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Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Baidu Beats

Earlier this month, a Chinese tech giant quietly dethroned Microsoft and Google in an ongoing competition in AI. The company was Baidu, China’s closest equivalent to Google, and the competition was the General Language Understanding Evaluation, otherwise known as GLUE.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Remote Work Is Not Either Or

The downside of remote work

It is not to be or not to be. It is how. It is a raging debate.

Kind of like the workspace debate itself. Getting rid of cubicles in favor of open floor office spaces became trendy. Then someone realized me time is also important. There are times when you just need to be by yourself to focus, to be creative. So space is not either or either. You have to be alone. You have to hold small team meetings. The open floor plan is great. But it is not great round the clock.

Remote is like that. Remote has to be an option. Just like flexible schedules.

And remote is a skill not a button you press. You send your team remote and all problems solved? Hardly. You have to work at it. And all the other challenges of work still stay. Remote is just an arrangement.

Communication is great. Being able to reach out to anyone on the team is great. But always-on is a drag. Always-on prevents people from doing their best work. There are times when you just have to unplug. Even while at work.

Remote definitely has to be an option. The best person for a particular job at the price point you can afford might not be in your town, or near you, or even in the same country. Remote can be great. On the other hand, if you don't know or learn how to manage, it can be a disaster. It can get incredibly frustrating.

Even if you are under the same roof, if everyone spends big chunks of their days staring at their computer screens, as knowledge workers are likely to, is that not remote? Are they not better off doing it in environments of their choice?

Communication is best spread out. Email works best when it works best. Instant messaging has its place. Some things are best taken over to voice chat, one on one or a conference call. But that voice chat might appreciate an email backup.

And there is no avoiding the in-person. I believe the Wordpress team is 100% remote. But they make a point to meet in person once a year. Depending on feasibility, that could be once a month, or once a week even. You could have remote workers in the same city who drop by the office one or two days a week. You could have someone 10 time zones away who you can not hope to meet. But you have three people in that same country, maybe they should meet in person when they can.

Remote is an option. It is a good option. It can be an excellent option. But leading a remote team requires certain skills. I am for asking. Ask a potential team member what they think. Ask what kind of work arrangement they might like. Some people just need to show up at the office. They don't know any other way to get work done. That is why people rent desks at co-working spaces, don't they?

We are all knowledge workers. If Microsoft, a trillion-dollar company, considers itself primarily a remote team, who are you?



Remote Work: To Do Or Not To Do? (Preethi's Take)
Anywhere Competes With Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Beijing And London



How remote working can increase stress and reduce well-being 70% of professionals work remotely at least one day a week, while 53% work remotely for at least half of the week. Some multinationals have their entire staff working remotely, with no fixed office presence at all, which can result in having employees situated all over the world........ Nearly 70% of millennials would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote working ....... Employees value the flexibility it gives them, particularly if they have childcare commitments. People also appreciate escaping long commutes and avoiding office distractions. ....... growing concerns that people’s mental health and well-being can take a hit when working remotely ...... In the UK, businesses lose £100m every year due to workplace stress, depression and anxiety. Research shows that being “always on” and accessible by technology while working remotely leads to the blurring of work and non-work boundaries, particularly if you work from home. A 2017 United Nations report found that 41% of remote workers reported high stress levels, compared to just 25% of office workers. ........ 52% who worked from home at least some of the time were more likely to feel left out and mistreated, as well as unable to deal with conflict between themselves and colleagues. ........ Navigating sensitive territory in a virtual team is an essential skill. If we’re not careful, issues can fester. Emails can be misinterpreted as being rude or too direct. And, with no visible body language it is tricky to convey our true meanings. ........ In a virtual environment there is a tendency to focus too much on tasks and too little on relationships. .......... With more emphasis on deadlines and routine information, virtual workers can feel treated as a cog in a machine, rather than an essential part of the team. Such a leadership approach can worsen the sense of isolation that naturally comes with working remotely and can contribute to virtual workplace stress. ........ Interviewees said a lack of feedback from line managers and senior colleagues gave them no benchmark to judge progress, which led to increased feelings of anxiety and a concern as to whether they were “up to standard”. ....... stress can be productive up to a point and then it results in reduced productivity. ....... colleagues who spend just 15 minutes socialising and sharing their feelings of stress had a 20% increase in performance. ..............

Employers need to put the right structures in place such as scheduled video calls and regular team-building meetups to build rapport.

Bosses need to lead by example and create a culture where those outside the office feel valued......... But it cuts both ways. Everyone needs to think about what makes them productive, happy and successful in everyday life, and try to replicate this in a remote setting – whether this ranges from taking a walk at lunch time, going to the gym, ringing a friend or reading your favourite book....... If the future of work is heading towards more virtual working, then it is not something we can avoid. Instead we should implement ways of managing the stress associated with it, while enjoying the benefits.


Blue light isn’t the main source of eye fatigue and sleep loss – it’s your computer

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Microsoft Team

How Microsoft Builds a Sense of Community Among 144,000 Employees Getting together in person to discuss pressing matters has been replaced by meeting through online conferences. ...... build community and create connection between employees and leaders. ...... Microsoft uses Yammer as a channel for Nadella and other leaders to engage with employees, listening to and learning what’s on their minds. On a “CEO Connection” page, employees can pose questions and connect with other employees on a gamut of topics — everything from product strategy to employee benefits........ Instead of being present only with the people in their office, Microsoft leaders can directly engage employees on the other side of the world, crossing time zones and accommodating varied schedules....... Every day, a small sample of Microsoft employees receive a survey called Daily Pulse. Driven by the HR division, Daily Pulse takes a snapshot of how employees are feeling about the company, its culture, and other timely topics. ....... “In what ways do you think Microsoft is different today than it was one year ago?” or “What is the biggest change you’d recommend your leadership make to allow you to be more effective in your job?” Having the flexibility to add in timely questions provides more regular insights into employee sentiment when acquiring companies, orchestrating large reorgs, and making other changes within the organization....... Every month, Microsoft holds an employee town hall meeting where company priorities, progress, and culture are discussed in an open forum. This meeting is broadcast live for employees around the globe and is also available on-demand for employees in other time zones. Along with members of his leadership team, Nadella provides a monthly business update and takes questions directly from the audience as well as from his CEO Connection page on Yammer. This gives him a chance to share his thoughts across a number of areas — including business, industry, and society — and allows employees to raise topics that matter to them. ...... During the event, employee engagement is measured to capture real-time sentiment. ....... Microsoft has hundreds of distribution lists for people with specific interests, so these self-selected communities help with message targeting. ........ Leveraging technology to connect with people at scale is a cornerstone of the 21st-century leadership journey.


Remote Work: To Do Or Not To Do? (Preethi's Take)
Anywhere Competes With Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Beijing And London

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Microsoft Inspire 2019 Corenote With Satya Nadella






Steve Jobs had a second act at Apple. Bill Gates did not. He had Satya Nadella. It was easier for Steve Jobs to give his second act. For Satya Nadella to come up with the second act is harder, and thus more impressive. Bill Gates was still sending those memos when Steve Ballmer was CEO, and Microsoft missed out on the smartphone completely.

Satya's superpower is his feel for corporate culture. He could teach Bill G a lesson or two. Satya is the antithesis of the nasty Founder CEO aura that is rightly or wrongly credited to/blamed upon Steve Jobs. Satya has proven you can be a nice, humble, empathetic, never angry CEO and create a trillion-dollar company. In fact, he has proven, that is the only way to do it.

And it's not just humility. Satya lays out the vision with such immense clarity, and with such precision; only an impressive intellect can do that. He distills. He forages. He pollinates. He crisscrosses. He wanders around. He picks and chooses. He speaks. He lays it down.
















Friday, May 03, 2019

Microsoft's Nadellaisance: Satya At The Helm

Satya Nadella made a shift to cloud years before he became CEO of Microsoft. It is not a weakling who can shaft it to Windows inside Microsoft. It takes strength and skill to do that. But it is hard to pin it down on one emphasis, one shift, one characteristic in his personality. It is his overall style.

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, he declared, the PC wars are over, Microsoft won. And he promptly moved on to the next big thing. Satya did the same thing. He did not declare, but through his action he showed, the mobile phone wars are over, Google and Apple won. That allowed him to focus on the cloud. But he also brought the PC wars are over declaration to Microsoft itself. We won, now let's move to the next battle.

This turnaround is remarkable. IBM did not do this. Was not able to.

Liberating Office from Windows was another tectonic move. He saw Office can migrate to mobile and to other operating systems. Heck, Office can migrate to the cloud.

This guy solved nothing less than the innovator's dilemma.

The thing is cloud has nowhere to go but up. A full-fledged Internet Of Things will require a thousand times more capacity just in the early innings. And the largest market share seems to belong to "Others."







The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has more subscribers than Netflix, more cloud computing revenue than Google, and a near-trillion-dollar market cap. ........ Microsoft had overtaken Apple to become the world’s most valuable company, a stunning climax in a year that also saw it pass Amazon and Google’s Alphabet Inc. ..... “I would be disgusted if somebody ever celebrated our market cap” ...... the valuation—which passed $1 trillion on April 25 and is up more than 230 percent since his watch began in February 2014—is “not meaningful” and any rejoicing about such an arbitrary milestone would mark “the beginning of the end.” ....... his librarian’s temperament. ...... having missed almost every significant computing trend of the 2000s—mobile phones, search engines, social networking—. ........ cultural rehab, involving what Nadella calls corporate “empathy” and a shift of his team from a “fixed mindset” to a “growth mindset.” ....... Microsoft’s Office collection of productivity software .... is now a cloud-based service boasting more than 214 million subscribers who pay around $99 a year; it has more subscribers than Spotify and Amazon Prime combined. ......... Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, has won marquee customers such as ExxonMobil, Starbucks, and Walmart. There’s a bit of Silicon Valley cred, too, thanks to its acquisitions of LinkedIn, the professional social network, and GitHub, the software code repository. ........ mild-mannered Nadella ...... stayed out of the Game of Thrones-like war to succeed Ballmer ....... “gets shit done” and “doesn’t piss off other people” ....... self-effacing, if not bland, style ....... Colleagues swear they’ve never seen him get upset, raise his voice, or fire off an angry email. ........ has “no swagger.” ....... Nadella’s game plan was to reorient Microsoft around Azure, a nascent business he’d been working on since 2011, which would turn the company from a provider of boxed software (which many users simply pirated) to a global computing engine that would rent out its processing power and online storage to businesses. ......... (A lifelong fan, he keeps a bat autographed by the great batsman Sachin Tendulkar near his desk.) ........ understood that any serious shift in emphasis would mean taking a cricket bat to the Windows division......... “Classic innovator’s dilemma,” Guthrie says. “I had leaders under me who managed multibillion-dollar P&Ls, and it’s tough when you say, ‘You’re now going to manage a $4 million P&L.’ ” ...... Nadella, frustrated with hand-wringing about the new cloud-vs.-Windows hierarchy, scolded a group of top executives early in his tenure. At his Microsoft, there would be only “fixers,” no “complainers.” If people didn’t buy into his vision, he’d tell them, “Don’t stay. Time to move on.” ........ an ability to make aggressive changes with little drama, a departure from Gates’s infamous temper tantrums of the 1990s and Ballmer’s chest-beating of the late 2000s....... Nadella wrote off $7.6 billion from Ballmer’s purchase of Nokia Corp., cutting 7,800 jobs in 2015, a clear sign he was giving up on an ambition to compete directly with Google and Apple Inc. in mobile........ His first product announcement was an Office version optimized for Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. Microsoft had resisted such a move for years out of concern that its productivity software running on iPhones and iPads would speed the decline of Windows PC sales....... describes Nadella’s approach as “subtle shade.” He never explicitly eighty-sixed a division or cut down a product leader, but his underlying intentions were always clear. His first email to employees ran more than 1,000 words—and made no mention of Windows....... “Satya doesn’t talk shit—he just started omitting ‘Windows’ from sentences,” this executive says. “Suddenly, everything from Satya was ‘cloud, cloud, cloud!’ ” ..... remembers being elated one month when cloud revenue increased by $40,000 on a profit-and-loss statement. “We were like, ‘Oh yeahhh!’ ” he says, chuckling. “And then, ‘Oh boy, we have billions to go.’ ” ...... The cloud is conceptually thought of as a digital exchange of bits, but it’s actually all about physical infrastructure—airplane-hangar-size data centers and transoceanic cables yo-yoing petabytes of information. ..... last year’s utterly shocking (to longtime Microsoft employees, anyway) termination of the entire Windows division, which he split into Azure and Office teams. ....... By then the cloud war with Amazon had escalated: For every cloud infrastructure improvement and database product Amazon introduced, Nadella would try to match those advances, pumping billions of dollars into buying data centers and startups......... The company’s cloud market share went from 14 percent at the end of 2017 to 17 percent at the end of 2018, while Amazon’s was flat at 32 percent for the same period ....... Jeff Bezos’ company has been ruthlessly expanding, posing a potential threat to cloud customers, such as big-box retailers and entertainment companies, even as it seeks to store their data in its servers. “Microsoft does it in a tasteful manner, but they don’t leave you mistaken in your impression that Bezos could be lurking in your backyard and machine learning your data and targeting your customers,” says a former e-commerce company vice president who struck a large cloud partnership with Nadella. “In the Ballmer days, it was bluster. But Satya has gotten really good at pointing out, ‘Do you want your technology partner to be your competitor?’ ” ........ Microsoft has signed five major retailers since July: Albertsons, Gap, Kroger, Walgreens, and Walmart. “You really can’t tell who works for who,” says Rodney McMullen, CEO of Kroger Co., who with Microsoft’s help is building concept stores, with digital shelving displays and AI-driven promotions, in the mode of Amazon’s checkout-free Amazon Go stores. Microsoft engineers are embedded at Kroger’s offices. ........ Nadella’s strategy has led Microsoft to pass on opportunities that have proven seductive for other tech players. Amazon and Google have pursued autonomous-vehicle hardware, for example, but Microsoft chose not to go after that business, instead focusing on the AI and analytics tools necessary to sell self-driving technology to the likes of BMW, Nissan, and Volkswagen....... Azure runs the safety operations for Chevron Corp., analyzing hundreds of terabytes of data from as many as 2,700 wells...... “Microsoft is cool again.” ........ Gates’s unreconstructed nerdulence. ..... For much of the Ballmer era, Microsoft was chasing a sexy, Apple-like version of itself, and mostly failing. For every iPod, there was a Zune; for every iPad, a Surface tablet; for every iOS device, a Windows Phone. ....... the company still struggles with the same old political infighting and ugly employee behavior. Only last month, internal emails surfaced from dozens of female Microsoft workers who had reported years of sexual harassment and discrimination to senior corporate leaders. ....... Nadella is explaining how his focus is no longer on the “whiz-bang”—his word to describe the Zune-era Microsoft. Instead, what it’s gotten better at, he says, is “being superdisciplined.” ........ Microsoft survived an innovator’s dilemma, but it also, so far, survived an identity crisis. ........ As he told Bloomberg in 2014, Ballmer felt as if a huge part of his identity had been cleaved away when he left Microsoft. He ended up in bed, binge-watching The Good Wife on his Surface for weeks


Microsoft CEO Nadella says he’d be ‘disgusted’ by celebrating the company’s $1 trillion market cap he does not believe the $1 trillion milestone is “meaningful.” ...... Microsoft’s Azure may be smaller, but it’s now growing faster than AWS ......


Time: Satya Nadella Growing up in India, Satya Nadella fell in love with cricket, a sport whose grace comes from melding stars into a cohesive and harmonic team. “One brilliant character who does not put team first can destroy the entire team,” he wrote in his recent book, Hit Refresh. ......Since becoming CEO of Microsoft in 2014, Nadella has used those principles to restore the company’s spirit of innovation. Consider its new product strategy, which emphasizes cloud computing and allowing people to collaborate across platforms. Nadella also preaches the importance of empathy and making products that work reliably, traits that deepened in him when his first child was born with brain damage and his son’s life depended on linked machines running Microsoft systems. (Walter Isaacson)






Thursday, March 22, 2018

Could IBM Have Bought Microsoft?

Not likely. Microsoft did try to buy Google, "at any price." And Google did try to buy Facebook. But the Blockchain is not just the next Google or Facebook, it is an entirely new platform, it is the next Internet. There is no buying the Internet.

It would be hard, perhaps impossible, for a company like Google to also be big on the Blockchain. It is an Internet company. 
Brave is a web browser that competes with Google’s Chrome. Instead of running targeted ads, Brave uses blockchain technology to pay websites when people spend time there. BitClave lets people perform searches online, and get rewarded for seeing ads. Another project, Presearch, is also using blockchain to try to compete with Google’s search engine


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Facebook Is Facing A Backlash

And that is putting it mildly. Facebook sure is facing a major backlash. The global darling app is seen using nefarious means. This is kind of like when Microsoft came under the gun in the late 1990s with monopoly accusations. The beating created space for other tech companies that became big. Facebook might have hit its high point. It is hard for one company to ride multiple technology waves. Although I have thought Facebook might also have some interesting VR applications in mind.

Here is Zuck's latest missive. He is on the defensive.

Employees have begun to worry that the company won’t be able to achieve its biggest goals if users decide that Facebook isn’t trustworthy enough to hold their data. At the meeting on Tuesday, the mood was especially grim. One employee told a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter that the only time he’d felt as uncomfortable at work, or as responsible for the world’s problems, was the day Donald Trump won the presidency.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tim Cook Like Steve Ballmer?

Steve Ballmer faced a lot of criticism as CEO and he would get confused because he was bringing in a lot of revenue. A company is supposed to make money, right?

But he was not innovating. All the new products were coming from elsewhere. He did manage to buy Skype though.

Tim Cook has been toying with the dimensions of the various Apple products, and he has been bringing in a lot of money.

Is that a warning sign?

http://venturebeat.com/2016/10/25/why-tim-cook-is-steve-ballmer/

Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer | VentureBeat | Business | by Steve Blank

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Satya Nadella Goes To India

Wi-Fi Signal logo
Wi-Fi Signal logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is a magic bullet. This would do more to transform India than any other single thing.

This TV spectrum thing is more promising than satellites and drones. Drones might be best for the least populated parts of the world.

Microsoft plans to provide free internet access across India
the firm has proposed to use the "white space" - the unused spectrum between two TV channels - to provide free connectivity to large sections of the Indian population. ...... The 200-300 MHz spectrum band available in the white space can reach up to 10 km compared to 100 metres range provided by Wifi ..... This spectrum belongs mainly to Doordarshan and the government and is not used at all. The firm has sought clearance from the government for a pilot project in two districts ..... The programme would be implemented in phases from this year till 2018 and ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Microsoft's Quantum Computer

English: Qubits are made up of controlled part...
English: Qubits are made up of controlled particles and the means of control (e.g. devices that trap particles and switch them from one state to another). There are 4 established qubit candidates: ion traps, quantum dots, semiconductor impurities, and superconducting circuits. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was thinking Microsoft might take itself back to the cutting edge through taking the lead in the Natural User Interace (NUI). But I might be wrong.

Microsoft’s Quantum Computer
Since the physicist Richard Feynman first suggested the idea of a quantum computer in 1982, theorists have proved that such a machine could solve problems that would take the fastest conventional computers hundreds of millions of years or longer. Quantum computers might, for example, give researchers better tools to design novel medicines or super-efficient solar cells. They could revolutionize artificial intelligence. .........“What we’re doing is analogous to setting out to make the first transistor,” says Peter Lee, Microsoft’s head of research. “What we’re doing is analogous to setting out to make the first transistor,” says Peter Lee, Microsoft’s head of research. .... a machine made up of only hundreds of qubits could run chemistry simulations beyond the capacity of any existing supercomputer. ...... a corporation widely thought to be stuck in computing’s past may unlock its future. ...... A mathematical prodigy who entered UC Berkeley at the age of 16 and grad school two years later, Freedman was 30 when he solved a version of one of the longest-standing problems in mathematics, the Poincaré conjecture. He worked it out without writing anything down, visualizing the distortion of four-dimensional shapes in his head. “I had seen my way through the argument,” Freedman recalls. When he translated that inner vision into a 95-page proof, it earned the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. ......... he was drawn into physics in 1988 after a colleague discovered a connection between some of the math describing the topology of knots and a theory explaining certain quantum phenomena. “It was a beautiful thing,” says Freedman. He immediately saw that this connection could allow a machine governed by that same quantum physics to solve problems too hard for conventional computers. Ignorant that the concept of quantum computing already existed, he had independently reinvented it. ....... A qubit can enter a quantum state known as superposition, which effectively represents 0 and 1 at the same time. Once in a superposition state, qubits can become linked, or “entangled,” in a way that means any operation affecting one instantly changes the fate of another. Because of superposition and entanglement, a single operation in a quantum computer can execute parts of a calculation that would take many, many more operations for an equivalent number of ordinary bits. A quantum computer can essentially explore a huge number of possible computational pathways in parallel. For some types of problems, a quantum computer’s advantage over a conventional one grows exponentially with the amount of data to be crunched. ........ “They change the foundation of computer science and what we mean by what is computable.” ....... The largest number of qubits that have been operated together is just seven. ...... The conventional approach being pursued by Microsoft offers a fully programmable computer—the equivalent of a full toolbox. ...... To speed progress and set the stage for possible mass production, Microsoft has begun working with industrial companies to secure supplies of semiconductor nanowires and the superconducting electronics that would be needed to control a topological qubit. ........ At Bell Labs in New Jersey .. If he is right, Willett is farther along than anyone who is working with Microsoft. And in his series of small, careworn labs, he is now preparing to build what—if it works—will be the world’s first topological qubit. “We’re making the transition from the science to the technology now,” he says. His effort has historical echoes. Down the corridor from his labs is a glass display case with the first transistor inside, made on this site in 1947. ......... Willett sees himself as an academic colleague of the Microsoft researchers rather than a corporate competitor, and he still gets invited to Freedman’s twice-yearly symposiums that bring Microsoft collaborators and other leading physicists to Santa Barbara. But Microsoft management has been more evident at recent meetings, Willett says, and he has sometimes felt that his being from another corporation made things awkward. ....... For Microsoft to open up a practical route to quantum computing would be surprising. For the withered Bell Labs, owned by a company not even in the computing business, it would be astounding. ....... Microsoft’s leafy campus in Redmond .. In the main research building, Krysta Svore leads a dozen people working on software for computers that may never exist. The team is figuring out what the first generation of quantum computers could do for us. ....... No quantum computer is ever going to fit into your pocket, because of the way qubits need to be supercooled ...... they would be used like data centers or supercomputers to power services over the Internet, or to solve problems that allow other technologies to be improved. ....... One promising idea is to use quantum computers for superpowered chemistry simulations that could accelerate progress on major problems in areas such as health or energy. A quantum computer could simulate reality so precisely that it could replace years of plodding lab work ...... Today roughly a third of U.S. supercomputer time is dedicated to simulations for chemistry or materials science, according to the Department of Energy. ...... quantum computers can be used for machine learning ...... Recent advances in image and speech recognition have triggered a frenzy of new research in artificial intelligence. ...... the first company to build a quantum computer might gain an advantage virtually unprecedented in the history of technology. “We believe that there’s a chance to do something that could be the foundation of a whole new economy” ..... It’s as if qubit technology is in a superposition between changing the world and decohering into nothing more than a series of obscure research papers.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

RoomAlive

English: The Xbox console with the S controlle...
English: The Xbox console with the S controller, made by Microsoft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I can see this having major educational uses. But it still feels version 1.0 with a long way to go. This will make new kinds of games possible. This will also get used by the porn industry. This could be used to create exotic backgrounds for parties you might want to throw.

Microsoft’s ‘RoomAlive’ transforms any room into a giant Xbox game
Relive’s video projectors and Kinect combination is far too costly and large for living rooms right now, but Microsoft is imagining a future where this technology will be smaller and low-cost...... "There’s still lots to explore with RoomAlive as a gaming platform," explain’s a Microsoft Research spokesperson. "We envision a future where games can use physical objects as part of the game."
RoomAlive: Magical Experiences Enabled by Scalable, Adaptive Projector Camera Units
Users can touch, shoot, stomp, dodge and steer projected content that seamlessly co-exists with their existing physical environment. ..... focuses on interaction, and the new kinds of games that we can create with interactive projection mapping. RoomAlive looks farther into the future of projection mapping, and asks what new experiences will we have in the next few years? ...... The projector is used for display and the Kinect is used for tracking. Normally video projectors are used to display PowerPoint presentations on flat screens. RoomAlive uses cheap commodity video projectors to animate every square inch of your living room, this technique is known as projection mapping.
Watch Microsoft's RoomAlive Prototype Turn an Entire Room Into a Game
7 Experimental Interfaces That Show the Future of UI Design
Microsoft’s RoomAlive turns a living room into a Star Trek Holodeck
Microsoft's Insane New Technology Will Turn Your Living Room Into One Gigantic Xbox Game
Microsoft's RoomAlive turns your walls into a life-sized interactive Xbox game

Friday, September 12, 2014

NUI: Natural User Interface

English: The Microsoft Kinect peripheral for t...
English: The Microsoft Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The NUI will be a bigger departure than the GUI, Graphical User Interface, was. This is a big one. Microsoft has some advantages here. But it will not be any one company thing. This will be a tectonic shift.

Intel Says Laptops and Tablets with 3-D Vision Are Coming Soon
Laptops with 3-D sensors in place of conventional webcams will go on sale before the end of this year ...... Partners already working with Intel include Microsoft’s Skype unit, the movie and gaming studio Dreamworks, and the 3-D design company Autodesk ....... a startup called Volumental, lets you snap a 3-D photo of your foot to get an accurate shoe size measurement—something that could help with online shopping. ..... data from a tablet’s 3-D sensor can be used to build very accurate augmented reality games, where a virtual character viewed on a device’s screen integrates into the real environment. In one demo, a flying robot appeared on-screen and selected a landing spot on top of a box on a cluttered table. As the tablet showing the character was moved, it stayed perched on the tabletop, and even disappeared behind occluding objects. ...... the front-facing 3-D sensors can be used to recognize gestures to play games on a laptop, or take control of some features of Windows. ...... reminiscent of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for its Xbox gaming console, which introduced gamers to depth sensing and gesture control in 2010. Microsoft launched a version of Kinect aimed at Windows PCs in 2012, and significantly upgraded its depth-sensing technology in 2013, but Kinect devices are too large to fit inside a laptop or tablet.