Microsoft and the University of Melbourne are partnering with the State Government of Victoria to open a major research centre dedicated to new social interactive technologies.
The Microsoft Centre for Social Natural User Interface Research at the University of Melbourne is an $8 million collaboration for an initial three years of funding, between the founding partners.
In addition to 28 dedicated research positions, the centre will also encourage researchers with an interest in social Natural User Interface (NUI) technologies, from across the Asia Pacific and around the world to visit the centre.
NUI is the technology that combines voice, gesture recognition, eye gaze, body-movements and touch, and are found in smartphones, tablets and gaming devices.
The jointly-run centre will be a focal point for researchers to research on the social uses and new applications of NUI technologies. This will include an exploration of how technologies can enable new forms of social and collaborative behaviours, including how people communicate, play, learn and work together in different settings – at home, the workplace, in education, health and public spaces.
Tony Hey, Vice President, Microsoft Research said he is confident the new facility will encourage people to reach their full potential, and open the flood gates to innovative social uses of NUI.
“The potential for social NUI will only be limited by our imagination,” he said.
Professor James McCluskey, Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne added that the university is proud contribute to the development of new research discoveries into the state of the art field.
“This centre will foster Australian researchers to work closely with world leading software company Microsoft to collaborate on new and exciting technologies that will ultimately change our lives,” he said.