The idea that drones could provide medical care has been around practically as long as drones have existed. Microsoft is working on using drones for medical purposes, too—but long before people are ill.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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: