Microsoft demos innovations at annual TechFest

Microsoft Research's annual TechFest

Microsoft Research's annual TechFest event showcases solutions to some of the world's most challenging technical problems and provides a strategic forum for Microsoft researchers to meet with the broader group of Microsoft employees and product managers. Hundreds of researchers from Microsoft's worldwide labs in China, England, India and the United States gather at the company's headquarters in Redmond to exchange ideas with colleagues, show off their latest innovations, and shine a light into the future of computing.  Here we'll take a sneak peak at some of the hottest work from Microsoft's research labs around the world.

David Kirk, a researcher at Microsoft

Family Archive

David Kirk, a researcher at Microsoft, showed off a product that is similar to the Surface table but smaller and designed for home use, at TechFest on Tuesday.

Microsoft Researcher David Kirk

Family Archive

Microsoft Researcher David Kirk showed how users can sort and file photos using an experimental device that is similar to the Surface tabletop computer.

Family Archive is an interactive, multitouch device to help capture and manage digital and physical

Family Archive

Family Archive is an interactive, multi-touch device to help capture and manage digital and physical memorabilia.

Family Archive is an interactive, multitouch device to help capture and manage digital and physical

Family Archive

Family Archive is an interactive, multi-touch device to help capture and manage digital and physical memorabilia.

Microsoft Researcher Lei Ma

Write In The Air

Microsoft Researcher Lei Ma wrote letters in the air that a computer can recognize, demonstrating a project during the company's annual TechFest on Tuesday.

Writen In The Air

Write In The Air

This project demonstrates the feasibility of inputting characters into devices by writing the character in the air using a finger or an object. A camera captures the gestures and sends them to a handwriting recognizer, which offers a short list of results for selection.

Craig Mundie and Rick Rashid driving with Commute UX

Craig Mundie and Rick Rashid driving with Commute UX

At Microsoft Research TechFest 2009, Researcher Ivan Tashev, right, gives Craig Mundie, center, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, and Rick Rashid, left, Senior Vice President of Microsoft Research, a glimpse of the future of driving with Commute UX, a research project designed to allow drivers to more easily interact with devices and information in their cars, using technologies such as speech and touch. Redmond, Wash., Feb. 24, 2009.

Audio Spatialization and AEC for Teleconferencing

Audio Spatialization and AEC for Teleconferencing

This TechFest demo demonstrates technologies to enhance the user experience in multiparty conferencing by using highly realistic, immersive spatial audio for loudspeakers and headphones.

Audio Spatialization and AEC for Teleconferencing

Audio Spatialization and AEC for Teleconferencing

This TechFest demo demonstrates technologies to enhance the user experience in multiparty conferencing by using highly realistic, immersive spatial audio for loudspeakers and headphones.

Situated Interaction

Situated Interaction

This project displays a conversational agent that can act as a receptionist as an example of enabling a new generation of interactive systems that can reason about their surroundings and embed interaction deeply into the natural flow of everyday tasks, activities and collaborations.

Situated Interaction

Situated Interaction

This project displays a conversational agent that can act as a receptionist as an example of enabling a new generation of interactive systems that can reason about their surroundings and embed interaction deeply into the natural flow of everyday tasks, activities and collaborations.

Low-Power Processors in the Data Center

Low-Power Processors in the Data Center

Racks of servers on display during TechFest 2009 include experimental prototypes of low-power processors for data centers that deliver one-third to half the performance of high-performance processors while consuming only 5 percent to 10 percent as much power.

Social Media and Learning Theory

Social Media and Learning Theory

Graphs demonstrate the dynamics involved in developing recommendation systems that can collect and weigh the various opinions communicated across a social network.

Sticky Notes in Augmented Reality

Sticky Notes in Augmented Reality

In a home or office environment, sticky notes can provide a useful context surrounding the space in which a computer is used, but that context is not available for mobile users. This TechFest demonstration explores the use of virtual sticky notes in a real 3-D space anchored to the screen of the portable computer.

Time Card displays a digital record of a person's activities that can be navigated and sorted in dif

Time Card

Time Card displays a digital record of a person's activities that can be navigated and sorted in different ways.

Wayve is an appliance that connects people playfully and creatively.

Wayve

Wayve is an appliance that connects people playfully and creatively.

CellFrame

CellFrame

CellFrame is a small wireless display that helps provide social networking capabilities to non-users. Search Proximity Index Buttons (SPIBs) enable users to search playfully through image databases.

Web Scale Entity

Web Scale Entity

A Web-scale entity-summarization system generates summaries of Web entities from billions of crawled Web pages.

Viveri

Viveri

New technology aggregates content from multiple sites and offers it to the general public, serving as a platform for incubation via multiple user-interface elements and types of information for each query that enables the exploration of experimental ideas.

User Interactive Advertising

User Interactive Advertising

Zoom ads make the most of ad real estate by offering the possibility of embedding an unlimited amount of content into a standard-sized ad.

Specification Inference for Security

Specification Inference for Security

A new algorithm from Microsoft Research automatically infers explicit information-flow security specifications from program code, thereby making it easier to develop and run analytic tools for detecting software vulnerabilities.

Solver Foundation

Solver Foundation

The Microsoft Solver Foundation is a new framework and managed-code runtime for mathematical programming, modeling, and optimization. It has the goal of helping businesses make near-optimal strategic decisions.

Social Views of E-Mail

Social Views of E-Mail

This project analyzes a user's social networks, e-mail, instant messaging, and other forms of communications, organizes it into groups, and delivers contextually appropriate streams of information.

SecondLight

SecondLight

Examples of the sort of interactions made possible by SecondLight, a new surface-computing technology that can project images and detect gestures in mid-air above a display.

SecondLight

SecondLight

Examples of the sort of interactions made possible by SecondLight, a new surface-computing technology that can project images and detect gestures in mid-air above a display.

Rural Education

Rural Education

Research from Microsoft Research India shows how technology can play a key role in delivering effective education and healthcare to rural environments.

Profiling Performance of Distributed Systems

Profiling Performance of Distributed Systems

This modular application analyzes and troubleshoots the performance of large clusters running data-center services.

Predicting Performance Problems

Predicting Performance Problems

The HiLighter analytics engine provides the ability to understand and manage the health, status, and behavior of date-center services or systems.

Opinion Search

Opinion Search

A new, vertical search engine, Opinion Search, returns documents containing opinions about an entity in a query, collected from user reviews, blogs, and news.

Omni Directional Projector

Omni Directional Projector

A combination of a standard projector and a wide-angle lens projects data onto the entire, 360-degree of this enclosure from a single position.

Minority Languages

Minority Languages

Egyptian hieroglyphics are used to demonstrate a language-independent technology that enables search in printed documents that lack optical character recognition.

Lightweight Software Transactions for Games

Lightweight Software Transactions for Games

The Object-Based Runtime for Concurrent Systems enables game programmers to capitalize on the performance potential of multicore computers without having to use complicated locking protocols.

Light Bulb 2

Light Bulb 2

A replica of the Gale-Berlekamp switching game provides the challenge of minimizing the number of lit bulbs by flipping switches adjacent to every row or column.

Image Centric Advertising

Image Centric Advertising

Microsoft Research's image-centric advertisement platform enables advertisers to bid on images instead of keywords. Users would receive ads based on the content of images they recently browsed or used.

Helping Writers

Helping Writers

A tool from Microsoft Research Redmond provides writers with inline, contextual thesaurus help and offers a potential path to a new generation of online writing-assistance applications

Geo Life 2.0

Geo Life 2.0

GeoLife 2.0 is a location-based social-networking service from Microsoft Research Asia that enables people to build connections with each other using their location histories.

Data Visualization Toolkit

Data Visualization Toolkit

This TechFest demo looks at different ways to visualize large-scale, structured data from various sources, exposing the data’s structure, trends, and relationships.

Data Intensive Research

Data Intensive Research

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope image simulation demonstrates how Microsoft Research is collaborating with partners in the greater research ecosystem to explore the application of new technologies by using the computational resources of hundred of computer-chip cores.

Concurrency Analysis

Concurrency Analysis

The Concurrency Analysis Platform provides control over interleavings in applications running concurrency, enabling developers to identify and fix computer bugs difficult to find and hard to reproduce.

Color image search

Color image search

A refined image-search approach enables users to specify a color layout of image and reorders search results by promoting images with the requested color layout.

Closed Loop Control Systems

Closed Loop Control Systems

Machine-learning techniques model performance to minimize energy usage while helping Live Search offer search response times within acceptable parameters.

Back of Device

Back of Device

Patrick Baudisch of Microsoft Research demonstrates how touch input from the back of a handheld device can enable a user to make precise selections without occluding the object being touched.