Microsoft is supporting a host of projects in its research and development division that are focused on tackling real-world technical challenges but could have a potentially dramatic impact on computing. One such project is Eagle 1, a tool for disaster recovery teams that captures information from multiple databases and generates real-time interactive maps through the use of geospatial mapping technology. Microsoft Surface, which has reached the product phase, promotes social interaction through a multitouch table with a ruggedized acrylic interface. Its capabilities include object recognition, optical tagging, and interaction with physical objects. LucidTouch V2 technology is a credit card-sized display screen that the user can reach behind to control a mobile device. Visual Studio 2010 upgrades Microsoft's Visual Studio development platform with new features that include unified modeling language, a debugging tool that can pinpoint non-reproducible bugs by automatically generating data sets, and an application that lets development teams visualize a model of the existing development architecture and find any existing code assets that are not well categorized. The Touch Wall is a new hardware/software interface with multitouch control that can mix and match media on the same large-screen display to enhance collaboration. The OSLO project offers a framework that allows all members of a team to access data models in a repository across the entire software development life cycle. Microsoft also is working on a robotic receptionist to be installed at the company headquarters that will help visitors find transportation, using voice and facial recognition technology. Finally, BlueTrack is mouse technology that employs a wider and brighter laser beam than conventional optics so that it can operate on uneven surfaces.
From Network World
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