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Microsoft Research TechFest - Technology on the Wall

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TechFest is quite the event. The room it's taking place in isn't especially big, but it seems enormous because any geek with an ounce of good geeky sense knows to stop at every single last booth.

Nothing bores. Nothing displeases.

It's all amazing.

In this video, you'll get to take a look at some of the ideas MSR has come up with for technology in the home. They want to integrate tech into daily living in such a way that tech is just a medium. The point is to share, view, talk, and enjoy.

All the things you should do at home.

Off camera, I asked if I could buy some of the stuff, and I got a firm no. I think they were happy, though. I mean, who wouldn't be?

If I had designed this stuff I'd be quite proud of myself.

These MSR people really are a different breed. I feel fortunate to have gotten to walk around so casually and talk to so many of them.

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  • NETallicaNETallica Disaster has a passport (Mr Bean's latest movie)
    Actually, this is my personal request and it's not related to the topic. I understand that C9 is the site with tech resources for the developers around the world. Some of us might not catch all the words from the videos here.

    So, I'd like to request to make the conversation a little bit more easier to understand by the developers who aren't native English speakers (like me Wink I understand I need to improve my listening skills, but I do wanna improve my technical skills first)

    Ok, below is the list where I gave the points to C9 guys:

    1). Rory - (4/9 - sorry Rory, sometimes you talk quite fast and sometimes I don't understand the words from your nasal sound)
    2). Charles (6/9)
    3). Anders H (7/9) (Please don't think I'm a pro-CSharp guy)
    4). Bill G (7/9)
    5). Steve B (8/9)
    .
    .
    .

    You don't need to talk like the guys from BBC Learning English and VOA English lessons. But if it doesn't affect the topic and the contents, I would like to listen more clearer conversations from our C9 guys.

  • MassifMassif aim stupidly high, expect to fail often.
    While these are all cool ideas, it seems unlikely that people will want to buy into them.

    The mirror thing especially got me, hardly anyone I know even has a digital photo frame (and I know a lot of early adopter types) it seems highly unlikely that anyone is going to buy into a mirror like that - no matter how cool it is, it's competing with actual ordinary mirrors which are a bunch cheaper and simpler to install.

    I like the approach though, that people at home don't necessarily want the results they want to enjoy the experience. Although to be honest, I want to enjoy the experience at work too, perhaps "productivity" apps need to start focussing on making the experience of being used pleasant instead of focussing on making the results easier to get. If I can enjoy performing a task then I'll do better at work than if it's dull and boring but takes less time. (because I won't have to spend half the day browsing the internet or talking to colleagues if work is more pleasant.)

    As an aside I'd quite like a home photo app which showed me similar photos to the one I'm looking at based on tags / image heuristics. (I've not been able to try Vista's photo app with more than the sample photos in yet.)
  • z2bassz2bass AH!
    1). Rory - (9/9)
    2). Charles (9/9)
    3). Anders H (7/9)
    4). Bill G (9/9)
    5). Steve B (9.5/9)
    6). Somasegar (9/9)
  • RoryRory Free Tibet While Supplies Last
    Massif wrote:
    While these are all cool ideas, it seems unlikely that people will want to buy into them.


    Yeah... but that's one of the points of TechFest and MSR.

    Bits and pieces of the research will make its way into projects. I don't know if any MSR stuff goes straight from project to product.

    It's kind of like going to a car show and seeing all the concept cars. Nobody's ever going to buy them as they are (except as collector's items). They're just examples of what the future might hold.

    There'll be a time when installing a picture frame like the one shown will be just as easy as hanging a regular mirror.

    Actually, that particular bit of tech would be just as easy to hang. It takes its own photos, so all you'd have to do is hang it and plug it in.

    Not too hard.

    As for the other things... it's true that digital picture frames are mostly only popular among geeks right now, but the same can be said of the PC in the 80s, of the internet in the 90s, and so on.

    Every tech has its early adopters.

    TechFest exists to exhibit what even the early adopters can't buy (yet). It's just supposed to make you feel happy and warm inside...
  • RoryRory Free Tibet While Supplies Last
    NETallica wrote:
    Actually, this is my personal request and it's not related to the topic. I understand that C9 is the site with tech resources for the developers around the world. Some of us might not catch all the words from the videos here.


    Yeah.

    Thanks.

    I give you a 1/9 for tact.

    (What is it with people lately?)
  • RoyalSchrubberRoyal​Schrubber One. How many time travellers does it take to change a lightbulb?
    NETallica wrote:
    Some of us might not catch all the words from the videos here.

    You don't need to talk like the guys from BBC Learning English and VOA English lessons. But if it doesn't affect the topic and the contents, I would like to listen more clearer conversations from our C9 guys.


    Actually I think if Rory spoke a lil bit clearer it would be precisely BBC learning channel (or whatever it is called).

    I am not native speaker (as you might deduce from my misused tenses and strange phrases in my past posts - is it noticable, is it??..) but IMO Rory speaks very clearly (I give him 9/9 for intonation Smiley). I even think Rory (and all C9 interviewing team) speak more clear english than you can hear in most movies... 

    BTW do you native speakers notice that some movies use somehow easier to listen/clearer english. Normally I understand almost everything in most movies, but sometimes I come across a movie that I can hardly follow it's storyline - as they were speaking completely different subset of language.. You noticed this?
  • MassifMassif aim stupidly high, expect to fail often.
    Rory wrote:
    

    Yeah... but that's one of the points of TechFest and MSR.

    Bits and pieces of the research will make its way into projects. I don't know if any MSR stuff goes straight from project to product.

    It's kind of like going to a car show and seeing all the concept cars. Nobody's ever going to buy them as they are (except as collector's items). They're just examples of what the future might hold.



    It's a fair point, but dammit i want to buy the concept cars when I see them - and I'm always really disappointed when they get productised down to conventional car standards.
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    RoyalSchrubber wrote:
    I am not native speaker (as you might deduce from my misused tenses and strange phrases in my past posts - is it noticable, is it??..) but IMO Rory speaks very clearly (I give him 9/9 for intonation ). I even think Rory (and all C9 interviewing team) speak more clear english than you can hear in most movies... 


    Same here. Non-native English speaker here as well, and I think Rory is perfectly understandable. It's the people he's interviewing I sometimes have trouble understanding (to the point of needing to skip back and forth repeatedly) sometimes. Especially with soft-talking people like George Robertson in that other video, for instance.

    The main problem for me is that it's sometimes hard to understand what is being said because of the background noise, like in these TechFest videos. Due to the microphone-quality, it all gets huddled into one big ball of noise and it's sometimes hard to determine the English words from there. But that's a budget/technology issue, and no fault of anyone's pronunciation.
  • Rory wrote:
    
    (What is it with people lately?)


    Hey Rory!  Loving the videos (both the content and style).  Am sure you don't need advice from me, but if I were you, I'd take encouragement from what I strongly suspect are the often silent yet approving majority here...

    The videos are great - please don't change them!  Sure, things can always be made "better" especially in this live-capture style, but there's a trade-off and you mustn't kill the spontanaeity.  That said, I hope you'll keep an open mind to comments even if they do come in a poorly expressed or seemingly critical manner.

    Now for the video content! That shared personal space message board thing was impressive - I'd been thinking about doing something similar with my old Xbox and a cheap LCD screen, but this is way neater than I'd've managed!

    Perhaps some of these ideas might feed into Sideshow apps soon? (I know there are limitations on them but the core of the ideas could probably work on Sideshow)  I'd love to have something like this on my brand new Momento picture frame Big Smile

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