REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 28, 2006 — As part of its ongoing investments in exploring how software-driven innovations might influence consumers’ lives over the next five to 10 years, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a host of new and updated technologies in the Microsoft® Home. The latest scenarios on display in this unique concept facility, which first opened 12 years ago, highlight prototype devices and software designed to deliver enriched entertainment, information and communication experiences throughout the home.
“Technology is woven throughout the fabric of people’s daily lives, not only at work and school but increasingly in every room of their home,” said Jonathan Cluts, director of the Consumer Prototyping and Strategy Team at Microsoft. “With the Microsoft Home, we strive to continuously re-imagine and extend the limits of what technology can do to make their daily activities more enjoyable, efficient and productive.”
Visitors to the Microsoft Home, located inside the company’s Executive Briefing Center on the Redmond campus, can experience consumer technology innovations that are likely to emerge in Microsoft and partner products over the coming decade. These new technologies are presented through hands-on scenarios that highlight the following themes:
Place. A series of demonstrations showcase how software, services and devices can combine to deliver timely, relevant information to people based on their location, whether inside the home or nearby. One example is display technology shown in the neighborhood bus stop that provides continuous updates of route and arrival information, and is used to demonstrate how location services can automatically notify people about services near them or even when someone they know arrives at the bus stop.
Participation. Reflecting consumers’ widespread desire to more directly shape their sources of information and entertainment — through blogs, social networking Web sites, wikis and the like — the Microsoft Home features several emerging technologies designed to extend people’s self-expression. For instance, a teenager’s bedroom in the facility portrays what it would be like to have addressable wallpaper that employs organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology to display a variety of content such as artwork, video clips and Web pages.
Discovery. Technology systems throughout the Microsoft Home demonstrate innovative ways of prioritizing the huge volumes of information, media and content choices to which consumers will have access in the future. These systems can filter through myriad content sources — from thousands of TV channels, news reports, e-mail messages and electronic documents to music files, on-demand videos and blog entries — to intelligently bring people the content they care about most and at the time when they’re in the mood to enjoy it.
Since 1994, the Microsoft Home has served as a launch pad for new ways of thinking about technology’s potential impact on people’s daily lives. Developers from the Consumer Prototyping and Strategy Team work closely with Microsoft Research personnel and various product groups to create the futuristic technologies that are displayed there. Tours of the facility are conducted by invitation only for Microsoft customers, partners and members of the press. Additional details about the Microsoft Home, including information on how to request a tour, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/mshome/default.mspx.
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