Microsoft Technology Update

Straight off the bat we were hit with some pretty big news, a media force has been formed through a scalable Microsoft and AOL partnership to help both tech giants get the most out of what they have at their disposal and beyond. Merely a tease for now but we are promised more information as of the 2nd of December. Save the date.

The rest of the session was packed full of exciting updates across a wide range of Microsoft platforms, so without further delay let’s get to them…

Bing
An odd one to start on as it’s predominantly known for being Google’s, less intelligent, uglier and forgotten sibling. However it’s a lot smarter, beautiful and integral to everything that Microsoft have lined up in the future. Project Adam, for example, works with the Microsoft voice assistant Cortana to photo index everything in existence. Clearly no small task. What this basically means is that Bing and Cortana are going to begin viewing everything (including you and I) as objects enabling it to recognise, analyse and respond based on images. The example used in the session was asking Cortana to identify the breed of a dog simply by taking a photo of it. Use in the future for those of us who aren’t canine lovers includes simply taking pictures of your food automatically being able to calculate what food and amount of each food is in your meal to calculate nutritional information. As and when this feature is becoming available to the public is still TBC but the impact this could have for brands is inherently clear.

Bing can now also tell the future. Through analysing big data, Bing has been able to predict the winners of the Rugby World Cup (no surprise here for the Kiwis in the building) and the Scottish Referendum. So if you fancy spoiling the end of your new favourite series or need a tip for this weekend’s accumulator find out more.

Skype
Got a mate you have no way of communicating with because you’re from opposite sides of the world and too lazy to learn each other’s languages? I’m sure this is unlikely to be the usage occasion Microsoft had in mind but Skype do have a solution in the pipeline. Again powered by Bing, the Microsoft translation software and algorithm is so complex and powerful it can now translate in real time to another user as you talk. Those scenes from movies where entire rooms full of global leaders can all communicate together will soon be a reality. When you think about it, this could be huge, not just for education or business but for global communication as a whole potentially ridding one of few remaining communication barriers in the form of linguistics.

The second update from Skype comes in the form of facial recognition as the technology continues to develop. Disney’s Inside Out would have had a field day with this one had it been available at the time, nether the less the ability to read a user’s emotions in real time and recognise expressions opens up a whole new arena in data and targeting.

Windows 10

Alongside an impressive catalogue of updates, Windows 10 for the first time enables developers to build one application to run across all Microsoft devices through a universal platform. This saves time and money but also opens up creative opportunities across TV, tablets, consoles, phones and more. Another pretty impressive feat on Microsoft’s part is that they managed to squeeze the new operating system into one of the market’s smallest personal computers – Raspberry Pi.

Along with all the major updates above, Hololens still looks awesome and could be bringing virtual worlds like the one we saw in Duke Dumont’s I got you video closer to reality. Kinect software has continued to develop and can now recognise different humans in a lot more detail through better skeleton profiling, calculating mass of limbs and bodies, analysing muscle mass and even reading users heart rate through heat sensors. A lot of this Kinect technology was used in our very own award winning Channel 4 Humans campaign, more details of which will be revealed in tomorrow’s 11am schedule including working examples and members of the production crew.

Look forward to seeing you all there!

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James Reeves

James is part of the Disney and Intel communications planning teams, always seeking to bring storytelling, creativity and innovation to their businesses. He’s fascinated by people and culture and believes that the strongest messages are created by discovering people’s passions. He’s a sucker for anything sports and music-related.

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