Last week, Chief Research and Strategy officer Craig Mundie demonstrated a software-based robot
that uses both visual and voice recognition as well as speech synthesis to handle some basic tasks. The robot will be put into place on Microsoft’s campus to act as sort of a “robotic receptionist” that will handle shuttle requests from visitors. In the video Mundie played at the Financial Analysts Meeting (FAM),
two Microsoft employees walked up to the robot and it asked “Which building do you want to go to?” They responded, and then the robot, after double-checking their request and confirming some details, announced that the shuttle “should be here in four minutes.” Says Mundie, “This is what a natural user interface is all about and it won't be just a receptionist. This is just the tip of the iceberg."