Microsoft Fine-Tunes Windows 10 and Debuts Beta Eye Control
As the date for the next big Windows 10 update approaches, Microsoft today released its latest developer preview, which includes a beta version of a new eye control system.
Borne out of a Microsoft hackathon challenge inspired by former NFL player Steve Gleason, who suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Eye Control enables disabled users with compatible eye tracker devices to operate Windows 10 PCs through gaze alone.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, expected to arrive next month, will bring several improvements to the Microsoft Edge browser and will also update the default colors in the Windows Console for the first time in more than 20 years. The color changes are aimed at making text easier to see and read on today's high-contrast screens.
Available in beta through the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16257 released today, Eye Control lets users with limited mobility type, control a mouse and convert text to speech with compatible eye tracker accessories. The first such device to support those capabilities is the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C, announced yesterday by Tobii, a Sweden-based company that specializes in assistive technology.
"This collaboration clearly shows the value of eye gaze input and is a big step forward on the long-term journey to drive high-volume adoption of eye tracking," Tobii CEO Henrik Eskilsson said yesterday in a statement.
Microsoft began working with partners in the ALS and motor neuron disease (MND) community during its first hackathon three years ago, following a challenge by Gleason. Gleason had sent an email to Microsoft asking the company to develop a technology that would make it easier for him and others like him to control a wheelchair and communicate.
That challenge led to the concept of an Eye Gaze Wheelchair, which won the 2014 hackathon grand prize. Since then, Microsoft has continued to further refine its eye-tracking technology for use with PCs.
"Having Eye Control in Windows 10 continues to bridge the gap between widely used technology and people with disabilities," Gleason said in a post published yesterday on the Microsoft Accessibility Blog. "It's simply liberating."
More Modern Console Colors
Another change coming with the Fall Creators Update is an overhaul of the default colors that appear in the Windows Console. The new palette aims to make it easier to read text, especially in darker colors, and to "give the Console a more modern look & feel," project manager Craig Loewen wrote yesterday on the Microsoft Developer Blog.
"During the past 20 years, screens & display technology, contrast ratio, and resolution have changed significantly, from CRT's through TFT LCDs to modern-day nano-scale 4K displays," Loewen said. "The legacy default scheme was not built for modern displays and does not render as well on newer high-contrast LCD displays. This is particularly apparent with deeply saturated darker colors like blue."
For now, the new colors will not appear in the Windows Console default option. Microsoft plans to release a tool soon that will let developers try out the new color scheme, he said.
Other changes arriving with today's Insider preview include a refreshed browser frame look for Microsoft Edge, several fixes to the anti-virus Windows Defender Application Guard, and the elimination of a number of other bugs in previous builds. In addition, Developer Insiders who are in the Office Insider program will see new support for using 3D images in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Image credit: Product shots by Microsoft.
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Posted: 2017-08-08 @ 1:06pm PT
Well it's no longer competition between Microsoft and Apple. It's WAR !!! Now that Jobs is dead, the leaders and dev folks at Apple are no longer real software developers and no longer offer actual software that serves its users and Apple community.
As Microsoft rolls out its Xmarin and .Net Core -- allowing developers to create software that will run on iOS -- and Apple and its lame software cannot compete unless they are keeping its iOS private and not public -- Apple is losing its market to better software from Microsoft.
I downloaded the new version of iTunes on my Windows 10 development computer. iTunes 3.3 unlike 3.2 has a purposeful virus. Destroy with Windows 10 OS on all Windows users.
If the virus detects any Xmarin or MS .Net CORE development installation, then iTunes destroys the Windows 10 OS. After the restart for iTunes you computer will not reboot. You get a WHITE SCREEN and it never reboots. By this time your Windows 10 OS is toast, it forces you to go back to the previous Windows 10 and therefore all the Visual Studio Community special upgrades are lost. VS will not run on the previous Windows version and your current Windows version will never reboot again !!!!!!
It's about 3 days work to recover the current Win 10 OS and re-download all the .NET CORE and Xmarin and TFS and VS so the reinstalled Win OS has all the community 2017 features installed and running in the OS.
Apple is going down and they are getting ugly as they fail. Be aware. I have never had this issue with iTunes before. But I will never allow iTunes, or now ANY Apple company products on my dev PCs, laptops or servers. Especially my own personal computer.
iTunes is Apple's most used software and that is why they put the "Microsoft Killer" code in iTunes now. Be Aware. Apple is going down like a Boxer in the ring that is losing and chose to hit below the belt.
It is no longer civilized competition -- it is corporate WAR. Be Aware !!!!!!
Posted: 2017-08-06 @ 12:54am PT
Please give us the old blue colour back on the Windows
Console default option, the white on grey is hard to read partiality for those of us who are colour-blind.