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Microsoft Introduces ‘Surface Hub 2’ for Modern Workplaces

The new device is on Windows 10 and its "multi-user sign in" feature will allow many people to log into it using the built-in fingerprint sensor

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Representational image. Wikimedia Commons
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Microsoft has unveiled its next-gen workplace “Surface Hub 2” that will help people collaborate and work together irrespective of their locations.

The new Surface Hub 2 comes with 4K+ resolution and 50.5-inch multi-touch display to co-create, harnessing the power of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and the intelligent Cloud.

“The 4K cameras that rotate with the device, integrated speakers and far field mic arrays allow everyone in the meeting to feel as if they are right in the room with the rest of the group,” Panas Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Also Read: Microsoft’s Search Engine Bing Bans Cryptocurrency Advertisements

“We’ve sold to more than 5,000 customers across 25 markets. Over half of Fortune 100 companies have purchased Surface Hubs to improve team’s efficiency and how they collaborate – breaking down barriers and creating real business value,” Panay informed.

“In 2018, we will begin to test Surface Hub 2 with select commercial customers. It will be available for purchase in 2019,” he added.

 

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Representational image. Pixabay

The new device is on Windows 10 and its “multi-user sign in” feature will allow many people to log into it using the built-in fingerprint sensor.

Additionally, “Surface Hub 2” will come with options like “Tiling,” that would display multiple pieces of content side-by-side, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, 4K cameras, integrated speakers and far field mic.

Microsoft’s “Surface Hub” was introduced in 2016 in two sizes, 55 and 84-inches with 4K resolution at $8,999 and $21,999, respectively. (IANS)

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Microsoft Wants Regulation For Facial Recognition Technology To Start in 2019

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology

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A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

Given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019, Microsoft President Brad Smith has said.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” warned Smith in a blog post on Thursday.

“The time for action has arrived,” he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

Speaking of the benefits of the technology, the Microsoft President mentioned that police in New Delhi recently trialled facial recognition technology and identified almost 3,000 missing children in four days.

Similarly, historians in the US have used the technology to identify the portraits of unknown soldiers in Civil War photographs taken in the 1860s.

Researchers successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

And in October, the National Australia Bank designed a proof of concept to enable customers to withdraw money from an Automatic Teller Machine using facial recognition and a PIN.

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Regulation for facial recognition technology must start in 2019: Microsoft. Pixabay

But at the same time, the potential for abuse of this technology is huge, Smith said, adding that certain uses of this technology could lead to biased decisions and discrimination.

Moreover, the widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people’s privacy, he said.

“The use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms,” Smith added.

Also Read- Fujifilm Launches its Medium Format Mirrorless Camera in India

“While we believe that new laws and regulations are indispensable, we also recognise that they are not a substitute for the responsibility that needs to be exercised by tech companies,” he said.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

The company, Smith said, would start adopting new principles to manage the issues surrounding facial recognition technology in the first quarter of 2019. (IANS)