When Kinect was brought in by Microsoft, the handheld controllers for human voice commands and gestures were done away with. But now in a reversal, Microsoft wants that not just Kinect, but also Kinect-like interfaces to be used for games and other products. In other words, it is Microsoft’s opinion that natural user interfaces like Kinect should not be simply restricted to video games.

The officials of Microsoft also disclosed that their research team was busy in developing new products that will be using technology that is similar to the natural user interface like Kinect. They are of the view that these days with the world of technology changing so rapidly, it is highly important that interfaces are more intuitive, easy to use and much more adaptable to human habits and wishes.

Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group is doing research and working towards developing smart and interactive displays by making use of technology involved in Kinect. The technology put to use also includes the one that improves the display of 3D images. With plans of improving upon the display of 3D imagery, Microsoft is developing a Kinect-based virtual window that can track a user’s position relative to a 3D display to create the illusion of looking through a window.

Apart from this there is something else upon which Microsoft is working with full focus and that is the ability to include face recognition in videos. So you can dream of a future when an Xbox will have the ability of recognizing people sitting in their living room. Actually many of its 17 projects that were displayed by Microsoft at the Tech Fest 2011 make use of the natural user interfaces. Among the projects at display were: 3-D Photo-Real Talking Head (that comes with freely controlled head motions and facial expressions). It also extends the 2-D photo real talking head to 3-D.

Among other projects on display were: 3-D Scanning with a Regular Camera, Retro-Reflective Air-Gesture Display, Steerable Multiview Display, Fuzzy Contact Search for Windows Phone 7, High-Performance Cancer Screening, Interactive Information Visualizations and MirageBlocks.

Imagine yourself creating your 3-D content instead of just watching it. Microsoft is taking an initiative to demonstrate a technology that will allow to do this with your regular camera. According to Microsoft, a user will be able to create 3-D images by spinning it around on their screen, tablet or mobile device.

Then there is another project that will be helpful for business customers. Cloud data analytics will bring the cloud mapping options to Excel and that would result in making much easier the navigation of large sets of data. You also have “Fuzzy” contact search for Windows Phone 7 that solves the problem of typing in incorrectly the name on a smartphone that is used by a consumer.