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Can a wristband prevent sexual assault? UW concept brings sensors to the party

You’re at a club, dancing to a great DJ, and suddenly your wristband vibrates, signaling that one of your friends hasn’t responded to her wristband’s attempt to make sure she’s still conscious and in control. So you search the club and find your friend, extracting her from a potentially dangerous situation. That’s one of the core features of Vive,… Read More

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Microsoft researcher Leslie Lamport wins Turing Award, the ‘Nobel Prize’ of computing

The 2013 A.M. Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science, has been given to Microsoft Research’s Leslie Lamport, whose behind-the-scenes work brought new levels of reliability and consistency to the distributed computing systems that power many of today’s most popular apps and services. Lamport, 73, a Microsoft principal researcher based in Silicon Valley, is… Read More

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24 data-driven Oscars predictions from a Microsoft researcher

If you want to look smart at your Oscars viewing party tonight, one Microsoft researcher has some good advice. David Rothschild‘s data-fueled prediction resume is quite impressive — from presidential elections to sporting events — and he’s offered some interesting insights into who he thinks will take home hardware tonight at the 86th Academy Awards. Using… Read More

Kevin Schofield

Microsoft Research general manager leaves longtime role

Kevin Schofield, Microsoft Research’s general manager and chief operations officer, has left the company’s research division after 17 years, he said on Facebook over the weekend. Schofield hasn’t yet announced what he’s doing next. He clarified in a message to GeekWire that he has left Microsoft Research but not Microsoft. The computer scientist has been… Read More

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A 20-Gigapixel Treasure Hunt: Microsoft Research project highlights Seattle artists

When Microsoft Research produced its first gigapixel panorama of Seattle’s skyline in 2006, it was an amazing success in image compositing. But there was still something missing. “Although the panorama was beautiful, it struck us upon exploring the image that there were hardly any people to be found,” explains Michael Cohen, a Principal Researcher in… Read More

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Office Remote: Control Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs with a Windows Phone

Microsoft Research today debuted a new tool called Office Remote that lets you control Office apps like Word, Excel and Powerpoint with a Windows Phone. It’s ideal for those using Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365 documents during a presentation or meeting. Office Remote allows you to advance PowerPoint slides and see speaker notes, navigate through… Read More

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See-through breakthrough: Microsoft shows how Terahertz scans can reveal hidden tags inside objects

Researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University envision a new world in which hidden tags or watermarks will be embedded into everyday objects and revealed by scanners that take advantage of a little-used slice of the electromagnetic spectrum. The researchers say the use of 3D printing techniques in combination with Terahertz imaging will open up… Read More

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‘Clashers’ music app stands out at Microsoft design expo, using Android and YouTube

The setting was the annual student Design Expo at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, which is one reason the project called “Clashers” stood out: It’s an Android app, developed by students from Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, that leverages YouTube to let people eavesdrop on songs being played by other Clashers users they spot on the street,… Read More

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New Microsoft Research chief defends autonomy and ‘blue sky’ research

REDMOND — Peter Lee, the computer scientist who is assuming worldwide leadership of Microsoft Research, assured a crowd of university researchers this morning that the group’s mission isn’t changing as a result of the massive Microsoft reorganization. Lee, the DARPA and Carnegie Mellon veteran who previously led Microsoft Research USA, said the research group will continue to… Read More

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Microsoft’s ‘Socl’ search experiment takes a new turn

Microsoft’s experimental social network, Socl, is rolling out a new design and updated tools more closely aligned with what early users have been doing on the site, according to the Microsoft researchers behind the project. The overhauled site, pictured above, is available here. The new design still lets users quickly create vivid posts with images and… Read More

Jeannette Wing

Microsoft Research hires Carnegie Mellon leader as head of international labs

Microsoft Research today named noted computer scientist Jeannette Wing, the two-time head of Carnegie Mellon’s computer science department, to the position of vice president in charge of Microsoft Research International, overseeing the company’s research labs in India, England and China. It’s a newly created position for Microsoft. Wing will report to Rick Rashid, the company’s chief… Read More

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Microsoft project tracks hand from wrist, could alter how we control devices

Motion tracking and gesture controls have become common with the rollout of Microsoft Kinect and other sensor-based devices. But what if the sensors were on your wrist, not across the room? Researchers from Microsoft, Newcastle University’s Culture Lab and Greece’s Foundation for Research & Technology  have come up with a way to track the motion of… Read More

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Microsoft to add 1,000 jobs, boost R&D in China

Microsoft plans to add 1,000 staff to its workforce in China over the next year, a move aimed bolstering its foothold in a key market with serious growth potential, Reuters reports. Ralph Haupter, CEO for the software giant’s Greater China division, told reporters in Beijing that the new employees will work in research and development, sales, marketing and… Read More

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Mayhem: Microsoft’s open-source app for controlling just about anything

The technologies shown at Microsoft Research’s annual “TechFest” science fair aren’t typically ready for public use. But one that emerged last week, dubbed Mayhem, is available for download, it’s an open-source project, and it has some interesting implications for how we use our devices in our lives. Mayhem is a Windows-based application lets people set a… Read More

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Search by sketch: Microsoft seeks patent on ‘MindFinder’

It’s a little like playing Pictionary with a search engine — drawing a sketch and seeing if the algorithm can return pictures that match it. That’s the concept behind Microsoft Research’s “MindFinder” project, which was adapted last year for a Windows Phone app dubbed Sketch Match. The technology is detailed in a patent application made… Read More