Innovation is part of the Microsoft DNA and we continue to invest in innovation all around the world, including Australia. I’m really excited that this morning in Melbourne, we are announcing the opening of the new Microsoft Centre for Social Natural User Interface (‘NUI’) Research – the first dedicated research centre of its kind in the world!

Collaboration between Industry, University and Government is critical to establishing a healthy innovation ecosystem in Australia. That’s why we’ve entered into an $8 million joint partnership with the University of Melbourne and the State Government of Victoria, who we will collaborate with over the next three years to create the next generation of computing experiences.

Natural User Interface technologies enable us to interact with technology by using our natural human capabilities. They combine voice, gesture recognition, eye gaze, body-movements and touch and are found in devices like Xbox Kinect, smart phones and tablets.

Social NUIs are the next evolution – they’re less about the technology and more about people. This ground-breaking new research centre will look at the social application of NUIs beyond interacting with a computer. The research will focus on how people interact with each other with the help of NUIs to create a more natural and intuitive experience – ultimately strengthening the connection between people and helping them to realise their full potential.
 
I’m extremely proud that the partners have been able to establish such a world-class research facility like this here in Australia, and I am excited about what the future of computing experiences could look like as a result.

For more information, take a moment to read a blog authored by Tony Hey, VP, Microsoft Research Connection.

Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia