Microsoft shows off its next-gen computing muscles on campuses nationwide

by Mark R

microsoft_research_glass_display_prototypeEven though Microsoft could probably easily rest on the profits from Windows 7, it is always good to hear them working on new ways of interfacing with computers. Lately, chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundle has been going from college to college, showing off the latest next-gen computer prototype.

Mundle has a lot of interesting things to say about the way computers are headed. One of his demonstrations includes a computer that can project its images onto a pane of glass in front of him. He says that the future will probably bring about a workstation that will include multiple displays, that will eventually work their way into 3-D images. I can’t help but agree with him.

Mundle then used gestures to rotate and focus in on an image of a wind turbine. Gesture recognition is something that has been under development, and I’m certain will be perfected by the year 2054. (Because Minority Report takes place in that year.)

Mundle also showed how a computer can recognize handwriting when doing searches, but his results page was quite confusing as it showed many pages like a quilt of many tiny tiles. He then used eye-tracking to scan along those tiles, and each one would enlarge as it came into focus.

It really is quite amazing to see what they are working on, especially the eye-tracking. I don’t know whether that was just a special effect, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having that now. Perhaps Microsoft is one step closer to achieving that 2019 vision of the future.


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