Microsoft is building a 'digital memories' service in its new Evoke Studio

Microsoft's Evoke Studio is working on a new digital memories service that is designed to change the way people preserve, organize and access photos and videos.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

There's a new Microsoft Studio that's building a service focused around creating and sharing digital memories.


Thanks to "The Walking Cat" on Twitter, I found a couple of job listings for a new "Evoke Studio" at Microsoft. Based on one of those listings referencing "KudoT," a k a Kudo Tsunoda, I'm betting Evoke Studio is a subgroup within Tsunoda's Windows Apps Studio team, which is part of the Windows and Devices Group.

The coming digital memories service will address "how people tell their stories and preserve their memories through photos and videos." The Evoke team will work with Microsoft Research and OneDrive in the development of the service, which will work on "all devices and Windows PCs." Given Tsunoda's Kinect/HoloLens connections, I'm assuming the service will be available for users of Microsoft's augmented-reality HoloLens headset, at some point.

From one of the Evoke job postings:

"The Evoke Studio's mission is to create a portfolio of experiences that forever change the way people create, recall, relive and retell the memories that shape them. We're a consumer experience focused team, marrying easy to use and delightful UX with leading edge technologies under the covers. You'll help us shape the future of how we all interact with our personal photos and videos."

The coming digital memory service will make use of computer vision, machine learning systems and data-mining techniques under the covers, one of the job postings notes. The image- and video-processing service, on the back-end, is being designed to handle "billions of items."

Tsunoda is the former creative director for the Kinect, who also led various Xbox development teams until late last year when he was named head of the newly formed Windows Apps Studio.

The Windows Apps Studio is charged with delivering apps across all Microsoft devices that would bring together the company's Windows inbox apps, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft HoloLens experiences, and other unannounced projects.

The mission of Tsunoda's team is to bring new experiences to Windows devices using natural-user-interface technologies, such as computer vision, coupled with machine-learning techniques. Windows Apps Studio has been working on a new consumer-focused app codenamed "Beihai."

A possibly related aside: Microsoft Research has done considerable work -- dating back to at least 2002 -- in recording and organizing digital memories via its "MyLifeBits" project under Researcher Emeritus Gordon Bell.

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