At this booth, you can explore an assortment of devices powered by Windows Mobile
5.0. Mobility technology specialists will be on hand to answer questions you might
have about mobile devices and wireless network technologies.
Tablet PC Devices
The Tablet PC is being heavily adopted by academia, as both a teaching and a note-taking
tool. Come test out the latest Tablet PCs and talk with developers about Tablet
PC technologies. It’s a great opportunity to see the Tablet PCs and get answers
to your technical questions around the platform. For more information, visit the
Microsoft Windows XP Tablet
PC Web site.
FaThumb: A Facet-Based Interface for Mobile Search
Existing interfaces for mobile search requires keyword entry in favor of iterative
data filtering. We propose navigation and selection of hierarchical metadata, with
incremental text entry to further narrow the results. For more information, visit
the FaThumb project
The Crypto KeyTote, a physical device, provides a simple user method to move cryptographic
keys from a new device to a home store. In contrast to current approaches that are
either insecure or inconvenient, this approach is simple, low-cost (about $0.50
COGS), robust, and highly secure. The system uses these steps: First, the consumer
takes the KeyTote to the new device. Second, with a KeyTote button push, the new
device transmits its crypto key using its LED and the KeyTote records the transmitted
key. Third, the consumer carries the KeyTote to his home store, such as a computer,
logs in, and docks the USB end of the KeyTote. Fourth, the KeyTote transfers the
new device’s key into the computer’s local storage. Lastly, the PC securely sends
the new device a session key encrypted with the new device’s key.
Radio-Frequency Certificates of Authenticity
A certificate of authenticity (COA) is an inexpensive physical object that has a
random, unique structure with a high cost of near-exact reproduction. An additional
requirement is that the uniqueness of a COA’s random structure can be verified by
using an inexpensive device. We will introduce a design proposal for credit-card-sized
objects that behave as COAs in the electromagnetic domain. The objective is to complement
radio-frequency identifications or bar codes to make them physically unique and
hard to replicate. We hope to create a super tag whose information about a product
can be read within a relative far field and whose authenticity can be verified within
its near field with low error rates. The system can be used to protect branded products,
to create hard-to-forge objects of value, such as currency and coupons, and to provide
tamper-evident seals. For more information, visit
Darko Kirovski’s Web page.
Soap: A Pointing Device
Soap is a pointing device based on hardware found in a mouse, yet works in mid-air.
Soap consists of an optical sensor device moving freely inside a hull made of fabric.
As the user applies pressure from the outside, the optical sensor moves independent
from the hull. The optical sensor perceives this relative motion and reports it
as position input. Soap offers many of the benefits of optical mice, such as high-accuracy
sensing. We have tried soap for a variety of application scenarios, including wall
display interaction, Windows Media Center, slide presentation, and interactive video
games. For more information, visit the
Soap project page.
We are exploring ways to push the computing interface into your everyday world,
primarily through the use of sensing techniques and new display technologies. PlayAnywhere
is a prototype projector and camera system that enables a number of surface computing
scenarios, such as map navigation and other gesture-based interfaces on a normal
desk surface. We’ll also demonstrate how a Bluetooth Windows Mobile phone can connect
seamlessly to PlayAnywhere when placed on the surface: the desk then displays the
pictures just taken by the cameraphone.
Microsoft Robotics Studio
Today’s improved processors and lower-cost sensors are fueling the development of
robotics applications for a broad variety of devices, including household vacuums
and unmanned vehicles for search and rescue missions. Microsoft Robotics Studio
provides a common development platform for robotics innovators to overcome one of
their biggest remaining hurdles: the gragmentation of the robotics industry caused
by today’s incompatible platforms. You can
download the community technology
preview of the Microsoft Robotics Studio.
Building Interoperable Embedded Devices with SOAP
This booth showcases the Microsoft Embedded Web Services Toolkit in action. It runs
on devices built by students at Texas A&M University, where the toolkit has been
used in research and education. For example:
- A tablet running Windows Vista is used to draw images. The images are then communicated
to a separate display device. This device is in fact a separate SOAP enabled microcontroller
that controls a laser pointer. The laser display device receives the image as an
XML description and reproduces it with the help of motorized mirrors. This demo
shows how any gadget can easily be turned into a device understood by Windows Vista.
- Two handheld gaming devices use Web Services to discover each other to play
a game on one device that is controlled by the other. This shows an ad hoc
device to device scenario, akin to USB-to-go but using the universal data representation
and protocols based on XML.
- A combination of new FRAM memory and Real-Time SOAP adds up to significant power
savings. This demo shows that not only can the next generation embedded devices
be easier to use and program but they can also be more efficient than before. Eat
your cake and save it too!
For more information, visit the
Invisible Computing Web site.
Come and see the design prototypes around this year’s Design Expo theme: “The Gigabit
Connection, opportunities and issues in a high bandwidth ubiquitous computing world”
where seven of the leading design universities from around the world will show their
work. Examples of projects include CMU’s “Go Play,” a Web service to facilitate
spontaneous gatherings of individuals to find affinity groups to get together for
outdoor activities; Stanford’s “PALette,” an interactive, tangible interface that
enables kids to collaborate remotely to create works of art; ESDI’s “WePod,” a social
music-sharing system; RISD’s “Optilife,” a hardware and software system to monitor
and manage your health; National Institute of Design’s “knuggets,” a software application
that enables people and communities to capture and share experiences of their indigenous
experiential knowledge; TUDelft’s “Derrick,” a location-based system to find people
with the similar interests; and NYU’s “eParole,” a networked tracking, feedback,
and service delivery for the criminal justice system.
Educational Technologies (iCampus, the MIT-Microsoft Alliance)
The MIT-Microsoft alliance, called iCampus, is a program that supports faculty and
student initiatives in educational technology. iCampus sponsors innovation, helps
to incubate innovative technologies through classroom use, and it promotes their
adoption, evaluation, and continued evolution within MIT and through world-wide,
multi-institution collaboration. The central theme behind all iCampus projects is
the support and encouragement of active learning in a constructivist approach to
education. iCampus is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
supported by Microsoft Corporation, and is conducted in collaboration with Microsoft
Research. Over the past six years, creative approaches to fostering active learning
leveraging technology in a variety of disciplines. An initial set of these research
projects has been selected and freely distributed through iCampus. Successful dissemination
of technology in education requires more than just making it easily available. The
iCampus Affiliates Program seeks to share tools, build community and evaluate the
impact of this work. For more information, visit the
iCampus Web site.
Windows Live Academic
Windows Live Search introduces Academic: a tool designed for researchers to easily
search academic content. Designed with a tight focus on the real needs of researchers
and librarians, Windows Live Academic is a better way to do academic research online.
It’s a fast, user-friendly tool that lets you search through academic papers, quickly
sort results to pinpoint just what you’re looking for, and download them in the
most usable format. For more information, visit the
Windows Live™ Academic Web site.
E-mail is the number one application people use on the Internet, and search is number
two. We combine them by automatically finding good search terms in e-mail messages.
We present these terms to users as they read their mail, and we pre-retrieve results,
giving users information they want before they even ask. We train the system using
machine learning techniques: with a small amount of hand-annotated data, we can
learn what kinds of words are most likely to be good search terms to users. For
more information, visit the Machine
Learning and Applied Statistics page.
Using Results Diversity to Improve Personalization
Search results are ranked based on a match between a user’s query and documents.
We will examine ways of diversifying results to improve search in general and personalized
search in particular. For our Personalized Search system, we start with a list of
search results and re-rank them based on the similarity of each result to the user’s
interests. By systematically increasing the diversity of the results returned, we
can increase the chances of finding results that are relevant to an individual user.
We explored the use of query chains, queries that are common reformulations of the
query, to introduce diversity into search results and to improve personalization.
Additional dimensions of diversity could include retrieving results that differ
in domain, topic, type, genre, or location. For more information, visit the
Adaptive Systems and Interaction
Protecting Personal Information Online
Identity theft, phishing, and Web-based scams threaten to erode users’ trust in
online transactions. Users do not have a good way of controlling the leakage of
their personal information or tracking where it has gone. We show a simple client
browser plug-in that automatically identifies important information, such as addresses,
phone numbers, and credit-card numbers. We do this passively, without requiring
a user to take time to enter them or to register for a credentials-in-the-cloud
service. Users then get a simple interface to track where and when their personal
information has been sent. When coupled with a reputation service, such as Windows
OneCare, we can warn users of problematic sites. For credit cards, we offer quick
reputation information on a site before data is submitted. As a bonus, we show how
to log in at an Internet cafe without worrying about keyloggers. For more information,
visit the Knowledge Tools page.
Stopping a Phishing Attack
We propose a client/server scheme to stop phishing attacks. The scheme is transparent
to Internet users and requires no change or redesign of Web sites. The client component
detects when passwords are re-used for the first time on an unfamiliar site and
reports this to the server, which then aggregates the reports across the population
of clients and determines when an attack is in progress. For more information, visit
the Communication, Collaboration,
and Signal Processing page.
LINC: An Inkable Digital Family Calendar
Families continually must organize, plan, and stay aware of the activities of their
households in order to coordinate everyday life. To help address coordination and
scheduling challenges, we have built LINC, an inkable family calendar designed for
use in the kitchen. Our goal for LINC is to make digital calendars as easy to use
as paper calendars, with the added benefit that family members can access the home
calendar from work and while mobile. For more information, visit the
Community Technologies page.
Imaging Technologies for Virtual Earth
Microsoft Research’s Interactive Visual Media team is creating a state-of-the-art
online presence for visually investigating many aspects of our world, including
maps and views of cities and mountain ranges. Recent events such as Hurricane Katrina
are being documented and presented online. Microsoft Research is helping in a number
of ways to develop new modalities for capturing and viewing what our world looks
like from many vantage points. These include oblique views assembled from photographs
from airplanes crisscrossing the globe, to interactive panoramic views from trucks
driving the streets. In this demo, we will show a number of ways in which we are
able to assemble new imagery, and we will provide new modalities for viewing it.
For more information, visit the
Visual Media Group page.
Rich PowerPoint Presentation Representation and Editing
This demonstration shows rich visualizations of PowerPoint presentations to facilitate
browsing, editing, and dynamic presentation. Specifically, one primary visualization
tracks a PowerPoint presentation through different versions in a manner similar
to WinDiff, letting users see how presentations have been modified by indicating
which slides have been moved, added, deleted, or edited. This is a user-interface
demo, built using the Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon); IronPython, an implementation
of Python built on top of the Common Language Runtime; and Sho components built
by Microsoft Research. For more information, visit the
Next Media page.
Accelerator: Computation on GPUs Made Easy
Graphics-processing units (GPUs) provide much more computational power than comparable
CPUs and can be used to deliver significant increases in speed over CPUs for many
algorithms. We demonstrate Accelerator, an efficient, robust system that makes it
a snap to map computations to a GPU. Until now, programming GPUs for general-purpose
uses has required specialized knowledge of graphics programming and graphics tools.
Accelerator provides a data-parallel programming model that can be accessed in C#
and other .NET languages and that automatically maps the data parallelism to GPU
operations. We will showcase an application that demonstrates the improved responsiveness
and interactivity made possible by this approach. The Accelerator application-programming
interface is available for download.
Model Checking and Model-Based Testing of .NET Code
Modeling is a promising approach to ensure quality of software artifacts. This demo
shows the newest modeling technology of Microsoft Research and its instrumentation
in model checking and model-based testing. The approach is based on a multi-language
modeling approach, which captures modeling in .NET languages like C# and Spec#,
as well as diagrammatic notations like activity charts and state charts. These models
can be authored, configured, and combined in various ways in the Visual Studio environment.
The technology is based on XRT, a virtual execution and software model-checker framework
for .NET intermediate code. For more information, visit the
Foundations of Software Engineering
Spec# (pronounced “speck-sharp”), is a new programming system that adds design-by-contract
features to C#. It offers runtime checking as well as static verification for method
pre- and postconditions and object invariants. It has a non-null type system and
checked exceptions. It is integrated into Visual Studio and provides design-time
feedback as you edit your program. See the future of programming today! For more
information, visit the Programming
Languages and Methods page.
The Wild Thing Goes Mobile
Text input is a real pain, especially on a mobile device with no keyboard, such
as a phone or a personal digital assistant. Many user interfaces have been suggested:
T9, Graffiti, Dasher. The Wild Thing encourages users to use wild cards (*) anywhere
in the input text. A language model finds the k-best expansions. Users quickly learn
when they can employ wild cards. In this way, language modeling can be used to speed
data entry, both in a mobile context and on the desktop. We will demo two implementations:
a server solution accessible by using any Web browser and a client solution running
locally on a phone. For more information, visit the
Programming Languages and
Graph Layout Engine
GLEE (Graph Layout Engine) can be used for visualization of graphs representing
state machines, XML schemas, databases, and more. To download GLEE, visit the
Programming Languages and
Sho: The .NET Data Playground
Sho is an interactive environment for data input, visualization, and machine learning.
The basic interface is a command line that enables the user to “play” with data
and algorithms from many sources in a unified environment. It is based on IronPython,
an interpretive language for .NET, and consists of data types and libraries for
mathematical analysis, signal processing, and visualization. The goal of Sho is
to provide an environment in which researchers and developers can prototype and
debug algorithms quickly and interactively in a MATLAB-like way, but still take
advantage of the power of database, system, user interface, and IO application-programming
interfaces by using .NET. In this demo, we will show a variety of features of Sho,
including math and plotting functionalities, easy C# integration, and real-time
capabilities. Our goal is to release Sho to all of Microsoft Research in June. For
more information, visit the Knowledge
Dryad: Simplifying Data-Parallel Programming
Dryad aims to make it easier for programmers to implement and deploy large or complex
data-parallel applications. Dryad is intended to scale gracefully up to applications
with petabytes of data running on data-center clusters with thousands of computers,
and down to single multiprocessor or multicore computers. A programmer who wants
to run an application on Dryad creates a high-level data-flow description (graph)
of the application and writes simple sequential programs that are to be run at the
nodes of the graph. Dryad runs these programs on available processors, taking full,
transparent responsibility for scheduling, communications, and fault tolerance.
Gaming and Graphics
Andy Phelps, from RIT, will be showcasing M.U.P.P.E.T.S. and its new C# functionality.
The M.U.P.P.E.T.S. system is aimed specifically at engaging upper-division students
in the education of lower-division students through their first-year programming
core. The M.U.P.P.E.T.S. team is building on existing research and technical developments
in the field to design and construct a CVE and supporting infrastructure that allows
students to write simple C# or Java code similar to and constructed around the same
pedagogical issues as code written in a more traditional course of first year study.
As part of the M.U.P.P.E.T.S. system, this code can control objects in a shared
virtual world very much like an online massively multiplayer game that many prospective
students are already familiar with. Upper-level students also populate the system
in a structure of their own, and this population will be aimed at encouraging and
rewarding student engagement and peer knowledge-transmission. Game Industry folks
including Linden Labs (Second Life), EA, and XBOX have all been quietly impressed
with the graduates of RIT — come see why. For more information, visit the
MUPPETS Web site.
Alongside Andy, John Nordlinger, from the External Research & Programs group in
Microsoft Research, will be showcasing the latest Microsoft Research gaming kit
with new code examples, curriculum including the latest DirectX course from DevelopMentor,
white papers, and video and PowerPoint presentations. This kit continues to be enhanced
with the latest from academia and industry, including DirectX, XNA, and Tablet PC,
and it includes a fantastic Tablet PC soduko game. It also includes the presentations
from the Academic Days cruise on gaming in computer science held this past winter.
See what’s in the kit you have already received that you can use right away!
External Research & Programs
Through the External Research & Programs group, Microsoft Research annually supports
dozens of research projects in major universities in the United States and abroad.
See how we assist recruiting, product development, and our corporate image by fostering
collaboration and innovation in academic research and teaching. Hear about engagements
drawn from current initiatives in eScience, languages and compilers, digital inclusion,
mobility, robotics, tablet PC, gaming, and trustworthy computing. Sample research
resource kits made available to academics help jump-start research on Microsoft
technologies. For more information, see the
External Research & Programs Web
Ink-Enabled Search and Visualization
With the penetration of Tablet PCs in the market, users are performing more
tasks using the pen as an input device. Using this invention the user can write
the query with the pen and issue it directly without having to go through the
text conversion process. The new engine enables a search engine to directly
accept digital ink samples acquired from an electronic pen and produce search
results. Visualization of data is becoming very important in the information age. Seadragon
is a hardware-accelerated rendering engine, a bandwidth-efficient architecture
for interacting with large visual documents, and a new approach to scalable user
ConferenceXP is an initiative of Microsoft Research. We’re exploring how to make
wireless classrooms, collaboration, and distance learning a compelling, rich experience
by assuming the availability of emerging and enabling technologies, such as high-bandwidth
networks, wireless devices, Tablet PCs, and the advanced features in Microsoft software
platforms. For more information, see the
ConferenceXP Web site.
We are addressing bottlenecks in electronic grading of computer programming assignments.
We will demonstrate software that interacts with a course management system to download
computer programs, convert to format suitable for pen markup, and return the graded
Windows Embedded Academic Program (WEMAP)
The Windows Embedded Academic Program (WEMAP) helps provide a better understanding
of the Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded operating systems to academia. As a participant
in this program, you can learn how to educate the next generation of embedded developers
on Windows Embedded technologies. You can participate in a variety of programs,
including student competitions like the
Windows Embedded Student ChallengE
and discounted hardware programs, such as the
Hardware Empowerment Program.
SenseWeb Project and Microsoft Research Sense Toolkit
SenseWeb is a research portal that lets users visualize and query real-time data
by using a geographical interface, such as Windows Live Local, and allows data owners
to publish their live data easily by using a Web service interface. For more information,
see the SenseWeb Project page.
The Microsoft Research Sensing Toolkit (Microsoft Research Sense) is a collection
of software tools that allow users to collect, process, archive, and visualize data
from a sensor network. The current version contains a reconfigurable microserver
execution environment (mSEE); a small library implementing signal processing and
event detection algorithms; an extension to Excel 2003 (Senscel) to import, visualize
and processing sensor data; an interface to SQL Server to archive and retrieve data;
and a microserver interaction console (mSIC) for users to configure and control
microservers. All software is implemented in C# under Visual Studio 2005 and .NET
Framework 2.0. For more information, visit the
MSR Networked Embedded Sensing
Toolkit (Microsoft Research Sense) page.
See the DemoFest booth map