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The IP Ventures Web site supplies quick descriptions of 35 technologies that Microsoft currently offers for licensing and development by other companies. Some listings are more easily deciphered by the casual observer than others � and it’s clear that the marketing department didn’t have a hand in naming them (there must be a more enticing moniker for the Distributed Constraint Solver). Here is a sampling (the names are Microsoft’s, the blurbs are based on the company’s descriptions): - Mesh Network Connectivity Layer: Forget Robert Frost’s “good fences make good neighbors.” The modern version of being a good neighbor is all about wireless networks. This technology allows neighbors to share Internet access (without stealing it from one another) and to transmit data to each other directly, without using the Internet. - Digital Video Watermarking: Creates a mark on a video that doesn’t impair the video but can’t easily be removed without significantly degrading it. The technology helps users to track unauthorized use of videos to a specific source. - Mobile Bandwidth Aggregation: Say you’re traveling with a group of colleagues and you don’t have a decent Internet connection among you. What do you do? If you have cell phones and this technology, you can put together the limited bandwidth of each individual cell phone � even ones that use different carriers and networks � into an ad hoc hotspot for a broadband Internet connection. - Biometric ID: Allows users to create low-cost, secure ID cards that combine photographs of faces with signatures. No special hardware or paper is required, and the data can be combined with fingerprints or iris scans. - Face Detection and Tracking: Whether you’re setting up sophisticated video surveillance or automated videoconferencing, the key to quality can be the ability of the software to track faces. (No matter which type of video you’re using, faces are what users need to focus on.) This technology improves quality while lowering cost.

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