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Ambrosio Blanco


Ambrosio is currently in a hybrid role in Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing, serving as a Test Architect and QA Manager to drive quality across many different research projects, as a Privacy Manager and Geopolitical Champ responsible for reviewing all MSRA projects before they are externally released, and as a Program Manager for a handful of projects that cover areas such as Face tracking, face recognition, mobile games, movie making with Kinect, AR-enabled presentations, authoring tools on Windows 8, multi-device sensing and remote control, and static code analysis.

Ambrosio joined Microsoft in 1992 and worked on a variety of products in Redmond including Microsoft COBOL, Fortran, Office, Internet Explorer, and Customer Relationship Manager before moving into incubations (under Greenhouse and Office Labs) and Research. His current challenge is adapting the various software testing best practices to the small and highly agile projects in MSRA, ensuring all MSRA projects are privacy- and geopol-aware, and building new projects that leverage MSRA technology.

Ambrosio moved to Beijing in June 2007.

  • Windows 8 + Windows Phone Better Together SDK
    The Windows 8 + Windows Phone Better Together SDK provides 3rd party developers the means to build Windows 8 Store applications that can connect to a Windows Phone and leverage its sensors, display, and touch screen through a peer-to-peer wireless connection. Scenarios include displaying additional info on the phone's screen (second screen scenario), remotely viewing the video and audio stream from the phone's camera/microphone, and using the phone's accelerometer to provide gesture input.
  • Superkid
    Use Kinect to make movies: watch yourself against a virtual background, and interact with virtual props. Scenery may be scripted, and can include scanned models of real world objects. May also be used in 'weatherman' scenarios, green screen / blue screen scenarios, and in making live or recorded presentations (e.g. powerpoint slides, excel charts); elements of the presentation may be enabled for (scripted) interaction by the presenter.
  • Worm Hole phone-to-phone AR-enabled gaming app
    Participating phones are positioned in a stack, each phone held by a different player. The top phone's screen displays its camera's viewpoint, overlaid with a maze incorporating an AR tag, and a ball guided by accelerometers. When the ball is guided to the end of the maze it 'falls' through a hole, at which point the second phone can 'catch' it, but only if it is positioned correctly. At this point the phones swap positions to continue the game.
  • Face-Tracking-driven Power Saver
    Use face tracking and a webcam to detect when a user is looking at the monitor. Switch the monitor (and other systems) to sleep mode when no face is tracked or user gaze is not directed at the screen. Use novel visualizations of power saved to incent user to continue using the tool. Provide a server-based reporting tool to allow IT managers to track power saved across an organization.
  • Celebrity Face Match
    Windows Phone consumer entertainment app to find 'closest match' celebrity results given a face in a photo. App searches from a pre-built database of celebrity images.
  • Face Mobile
    Exploration of Face Recognition application in an Enterprise environment. v1 was completed on Windows Mobile, v2 was completed on Windows Phone. Goal: create a mobile app that allows a user to take a picture of a co-worker, then run a 'facial query' against a face database to return identity and metadata, including name, title, position in org, location of office (highlighted on a map). Also enable creation of content e.g. email, appointments, and follow-up notes with the target.
  • Travel Guide
    The Travel Guide project has the following mission: Showcase innovations to help users better plan, enjoy, and share their travel experiences. During this process, we transfer technologies to product teams, and drive further research from lessons learned in real world deployment. currently the service is limited to China area, (in Chinese).
  • Task Market
    Microsoft Task Market connects small businesses with skilled freelancers for marketing and other document help such as graphic design, writing and editing, document translation, and creating or enhancing presentations and spreadsheets. By focusing on tasks accomplished using applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and Access, Task Market makes it quicker and easier for small businesses to get their task done.