On one of my trips to Redmond, I took the time to go on a tour of the “Microsoft Home” project, which is the result of a lot of work done by the “Microsoft’s Research” team. How about a refrigerator with a builtin smart display that shows your email, calendar, etc. How about a front door that knows your voice and opens automatically when you say “Lemme in!”. Or a medicine cabinet that knows when it is time for you to take your medication and announces it to the whole house so you won’t forget. There was some wild stuff in there, all computer driven and integrated. I want to work on that team, but even more, I want to live in that house! There is also a “Microsoft Work” project, but I have not checked that one out yet. I’m already looking forward to it.
Well, Microsoft Research also thinks about the Tablet PC. In this article in the Seattle Times, they cover a lot of the new cool stuff Microsoft Research is working on, but we caught this little blip in the article as well:
“Microsoft researchers are also trying to push the traditional family calendar — sticky notes, scratch-outs and all — into the digital age. “The idea was to build a digital calendar that’s as easy to use as paper and available anywhere you want,” said Microsoft researcher A.J. Brush, brandishing a Tablet PC and a stylus. She wrote “Dinner at 7 p.m.” in one field and dragged it onto the calendar. The event can be set up to repeat, so if soccer practice is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the calendar fills it in automatically. Brush said the calendar has been improved based on feedback from four families. “A mom in the study said, ‘What if my son deletes the dentist appointment,’ ” Brush said. Now the calendar tracks the last 100 changes made, so the appointment can be undeleted. This kind of family-friendly digital calendar isn’t going to be released anytime soon, Brush said. “That’s coming to the kitchen, but it’s still not there,” she said.”
While this kind of thing is still far out, it is nice to know that Microsoft is thinking long term about Tablet PC. Read the whole article — pretty cool stuff in there. And take a trip over to the Microsoft Research web site and search around for Tablet PC. Lots of goodies over there to check out!
(via The Seattle Times)