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Wow, just, wow. Microsoft showed off an amalgam of technologies including gesture and natural language speech recognition, that translates sign language to text — in two languages.


Yes, there was more to Microsoft’s all-employees’ confab on Thursday than CEO Steve Ballmer’s teary farewell. An on-stage demo by a deaf Chinese woman showed how Microsoft technology — including natural language speech recognition, Bing, and the Kinect camera — when put together can translate sign language into Chinese and then to English.

This is just the sort of research-heavy demo geared to motivate the troops who typically toil away on more mundane projects like, new features for Windows and Office. And apparently it had the intended affect — It blew the audience away, said one attendee.

The event was not public and no video was made available, but here is an earlier version of the demo from July. Enjoy.

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  1. Wow, amazing.

    Who wants to bet MS will sit on this tech until at least 3 other companies launch similar efforts in the real world. Then after that they’ll wait for a few years, you know, to give them a running start and then try to catch up.

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