Overlay.tv – another Microsoft labs project that didn't happen

  Back in 2006, I attended Microsoft’s Tech.Ed conference in Sydney, more specifically the endnote. Included in the keynote was some (at the time) amazing technology that was was...

 Microsoft Labs

Back in 2006, I attended Microsoft’s Tech.Ed conference in Sydney, more specifically the endnote. Included in the keynote was some (at the time) amazing technology that was was in-development at Microsoft Labs.

By far the most impressive being the demonstration of the future of video online. Hotspot overlays that would allow users to get additional information and even click through to purchased items in the video.

During the demonstration a clip from the popular TV Show “Sex and the City” was shown. The clip showed the 4 women walking down the sidewalk, hotspots tracking over the top of their outfits. A predictive algorithm allowed the hotspots to identify the path of motion from previous frames and predict where to resume the overlay even when passing behind a tree. As the women appeared on the other side of the tree, the overlay tracking seamlessly continued on.

Sound familiar ? That’s right, yesterday Overlay.tv launched to the public. If your not familiar with it, overlay is almost a direct copy of what I’ve just described. Video overlays providing more information and click through to purchase.

Amazingly, also using “Sex and the City” as a sample clip for the technology.

Given the amazing potential of this technology, I was surprised we haven’t seen any more on this since from Microsoft since Tech.Ed 2006. I believe there’s 2 possibilities, either Microsoft abandoned the technology and Overlay.tv has picked up the idea and run with it, or we’ll be seeing a law suit shortly.

On the weekend I listened episode 43 of net@nite, where Leo and Amber interviewed the creator of Overlay.tv and none of this was mentioned.

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Internet

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.