The Kinect Sensor Can Track Your Hands in Real-Time With Crazy Precision

It may have started out as a way to let players physically interact with their games, but the Xbox 360's Kinect sensor has since developed a life of its own. Its clever combination of cameras and sensors have been embraced by hackers and researchers who've used it in countless project, including Microsoft's own… » 10/06/14 4:03pm 10/06/14 4:03pm

Microsoft Made a Better Stylus That Knows How You're Holding It

Intelligent processing and more sensitive capacitive displays have allowed our fingers to replace the stylus that was once required for using a touchscreen—but not completely. Drawing and other artistic apps still benefit from the precision of a stylus, and Microsoft Research has come up with a way to make a digital… » 10/06/14 2:05pm 10/06/14 2:05pm

Microsoft's Interactive Plastic Is a Whole New Form of Digital Input

When Microsoft encourages its engineers to think outside the box, the results aren't always dead-ends like the Kin. In fact, the company's research division is now showing off an amazing thin transparent film called FlexSense that can sense deformations and allow us to interact with tablets and eReaders in fascinating… » 10/06/14 11:03am 10/06/14 11:03am

Dimming Your Phone's Screen Under Your Thumb Could Prolong Battery Life

It's a tough pill to swallow, but smartphones aren't getting any smaller. And since those larger displays are unfortunately putting more of a strain on battery life, Microsoft Research is proposing a clever trick that promises to extend your phone's usable hours by detecting and dimming parts of the display already… » 10/02/14 9:27am 10/02/14 9:27am

A Robotic Moving Touchscreen That Touches Back

Microsoft Research has come up with a clever way to let users actually feel what they're interacting with on a touchscreen. And it doesn't involve complex finger contraptions, or bulky gloves. Instead, the researchers simply installed the display on a robotic mount that moves in response to where and what is being… » 6/11/13 10:26am 6/11/13 10:26am

This Is Why Xbox Live Avatars Are Cartoon-y, Not Creepy

Xbox's Avatar Kinect is pretty wild: It tracks and replicates your facial expressions with surprising precision. Which probably made you think about having a more realistic Avatar reppin' yourself owning up 12-year-olds in Halo, or something. But Microsoft Research's Photo-Real Talking Head project, which uses 2D… » 2/25/11 2:00am 2/25/11 2:00am