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 PostPost subject: ‘Sensing’ more about what’s coming in Windows 7        Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:59 am 
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Over the past six months, many individuals have downloaded early, unauthorized Windows 7 test builds that have leaked from Microsoft since late last year (the 6519 series). They’ve been looking for clues — any clues — about some of the new bits that will be part of the next version of Windows client, expected out in late 2009 or so.

Image

But one potential new Windows 7 feature about which I haven’t seen a whole lot of speculation is something called “Windows Sensors.” (See the screen shot above from an early Windows 7 build sent to me by a tester who asked not to be identified.)

What are these mysterious Windows Sensors mentioned under the “Hardware and Sound” category in the Windows 7 Control Panel — alongside Windows SideShow, Tablet PC settings and game controllers? Are they the kinds of sensors that will enable the new and improved multi-touch/gesture recognition that Microsoft has confirmed will be one of the new features in Windows 7? (Monitor vendor Albatron recently demonstrated a forthcoming LCD monitor that incorporates sensors required for multi-touch.)

Image

Makes sense (no pun intended), but perhaps there’s something more in the works. Look at screen shot above. This is a “Learn About Using Windows Sensors” screen from the same early Windows 7 build. “Programs on your computer can communicate with your Windows-compatible sensors,” it says. It calls out “Windows Media Player” and “Inbox — Windows Mail” as sub-categories here. And it offers users the option of being notified “when compatible programs and sensors are installed.” Does this simply mean that Windows Media Player and Windows Mail are examples of applets that will be able to take advantage of multi-touch?

Perhaps there’s more going on here and Windows Sensors will be the next version of Plug and Play — a way for Windows to automatically “sense” what kinds of peripherals or devices can/should be automatically connected and synced. Sensors are also key to home-automation systems. Could Windows 7 be the control hub for users’ fridges, stoves and home-security systems, via Windows Sensors?

I’ve also heard rumblings that Microsoft’s Windows team is attempting to make Windows 7 more context- and location-aware — being able to “sense” when a room is dim so as to be able to brighten a screen automatically, for example. Might Windows Sensors play into these kinds of scenarios somehow?

Yes, there are a lot more questions than answers in this post. Microsoft’s Windows team, as we know, isn’t talking about Windows 7 features at this point. But that doesn’t mean we are under a gag order. Let the educated (and non-educated) guesses begin…. What do you think Windows Sensors will bring to Windows 7?

Update: Another possibility? Windows 7’s Windows Sensors will recognize and sync with the sensors in mobile phones and/or provide the same kind of recognition of one’s surroundings as future cell phones ….

Source: ‘Sensing’ more about what’s coming in Windows 7 - All About Microsoft Mary-Jo Foley

Strange no one noticed this before :^)


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:42 pm 
All I know is that I hope that Windows 7 brings something new to the table.
If it is going to hog our system resources, then let it be for a good reason.
If no new features or anything of that sort are coming, then I really do hope that they are going to incorporate MinWin in this OS.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:15 am 
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I think windows 7 will have some good new features, i just hope its not as bland and thoughtless as windows vista.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:34 pm 
I dont think they would make that big a deal of multi-touch touchpads, i have a eeepc900 here and its touchpad supports it, as does the winxp i am running on it. It does interfere a little with opera mouse gestures...


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:13 pm 
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The most convincing hypothesis of what Sensors will do, I read here: http://windows7news.com/2008/06/21/windows-sensors/

Quote:
Speculations have been started by Mary-Jo Foley who was the first to write an article about the newly discovered feature which offered several explanations and applications for the feature. She connected it to the touch screen feature, other household devices that would be controlled by Windows 7 and mobile devices. More than 140 comments added more speculation but none mentioned the most likely explanation which is called Windows Home Concept by Microsoft.

Windows Home Concept:

Microsoft published the white paper “Hardware Innovation for Windows - Platform and component design for Microsoft® Windows® Operating Systems - Windows Home Concept” which includes several hints that connect Windows Sensors to this concept:

Quote:
Microsoft is working with industry partners to research compelling innovations for PCs that substantially change computing experiences. A new concept prototype that exemplifies these innovations for home computing is the Microsoft® Windows® Home Concept. The Windows Home Concept design embodies a convergence of future capabilities to provide compelling home entertainment, media management, and communication experiences, making the PC the ideal technology hub for the home.


The white paper mentions Biometric Sensors which “provides user identification and authentication”. It continues..

Quote:
The Windows Home Concept uses biometric sensors on both the Home Tablet PC and the Home Center Remote for identity and authentication purposes. The sensor allows the user to access personalized information, such as playlists and favorites. Although biometric algorithms are not yet mature enough for secure access (such as domain logon), fingerprint readers can establish identity among a limited number of people, such as the members of a household, and it can offer parental controls.

A biometric fingerprint reader is especially suited for gaining identity on devices, such as a remote control, that don’t require login; for these types of devices, identity is established through the login process. Current cost of goods for fingerprint readers are under $10, averaging approximately $5 per unit.

This would fit perfectly with the two applications that are listed in the Windows Sensor menu. Authentication for Windows Mail and Playlists for Windows Media Player.


It does make sense (no pun intended) to me, though the only thing that makes it seem odd is the fact that the Sideshow icon and Sensors icon are the same, which supports another theory that it's just a rebranding somehow of Sideshow.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:13 pm 
nice :) cant wait to test win 7..


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