Google isn't the only tech giant doing interesting things with augmented reality.
There's a video available for viewing (but not for embedding, unfortunately) from Design at Microsoft Research Asia (Beijing). It's simply called SemanticMap - Vision, and is similar to Google's Project Glass video in that it shows off more the concept than anything tangible.
Here's the description that accompanies the video:
SemanticMap, The Next Step In Public Information and Navigation On The Go is is a Digital signage prototype featuring proximity detection, face recognition and gesture interaction technologies developed in Microsoft Research Asia. The system provides the right amount and detail of map-related information according to the user's distance from the display.
The tagline that appears in the video is: "The information you want, on the go."
TechCrunch says Microsoft reached out to them to show it off. Ingrid Lunden reports: "Unlike Google’s glasses, Microsoft’s technology doesn’t require the user to have any special headgear or other equipment; and it makes use of three key bits of technology that Microsoft is working on and will very likely become more and more ubiquitous in the years ahead: face analysis, gesture recognition and proximity detection. Microsoft has already been using some of this to good effect in the Kinect."
Lunden spoke with a senior research designer with the company, who indicates that there are no plans at the moment to actually create what's seen in the video as a new Microsoft product. That's probably why there's not much in the way of additional info out there about it.
Outside of possibly Star Wars Kinect, Microsoft has enabled a lot of interesting possibilities with its Kinect technology, stemming far beyond the obvious entertainment uses. Check out the hands free shopping cart of the future, for example:
Kinect is also being used to prevent the elderly from falling and help stroke victims regain movement.
Then there's the cat-brushing robot: