mssurface

Microsoft Unveils Two Surface Tablets, But Questions Abound: Will They Hold a Tune?

The iPad has proven a tablet can be a powerful tool for music. It’s also been mostly alone. Android-powered tablets have suffered from lackluster audio performance. Compound that with low popularity in the marketplace and fragmented OS updates, and the platform has largely scared music developers away. Android devices also lack the richness of the iPad’s hardware accessory support, with multi-pin ports that lie dormant, giving accessory makers insufficient capabilities. Windows-powered tablets thus far show some promise, but absent high-quality multi-touch input or thinner form factors, they’ve also been a non-starter. It’s unclear whether it’ll change the situation, but at …

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Interaction in Thin Air: New Research from Microsoft, MIT Uses Magnets, Sound, Space

With multi-touch fully exploited and the basics of camera vision largely understood, interaction moves to the realm of free space, “augmenting” your world with gestures that find some physical connection. They surprise by working in some way that seems intuitive and natural, somewhere away from what seems to be the realm of the computer. And early in the month of May, we see a flurry of new research in just this area. Not one but two projects from Microsoft hold potential, and one from MIT Media Lab is just … absurdly cool. A summary: “Levitated Interaction Element,” out of the …

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Guiding Movements with Light: New Research Project Teaches You Gestures [Kinect]

“Natural interaction” is the phrase commonly applied to gestural interfaces. But a gesture is only “natural” once you’ve learned it. And as everyone from interaction designers to game makers have discovered, that can leave users confused about just what gesture they’re supposed to make. (Ironically, the maligned conventional game controller doesn’t suffer so much from this problem, as its buttons and joysticks and directional pads all constrain movement to a limited gestural vocabulary.) A team of researchers has just shared a new approach to the problem. Coming from Microsoft Research and the University of Illinois’ Computer Science department, authors Rajinder …

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Your Body – to – Ableton Live Interfaces, with Max for Live, Kinect

Perhaps you’ve seen the demo videos, as people do astounding things by moving their body around and using the Kinect camera to make music. Now, a set of Max for Live devices makes it reasonably easy to access your body as input inside Ableton Live.

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Watch Hackers Make 3D More Expressive and Futuristic – Full Art && Code Report

Calibration workshop, demonstrating the gathered energy and brainpower in Pittsburgh last month. Photo by our friend, the extraordinary Kyle McDonald, whose teaching is behind a lot of the creative output here. Microsoft may be running showy ads that show imagined applications of 3D computer vision, but using technology like Microsoft’s own Kinect, hackers are making sci fi reality, right now. Art && Code, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was an epic gathering of artists and hackers and hackers become artists and artists become hackers. It was an extraordinary convergence of learning and making, workshop and hacklab, technical brain dumps and creative …

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Watch Hackers Make 3D More Expressive and Futuristic – Full Art && Code Report

Calibration workshop, demonstrating the gathered energy and brainpower in Pittsburgh last month. Photo by our friend, the extraordinary Kyle McDonald, whose teaching is behind a lot of the creative output here. Microsoft may be running showy ads that show imagined applications of 3D computer vision, but using technology like Microsoft’s own Kinect, hackers are making sci fi reality, right now. Art && Code, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was an epic gathering of artists and hackers and hackers become artists and artists become hackers. It was an extraordinary convergence of learning and making, workshop and hacklab, technical brain dumps and creative …

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Microsoft, Now Embracing Kinect Hacker Scene?

Microsoft appears to be taking the step some of its rivals – the likes of Sony and Nintendo – failed to do, and that’s to acknowledge that something it made has been re-imagined beyond its original purpose. The above video pretty much says it all. Remember, it might not have been this way. Aside from direct control of the Kinect hardware, the shield of aggressive intellectual property laws in countries like the United States covering reverse engineering, to say nothing of a bucket of patents, Microsoft could easily go after hackers, open source libraries, and creative misuse of their designs. …

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Ten Years into iPod Era, the Big News: Apple’s Dedicated Player Survives

Rocking it old skool… sort of. The iPod Classic, the true successor, ten years on. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Mac User’s Guide. The tenth anniversary of the iPod debut means you’ll find plenty of commentaries on Apple’s iPod and how it has changed music. It’s an issue that’s been talked to death enough, continuously, in the past ten years that I’m literally uncertain there’s more I can say about it. Here’s one good, compact commentary from Daring Fireball, inspired by Macworld’s sharp review from the 2001 debut of the hardware. Instead, let’s consider what hasn’t happened: Apple hasn’t discontinued the standalone iPod, …

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Scanning the Universe in 3D: The Hottest Kinect Video Yet?

This video, featuring research with Kinect RGB “scans” of three-dimensional space, starts out innocently enough. Microsoft’s depth-sensing camera gets pointed at the world, resulting in some very impressive 3D scans. Then you get about halfway through. For my part, at least, I nearly fell out of my chair. By constructing a 3D model out of the world it sees — even with wildly-shaking camera — the project is able to produce virtual 3D versions of things it sees. Add in textures, just after three minutes into the video, and things get really wild. With lighting, even more so. Then, with …

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Microsoft and the WebGL “Threat”: WebGL’s Future, Even on IE, May Still Be Bright

All this power, all this technology, and … yup, we’re making another aquarium. Works for me. As part of WebGL’s ongoing growing pains, Web engineers have gotten into a war of words that finds even some Microsoft engineers squaring off against other Microsoft engineers. Look closely, though, and you’ll see some real progress on making WebGL a wider reality – and, behind the headlines, promise we may still see it in Microsoft’s flagship browser. In a recent, widely-disseminated post, Microsoft’s security engineering blog recently called WebGL “harmful.” The post didn’t mince words, referring to two reports by Context Information Security, …

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