Steve Ballmer wants to shout at his TV

The Microsoft CEO wants to call out Bill Gates' name and have a computer track him down

If Bill Gates is hoping for a quiet retirement he may find it interrupted by technology.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer envisages being able to call out the Microsoft co-founder's name and have an advanced IT system spring into action and track Gates down anywhere on the planet within the next ten years -- and he wants to give us the same power too.

"In the next few years I know I'll be watching my favorite golfer, Tiger Woods, play in a tournament and I'll see him hit a particularly brilliant shot," Ballmer said at a Tokyo news conference on Thursday. "I'll shout at my television set, 'Hey Bill, did you see Tiger make that putt?' and Microsoft software will wake up in the TV, it will recognize my voice, it will know when I say 'Bill' I mean Bill Gates, it'll find him wherever he is, it will see whether he's willing to be interrupted for the call."

"He'll say 'Of course, for Steve I'm always able to be interrupted'," said Ballmer. "'Hey Bill, did you see Tiger make that putt?' Maybe Bill will say, 'Yes Steve, but what golf ball is he using?' I'll literally take my finger and I'll point at the golf ball, a search will go on across the Internet to figure out what ball it is, and I'll say 'Hey Bill, that's the new Nike ball, shall I order some for you too?'"

Interacting with contacts via a television set ties in to Microsoft's recently announced "Three screens, one cloud" vision that sees customers using PCs, TVs and cellular phones to access data and applications stored on servers, both real and virtual, residing on the Internet or "the cloud" as it is becoming known.

Ballmer predicted the technology is just a "few years" away, although development seldom brings about such advances in a short time. While many of the necessary building blocks in voice recognition, user interface and artificial intelligence already exist, tying them together and getting them to work reliably could be a significant task.

"The next five or ten years will be amazing," he said. "Ten years from now when we sit together we'll look back and we'll say, 'Wasn't technology primitive in 2009? Computers didn't recognize our speech, our voice, our intention. We didn't have instantaneous access to the world's information. We've gotten rid of paper as a means of note taking and communication.'"

Earlier in the week Microsoft announced plans to launch a project to forge closer ties with Japanese universities. Its Microsoft Research unit will start a number of initiatives intended to put Microsoft money to work on projects being studied in Japan, bring Japanese scientists into its own research labs and promote information exchange within the research community.

"The world has so much to invent in this industry and I'm very excited about what Microsoft is doing to drive that innovation," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?