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Microsoft will release an original ebook science fiction short story anthology on November 17. The collection, titled Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Stories Inspired by Microsoft, will feature works by top sci-fi authors who gained inspiration for their stories from first-hand looks at Microsoft's research projects.

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The Kinect is at once a niche and – forgive the pun – game-changing technologies. Although it has not quite resonated yet with customers in actual gaming, the potential is there for some fantastic experiences in the coming years.

One issue with all systems that detect motion is accuracy. Version 2 of the Kinect is certainly more powerful than its predecessor, but the nuances of finger movement are still lacking. Enter 'Handpose' a project that Microsoft Research has been working on for some time.

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The Image Composite Editor (ICE) is Microsoft Research's advanced panoramic image stitcher for Windows, which has been overhauled to version 2.0. Importing a number of overlapping photographs from a single scene will enable the app to create a seamless high-resolution panorama. Think of this as a suite to create similar magic as the Windows Phone panoramic feature.

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Skype is one of the most popular forms of communication across mobile platforms and the desktop. Microsoft Research is working on real-time translation functionality to enable consumers to use Skype and engage in conversation with others from around the world. George Takei, better known as Mr Sulu in Star Trek, visited Microsoft Research to see how the technology works.

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A new project being undertaken at Microsoft Research involves turning first person videos into smooth timelapses, which Microsoft calls hyperlapses. Normally, when a first person video is sped up into a timelapse, the footage is shaky due to the constant movement. Microsoft's project aims to fix that by running the video through its algorithms to create a smoother camera path.

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Haptic feedback on handheld devices isn't exactly anything new but the folks at Microsoft Research Asia or more specifically, researcher Hong Tan, found that by adding in haptics to add tactile sensations to screens, users could benefit dramatically.

Tan essentially wants to create sensations that people can experience when interacting with their daily objects. Rather than just touching and looking at your devices, Tan would have you interacting with your devices in new ways and have them touching you back.

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Microsoft's foray into the personal assistant business with Cortana opens up many opportunities including integration with other branches of knowledge. One area that may be unfamiliar to the general public is Microsoft's work with Academic Search (academic.research.microsoft.com), which is a general search tool for finding articles on particular types of inquiry or the people in those science fields. Indeed, Microsoft Research used to have a Windows Phone 7 app to use this service.

Microsoft Research just published a new video where they discuss how Academic Search and Cortana are merging in early 2015. The demonstration was given at the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit where the presenters asked how they could turn Cortana into a research assistant and it follows upon the revelation of Project Adam, which we detailed yesterday.

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