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Posted by on Nov 24, 2012 in Technology |

Microsoft Research: transforming human interaction with the computer

Innovation in technology is really wonderful. The ideas and imagination of scientists, engineers, developers and researchers can get to create fantastic things, and the most peculiar devices that may exist, or simply improve existing ones. Certainly there are many independent researchers dedicated to the task of innovating, but also spectacular foundations, backed by the largest technology companies such as the Google Labs, or the founding Microsoft Research. Today we will discuss some plans to interacting with computers in this division of Microsoft, starting with a video offered as a summary of what to them is the future of user interfaces on the computer.

It’s amazing the quality of inventions that have emerged from the various quarters of in its 21 years of existence, but this time we will not give a review of all projects and achievements, but the ideas currently being developed aimed at human-computer interaction, something that simply is booming at the present time.

Much more than touchpads

For many years they have begun to use touch panels in mobile devices or home, the most popular (in chronological order) the famous Palm electronic organizers and of course the iPad, iPhone and the wave of smartphones and tablets is born recent years.

But interacting with a computing device can go much further, and that idea goes through the minds of engineers at Microsoft Research for several years. One project that has caught my attention based on this subject is that of SoundWave , introduced in mid-2012 and that is nothing short of a detection system gestures through the Doppler effect, as evidenced by the video below.

This idea is simply wonderful, and carrying a gesture recognition technology Kinect style, that famous motion capture system from Microsoft, but using a microphone and speaker to record the change in frequency of a sound wave, or what is the same, using similar components to those who already have computers, with the help of a special system that is under development. This would achieve the user to scroll or scroll through pages, documents and applications course, simply by moving their hands and creating gestures at the computer.

We also have a very interesting device that created two researchers and developers of applied sciences group of this branch of Microsoft, called Jinha Lee and Cati Boulanger. This is something we have called the Interactive 3D Desktop, which is based on a Samsung OLED display that simulates a window, and on the back is located a camera that detects the position of the hands on this space, for which Kinect technology used, as demonstrated in the video below of the project:

The result is simply amazing, making user interaction through direct gestures in three-dimensional images that are projected on the “interactive window”. Definitely an idea that could open doors to any number of devices and developments, at first instance I can think of a simulator of virtual, three-dimensional medical operations for medical students or virtual assembly system of machines and components. The possibilities are many.

Microsoft Research, synonymous with futuristic vision

Speaking of Microsoft Research is to talk about innovation. You talk about technology currently can only imagine or see in movies and science fiction. But these are engineers and researchers who intend to realize those ideas that seem the future, and in the case of matters relating to interaction with computer systems, there may be an exception.

From everything I’ve read and known about the projects undertaken by this division of Microsoft, my favorite is definitely Digits, a project that could transform the way this technology giant enters the world of invisible interfaces.

Certainly allows us to interact with systems with only gestures in the air or voice commands, but Digits to interact with a device without touching it or have it in front of us, thanks to a device worn on the wrist and runs through of an infrared sensor.

Seeing this video for the first time the first thing that came to my mind was the movie Minority Report (Minority Report), where we saw a future Tom Cruise in interacting with a sort of gesture-based and movements, that looks really fascinating. With Digits, is another way of evolving notion of the invisible touch interfaces, using a mobile device, a computer, a screen or virtual reality.

OmniTouch for its part, is a device and system offered by the graphical display and interaction multi augmented reality, the possibility of the user to use any surface to interact with a computer system.

Created by researchers Chris Harrison, Hrvoje Benko and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research, is a very unique gadget that is worn as if it was either a backpack or purse, making use of a depth-sensitive camera (again, Kinect technology) and a laser projector, allows our hands, arm, desk, wall or simply a book, turn into the surface with which we can interact with a system that will have applications as simple as paint, or other to answer an email, or anyone who is born of the creativity of the developers of apps.

The demonstration and presentation of the project could not be clearer, as impressive.

In Microsoft Research are working to develop new ways to interact with computer systems, and certainly they are succeeding, thanks to some key elements such as augmented reality and Kinect technology.

This is just a small sample of some of the industry projects Microsoft engaged in the research and development of innovative technology and amazing. But there are still a lot of material to cut, especially because all these systems are still developing for Kinect used for medical purposes, and even aerospace. The possibilities are endless, as long as imagination.

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