Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Manipulating Space and Time in Mixed Reality

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality each has distinct advantages when it comes to bringing digital capabilities into our everyday lives. Everything users see, including the environment and every object can be controlled and changed. This also means that what users see doesn’t necessarily mirror the real world. If another user should enter the room, for example, she would not be represented in VR. AR, on the other hand, lets users enrich their physical environment with…

April 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Give your dissertation a boost with a grant from Microsoft Research

Need funding to clear a hurdle in the final stages of your dissertation research? Microsoft Research is offering grants of up to US $25,000 to help a select group of doctoral students cross the finish line and enter the workforce. The Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant is for PhD students at U.S. and Canadian universities from underrepresented groups in computing, including women, African-Americans/Blacks, Latinos, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders and/or people with disabilities. The program…

February 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

New institute explores the future of Cortana

Today marks the establishment of the Cortana Intelligence Institute – a new, co-funded collaboration between Microsoft Research, Cortana Research and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, to work on next-generation capabilities for Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana. At Microsoft, we are constantly looking for opportunities to learn from colleagues – both inside and outside of the company. Andrew Shuman, Corporate Vice President of Cortana Engineering, told me that Cortana especially needs this energy because it is such…

February 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Charles P. Thacker

Honoring Charles P. Thacker, a visionary computer scientist who changed the world

By John Roach, Writer, Microsoft Research Charles P. Thacker, a visionary and hands-on electrical engineer who designed the first instances of key computing technologies that define modern life, died June 12 at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 74. Bringing an idea to life: The personal computer Chuck, as he was known to friends and colleagues designed the Alto, the first modern personal computer with a mouse and graphical user interface, in the…

June 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Project Vermont

Project Vermont: Improving camera performance through curved image sensors

By Richard Stoakley, Microsoft Research It’s hard to remember when our world wasn’t full of cameras. They’re in our phones and tablets, posted on street corners and in our buildings and cars. We rely on them not just to capture moments and memories, but for security, navigation, 3D spatial mapping and processing medical data. While significant advances have been made to camera sensors and the algorithms that process images, optical systems have not seen the…

May 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Holograms: The future of near-eye display?

Holograms: The future of near-eye display?

By Andrew Maimone, Researcher; Andreas Georgiou, Researcher; Joel Kollin, Principal Research Hardware Development Engineer Last week at the SCIEN Workshop on Augmented and Mixed Reality, a group of industry and academic researchers met to discuss the future of virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR). One goal was clear: we’d all like to put on devices that look and feel like ordinary eyeglasses but can bring us to new places. We also want to maintain the full fidelity of human…

May 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft Research PhD fellowships provide financial support to promising researchers

By Jim Pinkelman, Senior Director, Microsoft Research Since 2008, Microsoft Research has been awarding two-year PhD fellowships to computer science and related researchers at leading universities in the United States and Canada. These awards are designed to help promising young researchers focus on their studies, not their finances! This year’s program provides fellowships to 10, second- or third-year PhD students who are studying computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics. Recipients receive full tuition for their…

February 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Nanotechnology comes to life with needle-based human interface devices

By Noboru Kuno, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Researchers at Microsoft and Tokyo’s Keio University have developed systems that could allow people to use tiny, painless needles to do things like monitor medical conditions or receive information without looking at a screen. The research project, which explores the convergence of micro- and nanotechnology, wearable sensors and actuators for human computer interaction, was among the winning innovations on display at “Japan Korea Academic Day,” held recently…

August 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Calling all Internet of Things researchers…

By Kenji Takeda, Solutions Architect and Technical Manager and Arjmand Samuel, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Research We are in the midst of an invisible revolution, with the promise of ubiquitous and pervasive computing not a dream but a newly emerging reality. The nexus of cheap and capable devices, connectivity and cloud computing is rapidly giving shape to the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s now delivering real-world impact across multiple industries from agriculture to aviation — as well…

July 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Pegasus II mission sends balloon high above Earth and invites you along for an Internet of Things ride

By Athima Chansanchai, Microsoft News Center Staff Matt Long and Mark Nichols have a particular affinity for balloons – but not the kind that you see at birthday parties or ride with in big baskets, or find in 80s one-hit wonders. They’re focused on the kind that can go to near space – and take thousands of people along for the ride, virtually, in a demonstration of the Internet of Things in action. “When you…

April 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Can smartphones use less energy to browse the web?

Web browsing is one of the core applications on smartphones. After all, who hasn’t checked Facebook or watched the latest news—or amusing cat videos—on their mobile phone? However, mobile browsers on smartphones are primarily optimized for performance, not energy efficiency, so web browsing—especially the loading of web pages—tends to drain batteries and frustrate users. Recognizing this problem, Yunxin Liu, a researcher at Microsoft Research Asia, and a team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science…

September 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

UBICOMP 2015: Best paper awards

The winners of the best paper award for UBICOMP 2015 go to:   DeepEar: Robust Smartphone Audio Sensing in Unconstrained Acoustic Environments Using Deep Learning by Nicholas Lane, Petko Georgiev, Lorena Qendro Microphones are remarkably powerful sensors of human behavior and context. However, audio sensing is highly susceptible to wild fluctuations in accuracy when used in diverse acoustic environments (such as, bedrooms, vehicles, or cafes), that users encounter on a daily basis. Towards addressing this challenge,…

September 2015

Microsoft Research Blog