• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Touch Mouse: From an idea to award-winning paper to amazing product

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    Touch Mouse

    For the past few weeks I have been getting to grips with my new Touch Mouse. Microsoft first unveiled the Touch Mouse, a new multi-touch device designed exclusively for Windows 7 that enables users to click, flick, scroll, and swipe at 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show.

    The Touch mouse makes it easier and more fun to interact with a PC. Touch Mouse combines the virtues of a traditional mouse with the rich natural language of gesture. The new mouse has already received an accolade, winning ‘Best Peripheral’ at CES from Endgadget,

    So what's special about this mouse - two fingers snap windows into place, three fingers quickly switch tasks, and your thumb can move forwards and backwards through websites, photos and documents.’

    Like many of Microsoft products the Touch Mouse began in 2009 as part of a research project called ‘Mouse 2.0’ conducted by Microsoft Research and Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group. The results of that research were presented in 2009 during the Association for Computing Machinery's Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, garnering a best-paper award.

    Nic Villar

    Lead paper author from MSRC, Nic Villar, is particularly excited about the product release “When I finished my PhD at Lancaster University three years ago and came to work for Microsoft, I didn’t imagine that my research would contribute to a new product for the company so quickly or in such a tangible way. What’s particularly pleasing about this project is the close collaboration between MSR Cambridge and our colleagues in Redmond, which was critical to the successful transition from research to product. Following the initial research insights described in the award-winning ‘Mouse 2.0’ paper, the MSRC Innovation and Development team worked closely with the Hardware product team in Redmond to turn the research prototype into the commercial product that’s being released this year.”

    A huge advantage Microsoft has is nearly every product which Microsoft ships includes some form of technologies from Microsoft Research. So what does this advantage mean, through exploration and cross company collaboration we can advance the state of art computer science.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Silicon Valley comes to the UK

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    10 LUCKY University Students to win an ALL PAID EXPENSES TRIP TO SILICON VALLEY for creating apps around health, education and environmental data from the Gov’t!

    Silicon Valley comes to the UK (SVc2UK), announces a month long, multi-site competition, dubbed, the SVc2UK Appathon, the competition supports and encourages university students to use government data to "hack" together innovative consumer applications in Healthcare, Education, and the Environment. This competition allows students to unlock the power of government data to make both a positive social impact and enhance its accessibility to peers, parents, and grandparents. This ambitious initiative represents the UK's largest ever mobilisation of students to create apps’. We don't know yet what they will create, but we are hoping for a 'good school's guide’ where you can find out where the good schools are near you, a 'good doctor's guide,’ where you can find a doctor near you, and a 'clean city guide' where you can find the cleanest city near you - or the dirtiest!

    This national ‘coding competition’ helps to address the void that exists in most university curricula, creating a real world opportunity for those developers with the ambition, appetite and aptitude to code and build applications that can have real value to users. With support, not only from their peers, but the wider technology community, and a network of mentors, these students will be able to take control of, and enhance, their own education outside of the classroom and make a difference.

    Continuing the historic success of SVc2UK, approximately 1,500 students from 15 universities across the UK are expected to be drawn “like magnets” to six UK locations including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton and London to take part in the Appathons. Full access to the data and details of participating universities and hosts can be found at http://www.svc2uk.com/appathon.

    The SVc2UK Appathons will run during early October and are open to university students across the country. The competition has the full support of Downing Street, which will supply their technical guru’s from data.gov.uk. In addition, pretty much the whole technology industry is lending their support to the effort http://www.svc2uk.com/sponsors. University students who enter the competition have until 23 October to submit their apps to be judged by leading Global entrepreneurial icons including Reid Hoffman, Joi Ito and more (see http://www.svc2uk.com/speakers).

    The winners of the SVc2UK Appathon will attend an awards ceremony in November as part of ‘Silicon Valley comes to the UK’ ( http://www.svc2uk.com) and 9 winners will be invited to take part in a road trip to Silicon Valley followed by the legendary South by Southwest Conference early next year.

    The Appathon will conclude with winning developers, coming to London (UK), for the http://www.svc2uk.com/techcity finale: a show and tell event where the developers will explain and demonstrate their efforts to a selected audience of their peers, politicians, advisers, civil servants, and the press.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Announcing Kinect Services for RDS 2008 R3

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    robotics

    Kinect

    I am pleased to confirm the release of a add-on to the Kinect SDK for Windows specifically for development in robotics.

    This is a free software download, officially called the Kinect Services for RDS 2008 R3 and its now available at the Microsoft Research web site. The RDS package allows Robotic Developer Studio users to build and simulate robots with a Kinect sensor.

    There is more information on  the Robotics blog site, the new version is built on top of the Kinect SDK for Windows which was released as a free download earlier this year. The blog post states that you can expect to see more updates later this year. It states, "We know that there are many practical issues for applying the Kinect technologies to robotics capabilities that we will be addressing in upcoming RDS releases."

    Here’s a link to of a short introduction to Kinect Service for RDS

    So feel free and download the Kinect Services for RDS 2008 R3 and let us know how you get on.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012 UK Results

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    On Wednesday 25h April at 16:00 BST, the UK hosted its local Imagine Cup finals webcast at the Microsoft Campus in Reading. The 6 finalists from the Software Design competition who were chosen from a round of preliminary judging were whittled down to the two top teams on 19th April through 5 hours of judging in a sealed room at our Microsoft offices in London Victoria. Through much deliberation over the next few days, we chose one team to represent the UK at the Imagine Cup worldwide finals in Sydney, Australia!

    Imagine Cup Software Design in the UK this year: A few stats

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    · We had 991 registrations for the Imagine Cup UK this year

    · 374 of them signed up to the Software Design competition

    · 49 teams were formed for the Software Design competition

    · 26 teams submitted a Round 1 entry

    · 6 teams were selected for the UK final

    · 1 team won and will go to the worldwide finals in Sydney to represent the UK

    The Judges

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    The Teams

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    Bazinga! From Motherwell College – were inspired to use smartphone technology to inspire students all about Science! “Professor Duffy’s Interactive Labs app” is a complete science Lab on the phone utilising various sensors on the phone to demonstrate the practical side of science in a fun and interactive way.

    Teesside 0x32: From Teesside University was inspired to develop Cloud Doctor – In Ethiopia for example there is 1 doctor to 50,000 patients. Cloud Doctor, as the name implies, harnesses Windows Azure and Cloud technologies combined with Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablets to deliver an on-demand, flexible and intelligent collaboration system – connecting healthcare workers in the developing world with specialists and doctors all over the world who volunteer their time to help patients on the ground.

    Team EyeWorks: From Northumbria University and Newcastle College were inspired to develop MIRA (a Mobile Intelligent Retinal Analysis platform). MIRA is a cloud based platform that utilises Smartphone technology coupled with a specialist lens attachment developed at Northumbria University to identify early stage sight loss in the developing world.

    WykeWare: From the University of Hull were inspired to develop a smartphone application to assist those people with a risk of falling be it the elderly or people prone to fainting. Their submission embraced cloud technology to match emergencies and responders to identify how to prioritise how best to help.

    Sentient Systems: From the University of Reading were inspired to develop “Sentience” a cost effective software solution designed to run affordable , advanced and customizable robot systems utilising cloud based distribution, plug-in architectures, commodity frameworks and low cost hardware specifically Kinect!

    Team Loading: From The University of Manchester were inspired to develop Project Sky High. Project Sky High is a Windows Phone application combined with a netduino hardware sensor to allow aid workers in the developing world to transform a smartphone into a cost effective portable ultrasound scanner and mobile blood pressure monitor. The patient data will be recorded in the cloud in Windows Azure and accessible by a medical professional.

    The Winners

    In 3rd place and winners of a pocket digital video camcorder each were…

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    In 2nd place and winners of a Windows Phone each were…

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    In 1st place and winners of a Windows Phone each, a trip to the Microsoft Technology Center in Reading to spend a day with the experts and also the grand prize of a trip to Sydney, Australia to compete in the worldwide finals were…

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    A huge congratulation to all teams who competed and this year the decision was made much harder than ever before as the entries this year far surpassed previous years.

    All teams who submitted a Round 2 video entry will be receiving feedback and teams who have won prizes will be hearing from the Academic Team very soon! Congratulations to Team EyeWorks and we will be seeing you in Sydney!

    Watch the Video of the Imagine Cup 2012 UK Live Web Cast relieving the Winners of the UK Imagine Cup entries

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Do you want your University to become a Microsoft BizSpark Network Partner

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    BizSpark_Overview_Logo

    Microsoft BizSpark: Helping startups succeed with all the right resources

    Microsoft® BizSpark™ is a global program that helps software start-ups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business.

    BizSpark Network Partner Programme Guide, which explains how 3rdparty organisations like Universities can participate.

    All we need to proceed is for the university to assign a programme owner. There is a straightforward agreement, which you may need to pass by your legal department, but just to give you some assurance, this has not caused any issue for the more than 2,000 organisations around the world that have already signed up as Network Partners.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows In Academia Presentations

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    On the 26th of March we held an event to help raise awareness of the opportunity of Windows 8 and Windows Phone within academic gaming courses.

    The intention of the event was to..

    1. Introduce the latest technology released by Microsoft

    2. Present the curricula resources available for academics

    3. Provide an overview and guidance on 3rd party frameworks available to be used within the teaching, learning of games.

    During the day the speakers highlighted changes users should expect from games developed for Windows Phone and Windows 8, the new cool features available and the new integrated services in the OS and partner frameworks.

    Additionally attendees had the chance to hear from academics already using these frameworks within their curricula and gain an understanding of how these and Windows 8 are ideal for teaching game development to students

    Please find the presentation from the day below.

    The Opportunity of Windows - Lee Stott Microsoft

     Getting to Grips with Frameworks Seminar 1 TouchDevelop David Renton, Reid Kerr College

    What is Touch Develop Video

     Getting to Grips with Frameworks Seminar 2 UNITY & Windows 8, Lee Stott Microsoft

     

    Getting to Grips with Frameworks Seminar 3 Scirra Construct2, Andrew Wilson, Birmingham City University

     

     

     

    Getting to grips with Frameworks Seminar 4 MonoGame and XNA, Rob Miles, University of Hull

    Getting to grips with Frameworks Seminar 5 GameMaker, Jacob Habgood, Sheffield Hallam University

    Getting to grips with Frameworks Seminar 6 C++/DX, David Fletcher Rapid2D.com

     

    Overview of Microsoft IT Academy Craig Bewley Prodigy Learning

    Overview of available resources. Lee Stott Microsoft

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    YoYo Games Gamemaker full support for Windows 8

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    We are thrilled to announce the availability of YoYo Games support for building Windows Store games

    YoYo Games was founded in 2007 by a group of leading Games and Entertainment industry executives. The company, headed by CEO, Sandy Duncan (ex-Vice President of Xbox Europe), was created to support the founders' belief that a new generation of games development talent and devices was emerging and there was an opportunity to incubate and showcase some of the very best of this talent on these new and existing platforms.

    GameMaker is available today under a variety of licensing tiers, including a free tier, from the YoYo Games website (www.yoyogames.com) and has been downloaded more than 5 million times since 2007. In addition, GameMaker is the teaching product of choice for more than 5,000 schools and Universities worldwide. In September 2011, YoYo Games introduced GameMaker:HTML5, unleashing the games development talent of hundreds of thousands of gamers on the web. YoYo Games estimates that over 130,000 games have been developed using the YoYo Games platform.

    YoYo Games announcement - http://www.yoyogames.com

    YoYo Games Windows 8 Opportunity - http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio/multiformat/windows8

    YoYo Games Windows 8 Contest - http://www.yoyogames.com/competitions/windows-8

    Download - http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone Interoperability

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    Got a porting question?

    Interested in Windows Phone but your currently a iPhone, Android or QT developer want to know more about porting your Android, iPhone or Qt apps over to the Windows Phone platform?

    Check out the  great resources, free easy-to-use tools to help you through the process, and even experts monitoring forums to answer porting questions. see http://windowsphone.interoperabilitybridges.com/ 

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Universities now becoming Microsoft BizSpark Network Partners

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    What is BizSpark?

    BizSpark is an innovative new program that unites start-up’s with entrepreneurial and technology resources in a global community with a common goal of supporting and accelerating the success of a new generation of high-potential start-up’s.

    BizSpark provides fast, easy access to current full-featured Microsoft development tools and production licenses of server products; professional technical support from Microsoft; and connections to a global community of business experts who can help guide you through the hurdles of growing your business.

    Download more details about BizSpark which describes the programme benefits and more.

    Visit the Microsoft BizSpark website.

    Visit the Microsoft Startup Zone.

    Eligibility

    Eligibility requirements are minimal: If you're a privately held company building a software-based product or service (even using open source code), in business for fewer than three years, and with less than USD$1M in annual revenue, you're in!

    How to enrol

    To enrol, you must be sponsored by a BizSpark Network Partner. This is where University Innovation and Enterprise sections can offer a huge benefit to your start-up and entrepreneurs.

    BizSpark Network Partner Programme Guide, which explains how 3rdparty organisations like Universities can participate in becoming a BizSpark Network Partner.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    How Microsoft is helping to support Students and their Careers

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    Brandon Foy who created the viral Ad referenced below is currently an studying at a US .edu University. Brandon has been involved in the Microsoft community previously as a Microsoft internship student.

    Brandon has developed it’s an exciting Ad and is a real Windows Phone fan.  Brandon Ad has really inspired the Windows Phone community and inspired Microsoft, as a result Microsoft invited Brandon to show his Ad at the Microsoft Mix11 conference in Las Vegas this week.

    With his "We Love Windows Phone" video. We want to thank him by jump starting his CV. So if the Ad gets 200k views on YouTube, Microsoft will air it on a US National ad spot!

    You can see Brandon Foy on stage with JoeB at MIX here http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/mix/videoGallery.aspx

    So do we have any budding Brandon’s from UK Academia .ac.uk STEM-D courses let the Microsoft UK Student Team Know via the Microsoft UK Student Blog  or Microsoft UK Student Facebook Group.

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