Friday, November 11, 2005

Microsoft and Emerging Technologies

Microsoft invests heavily into emerging technologies. Although their Research page has some holes (a few of the links give a “no page found” message) they are doing some interesting things. Here’s what I found:

As digital photography matures, one can apply digital techniques to an image with interesting results. Richard Szeliski at Microsoft focuses on using computer vision for human-computer interaction and for analyzing image databases.

Microsoft has a page of Related Web Sites which offer interesting tools and resources. The first is SkyServer which provides tools, images, and projects from the Sloan Digital Sky Project. I found the Famous places page to be quite informative. You can actually get an image from their telescope scrolling the sky.

On a more practical note, Microsoft focuses on visualization tools. They have an Excel Treemapper which generates a treemap visualization of any hierarchical data in Excel using color and other visual techniques. There’s a version for download here.

The Interactive Visual Media Group runs the World Wide Media xChange which is a centralized index of digital photos, where photos are tagged by the geographic location where they were shot. By tying location information to the photo and perhaps additional user-added info, one can search the photo library more quickly and combine photos in a more intuitive way. There’s a demo download here.

The Sensors and Devices group use sensors and embedded electronic devices to solve problems. They developed Sensecam, which is a badge-sized wearable camera that captures images into flash memory. The user wears it like a necklace. It then captures one’s movements like the flight recorder on an airplane. People with a medical condition affecting their memory could use it to keep track of them movements.

If you are working with emerging technologies, I would like to hear from you. You can reach me at

Best regards,
Hall T. Martin


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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Uttara said...

Stellarium is extremely good planetarium software.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 7:45:00 PM  
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