Microsoft Created an Android Wear Handwriting Keyboard

Smartwatches are still trying to answer a lot of questions, chief among them being, "What do people actually what to do with them?" Their small size means many platforms will need to be reimagined to fit their screens, and Microsoft Research is trying to tackle the most important one—texting. » 10/12/14 9:00am 10/12/14 9:00am

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

Microsoft DeLorean Kills Streaming Game Lag By Predicting Your Next Move

Streaming video games could be so clutch, if it wasn't for maddening lag time. Microsoft researchers have a solution in DeLorean, a "speculative execution system" that predicts what you'll do next and shows you the most likely result—before you've even mashed a single button. » 8/23/14 4:00pm 8/23/14 4:00pm

Microsoft's Infrared Keyboard Gives Gesture Control to an Average PC

Your laptop's trackpad gestures are great, but they make your desktop computer's keyboard-and-mouse combo feel old-fashioned. Microsoft's prototype keyboard changes that, cramming infrared sensors between the keys to allow hand gesture control without ever leaving the home keys. » 4/29/14 10:20am 4/29/14 10:20am

SurroundWeb: Microsoft's Plan To Cloak Your Living Room With Internet

Your browser is in all your devices. Hell, you can even get it in your watch if you're down with that. And in the Microsoft world, its next destination is your living room wall. » 3/03/14 12:40pm 3/03/14 12:40pm

Can You Spot All the Hidden Easter Eggs in This 20 Gigapixel Panoramic?

Multi-gigapixel panoramas are rad. It's like peeping at the world through a telescope from the comfort of your own ground-floor living room. But Microsoft has made the concept even more fun with its 20 Gigapixel "ArtZoom," and has hidden a bunch of stuff for you to find. » 1/26/14 1:00pm 1/26/14 1:00pm

Oh Good, a Magical Internet Machine That Guesses your Passwords

Got a super-secure password? Maybe you shouldn't be so sure. Telepathwords can help you find out, and practically read your mind in the process. » 12/05/13 1:40pm 12/05/13 1:40pm

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

Microsoft Is Developing a Digital Holodeck

We've been waiting for Star Trek-style Holodeck technology since, what, 1987? Microsoft Research has finally taken up the challenge and developed this—it's not quite a Holodeck, but it's tantalizingly close. » 10/19/11 10:40pm 10/19/11 10:40pm

The OmniTouch Makes Any Surface Interactive

For all the power and connectivity that modern mobile devices offer these days, why are we still typing on screens (or, God forbid, numerical pads) barely three fingers wide? A new weareable GUI system aims to turn any surface within arm's reach into an input device. » 10/17/11 10:40pm 10/17/11 10:40pm

Microsoft-Backed E-Reader Tablet Loves to Share with Others

Few e-readers are as intimate as this prototype from Nicholas Chen. Look how they communicate in that video! The only caveat it's backed by Microsoft Research. We all know what happened the last time they teased something like this. » 5/14/11 10:00am 5/14/11 10:00am

Fisting a Multitouch Screen Looks Pretty Fun

Microsoft Surface is a technology that I know exists but wish it was a larger part of my life. And it's getting better! Microsoft Research has been dabbling with Surface and adding new gestures that incorporate your whole hand, giving you more options than just point, point, point. » 5/09/11 8:00pm 5/09/11 8:00pm

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

The Future of 2D Photographs Is 3D

You've probably seen Microsoft's Photosynth tech, which creates mega-panoramas in 3D by compiling a ton of crowd-sourced photos and applying a little software voodoo. This new 3D-environment-from-2D photos project from Microsoft does kinda the same thing, but from your phone. » 2/24/11 8:20pm 2/24/11 8:20pm

Microsoft Anti-Blur Algorithm Saves Photos From Your Annoyingly Shaky…

Whether it's nervous jitters or a bumpy road, it's easy to inadvertently ruin a snapshot with blur. But a team at Microsoft Research is using the same motion detecting tech found in your iPhone to lend an artificially steady hand. » 8/02/10 2:00pm 8/02/10 2:00pm

How Microsoft Captures Remarkable Stills From Lousy Flash Videos

This photo of Mount Rainier looks like it was shot back in the 60s or 70s by a vacationer with a nice film camera. In reality, it was created by Microsoft from an unbelievably hazy, shaky video clip: » 5/11/10 1:40pm 5/11/10 1:40pm

Microsoft's Translating Telephone: The Realtime Translator We Assumed…

Today in Redmond, Microsoft Research demoed the Translating Telephone. It does exactly what it says it does, and as you can see—well, hear—from this video, it was awesome. » 3/02/10 1:00am 3/02/10 1:00am