Cool Labs Stuff from Etech

I’m at Etech and they are about to start the “From The Labs” section. They’ve always got tons of cool stuff to show for these things, although it will be tough to beat Applied Mind’s dynamic 3D topographical map.

Microsoft is talking about storing all data from somebody’s senses, as it should only really take a terabyte or so to hold all images and sounds (and the related environmental conditions). Some stuff they ran into while trying to do this is blurred images due to humans very frequently be moving, so they used an accelerometer to try to delay picture shots until movement is minimal enough to acquire a clearer shot. Basically, it’s a body-mounted camera+. Applications for memory-loss patients, privacy studies (how do people react to others recording them) and blogging devices. You know I’d have one, I pretty much upload shots from my phone continuously anyway.

“Unconventional Devices,” turning random surfaces into computing interfaces. Uses computer vision techniques and projectors to turn things, for example a table and random objects on a table, into displays and interfaces. From this concept also came something they called a “TouchLight” which uses holographic projection techniques to provide a similar interface on a transparent screen, allowing other neat effects like having the computer take a snapshot of an item pressed against the screen and then using hand motions to enlarge and move the image of the item.

Towards stopping spam, HIV and related adaptive attacks, Microsoft is working on a system using some heavy mathematical induction to build epitomes of objects, effectively locating patterns in things that are extremely difficult to find patterns in. Some examples of this technique can be applied to photos for locating objects in photos that appear in other photos. Could be very cool for recognition of people, places and things in photos, although the main focus currently is towards spam and analyzing the genome.

Yahoo is showing off their Y!Q tool that allows people to search within the context of a page. Neat stuff, but all available publicly.

Alright, here’s some new stuff. The “Tech Buzz Game.” Some sort of adaptive voting mechanism to aggregate market data and performance history. It’s like an extension of Yahoo Buzz, and will be a contest, that allows a person to manage their own portfolio in an artificial market with the goal of predicting trends. An example market would be “OS X Panther” vs “OS X Tiger.” Based on search (“buzz”) performance, people can invest fake money into a long market goal, gaining more fake money to invest, and eventually winning some prizes. The scientific reason for this is to introduce a new type of options, the “Dynamic Pari-mutuel Auction,” more mathematic docs on that are available somewhere.

Here comes Google Labs. Last time they showed off a clustering thing that made me quite pleased, so I’m excited to see what they’ve got this time. Showing off Google Suggest right now, but we’ve all talked about that before. Google Personalized uses a self-defined profile and a Javascript slider (from more generalized to more personal) to filter items you are more likely to be searching for based on other interests. I like the idea of weighing information based on predefined interests, but I like the idea of having my interests calculated based on which links I click even more. Privacy is can go to hell, I want Google to analyze me.

Tags: [tag:etech], [tag:etech2005], [tag:conference], [tag:neat], [tag:labs], [tag:research], [tag:microsoft], [tag:yahoo], [tag:google]

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