Archive for October, 2010

Aided Eyes: Eye Activity Sensing for Daily Life

Another cool project from Microsoft Research: Aided Eyes demoed at Innovation conference,Asia.

 

 

Here is the description mentioned in the blog,

Our eyes collect a considerable amount of information when we use them to look at objects. In particular, eye movement allows us to gaze at an object and shows our level of interest in the object. In this research, we propose a method that involves real-time measurement of eye movement for human memory enhancement; the method employs gaze-indexed images captured using a video camera that is attached to
the user’s glasses.

We present a prototype system with an infrared-based corneal limbus tracking method. Although the existing eye tracker systems track eye movement with high accuracy, they are not suitable for daily use because
the mobility of these systems is incompatible with a high sampling rate. Our prototype has small phototransistors, infrared LEDs, and a video camera, which make it possible to attach the entire system to the glasses. Additionally, the accuracy of this method is compensated by combining image processing methods and contextual information, such as eye direction, for information extraction. We develop an information extraction system with real-time object recognition in the user’s visual attention area by using the prototype of an eye tracker and a head-mounted camera.

altWe apply this system to (1) fast object recognition by using a SURF descriptor that is limited to the gaze area and (2) descriptor matching of a past-images database. Face recognition by using haar-like object features and text logging by using OCR technology is also implemented. The combination of a low-resolution camera and a high-resolution, wide-angle camera is studied for high daily usability. The possibility of gaze-guided computer vision is discussed in this paper, as is the topic of communication by the photo transistor in the eye tracker and the development of a sensor system that has
a high transparency.

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History of Web Search Engines

searchengine history

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Microsoft spends 70% of its $9.5 billion R&D involving Cloud

Recently Cindy Bates , Microsoft’s VP of US Small and Medium Business & Distribution  during the SMB Nation conference in Las Vegas made some clear statements on Microsoft Business Strategies. She said Microsoft now spends 70% of its $9.5 billion R&D involving cloud and that will increase up to 90%. That’s a huge number !

She also highlighted some of  the Microsoft’s other strategy. She revealed Windows Phone 7’s integration with Dynamics CRM Online 2011. I’ve covered on this matter at WMPoweruser. Some other highlights of her speech as noted by thevarguy

The Cloud Is… “It’s not a thing and it’s not any one product,” said Bates. Instead, Microsoft defines the cloud as:

“A cost effective Internet based model of delivering enterprise class IT capabiliuty and software solutions to businesses of all sizes.”

Office 365: “It’s a new brand and the culmination of everything Microsoft has learned since the 1989 launch of Office. Office 365 will launch in Spring 2011, Bates predicted. “It will be the cloud on your terms.” Bates described Office 365′s three plans (Plan P1, Plan E and Plan K). Bates says Partners will profit in four ways:

  • 18 percent commission in first-year sales and 6 percent thereafter
  • Migration services
  • Business consulting and application development — “There will be a much more robust opportunity for managed services.
  • Building out managed services.

Read more of  it at thevarguy.

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Ray Ozzie’s Latest Memo

Here is the summary of his memo using wordle.

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We’re moving toward a world of 1) cloud-based continuous services that connect us all and do our bidding, and 2) appliance-like connected devices enabling us to interact with those cloud-based services.

Continuous services are websites and cloud-based agents that we can rely on for more and more of what we do.  On the back end, they possess attributes enabled by our newfound world of cloud computing: They’re always-available and are capable of unbounded scale.  They’re constantly assimilating & analyzing data from both our real and online worlds.  They’re constantly being refined & improved based on what works, and what doesn’t.  By bringing us all together in new ways, they constantly reshape the social fabric underlying our society, organizations and lives.  From news & entertainment, to transportation, to commerce, to customer service, we and our businesses and governments are being transformed by this new world of services that we rely on to operate flawlessly, 7×24, behind the scenes.

Our personal and corporate data now sits within these services – and as a result we’re more and more concerned with issues of trust & privacy.  We most commonly engage and interact with these internet-based sites & services through the browser.  But increasingly, we also interact with these continuous services through apps that are loaded onto a broad variety of service-connected devices – on our desks, or in our pockets & pocketbooks.

Connected devices beyond the PC will increasingly come in a breathtaking number of shapes and sizes, tuned for a broad variety of communications, creation & consumption tasks.  Each individual will interact with a fairly good number of these connected devices on a daily basis – their phone / internet companion; their car; a shared public display in the conference room, living room, or hallway wall.  Indeed some of these connected devices may even grow to bear a resemblance to today’s desktop PC or clamshell laptop.  But there’s one key difference in tomorrow’s devices: they’re relatively simple and fundamentally appliance-like by design, from birth.  They’re instantly usable, interchangeable, and trivially replaceable without loss.  But being appliance-like doesn’t mean that they’re not also quite capable in terms of storage; rather, it just means that storage has shifted to being more cloud-centric than device-centric.  A world of content – both personal and published – is streamed, cached or synchronized with a world of cloud-based continuous services.

 

Its about 3500 words memo. Visit the below link to read it fully.

http://ozzie.net/docs/dawn-of-a-new-day/

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What WP7 Devices lacks from?

altIn reading a review of Windows Phone 7 or the comments attached to them it is quite common to run accross a list of features which Windows Phone 7 lack, and which means the OS is doomed to fail.

I have therefore decided to commented on each item in this pretty standard list  to address these perceived "shortcomings".

No System-wide File Manager

– A System-wide File Manager is needed only when you want to deal with different type of File types organised in folders. WP7 has Documents, Albums which supports Folders which is more than enough for a mobile device.  Also you have Skydrive integration which has few file managing options.

No Video Calling

-Video Calling is a option for OEM’s in WP7. They can  choose it for their device if they want.

No Smart Dialling

Smart Dialling allows you to call your fav.contacts easily. WP7 has various other ways to do the same task, for example you can pin your fav.contact in the start screen or you can use WP7’s speech recognition feature.

Limited third-party apps

Its not fair to expect or compare a new platform with other established platforms .A new platform with 2000 quality apps is a very good number. Quality is more important than quantity.

No USB mass storage mode/No Bluetooth file transfers

Piracy and Security is the main reason of not enabling this feature. It protects you from various problems. Want to share a file to your friend? Use Skydrive. Zune Client is good for file transfer between phone and PC.

No memory card support

Using Memory card to store images is inferior when compared to storing it in your personal cloud like Skydrive, Facebook, etc,.

No multitasking

-True Multitasking drains phone’s battery life which is the main reason Microsoft planned not to implement it in the first release. And Microsoft knows multitasking better than its competitors because their previous mobile OS Windows Mobile had it. Current version of WP7 supports multitasking by tombstoning. Also applications such as Zune,Browser support multitasking.

No copy paste

-WP7 doesn’t have copy paste. But it provides Smart Sensing to detect phone numbers,Address in a website,etc,.But its on the way through next update as confirmed by Joe Belfiore. Also Microsoft is evaluating Tuck&Paste concept which may arrive in future updates.

Too dependent on Zune software for computer file management and syncing

Zune is the desktop client for WP7 and its very simple,intuitive to use. If you don’t like it then use Windows Live Skydrive.

No music player equalisers

-WP7 doesn’t have out of the box equaliser for avid music fans. But some WP7 devices such as from HTC has more than Music equalisers. They have Sound Enhancer app that shall deliver equalizer sound effects for a richer listening and viewing experience. Also, equalizer presets automatically mix bass, treble and vocal levels for maximum effect, whatever your type of music.

No Flash or Silverlight support in the web browser

Yes,Its not supported as of now. But it wont be forever as in the case of iPhone. Microsoft is open to support Adobe Flash in its platform(Rumour: Adobe is going to release beta version of Flash for WP7 before this year). Silverlight support in browser is on the way.

No sign of free Bing maps Navigation so far

Bing Maps provides navigation from Point A to Point B. But the turn-by-turn voice guided navigation is not available. But carrier’s and  OEM’s can have their own navigation systems on their WP7 devices. For example Orange has its own navigation service built into the WP7 devices.

No DivX/XviD video support

Its listed in MSDN support website that Windows Phone 7 has DivX/Xvid support. We have posted about it here already.

I’ve commented on these features based on my knowledge. if you have better comments or if you dont agree with the comments, Let us know in the comments section.

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