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Microsoft future vision involves touch everywhere, holograms

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Thu October 27, 2011

Microsoft outlines decade-long future vision

Microsoft's Office team has put out a concept video (below) outlining what it imagines in its long-term future. The Productivity Future Vision demo shows a world dominated by touch and gestures, where smartphones are transparent blocks and tablets, walls, and tables all recognize either touch, voice, or in-the-air gestures. It imagines users physically dragging what they're working on from device to device and even includes 3D holograms that go beyond the edge of the display.

Other concepts include interconnected augmented reality, such as seeing the choice of hotel through a taxi cab's window, as well as glasses that translate nearby speech in real time. The aim is to create contextually relevant data available as often as possible.

Microsoft's Office president Kurt DelBene stressed that much of what's seen in the demo is either real or actively being studied by Microsoft and others. Voice recognition is common, and Microsoft already has camera-based gestures in Kinect. The smartphone and desk interfaces also bear passing resemblances to Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Surface, suggesting that Microsoft still sees the roots of these platforms surviving into the future.

Microsoft has done such videos before, such as an Office 2019 concept, but here is promising that every item is the reflection of multiple levels of work at the company. Apple in some aspects is closer to realizing Microsoft's goals, as it has early natural language voice commands in the iPhone 4S and was responsible for popularizing tablets in the iPad after several years of Microsoft's strategy relegating them to niche products. [via GeekWire]

by MacNN Staff



  1. admiralpumpkin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MS's future

    MS: always predicting the future, rarely creating it.

  1. Blairmc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Courier anybody?

  1. cr8383942

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looks Cool - but silly

    I normally love when companies do these "future" videos. This one, however, is a mix of the unoriginal and the non-sensical. The eye glass Augmented Reality stuff has been worked on for years. A lot of the 3D interface is just garbage from a user experience standpoint. It looks cool, but if you stop to actually imagine using it, it's either just eye candy or even counter-productive.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    rounding error

    I remember some visionary saying that iPhone's market share was going to be nothing more than some rounding error.

    Apparently Microsoft thought their product was called the iPhone—Windows Phone is indeed the rounding error. Talk about projection of their own reality distortion field.

  1. johncarync

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The future is boring?

    Did anyone else get tired of seeing different people do the same things in a long, drawn-out fashion? This makes the future seem boring. Cut the video down to 3 minutes to make it seem like things are fast and easy in the future.

    It's pretty amazing that, according to Microsoft, the next thing you want to do is always one swipe to the left away on whatever device you're using.

    Oh, I also like where the girl searches for recipes and finds 1263 to choose from. Then she asks her mom to help her pick one. "Hey, Mom, here's 1263 recipes. Please look through them all and tell me which one you like best." Actually, that sounds like the future Microsoft might bring us.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Knowledge Navigator

    Apple produced a concept video in the 80's with a voice controlled intelligent agent/personal assistant that existed on a multitouch display and now we have it in the form of SIRI on the iPhone 4S.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No more FUD. Here's vaporware instead.

    Microsoft has learned the hard way that FUD doesn't work any more. People just don't listen to Ballmer yapping about "the world's most expensive cell phone" any more.

    So instead, they're hyping vaporware more than ever. In an attempt to fool analysts and investors. Pitiful.

  1. BigMac2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Unrealistic Sci-Fi concept

    How can you hold an edge-to-edge touch display without having unwanted touch input? This video look like any sci-fi movies with extravagant computer UI where every thing work like telepathy, at the end it doesnt give any sense it could be made real.

  1. beb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Same woman from 09 Video

    She was working on that presentation on the plane. Must have been one really long flight and a gigantic PowerPoint.

  1. turkeybaster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    But Imagine...

    ...what it'd be like to bluescreen your whole hotel room! Hexdumps everywhere. The phone app doesn't work, so you have to go down to the hotel desk to have them hit Ctrl+Alt+Del. Take the stairs, though, because the lift is stuck between the 14th and 15th floors. Call me a dreamer...

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