Microsoft's HoloLens headset and Surface Hub workplace collaboration device are two of the company's most interesting products, as it looks towards a future beyond the PCs and smartphones to which we've become accustomed. But several key figures behind the development of those devices have now left Microsoft for a new start-up with even more ambitious plans.
Among the departures is Jeff Han, who founded Perceptive Pixel, which Microsoft acquired in 2012 and whose products were further developed into what later become the Surface Hub. Han is a co-founder of perceptiveIO, alongside Shahram Izadi from the HoloLens team, who - as Windows Central notes - featured in a video in March showing Microsoft's 'Holoportation' 3D video communication concept.
So what exactly is perceptiveIO? That's a bit of a mystery for now - even the company's own website doesn't give much away. But going by its recruitment page, it certainly sounds like it has big ambitions, hinting at "disruptive products that [will] touch many millions of lives, and radically change the world". It continues:
Do you want to build and ship beautifully designed and engineered systems at the intersection of novel hardware and software?
Do you want to work on scientifically novel systems that elegantly mix theory and practice?
Do you want to develop systems that can truly perceive and interact with the world in real-time?
Do you want to build user experiences that radically shift the way people can interact with computers?
We are looking for talented scientists, engineers, and designers at all levels of seniority to work on bleeding-edge research and products at the intersection of real-time computer vision, applied machine learning, novel displays, sensing, and human-computer interaction. Working at perceptiveIO you will take theory to practice designing, implementing, evaluating, and shipping cutting-edge perceptive systems.
Whatever they're working on, it sounds rather exciting - particularly the idea of developing new ways to interact with devices - but it may be a while before they're ready to reveal exactly what they're up to.