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Microsoft Pushes More Kinect-Like User Interfaces

Jon Brodkin | March 8, 2011
Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 ditched handheld controllers for gestures and sound, but natural user interfaces don't have to be restricted to video games.

• "Fuzzy" contact search for Windows Phone 7. A demo application for Windows Phone 7 solves the problem of incorrectly typing in the name of a contact on a smartphone. "We propose a fuzzy-contact-search feature to help users find the right contacts despite making mistakes while keying in a query," Microsoft said. "The feature is based on the novel, hashing-based spelling-correction technology developed by Microsoft Research India."

• Cloud data analytics from Excel. Possibly useful for business customers, this project brings some cloud computing capabilities to Excel to make navigation of large data sets easier. "Our project shows how we seamlessly integrate cloud storage and scalable analytics into Excel through a research ribbon," Microsoft says. "Any analyst can use our tool to discover and import data from the cloud, invoke cloud-scale data analytics to extract information from large data sets, invoke models, and then store data in the cloud -- all through a spreadsheet with which they are already familiar."

• Social news search for companies. Businesses can build an internal news portal by using social media tactics, such as "crowdsourcing," to improve the quality of results and identify important stories. "We tackle two questions: How can we use social media to provide a rich, topical, searchable, living news dashboard for any given company, and can we build an environment where the curation of the sources of content for a company page is done by the users of the page rather than by an editor?" Microsoft says.

 

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