Microsoft Convergence Day 4

Microsoft opened the door ever so slightly on its research. Much of the technology such as speech recognition, image enhancement and visioning has been around. GIS companies such as ESRI have been working on visual mapping for a long time. GoogleEarth has a brought this to the consumer, however if you read between the lines the Microsoft technology behind the demos goes beyond what we as consumers see. What made this different is Microsoft’s ability to bring this to the mobile phones and devices. Mobile connectivity over the cloud into powerful back end applications and databases is the key to bringing this research into the hands of business and consumers.

Today’s keynote was by Kevin Schofield GM for Microsoft Research. This was a futuristic look at technology. Technology demos included 3D mapping, speech recognition, wireless location based services and of course the very slick Microsoft surface touch screen technology. Kevin covered computer visioning and image enhancement technology. A 17 giga pixel landscape image of Yosemite national park was shown where Kevin zoomed into a person on a mountain in real time over the web. The other significant Star Trek like demo was on the ”world wide telescope’ initiative which showed space movement in real time from space telescope data. A futuristic video of an interface like in Tom Cruise’s movie ‘Minority Report’ and the flexible Harry Potter touch screen newspaper was also shown.

The message was that Microsoft research is pushing the envelope looking forward in how to apply this research to dynamic business. Microsoft owns the database to consumer technology supply chain and will use its customer base to proliferate this to both the business and consumer market.

This is my last post on Convergence 2009.

Sadiq Somjee

Knowledge Worker

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