August, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    Kinect: the backstory



    Network World covered Craig Mundie’s talk at our Financial Analyst Meeting last week and zoned in on the Kinect discussion. As we looked at the Wii and thought about removing the controller entirely from gaming people in our XBOX team initially thought it couldn't be done. “They concluded it was impossible. It wasn't going to work," Craig said.

    That was until they spoke with the folks in Microsoft Research. Too often I get asked what do those folks in MSR do? Where do we spend that money? In fields such as depth sensing, machine learning, speech recognition, gestural interface, computer vision, identity recognition, sound processing and parallel computing I reply (well, I don’t really say that as they’d typically nod off) but you get the idea. As it turns out, those are all the things you need to bring a controller-less gaming unit to market in the shape of Kinect.

    When it comes out in November and people ask me what do MSR do, I can point to Kinect and say “that’s one of the things…”. There are a tonne of other things do they do course but in terms of something people can touch (ahem), this is set to be a very fine example.

    See the full details of Craig’s session in Webcast, Transcript(29KB) and Presentation(3MB)


  • Steve Clayton

    Do you suffer from shaky hand photos?


    porsche1 porsche2

    We’ve all suffered from blurred images at times – whether nervously taking a photo of Lindsay Lohan coming out of the courthouse or standing on the pit wall at Le Mans as a motor roars past. You get the idea…

    A research paper and prototype shown by Microsoft researchers last week at SIGGRAPH 2010 in Los Angeles showed an interesting approach to rid us of much of this blurring. The team took a bunch of accelerometers, gyroscopes, Bluetooth radio and an Arduino controller to create a real-time stabilizer. The shaking is measured and then counteracted and the team claim is outperforms current methods. See for yourself on their mouseover-based image comparisons page.

    If you’re so inclined, you can check out the science behind all this in the PDF or slides. also my images above don’t really do the technology justice so you can see High-Resolution Results

    thanks to PC Mag for reminding me of this

  • Steve Clayton

    Sweet lookin’ whisky


    Macallan is a pretty nice Scotch and a friend of mine who enjoys a single malt or two sent this my way over the weekend. It’s a video that Engadget posted showing a user interface by the same name as the whisky. A company called UI Centric has developed this. As Engadget said, the page turning feature is a real crowd pleased – see below.


    Meantime, Todd Bishop has an alternative view


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