10 Microsoft research projects

A sneak peek at 10 technologies developed in Microsoft's R&D labs, ranging from laser mice to robotic receptionists

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Codename: Robotic Receptionist

Here's a project I can relate to on a personal level, having found myself lost and running late for meetings during my visit to Microsoft in mid-September. The campus consists of more than 100 buildings spread across a wide swatch of Redmond and the surrounding area.

Robotic Receptionist

Although it's so new that the only information available on this project comes from a speech by Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer, at the EmTech08 Emerging Technologies Conference held recently, the robotic receptionist project is clearly a sign of how computer technology is evolving. Mundie said in his EmTech keynote that natural interfaces equipped with voice and facial recognition features will become part of our daily lives over the next 10 years and will not require any hands-on input from the user.

The robotic receptionist -- which will be used at Microsoft headquarters, likely next year -- will help Microsoft visitors find shuttles to get around campus. The receptionist can even identify visitors based on what they are wearing and provide information on shuttle routes using GPS tracking data.

This story, "10 Microsoft research projects" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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