Morning Coffee 41 – TechFest Edition

As promised, I spent about half of yesterday at TechFest. Ran into some folks I knew, met some new folks, the usual social networking stew of these sorts of events. Here’s some of the stuff I saw. Much of the stuff I saw wasn’t public, but everything below has either a public MSR page or a brief description on the TechFest demo page.

  • SecPAL – easily the most work-applicable demo I saw. SecPAL stands for “Security Policy Assertion Language”. It’s a language for expressing distributed authorization policies. We’re looking at authorization policies in the next phase of my MSIT project, so this was very timely.
  • 3D Video - Take a garden variety video shot with a camcorder and add computer generated 3D objects into the scene automatically. I actually saw this last year, but this year they’ve added automatic occlusion. In other words, it automatically calculates when a real-world object passes in front of the computer generated object and renders accordingly. Check out this video. This would be great for creating synthetic characters Jar-Jar Binks style (though hopefully less annoying)
  • Boku: Lightweight Programming for Kids – Sort of like LOGO, except beautifully rendered 3D, running on the Xbox 360 and programmed using an Xbox 360 game controller. Patrick’s not quite ready for this – Riley even less so - but I’ll be keeping an eye on this.
  • F# – nothing really new here, but I got to meet Don Syme in person.
  • Telescopic Pixel - Sort of like an LED screen but using significantly less energy efficient and faster.
  • Podcast Authoring using Speech Recognition – Instead of the standard waveform view of recorded audio, this app feeds the spoken words thru the Microsoft speech recognition engine and allows the user to crop the audio simply by selecting words. Not mind blowing technology like some of the other stuff I saw, but certainly an interesting combination of technologies.
  • Smart Workflow Foundation - Adding constraint solving capabilities to WF. Must noodle on this.