Microsoft Research TechFest provides a forum for Microsoft researchers to connect with the broader group of Microsoft employees and product managers. 

The good news is that the Channel 9 video brigade was out in full effect at TechFest 2007, which took place a few weeks ago.  The event featured over 150 new demos and 24 lectures.  Galleries, videos and demos from the event are now available online.

Everyone's going to have their own interests, so I'd encourage you to click through and check it out for yourself.  Research focus areas at TechFest 2007 included:

  • Emerging Markets and Research Partners
  • Hardware, Devices, and Mobile Computing
  • Search, Interaction, and Collaboration
  • Software, Theory, and Security
  • Systems, Networking, and Database
  • UI, Graphics, and Media

Here's one really cool set of demos, videoed with 'tude by Rory Blyth. Watch Andy Wilson (former MIT Media Lab Ph.D.) use XNA, some C++, a physics engine, and an infrared depth-sensing camera to create an amazing depth-aware surface-computing interface.

Then see a chess game you can play remotely, watching the other person's gestures as they move their pieces around the board.

Finally, watch two people collaborately draw an image using two markers and two pieces of paper in a remote, collaborative drawing environment.  (More on Andy and links to his group's work is here.)