Microsoft Research unveils Project Zanzibar mat that interacts with real-world objects

Microsoft Research has unveiled a new portable, flexible mat with a bunch of sensors so that it can detect touch input, gestures made in the air above the mat, or objects placed upon it. The Project Zanzibar mat uses a combination of capacitive touch sensors and NFC (near field communication) to track objects in real-time, […]

Microsoft Research unveils E Ink sticky notes powered by office lighting

E Ink displays don’t require a lot of power, which is why devices like the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble NOOK eReaders can run for weeks at a time with relatively tiny batteries. But a team of folks from Microsoft Research have developed a prototype for an E Ink device that you never have […]

Microsoft tackles VR’s limited field-of-view with “sparse peripheral displays”

Strap an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Samsung Gear VR to your face and you can peer into virtual worlds… but those worlds might look slightly claustrophobic. When we look at the real world, we have a roughly 180 degree field of view, while most virtual reality systems have fields of view closer to 110 degrees. But […]

Microsoft’s “pre-touch sensing” could change the way we use phones

There are a lot of ways to interact with smartphone apps using your fingers. You can tap, swipe, pinch, or long-press a touchscreen display. If you have a phone with a “force touch” or “3D touch” display, you can also use hard or soft presses. But Microsoft is working on yet another way to interact […]

Microsoft’s holoportation is a virtual teleportation system (using HoloLens)

Scientists have started working on real-life teleportation technology, but it’s still in its infancy and may never really be able to transport a human being across great distances. But Microsoft has already developed a virtual teleportation system that makes it look like you’re in the same room as someone who may be thousands of miles away. It’s […]

Smartphones could get second screens thanks to a flip cover (Microsoft Research)

A handful of companies have tried to put a second screen on a smartphone by slapping an E Ink display on the back. But Microsoft Research has another idea: add a secondary screen through an optional flip cover. According to WMPowerUser, Microsoft’s research division is developing the technology, and the team is in talks with […]

Microsoft releases Android Wear “keyboard” for handwriting on smartwatches

Android Wear smartwatches don’t include on-screen keyboards, because it’s easier to enter text using voice recognition than it is to type on a device with a 1.6 inch screen. But what do you do if you’re in a noisy environment where your watch might not recognize your voice? Or how about a quiet space like […]

Microsoft Xim beams your photo slideshows to multiple phones at once

Microsoft has released a new tool that lets you choose photos from your phone to create a slideshow that you can share with friends. There are a few special things about the slideshows you make with the Microsoft Xim app. First, everyone viewing the slideshow on their mobile phone will see the same pictures at […]

Microsoft PocketTouch: Use a phone while it’s still in your pocket

Microsoft Research has developed a new capacitive touch technology called PocketTouch that works even when you place a piece of fabric between your finger and the touchscreen. This could let you control music playback or even send text messages on a phone without removing it from your pocket — or even sticking your hand in […]