Future Technologies…. Overview


In this Article, I have tried to put together few future technologies(Some of them are already reality in some shaper form) on which there is lot of Research happening in Microsoft World. This Article will help tech gurus to keep tab on progress of technology in these areas.

Software Agents

A software agent is a software program that acts for a user or other program in a relationship of agency, Related and derived concepts include Intelligent agents (in particular exhibiting some aspect of Artificial Intelligence, such as learning and reasoning), autonomous agents (capable of modifying the way in which they achieve their objectives), distributed agents (being executed on physically distinct computers), multi-agent systems (distributed agents that do not have the capabilities to achieve an objective alone and thus must communicate), and mobile agents (agents that can relocate their execution onto different processors).

  1. Visual Studio agents 2010 – Visual Studio Agents 2010 include Test Controller 2010, Test Agent 2010 and Lab Agent 2010. Test Controller 2010 and Test Agent 2010 collectively enable scale-out load generation, distributed data collection, and distributed test execution. Lab Agent 2010 manages testing, workflow and network isolation for virtual machines used with Visual Studio Lab Management 2010.
  2. Life like software agents
  3. Software distribution agents
  4. Research Projects

Natural Language Interpretation

Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of computer science and linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages; Specifically, the process of a computer extracting meaningful information from natural language input and/or producing natural language output.It began as a branch of artificial intelligence. In theory, natural language processing is a very attractive method of human–computer interaction.

  1. Excel formula’s
  2. Machine Translation – research project
  3. VoiceXML 2.0 contribution
  4. Few more research projects

Machine Translation

Machine translation, is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of software to translate text or speech from one natural language to another.

On a basic level, MT performs simple substitution of words in one natural language for words in another, but that alone usually cannot produce a good translation of a text,                         because recognition of whole phrases and their closest counterparts in the target language is needed. Solving this problem with corpus and statistical techniques is a rapidly growing field that is leading to better translations, handling differences in linguistic typology, translation of idioms, and the isolation of anomalies.

  1. Microsoft Translator(http://microsofttranslator.com)
  2. Windows Live Toolbar – add-in for user’s web sites
  3. Research on Syntax based MT, Phrase based MT, Word alignment, Language Modeling
  4. Office 2007/2010 Translate feature

Procedural Storytelling

Procedural generation refers to content generated algorithmically rather than manually, and is often used to generate game levels and other content. While procedural generation does not guarantee that a game or sequence of levels are nonlinear, it is an important factor in reducing game development time, and opens up avenues making it possible to generate larger and more or less unique seamless game worlds on the fly and using fewer resources. This kind of procedural generation is also called “worldbuilding”, in which general rules are used to construct a believable world.

  1. Research on creating immersive 3D Worlds
  2. Digital Storytelling using Kinect
  3. Environmental storytelling
  4. Reduces game development time

Machine augmented cognition

(AugCog) is a research field at the frontier between human-computer interaction, psychology, ergonomics and neuroscience, that aims at creating revolutionary human-computer interactions. For instance, various research projects aim at evaluating in real-time the cognitive state of a user (e.g. from EEG), and design closed-loop systems to modulate information flow with respect to the user’s cognitive capacity.

Human computer interaction that aims at creating revolutionary human-computer interactions

  1. Research on augmented cognition

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing provides computation, software applications, data access, and storage resources without requiring cloud users to know the location and other details of the computing infrastructure.

  1. Windows Azure Platform
  2. Office 365

Cyber-Warfare

Action by a nation-state to penetrate another nations computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption.

  1. Research on steganography  and steganalysis
  2. Research on warfare commands and control systems

4G

4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor of the 3G and 2G families of standards.

  1. Windows Phone enablement on 4G
  2. O.S Support for 4G wireless and wired network

Mesh Networking

Mesh Networking is a type of networking where each node must not only capture and disseminate its own data, but also serve as a relay for other nodes, that is, it must collaborate to propagate the data in the network.

A mesh network can be designed using a flooding technique or a routing technique. When using a routing technique, the message propagates along a path, by hopping from node to node until the destination is reached. To ensure all its paths’ availability, a routing network must allow for continuous connections and reconfiguration around broken or blocked paths, using self-healing algorithms. A mesh network whose nodes are all connected to each other is a fully connected network. Mesh networks can be seen as one type of ad hoc network. Mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) and mesh networks are therefore closely related, but MANET also have to deal with the problems introduced by the mobility of the nodes.

  1. Toolkit for wireless mesh networking
  2. Research on mesh networking

Photonics

The science of photonics includes the generation, emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, detection and sensing of light. The term photonics thereby emphasizes that photons are neither particles nor waves — they are different in that they have both particle and wave nature. It covers all technical applications of light over the whole spectrum from ultraviolet over the visible to the near-, mid- and far-infrared. Most applications, however, are in the range of the visible and near infrared light.

  1. Research on Photonics and nanostruct

5G

  • 5G (5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems) is a name used in some research papers and projects to denote the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the 4G/IMT-Advanced standards effective since 2011. At present, 5G is not a term officially used for any particular specification or in any official document yet made public by telecommunication companies or standardization bodies such as 3GPP, WiMAX Forum, or ITU-R. New standard releases beyond 4G are in progress by standardization bodies, but are at this time not considered as new mobile generations but under the 4G umbrella.

    1. Research on O.S compatibility and overall protocol expectations

Multi-touch

In computing, multi-touch refers to a touch sensing surface’s (track pad or touchscreen) ability to recognize the presence of two or more points of contact with the surface. This plural-point awareness is often used to implement advanced functionality such as pinch to zoom or activating predefined programs.

  1. Microsoft Surface
  2. Windows Touch technology
  3. Multi touch in Windows 7
  4. Multi touch programming platform

Gesture recognition

Gesture recognition is a topic in computer science and language technology with the goal of interpreting human gestures via mathematical algorithms. Gestures can originate from any bodily motion or state but commonly originate from the face or hand. Current focuses in the field include emotion recognition from the face and hand gesture recognition. Many approaches have been made using cameras and computer vision algorithms to interpret sign language. However, the identification and recognition of posture, gait, proxemics, and human behaviors is also the subject of gesture recognition techniques.

  1. Microsoft Kinect
  2. Gesture recognizers for Tablet PC
  3. Speech recognition – Speech recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. It is also known as “automatic speech recognition”, “ASR”, “computer speech recognition”, “speech to text”, or just “STT”.

Speech Recognition

is technology that can translate spoken words into text. Some SR systems use “training” where an individual speaker reads sections of text into the SR system. These systems analyze the person’s specific voice and use it to fine tune the recognition of that person’s speech, resulting in more accurate transcription. Systems that do not use training are called “Speaker Independent” systems. Systems that use training are called “Speaker Dependent” systems.

  1. Windows Speech Recognition
  2. Speech Macros in Office
  3. Speech recognition programming SDK
  4. Kinect speech recognition
  5. Microsoft Research

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

  1. Microsoft research – in the area of mobile phone

Haptics

is a tactile feedback technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. This mechanical stimulation can be used to assist in the creation of virtual objects in a computer simulation, to control such virtual objects, and to enhance the remote control of machines and devices (telerobotics). It has been described as “doing for the sense of touch what computer graphics does for vision”. Haptic devices may incorporate tactile sensors that measure forces exerted by the user on the interface.

  1. Microsoft Surface haptics

Holography

is a technique that allows the light scattered from an object to be recorded and later reconstructed so that when an imaging system (a camera or an eye) is placed in the reconstructed beam, an image of the object will be seen even when the object is no longer present. The image changes as the position and orientation of the viewing system changes in exactly the same way as if the object were still present, thus making the image appear three-dimensional.

  1. Microsoft research on Digital holography ,Virtual integral holography

Telepresence

Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allow a person to feel as if they were present, to give the appearance of being present, or to have an effect, via telerobotics, at a place other than their true location. Telepresence requires that the users’ senses be provided with such stimuli as to give the feeling of being in that other location. Additionally, users may be given the ability to affect the remote location. In this case, the user’s position, movements, actions, voice, etc. may be sensed, transmitted and duplicated in the remote location to bring about this effect. Therefore information may be traveling in both directions between the user and the remote location.

  1. Microsoft research with HP partnership

Immersive Virtual reality

A fully immersive virtual reality to which the user connects through direct brain simulation. All senses would be stimulated diffusing the boundary between reality and fiction.

  1. Microsoft Research
  2. Game development

Depth Imaging

is the name for a collection of techniques which are used to produce a 2D image showing the distance to points in a scene from a specific point, normally associated with some type of sensor device. The resulting image, the range image, has pixel values which correspond to the distance, e.g., brighter values mean shorter distance, or vice versa. If the sensor which is used to produce the range image is properly calibrated, the pixel values can be given directly in physical units such as meters.

  • Basic API support
  • Microsoft Research

Near-field communication

is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimetres. Present and anticipated applications include contactless transactions, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi. Communication is also possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip, called a “tag”.

  1. Microsoft Research

Biometric sensors

applies biometrics to telecommunications and telecommunications to remote biometric sensing. With the emergence of multimodal biometrics systems gathering data from different sensors and contexts, International Standards that support systems performing biometric enrollment and verification or identification have begun to focus on human physiological thresholds as constraints and frameworks for “plug and play” telebiometric networks.

  1. Windows Biometric Framework (WBF)
  2. O.S compatibility for sensors
  3. Microsoft research

Smart Power meters

A smart meter is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting. Such an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) differs from traditional automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communications with the meter.

  1. Microsoft Smart energy Reference architecture
  2. Battery metering
  3. Power and utilities industry : Delivery and smart grid solutions

Machine vision

Machine vision (MV) is the process of applying a range of technologies and methods to provide imaging-based automatic inspection, process control and robot guidance in industrial applications. While the scope of MV is broad and a comprehensive definition is difficult to distil, a “generally accepted definition of machine vision is ‘… the analysis of images to extract data for controlling a process or activity.'”

  1. Microsoft research

Computational Photography

Computational imaging refers to any image formation method that involves a digital computer. Computational photography refers broadly to computational imaging techniques that enhance or extend the capabilities of digital photography. The output of these techniques is an ordinary photograph, but one that could not have been taken by a traditional camera.

  1. Microsoft research

Tablets

A tablet computer, or a tablet, is a mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, integrated into a flat touch screen and primarily operated by touching the screen rather than using a physical keyboard. It often uses an onscreen virtual keyboard, a passive stylus pen, or a digital pen

  1. Microsoft Tablet PC

Context aware computing

In computer science context awareness refers to the idea that computers can both sense, and react based on their environment. Devices may have information about the circumstances under which they are able to operate and based on rules, or an intelligent stimulus, react accordingly. Context aware devices may also try to make assumptions about the user’s current situation. Context-aware computing is a mobile computing paradigm in which applications can discover and take advantage of contextual information (such as user location, time of day, nearby people and devices, and user activity). Since it was proposed about a decade ago, many researchers have studied this topic and built several context-aware applications to demonstrate the usefulness of this new technology…

  1. Microsoft research

Appliance robots

Operate your home appliances from web or remote location

  1. Microsoft robotics
  2. Microsoft research

Robotic surgery

  1. Microsoft robotics
  2. Microsoft research

Domestic robots

A domestic robot is a robot used for household chores.

  1. Microsoft robotics
  2. Microsoft research

Swarm robotics

Swarm robotics is a new approach to the coordination of multirobot systems which consist of large numbers of mostly simple physical robots. It is supposed that a desired collective behavior emerges from the interactions between the robots and interactions of robots with the environment. This approach emerged on the field of artificial swarm intelligence, as well as the biological studies of insects, ants and other fields in nature, where swarm behavior occurs.

  1. Microsoft research 

Friends, Hope this review is helpful ! 🙂

Laxmikant Patil

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