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Microsoft products for future homes

Dan Simmons of BBC take us on a magical trip to future, as Microsft sees it. He looks at some amazing Technologies that Microsoft is hoping to bring to our homes in the next few years.

Post-It notes of the future - You can text or email your messages to a place rather than a person.

Photograph Collages - This Microsoft application automatically creates a tapestry from your favourite snaps. This software takes, fully automatically, a large collection of images, then takes the important bit from each image by doing optic recognition.This process will typically take a user about one hour with image editing software, or even longer to get great results. And this software does it fully automatically for you.

Personalized Facial Sketch Technology creates a caricature of any portrait snap. It identifies key parts of the face - like the edge of the lips or eyes - to automatically create a cartoon version. You can then use the results as emoticons for personalizing instant messaging or e-mail.

Interactive video and image bowl that reacts to touch - They take still images and video and be able to see them in the bowl and possibly also listen to music. Also, drag the images around the bowl making use of the physical properties of the bowl to be able to display things in certain places, and possibly let them sit at the bottom of the bowl for storage.

Microsoft Whereabouts Clock Those familiar with the Harry Potter books and films might recognize the first idea - it shows you where people are. Its inventor thinks its best use is in the home. This is more a new concept than a new technology, and the real version may still be a year or two away. It would track the mobile phone signals of loved ones, then cross-reference which mobile cell they were in with preprogrammed locations - like the home, school, or workplace.

Listen to Dan's show Online in Media Player or Real Player. Read Microsoft Magic