Microsoft wants devs to take notes on their families

All in a good cause: FamilyNotes is for learning the Face API

Microsoft has GitHubbed a framework that could finally make an Internet-connected refrigerator useful: an application for family members to leave notes for each other.

Well, actually FamilyNotes is a developer demonstrator with two aims: to give developers more examples of putting code together in the Universal Windows Platform, and to help Microsoft understand how UWP is going.

The app, here, lets a user leave a note tagged for another user, and if the device (for example a tablet) identifies the recipient of the note (using facial recognition), it will show them the note.

While users can type messages to each other, Cortana is what Microsoft hopes will be the main means of interaction, and the Face API passes data to Microsoft Cognitive Services for facial recognition.

(Yes, faces are sent across the cloud. Put down the pitchforks: this is a demonstration and training exercise.)

The full list of features FamilyNotes demonstrates is:

  • Speech recognition and speech synthesis by using the SpeechRecognizer and SpeechSynthesizer classes;
  • User detection using the MediaCapture and FaceDetectionEffect classes;
  • User facial recognition using the Microsoft Face API;
  • Activation through Cortana voice commands, defined in
  • VoiceCommands.xml (a VCD file), using VoiceCommands and Activation classes;
  • Pen input using the InkCanvas API;
  • JSON serialization using the DataContractJsonSerializer class; and
  • Setting the app wallpaper using the Bing image of the day task snippet.

Since facial recognition is the key capability Microsoft wants to check out, it's probably worth wandering over to this link for some background reading. ®

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