There must be a lot of frustrated artists inside Microsoft Research. First they came out with Songsmith, a program that creates an automatic musical accompaniment for singers. Now a different group of researchers is turning its attention to helping people draw.

ShadowDraw, one of the projects on display at the annual Microsoft Research¬†TechFest event in Redmond this week, is an “interactive assistant for freehand drawing” — analyzing what people draw with a digital pen on the computer screen and matching it to a large database of images to predict what they’re drawing and suggest “shadow strokes” for them to trace.

Here’s a sample before-and-after from the ShadowDraw project page.

Microsoft Research Larry Zitnick demonstrates and talks about the project in this Microsoft Research video. No word on whether or when this might become a publicly available product, or be included in one. Microsoft Research projects are typically strictly concepts until the company says otherwise.

TechFest is a science fair where the company’s researchers demonstrate their latest work and concepts, primarily to an internal audience of Microsoft product teams. More on the event on this Microsoft page.

Comments

  • Bob

    Are any of these people actually focused on trying to help MS in the markets it’s losing today like mobile and tablets?

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