Microsoft opens NUI research centre at the University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is teaming up with Microsoft to explore innovative social uses of natural user interface technologies

Rebecca Lambert
Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert on 05 December 2013
Microsoft opens NUI research centre at the University of Melbourne

A joint research centre that will focus on the development of new social interactive technologies has recently opened in Australia.

The Microsoft Centre for Social Natural User Interface Research at the University of Melbourne is an AUS$8 million collaboration project set up by Microsoft, the University of Melbourne and the State Government of Victoria.

The centre is the first of its kind in the world and will be a place for researchers to undertake groundbreaking research on the social uses and applications of new natural user interface (NUI) technologies. Today, technologies that combine voice, gesture recognition, eye gaze, body movements and touch are already being used in smartphones, tablets and devices like Xbox Kinect, but the research centre will explore how NUI solutions can also enable new forms of social and collaborative behaviours.

“This is a world-class research centre located at a world-class university in a forward-thinking state,” said Tony Hey, vice president of Microsoft Research. “Microsoft is passionate about creating amazing devices and services that can help people reach their full potential and I am confident the centre will open the flood gates to innovative social uses of NUI. The potential for social NUI will only be limited by our imagination.”

Academics and PhD students in the centre will undertake research alongside some of the leading social NUI researchers in the world, and will have the opportunity to spend time at Microsoft’s research centres including those in Cambridge in the UK, Beijing in China and Redmond in the US.

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