For the longest time, I thought of Microsoft primarily as a software company. But over the last couple of years, they’ve released some really good hardware that can keep up with the best players in the market.
Last year, I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and thought it was an excellent system – offering performance, great battery life, an amazing screen and both tablet and laptop capabilities in a single system.
Microsoft Research’s Shahram Izadi and Philip Torr of the University of Oxford have come up with an intuitive way of teaching computers the names of objects while simultaneously creating 3D models of said objects. Their SemanticPaint system learns the names of objects by simple voice commands and can then automatically identify similar objects.
SemanticPaint uses a Kinect or a similar multi-sensor.
Alex Pring now has one heck of a story to tell his friends. Not only did the 7-year old meet Iron Man, the Avenger met him to deliver his robotic arm. Alex was born with a partially formed right arm, but now he has the opportunity to upgrade it and make it look like all sorts of things.
Instead of a sewing machine, Studio Swine used a CNC mill to make its eye-catching Meteorite Shoes. The studio used a 3D scanner to scan meteorite samples at the Natural History Museum. They used the resulting 3D files to create a design for the shoes’ upper.
When you hear the words “Microsoft Certified Professional” you probably either think of a white guy in his 30s or the fact that all that phrase really means is that the pro in question is certified to be able to properly install Windows and troubleshoot Windows installations.
Apple is catching a lot of flak lately for its bending smartphone. This device developed by Microsoft Research and the University of Applied Sciences in Austria on the other hand is meant to bend. It’s called FlexSense, and it opens up more intuitive ways of interacting with electronic devices.
FlexSense is a self-contained device made of a thin and transparent sheet onto which 16 piezoelectric sensors have been printed.
As somebody who has to produce content on the road all of the time, I’ve got a whole lot of devices in my backpack – an ultrabook laptop, an iPad, lots of cables and chargers, and still often find myself less productive when traveling than I do when at my desktop at home.
Microsoft Office 2000 had a racing game Easter egg that can be unlocked through Excel. But Excelda is no secret. It’s a port of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening made with Visual Basic and Microsoft Excel.
YouTuber GamesExcel started the port because his friend bet him that it couldn’t be done.
Until now, touchscreen device makers still have not properly addressed their products’ lack of tactile feedback. If Microsoft senior researcher Hong Tan her way, in the future touchscreen-equipped devices will let us feel clicks and more.
Over the years, NFL teams have used some interesting methods of getting photos down to the sidelines so players and coaches could study the formations of their opponents. The strangest may be when they had a zip-line running from the press box at the top of the stadium down to the sidelines and clipped Polaroids to the string and sent them to the coach to check out.
Rumors had been flying the last few days that Microsoft was set to make some huge layoff announcements. The layoffs have been announced now (for some workers through a very awful executive memo) and the software giant will be shedding 18,000 workers over the next year.
Microsoft has announced that it is taking pre-orders for developers who want to get their hands on the second-generation Kinect for Windows device. The software giant plans to start shipping the new device next week. Reports from developers working with the new device say that it is improved compared to the original.