Microsoft NZ MD looks to the future

Peat shares vision of the next few years

Microsoft is looking at releasing a camera-based meeting-enabling device in the next year or so.

Provisionally called Ringcam, it has passed through Redmond's research and development labs and is being tested for usability, Microsoft New Zealand managing director Ross Peat says.

Speaking at a New Zealand Computer Society breakfast last week, Peat looked at where Microsoft was going in the next few years, with a focus on personal and consumer computing.

Ringcam was on the list, as was social computing, a concept rather than a product.

Looking into the future, Peat said it would be great if all the activities someone does in a day could be traced and recorded on a device for later reference.

He gave as examples an interesting item on the car radio, information gained while briefly meeting customers and transactional details.

"It'd be great to be able to trace your day."

Before such a device can be built, however, storage and searching technology have to be refined to enable it.

Peat also talked about digital lifestyles, the increasing use of computing in the home for entertainment purposes.

The day isn't far away when people will want a terabyte of storage in their home and how to accommodate that will be a challenge for the industry, as will providing the managed network services customers want.

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