Microsoft shows off cool media visualization demo (video)

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Is this the rejuvenation of MyLifeBits from Microsoft Research? During the final minutes of Bill Gates’ CES 2008 keynote – just before it turned into a rock concert – he showed off a conceptual media visualization tool which in this case was organizing pictures and videos from his previous keynotes. It’s quite the eye candy.

At first glance, it looks like just another pre-rendered mockup that Microsoft can be so good at producing. Then the demo starts. Either Bill was flawless with his presentation timing, or he was actually controlling the demo. That means everything was rendered real-time. By the end of the demo, a clip from the same keynote an hour ago appears on the screen to indicate his most recent keynote gives almost certain evidence this was not just a far-fetched idea, but a real application. Imagine the possibilities.

Of course, just because it’s real code still doesn’t mean minions like ourselves can play with it anytime in the near future. However it clearly shows Microsoft’s trying to break free, in a big way, from the traditional visualization methods such as folders we’re all pretty much sick of. Credit where credit is due.

18 insightful thoughts

  1. OMG! That is so cool in term so of a visualization like that… I can see that would definitely be trialled in a Windows Media Center setting because that is where it would work best and maybe on the successor of the XBOX 360. Apart from that, I cannot see any application in Windows that I can see…. but then… I’m only an ant

  2. Sweet: bring this on to Media Center! Hard to think MS’ end products look so vastly different (say for Office 2007) from their cool and interesting concepts to the end product. Wonder if they used WPF to code that?

  3. I think its a neat way of animating media folder viewing. But if it were ever used people would continually cry over the requirements to run it.

    Is this the coolest thing Bill showed off at possibly his last keynote?

  4. @Anthony: I guess that this is DX9 or 10 because of the blurry reflections on the surface. WPF is really slow with such bitmap effect.

  5. @Morten: WPF sits on top of DirectX and uses it but the performence is not even close. Just try one simple gaussian blur effect in Expression Blend and your application will become a slide show 😉

  6. OMFG!! You guys are so gullible!

    From some1 who once worked @ MS writing code for “fake” user-interface applications for usability testing…

    It’s a scripted demo!!! How can I tell:

    1. Bill and his sidekick are acting with the false spontaneity of an info-mercial.

    2. Why waste coding time working on a real application with multiple options when you can do a scripted one on the cheap?

    3. Why would the world’s richest geek risk embarrassing himself with a software crash caused by some low-paid software design engineer’s bugs?

    It’s a scripted demo!!!

  7. I suppose that means everyone that does demos that don’t stuff up script them from start to finish huh…

  8. I get the sound but no video, just a black screen. All other videos have worked. Could it be vista issues?

  9. It looks that the technology that microsft showed a few years in TED(watch that video is a must), photosynth. make a google on that and get the demo. it works as fast as that video on your machine.

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