You are reading the article Moley Robotics: Transforming The Industry With The World’s First Robotic Kitchen updated in December 2023 on the website Cattuongwedding.com. We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested January 2024 Moley Robotics: Transforming The Industry With The World’s First Robotic Kitchen
Moley Robotics founded in 2014 by London-based computer scientist, robotics and healthcare innovator Dr
, has created
robotic kitchen unit.
learns recipes, cooks them and clears up kitchen modules after cooking.
The need for
world’s first fully automated robotic kitchen was identified in 2013 when Dr
detected a gap in the current robotics market to radically change the volume of service,
and carbon footprint.
is a leap forward from the current state-of-the-art
in the market
. Unique amongst today´s robotic kitchen service applications, it facilitates the input of a human chef’s actions to prepare a dish to reproduce the pattern of movements, mimicking the input information.
, consumers and professional chefs alike can develop, demonstrate, share and sell their recipes on a cloud-based recipe-sharing platform. For users
is a greatest
and value generation technology in the service robotic market. Users select a menu remotely, have ingredients delivered and get a scheduled meal on time 24/7.
Robotic Developments for
Since its POC prototype launch in 2023,
product development team has seen steady progress and innovative technology and received prestigious awards. In 2023, Moley Robotics delivered a successful prototype during Hannover Messe in 2023. In 2023, the company completed pre-production A-model development and started certification and testing procedures.
aunch will take place in
2023, and the product will be presented in all 16 target European countries within
Moley Robotics was set up with a mission to combine automatic food preparation at home and eating a healthy diet. The company aims to produce technologies that address basic human needs and improve the day-to-day quality of life.
is an accomplished Ph.D. mathematician, computer scientist and proven trailblazer. Before founding Moley Robotics,
was a co-founder and a major shareholder of several companies working in the healthcare sector in Russia and internationally.
Earlier in his career,
exercised his passion for building successful products at Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University and smaller companies.
is a future driven leader and a passionate robotics and healthcare expert.
Enabling Robotics to Create a Flawless Revolution
While the robotics industry has used a rather primitive and same-type “record – playback” operation, Moley Robotics has created a “one robot – many operations” concept by dividing big robotics operations into smaller ones, teaching the Robot to fulfill them without errors, and consecutively collecting them into more difficult processes (cooking, cleaning, medical help).
Moley Robotics has applied for five large patents worldwide, many of them have been granted already. The company is now focusing on the development of the first truly robotic service application for home use, which will significantly increase the quality of life of many people. Moley Robotics counts unlimited access to wide recipes database, cultural exchange, nutrition standardization based on preferences and health
conditions, increasing nutrition options, freshly-cooked and varied meals, entertainment, cooking courses, time-saving, opportunity to record customized recipes among the benefits derived by its clients.
Innovating the Future of Cooking
Moley Robotics answered an opportunity call by developing a class of technology that has never been applied to any food preparation application. Now a verified and demonstrated prototype at TRL7,
is a leap forward from the current state-of-the-art robotic kitchen service applications. It facilitates the input of a human chef’s actions to prepare a dish and reproduces this sequence of movements, mimicking the input information.
Robotics had a limited application until
was only applied to
a very limited
range of foods such as automated hamburgers and pizzas. The revolutionary
is expected to increase the kitchen human resource efficiency by 50-70% and cut industrial CO
emissions from kitchen operations by 15-30%.
works with two
, fully articulated hands that comprise the kitchen’s enabling technology. With
ability to faithfully reproduce the functional movements of a human hand, they give the capability to cook anything a human chef can in the kitchen.
is developed with a heart of the design philosophy that underpins this technology. Every motion and nuance are captured from a chef, which are then translated into digital movement using bespoke algorithms created with the collaboration between Moley Robotics and teams from
(Germany), an internationally-renowned company and world experts in modelling robotic processes and complex associated engineering challenges, Universities of Stanford (USA) and Carnegie Mellon University.
The Moley Robotics robot does not just cook like a chef in terms of skill, technique and execution, moreover, it can also clean after cooking, which is a great value proposition for those who choose to save time on this boring activity.
captures the human skill in motion. This motion-capture technique is used to generate an ever-growing digital library of recipes for the Moley kitchen to cook. User-friendly motion-captures and translation systems allow consumers and professionals alike to record and share their recipes on a digital library across multiple markets. This not only provides a fantastic utility for the users, but also actively promotes their interest in high quality foods and international cuisine.
The robot chef moves at a human speed, rather than that of a machine which helps users to connect with and enjoy the
does not feel like a piece of industrial technology or threatening artificial intelligence. With precision cooking, Moley Robotics aims to reduce food waste and provide a viable alternative to ready meals. The company aims to reduce the dependence on pre-packaged food which are highly manufactured items requiring a great deal of energy into intensive processing, packaging and transport.
Way for a Virtual Disruption
With the rise of
, innovation itself is the optimization of either virtual, or physical environment by enlarging the functionality and time/material resources optimization. Thus, the need is to either expand the current available variability (more flexible planning and realization system), or optimize time, virtual or material resources. So, any tasks aimed at optimization or functional expansion are innovative. From an AI and Robotics point of view there are many innovations in the virtual environment (online shopping, delivery, search, information storage, etc.), while the physical environment is much more difficult to develop and time-consuming.
Robotics is one of the most complex industries for innovation, it is comprised of many moving parts unified by one control system, allowing to substitute human force with automated machine force. The more difficult the tasks are, the more difficult it is to automate them in a physical world
,” said Mark
Moley Robotics harnesses its service robotics in the industry moving from “one robot – one operation” scheme to creating robots which can perform a sequence of operations, devoting certain timing from cooking to playing piano to healing patients. Important being, this process is divided into small operations,
each of them verified from functional result point of view, tested and confirmed with the repetitive result preserved with no errors to create a long technical process, optimizing physical world at a large scale to fulfill complex operations.
Recognitions and Awards
Moley Robotics was awarded the Best of the Best award at CES 2023 Asia Shanghai and was recognized as a Top Key Player in the Global Robot Kitchen Market 2023 report.
Overcoming the Challenges to Move Ahead
As any product development company, Moley Robotics has an obligatory development, testing and design evaluation cycles to pass before entering the market. Its product combines all the levels of hardware and software products.
Being a small company, its main challenge
was to find reliable and experienced partners for product quality subsystems development to get minimal viable product functionality on a competitive level. Preserving the traditional look of the kitchen and old-fashioned cooking style, while adding a machine function was an added challenge which the company overcame.
the automotive industry’s example where cars were an initial symbol of wealth, to the present
The Most Disruptive Robotics Companies of 2023 magazine issue
day where almost every family can afford them
, all owing to significant developments in technology
. Moley Robotics would like to make its kitchen affordable for any family worldwide by going through all the stages of mass-market product optimization.
You're reading Moley Robotics: Transforming The Industry With The World’s First Robotic Kitchen
The Travel Industry is also undergoing rapid transformation. To improve client encounters Let’s look at some of the ways automation is changing the travel Industry in 2023
Booking: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms are being used to develop more efficient and accurate travel scheduling systems capable of suggesting the best bargains on flights and accommodations as well as personalizing travel plans.
Fraud Detection: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning can also be used to identify and avoid fraud. Algorithms are taught on big data sets to identify patterns indicative of fraud, such as anomalies in trip reservations, payments, or consumer behavior.
Language Translation: With the worldwide increase in cross-border travel, automation technologies such as AI-powered language translation are becoming essential for travel companies and online platforms serving clients from various countries.
Chatbots & Virtual Assistants: Chatbots and virtual assistants are being used extensively in the industry to provide 24/7 customer assistance, answer commonly asked inquiries, and assist with the booking system. They also help with post-booking tasks like altering or canceling bookings. This not only provides customers convenience but also frees up human customer assistance to tackle more complicated inquiries.
Transportation and Supply Chain: Another significant field of the travel business where automation is making a difference in supply chain and logistics administration. Automation improves routes, controls supply, and even forecasts demand. This assists travel businesses in lowering expenses and increasing efficiency.
Hospitality: The hotel business has begun to use robots for housekeeping, cleaning, and delivery, lowering personnel costs and improving productivity. Some of the world’s most famous hotel companies use robots for room service and room administration, such as managing the lights and climate. Robots are also lowering visitor wait times by speeding up the check-in and check-out processes. These are just a few instances of the front counter and staff administration that robotic automation makes feasible.
Rental car industry: The leasing procedure is being streamlined by automation. Self-service kiosks and smartphone applications, for example, are now available in the rental vehicle business for faster check-in and check-out. GPS monitoring and automated vehicle maintenance systems are two more examples of how automation is assisting rental car businesses in improving fleet administration.
Cruise industry: Automation in tracking, propulsion, freight management, and other areas is increasing ship productivity and safety.
Rail industry: Automation has greatly improved the Train Control Technique, Train Management, Train Maintenance, Passenger Information System, ticketing and fee collection, Train Dispatch System, Safety systems, and many other areas in this business.
These are only some instances. There are numerous areas where mechanization is bringing about change through newer and better equipment and altering the way we journey. ChatGPT, the newest AI invention, is heralding the beginning of an age of automation as we speak. ChatGPT can be easily incorporated to raise automation to new heights due to its ability to handle a wide range of activities, from chats to various other applications. ChatGPT’s power is undeniable, and it has the ability to change the game in the business. While the potential of these tools can be both motivating and frightening, when used properly, computerized systems can bring about new breakthroughs and benefits to humankind in a variety of fields, not just the tourism industry. ChatGPT and other extremely complex AI models may be at the forefront of AI-enabled automation in the future.
The Metaverse: The Next big thing for Smartphones
The metaverse could have a significant impact on the smartphone industry. Here are some of the ways that the metaverse could impact smartphones:
The metaverse will require more powerful smartphones. The metaverse is going to require more powerful hardware than what is currently available. Smartphones will need to have better processors, more RAM, and higher-resolution displays in order to provide a seamless experience in the metaverse.
The metaverse will drive demand for new smartphone features. The metaverse will require new smartphone features that are not currently available. For example, smartphones will need to have better sensors in order to track our movements and facial expressions in the metaverse.
The metaverse will create new opportunities for smartphone apps. The metaverse will create new opportunities for smartphone apps. For example, there will be a need for apps that allow us to interact with other people in the metaverse, apps that allow us to shop in the metaverse, and apps that allow us to play games in the metaverse.
The metaverse will change the way we use our smartphones. The metaverse will change the way we use our smartphones. For example, we may use our smartphones to access the metaverse, to interact with other people in the metaverse, and to shop in the metaverse.
Overall, the metaverse has the potential to have a significant impact on the smartphone industry. Smartphones will need to become more powerful and new smartphone features will be required. So, new opportunities for smartphone apps will be created. The metaverse will also change the way we use our smartphones.How the Metaverse Will Impact the Smartphone Industry
The metaverse is still in its early stages, but it is already having an impact on the smartphone industry. Here are some of the ways that the metaverse is impacting smartphones:
Smartphone manufacturers are starting to develop metaverse-ready devices. Companies like Apple, Samsung, and Meta are all working on developing smartphones that are specifically designed for the metaverse. These devices will have the powerful hardware and new features that are needed to provide a seamless metaverse experience.
There is a growing demand for metaverse apps. As the metaverse becomes more popular, there is a growing demand for apps that allow us to interact with the metaverse. These apps are being developed by both large companies and small startups.
The metaverse is changing the way we use our smartphones. Some people are already using their smartphones to access the metaverse, to interact with other people in the metaverse, and to shop in the metaverse. As the metaverse becomes more popular, we can expect to see even more people using their smartphones in this way.The Future of the Metaverse and Smartphones Gizchina News of the week
Here are some of the ways that the metaverse could impact smartphones in the future:
Smartphones will become more powerful. In order to provide a seamless metaverse experience, smartphones will need to become more powerful. This means that they will need to have better processors, more RAM, and higher-resolution displays.
Smartphones will have new features. The metaverse will require new smartphone features that are not currently available. For example, smartphones will need to have better sensors in order to track our movements and facial expressions in the metaverse.
There will be a new wave of metaverse apps. As the metaverse becomes more popular, there will be a new wave of metaverse apps. These apps will allow us to interact with the metaverse in new and innovative ways.
The way we use our smartphones will change. The metaverse will change the way we use our smartphones. We will use our smartphones to access the metaverse, to interact with other people in the metaverse, and to shop in the metaverse.The Challenges of the Metaverse for Smartphones
The metaverse is still in its early stages, and there are a number of challenges that the smartphone industry will need to overcome in order to adapt to the metaverse. These challenges include:
The cost of smartphones. The cost of smartphones will need to come down in order for the metaverse to reach a mass audience.
The availability of 5G. The metaverse will require 5G connectivity in order to provide a seamless experience.
The development of new standards. New standards will need to be developed in order to ensure that the metaverse is interoperable across different devices and platforms.
The privacy and security of users. The metaverse will raise a number of privacy and security concerns. And these concerns will need to be addressed in order to ensure that users feel safe and secure.
Despite these challenges, the metaverse has the potential to be a major disruptor to the smartphone industry. The smartphone industry that is able to adapt to the metaverse will be well-positioned for success in the years to come.Conclusion
The metaverse is a new and exciting technology that has the potential to change the way we interact with the internet and with each other. The smartphone industry will need to adapt to the metaverse in order to remain relevant. The challenges are significant, but the potential rewards are great. The smartphone industry that is able to adapt to the metaverse will be well-positioned for success in the years to come.
In addition to the challenges mentioned above, here are some other challenges that the smartphone industry may face in the metaverse:
The development of new hardware and software. The metaverse will require new hardware and software that are not currently available. This means that smartphone manufacturers will need to invest heavily in research and development in order to keep up with the latest trends.
The need for better battery life. The metaverse is a power-intensive technology, so smartphone manufacturers will need to find ways to improve battery life in order to make the metaverse experience more enjoyable.
The need for better security. The metaverse will be a target for hackers and other malicious actors. So smartphone manufacturers will need to implement strong security measures in order to protect users’ data.
Despite these challenges, the metaverse has the potential to be a major growth opportunity for the smartphone industry. The smartphone industry that is able to adapt to the metaverse will be well-positioned for success in the years to come.
B2Broker, a leading provider of technology solutions and liquidity for the Forex and cryptocurrency industries, has officially launched its new White Label cTrader platform. The new product was created with the goal of providing brokers with access to one of the most popular multi-asset trading platforms on the market today. With this launch, B2Broker continues its commitment to providing innovative solutions that meet the needs of its clients.
The cTrader platform is a popular choice among active traders due to its innovative capabilities and complex trading tools. B2Broker’s white label allows brokerage companies to provide their traders with a full trading environment on the cTrader platform. This makes it an attractive option for those looking for a comprehensive trading experience.
White Label cTrader
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to have reliable and efficient brokerage. B2Broker’s White Label cTrader provides just that, allowing you to quickly start your own Forex, cryptocurrency, or multi-asset broker. With a powerful user interface that can be customized to any design style, the White Label cTrader option makes it easy for commercial and institutional enterprises to provide personalized and tailored services to their consumers. As CEO of B2Broker, Arthur Azizov said:
“cTrader is a well-known platform with a proven track record of success, and it is used by all the market’s top brokers. A quick search on the Appstore for cTrader will reveal all the major companies that use this platform.
We believe that in today’s ultra-competitive markets, every broker must offer a wide variety of trading platforms to its clients. Otherwise, the broker would lose clients who wish to trade on the cTrader platform. In addition to the traditional trading capabilities provided by the MT platform, cTrader will almost certainly attract a new category of traders and investors.
When it comes to managing your crypto brokerage, and its algo capabilities, cTrader is one of the top solutions on the market.
Since 2023, we have been seeing a growing demand for cTrader among cryptocurrency brokers. Since many cTrader brokers use our liquidity offering, we decided to open a whole new world for brokers that want to grow more sophisticated and cater to traders’ needs, rather than requiring them to use a single platform,”
The White Label cTrader platform is stable and simple in utilizing. It offers brokerages all the features they need to succeed without the need to purchase a cTrader server license, set up a backup system, establish a worldwide network of access servers, or pay people to design and administer the server structure on a regular basis.
The White Label Trader is a full infrastructure that also includes a trader’s room, payment systems, liquidity solutions, trading platforms, and IB programs. Combining cTrader’s sophisticated trading tools with B2Broker’s aggregated
and ongoing client assistance produces an attractive solution for brokerage firms.
Trading algos in C# using custom indicators and bots. With B2Broker’s White Label cTrader, you can now provide your clients with a simple and configurable algorithmic trading solution.
To keep things operating smoothly, your company will get all of the appropriate licenses and permissions. Legal requirements are met during installation, allowing you to focus on what matters most: expanding your brokerage.
With B2Broker’s 24-hour customer service, you’ll never be alone while dealing with problems. B2Broker provides trustworthy and quick multilingual services around the clock, so whatever happens, your problem will be handled quickly!
You will also have access to a demo environment, third-party integrations, STP, clear pricing, a contemporary UI, and other features. And, with proxy servers strategically positioned all over the world, you can be guaranteed a consistent connection with little lag time.
Your brokerage staff will receive a comprehensive overview of the user interfaces and functionality of WL cTrader and cBroker. The training program will include an introduction to the cTrader platform, an explanation of the functions and features available to traders.
B2Broker’s White Label cTrader is the ideal option for brokers wishing to provide their clients with a world-class trading experience. Your clients may trade successfully and confidently if they have access to all of the features and tools they require. With B2Broker’s customer service, which is always online, you can be confident that any issues will be addressed swiftly and effectively. So, if you’re seeking a dependable and complete trading solution for your brokerage, B2Broker’s White Label cTrader is the way to go!
McDonald’s is the highest-ranked restaurant on the Global 2000, and Chipotle is one of the year’s big winners.
Last year’s rankings told of the nimbleness of fast-food eateries, whose drive-thru service and digital ordering helped chains hold on to customers during the pandemic. In 2023, McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, and Starbucks, remain the only restaurant companies in the top 500. Both stayed essentially flat in our rankings at Nos. 217 and 301. At both companies, sales were up but profits were down, a reflection of having to shut down outlets during China’s long-term border closure.
Long before the Covid-19 public health emergency was officially declared over last month, people around the world had enthusiastically embraced a return to normal life. So it’s unsurprising that the biggest names in the hotel, restaurant and leisure sectors have risen in Forbes’ annual ranking of 2,000 of the world’s largest public companies. Our rankings are based on a composite score calculated from revenue, profits, assets and stock market value.The world’s largest hotels, restaurants and leisure companies:
RankNameCountrySalesMarket Value1McDonald’s Corp.U.S.$23.4 billion$216.5 billion2Starbucks Corp.U.S.$34.0 billion$122.9 billion3Marriott Int’l, Inc.U.S.$22.2 billion$53.6 billion4Compass GroupU.K.$32.5 billion$45.5 billion5MGM Resorts Int’lU.S.$14.1 billion$15.7 billion6SodexoFrance$23.9 billion$15.5 billion7Hilton Worldwide HoldingsU.S.$9.4 billion$38.3 billion8Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.U.S.$9.0 billion$56.0 billion9Carnival Corp.U.S.$15.0 billion$12.6 billion10Restaurant Brands Int’l Inc.Canada$6.6 billion$22.2 billion
The restaurant sector’s biggest climber was Chipotle Mexican Grill, which jumped 319 places to land at No. 903. The California-based taco-and-burrito chain has been on a tear, with earnings growing by double digits in each of four consecutive quarters. Revenue, too, has topped analysts’ expectations, hitting $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023, fueled by better than expected same-store sales growth. Menu prices are up roughly 10% from last year, which CEO Brian Niccol says demonstrates the chain’s pricing power. Just since the beginning of 2023, Chipotle share prices are up 51% and, despite the current economic uncertainties, the company is maintaining a bullish posture. In January, Chipotle announced “aggressive growth plans” that include doubling its footprint to 7,000 locations, up from a prior target of 6,000.
Collectively, their current narrative is one of expansion, with all the hotel giants touting impressive pipelines of new properties around the world. Last fall, Marriott acquired its 31st brand – the Mexico-based City Express – and, at the end of the year, tallied roughly 199,000 rooms under construction. Hilton opened 355 new hotels in 2023 (just under one per day, adding more than 58,000 rooms), while Hyatt came out of last year with a record pipeline of about 117,000 rooms worldwide.
After screeching to an abrupt halt in 2023 and restarting more than a year later, the cruise industry is now breaking pre-pandemic records for passenger volume and hitting $21 billion in profits, nearly double that of a year ago. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry trade and lobby group, forecasts that 31.5 million passengers will embark on cruises in 2023, up 6% from 2023. Industry leader Carnival Corporation, which operates nine cruise lines, rose 261 spots to No. 959 – nudging into the upper half of our list but still a far cry from its pre-pandemic perch among the top 500. With its three cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Group jumped 324 places to No. 1052.
Meanwhile, the gambling industry has enjoyed back-to-back record-setting years, with gross revenue in 2023 hitting $55 billion, beating pre-pandemic 2023 volume by 25%. Of the four casino-hotel companies in the Global 2000, the most notable climbers were MGM Resorts, whose $4.4 billion boost in revenue to $14.1 billion helped it leapfrog 147 spots to land at No. 596, and Las Vegas Sands, which rose 236 spots to No. 1293.
Also making impressive gains this year is Ireland-based Flutter Entertainment, whose roster of betting platforms includes Betfair, FanDuel and Paddy Power. It leapt 239 places to land at No. 1077, driven by a $1.2 billion jump in revenue to $9.5 billion. Meanwhile, Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure, one of the world’s largest slot-machine manufacturers, jumped 333 spots to No. 1611.
Finally, not every company in the Global 2000 is a household name. Consider a trio of multinational food service contractors headquartered in three different countries. Britain’s Compass Group (No. 516), France’s Sodexo (No. 761) and Philadelphia-headquartered Aramark (No. 1535) deliver meals to mundane locations like offices, factories, schools, universities, hospitals and prisons. There’s nothing particularly sexy about this line of business except, of course, that together these three companies hauled in a combined $73.4 billion in annual revenue.
This article was first published on chúng tôi and all figures are in USD.
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As far as 99.9 percent of the world population is concerned, Microsoft is a stodgy, old-guard technology company. Its bottom line is fully leveraged against PC operating systems and business software—hardly the building blocks of a future-thinking portfolio, right?
But scratch that cold, conservative, pedestrian surface, and you’ll find a Microsoft that’s a veritable hotbed of cutting-edge innovation. Indeed, the company doesn’t just loosen its purse strings when it comes to research and development. No, it practically throws money at really big thinkers to build a more wondrous, fantastical future. In 2011 alone, Microsoft’s R&D budget reached a record high of $9.6 billion (yes, with a “B”). That’s a lot of Benjamins, and they’re being spent on some decidedly awesome projects.
Let’s take at some of the more interesting examples.Blending touch and touchscreens
Carnegie MellonOmniTouch let’s your fingers do the dialing… practically on your own fingers.
Several Microsoft Research projects have revolved into transforming everyday objects into fully interactive computing surfaces. If these initiatives bear fruit, you may one day conduct your morning Facebook check on the back of a cereal box rather than on your phone.
First up is LightSpace, which uses a plethora of cameras and projectors to create interactive displays on everyday objects. The system needs to be calibrated to the room it’s installed in, but once it is, users can interact with projected menus and screens using their hands, or even move a projected display from one object to another. Don’t feel like trying to crowd your team around a projection on a small desk? Drag it over to the wall, instead. You can see a basic version of LightSpace in action in this intriguing demo video.
The OmniTouch project—a joint project between Microsoft Research and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University—mounts a rig containing small pico projector and a Kinect-like 3D scanner on the user’s shoulder. The projector displays graphical images onto virtually any surface, while the 3D scanner’s depth-sensing capabilities transform the projection into an interactive, multi-touch-enabled input—and, thanks to some technical trickery, there’s no special calibration or training required. Check out the video below for a demonstration as well as a more technical explanation.
Meanwhile, the SkinPut project—another CMU and MSR joint venture—also uses a projector to beam interactive displays onto your hand and arm, but its secret sauce is a sensor-packed armband. When you touch the projected image on your skin, the sensors analyze the vibrations in your arm to pinpoint the location of your touch and respond accordingly—hence the name. Yes, SkinPut turns you into both a monitor and a mouse simultaneously. The website shows the technology in action.Becoming More Kinected
3D modelin’ with Kinect Fusion.
You may know the Kinect as a gaming peripheral for the Xbox 360, but Microsoft hopes that it will become far, far more than that. The company continues to pour effort into researching ways inexpensive cameras can be used to interact with computers.
There are many examples. Kinect Fusion allows for continuous, real-time scanning of an environment in order to create interactive 3D models, and it’s coming to the Kinect for Windows SDK sometime soon. KinectTrack decouples the system’s IR emitter and camera to precisely track a user’s motion in multiple dimensions, mimicking the utility of expensive sensing systems with a $99 console accessory. SuperKid lets children create movies in real-time, complete with an array of interactive and customizable props. It doesn’t sound revolutionary, but check out the awesome video below.
Systems like Kinect are likely to drive new interfaces that rely on movement rather than touch. Users could check email while washing dishes or pause a video from across a room. Kinect started as a gaming peripheral, but it might one day turn the PC into an ever-present device that can be controlled from any room at any time.
And that’s not even touching on the robotics angle, where the Kinect has proven nothing short of revolutionary. The video below shows a robot playing catch, pseudo-juggling with multiple balls (and the help of a human with a second hand), and shaking its head in shame whenever it misses a catch. At the heart of this Disney Research creation? You guessed it—the Kinect.Holodeck
The Xbox was Microsoft’s ticket into the living room. Now that it’s there, it has big plans—plans that may eventually transform your family space into a something like Star Trek’s famous holodeck.
Microsoft appears to be approaching the idea from at least two different directions. One method attempts to create a “magic wall” by combining a massive display powered by innovative “flat lens” LED technology with motion tracking and touch-input technology. The imagined result is an interface that can display detailed content and respond to a variety of touch and motion gestures. MicrosoftAn image from Microsoft’s “holodeck” patent.
Microsoft’s current prototype “window” already supports glasses-free 3D by beaming specific stereoscopic images to each of your eyes, and it’s able to beam different images to different users. Basically, you could be immersed in one scene while your friend standing next to you stares at something else entirely. (And yes, it tracks your head motion.)
Another approach, recently unveiled in a patent application, uses 360-degree projection that could turn your living room into a virtual environment. The television remains the central point of reference and the projector is used fill in peripheral details. Motion-tracking is used to enhance the simulation and keep the projector from sending light towards the user’s eyes. The patent focuses on gaming, but it’s not hard to imagine the same technology be used for virtual tours of distant locations or movies that provides 360 degrees of immersion.
Neither path is likely to become a consumer product soon—Stevie Bathiche, Microsoft’s Director of Research in the Applied Sciences Group, wouldn’t even hazard a guess about the consumer availability of the first example of holodeck technology—but both are promising ideas. Microsoft’s combination of hardware and software expertise gives it a unique combination of knowledge that will be needed if virtual reality is to ever be practical and affordable for the average consumer.Foveated Rendering
Computers will need a tremendous increase in capability to render graphics on the scale envisioned by Microsoft’s virtual reality research. The increase in resolution alone would increase the graphics power required by an order of magnitude. In other words, even if the other technologies required to create the company’s holodeck were perfected tomorrow, it would still be a dream. Modern home computers simply couldn’t handle it. Microsoft ResearchA glimpse behind the scenes of foveated rendering
Microsoft calls this technique Foveated Rendering and has already conducted successful trials. Users couldn’t tell the difference between the normal image and the one with reduced detail. Yet the less detailed image required up to six times less power to render! “The result looks like a full-resolution image but reduces the number of pixels shaded by a factor of 10-15,” the research team notes.
This technology, if it came to consumers, would have broad implications. Game consoles would appear more realistic without quicker hardware. High-resolution displays would become more practical. And virtual reality would be much, much easier for a PC to handle.Kinect Glasses and augmented reality
All of this technology may sound fantastical, but Microsoft-driven augmented reality may pop up sooner than you think. Earlier this year, a document containing information about the next Xbox leaked to the press. It was quickly mopped up by Redmond’s legal teams, but the document was available long enough to leak numerous details. Most of it was expected: The next Xbox will be more powerful, will offer a better version of Kinect, and will have even greater focus on digital distribution.
On tidbit came out of nowhere, however—Fortaleza, also referred to as Kinect Glasses. The leak showed artist renderings of people using augmented reality glasses in conjunction with the next Xbox to play games and navigate its operating system. The glasses would even be Wi-Fi and 4G capable, which suggests they might be usable without the game console.
Digits, both real and virtual.
Fortaleza is not Microsoft’s only experimentation with augmented reality and wearable peripherals. The company has demonstrated a wrist-mounted gadget, called Digits, which can translate a user’s hand movements directly into a virtual space. This concept lets users control a PC without direct interaction or a Kinect-like system—which would be useful if you’re on the go. Researchers are also looking at small-scale augmented reality with Kinect-derived technology that lets users manipulate projected objects.
How the Digits technology works.
Holodeck and its related virtual research projects are awesome, but augmented reality is a more likely near-term goal. Wearable computing will be hitting store shelves in the next few years—if not from Microsoft, then from Google—so there’s a real need for the company to invest in this future.Cloud computing’s continued evolution
All of the projects we’ve touched on so far are real, concrete research that has produced real, concrete results in the lab. That kind of research isn’t cheap… which is why it’s surprising to learn that projects like these take up only 10% of Microsoft’s R&D budget. The rest the $9.6 billion dollar tab is being rung up by the cloud computing division. Microsoft Research/CMUThe cloud and anywhere touch: The future of productivity?
Windows 8 already takes steps toward the cloud. Users can sign in with their Windows Live account and access SkyDrive to store and share files. Office 2013 can use this storage to automatically sync files and settings between multiple PCs. This approach works both online and offline and is integrated in the Office interface.
It’s easy to imagine syncing a PC’s entire hard drive to the cloud, or apps that can run on multiple versions of Windows through cloud-powered virtualization, or cloud compute “upgrades” that let users temporarily speed up their PC. And if those uses can be imagined, well, it’s hard to say what Microsoft might be working on behind closed doors, especially when you watch the video above, which puts images to the company’s vision of a productive, connected future.Microsoft: More innovative than you’d think
Some pundits speak about Microsoft as if it’s already dead—a shambling, stuffy company sustained by locked-in legacy software and little else. Microsoft certainly has challenges ahead of it, but as I’ve outlined today, the company does not have its head stuck in the sand.
Redmond spends more on R&D than Google and Apple combined. Think about that the next time someone tells you Microsoft doesn’t have a future.
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