Microsoft Research is doing it again, this time using inaudible sound waves to create the same kind of gestural interface, no cameras necessary.
IllumiShare, from Microsoft Research (also responsible for holodesks), is a system to allow two people to interact with various objects remotely. It gives cooperative activities like taking notes or creating documents a physicality: You're not typing in Google Docs, you're actually writing with ink and paper. Or playing cards with real cards, only your partner is on the other side of the world.
Finding a physical space to store our voluminous cloud-based data is a problem, sure, but keeping the servers cooled down is another, much bigger problem--and an environmentally unfriendly one at that. Instead of installing expensive cooling systems, future networked data centers could use the waste heat of computing to keep people warm.
Cab drivers know their cities intimately, using shortcuts and side streets to bypass traffic jams and (hopefully) get you to your destination more quickly. Now Microsoft is hoping to tap into this talent and design better driving directions for online maps.
Put the Vicon Revue around your neck, and you'll never have to remember anything again. It sees what you do and automatically records it all. A wide-angle fisheye lens gives the camera a 120-degree view—the lion's share of your field of vision. Its image processor takes shutter cues from five onboard sensors: light detector, thermometer, compass, accelerometer and infrared. When any (or several) of the sensors registers a change, the camera instantly kicks into rapid-fire mode, grabbing one frame per second until conditions settle.
More and more implantable devices, like pacemakers or defibrillators, are turning to wireless signals as a means to communicate with external devices, but in doing so they open themselves to security breaches. Several solutions are in the works that tackle this problem by upping device defenses, but by piling on security measures, yet another risk emerges: that at a critical time an authorized physician might not be able to access the device.
So Microsoft Research proposes putting a new technological spin on an old, time-tested security protocol: protect every device with a password, then tattoo the password right onto the patient in invisible UV ink.
Tethering your phone's data connection to your laptop (and the fact that the iPhone can’t do it – thanks AT&T) is all the rage right now, but despite the convenience of the mobile Web, such connections are still comparatively unreliable. But the geeks over at Microsoft Research have come up with Cool-Tether--a seemingly obvious, yet novel way to pool multiple cellular data connections into a single, faster and more reliable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared by all.
Microsoft Research develops free, Web-based software for exploring and learning more about the universe
By Gregory MonePosted 05.13.2008 at 10:02 am 1 Comment
After much anticipation, Microsoft Research today released a new, free online tool designed to open up the world of astronomy to the masses. Microsoft describes the WorldWide Telescope as a "Web 2.0 Visualization Software Environment" - but don't worry, the tool is easier to use than it is to define.