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Microsoft Input Devices Software

Microsoft Research Shows Off New Projects On College Recruiting Tour 62

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the why-do-they-want-computing-to-be-a-workout dept.
In a recent college recruiting tour, Microsoft's Craig Mundie was able to showcase some of the experiments coming out of their Research division. Among some of the interesting projects were another pass at the Minority Report interface, eye-tracking, intelligent data sorting, a global carbon-climate model, and several other software and hardware experiments. A video and supporting slideshow are also available via Microsoft's press site. "Mundie also will discuss the kinds of computers students will soon be using – machines that will respond to gestures through new natural user interfaces; deploy the power of new microprocessors; migrate data to the cloud; and use live data to drive new simulations and visualizations. He’ll center on an environmental theme to show what it might be like to be a research scientist working on zero carbon energy in the future using new interactions with data and computers to increase insight."
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Microsoft Research Shows Off New Projects On College Recruiting Tour

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  • Bar of soap mouse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Friday November 06, 2009 @04:25PM (#30009156) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft's hardware research division ages back demoed a mouse that was akin to a bar of soap. You held it up in the air like a remote control, and rotated around in your hand. It could be operated from a couch or another location where didn't have a traditional hard surface. I thought it was a great idea.

    Whatever happened to it?

  • Wonder if they're hiring people involved in academic research related to that and visual attention...
  • So sweaty monkey dancing is really some form of user input device.

    I think I'll stick with my keyboard...

    • by jayme0227 (1558821) on Friday November 06, 2009 @05:15PM (#30009846) Journal

      I love posts like this, and must admit that I've been guilty of the same thing.

      "In it's current state, this technology is clearly outclassed by other technologies on the market. They're wasting their time. I'm not buying it."

      Yeah, in it's current state, it looks retarded. But what will it develop into?

      A lot of people thought the Eyetoy was stupid and motion control video games would only be a passing fad. Further development of motion sensing technology pointed to using a controller rather than a camera, which was then masterfully executed by Nintendo. Did the tech suck when it first came out? Absolutely. Was it worth forging ahead into the arena of motion control? Indeed.

      Actually, now, there's a renewed interest [xbox.com] in using cameras to control what's going on in the game.

      In review: Yes, new technology is often outclassed by other alternatives before it matures. If you give it time, though, it can develop into something really cool.

  • No intelligent robots.
    No flying cars.
    No ray guns.
    *YAWN*
    NEXT please.

  • ... but there was another PKD story that portrayed the same tech first. Of course, that one was turned into a crappy movie [imdb.com] starring Ben Aflac!

    If only it had had Cuba Gooding Jr. in it - he's much better than Ben Affleck...

    (did I say that out loud?)

  • by melikamp (631205) on Friday November 06, 2009 @04:42PM (#30009388) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft released a product that does not suck. Unfortunately, it is a vacuum cleaner.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Itninja (937614)
      I don't get it. Vacuums don't suck. It's the outside pressure pushing dirt into it. So technically the MS Vacuum(tm) was a success.
  • Why does Microsoft need a tour showcasing their new research? I thought they already had that coverd with their employees LinkedIn profiles.
  • by AVIDJockey (816640) on Friday November 06, 2009 @05:20PM (#30009914)
    The video [uwtv.org] can be found at UWTV.
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Nice link, thanks.

      It's worth pointing out that this was not in any way an actual recruiting tour. I'm sure it interested some people who may now go apply, but there was nobody from HR there, and nobody was taking resumes or discussing internships. Instead, Mundie was basically traveling through several leading universities to talk with administrators, faculty, students, and the general public. The big presentation (in the linked video) is the "general public" one; although much of the audience was connected

  • And as a completely impressionable college student (who really needs an internship this summer), I have to say I was pretty impressed.

    The two main points of his talk were a) we need to find a better paradigm for organizing the vast amounts of information we're being deluged with and b) we haven't found a good replacement yet for the mouse-and-keyboard model of human-computer interaction (he basically admitted that Microsoft's efforts at speech recognition so far have been a total failure), but we're going
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      The keyboard only model works great.

      Of course with your sig I am sure the little unemplyed college student thinks he knows better.

    • by grcumb (781340)

      Arguing about vi versus Emacs is like arguing whether it's better to make fire by rubbing sticks or banging rocks.

      Normally replying to a sig results in an automatic -1 Offtopic, but in this case, I think it makes a perfect point.

      Here we are discussing the merits of new realms of human interface when we don't properly understand the interfaces we already have. Over the decades, people have tried again and again to reinvent the IDE, in many cases failing utterly, in others just trading one set of features for

  • machines that will respond to gestures through new natural user interfaces This is just what I've been waiting for -- a computer that actually understands when I'm flipping it off!
  • ...a global carbon-climate model, and several other software and hardware experiments. WOW! GROUND BREAKING STUFF!! NOBODY has EVER thought to make a 'carbon-climate model'!! That's revolutionary!!!!!!! In typical MS fashion, they'll build a mediocre knock-off of what's now an old idea and act like they invented it.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      they'll build a mediocre knock-off of what's now an old idea and act like they invented it. A business model that has worked exceptionally well for both Microsoft and Disney (who is releasing yet another remake of "A Christmas Carol" -- talk about originality!)
  • by jimicus (737525) on Friday November 06, 2009 @05:35PM (#30010110)

    Exactly what truly innovative stuff from Microsoft Research has seen the light of day?

    Yes, I know that such research is expected to produce remarkably few results in the real world. But the closest thing to innovation I've seen is the ribbon toolbar in Office 2007.

  • Excuse me, but isn't simultaneously spending time and money recruiting new employees and laying off over 5000 people [computerworld.com] just a tad bit schizophrenic?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cbhacking (979169)

      First off, I wouldn't call it a recruiting tour. Nobody was taking resumes. Nobody from HR was present. There were no references to internships or other openings. Heck, I spoke to Mundie in person before the talk, attended the talk, and attended the reception afterwards, and nobody (Mundie or anybody else) made any reference at all to recruitment.

      Second, the people who were laid off were not Microsoft's engineers and programmers, but instead were people in fields such as marketing and legal affairs. They've

  • How often have we heard "OSS should stop copying and start innovating"? Anyone and everyone who ever said that, this abomination is your fault.
  • One thing to mention here is if you join Microsoft itself (as opposed to its research arm - Microsoft Research), you won't ever get to work on any of the cool stuff. And if you join MSR, the shit you work on will never ship. So it's a lose-lose, no matter where you go, unless you're a researcher and publishing papers gives you a boner.

  • Microsoft just added 500 more layoffs to their earlier 5,000. Why the heck are they spending money on a recruiting tour?

    -Todd

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