Microsoft Demos ‘Mobile Surface’ And On-The-Fly Phone Call Translation
By on March 2nd, 2010

Microsoft is having their annual TechFest at Redmond and some rather interesting prototypes are being demonstrated by Microsoft. While you must’ve all seen videos of the Microsoft Surface tabletop PC, Microsoft Research has been working on perfecting a similar concept in a much smaller form factor. ZDNet writer, Mary Jo Foley, came across the project on the Microsoft Research website (the original page has been taken down but Google knows all.) The project is an implementation wherein Microsoft plans to allow you to use any tabletop surface as an interacting device with the help of a mobile projector and camera setup. The demo shows:

  • A camera, projector and mobile phone, a projection of the mobile phone display is made on a tabletop, where a user interacts.
  • Ability to increase or decrease volume by moving your hand in the air.
  • Playing a drum set by moving hands in the air or hitting the projection of the drum set on a table.

It is quite challenging to type and explain the coolness of something like this, it’s better watched. Here’s a video of Microsoft’s Mobile Surface:

The other project demonstrated at TechFest is a real time voice conversation technology. Think about talking to a friend who talks a foreign language and you’re on a phone conversation with that friend. How cool would it be if what your friend is saying could be translated and transcribed in real time? The geniuses at Microsoft Research demo-ed just that. The demo shows German being transcribed and translated in real time as the person speaks. This transcribed conversation log, as per the researchers, will be saved by the computer and can be accessed via search. Again, nothing explains it better than a demo video:

Microsoft has been talking about Natural User Interface (NUI) for quite some time, we have seen their attempts at controlling objects with muscle control and NUI seems to be a theme at this year’s TechFest.

Both videos come courtesy TechFlash.

Author: Manan Kakkar Google Profile for Manan Kakkar
Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.

Manan Kakkar has written and can be contacted at

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