Steven Bathiche is a technical executive at Microsoft, where he founded and leads the Applied Sciences Group. His career-long quest is to create novel human-machine interfaces, technologies, and computer products that blend naturally into people’s daily lives to enrich the way we work, play, and communicate. He was named a Microsoft Distinguished Scientist in 2012, one of just twenty individuals conferred that honor.
Steven has been at the forefront of combining new interaction and display technologies. For 3D input, he invented one of the first consumer input devices that used inertial sensors for gesture control, Sidewinder Freestyle Pro. In 2002 he invented the Microsoft Surface Table, one of the first augmented-reality multi-person devices to use multi-touch and object recognition, and coined the term Surface Computing. As a follow-on, he was one of the inventors of PixelSense technology—which embeds flat cameras into the display matrix—and Surface Table 2.0, the world’s first computer-vision-based large flat-panel computer.
These innovations seeded several technologies and led to the formation of the current family of Microsoft Surface computers, where he also leads the design of the Surface displays and sensing technologies. He now leads product innovation and applied research for all Microsoft Hardware.
Steven established the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft, an interdisciplinary team of scientists that has been one of the main innovation engines for Microsoft hardware products and experiences over the last 17 years. Contributions include pen and touch input, depth sensing, biometric sensing, novel display architectures, virtual and augmented displays, novel uses of machine-learning and neural-networks, and other innovations for human-machine interactions.
One of Steven’s ongoing pursuits is to bring people together and digitally augment and enhance their interactions to get stuff done. He wants to do this by creating an immersive telepresence experience that is indistinguishable from interacting with someone physically in the same room. He calls this the Magic Window, a complex integration of a light-field display, a light-field camera, and sensing algorithms. The Magic Window would connect you to people you want to talk to and work with, and digitally support your conversation by presenting you with information and resources relevant to what you are talking about, including the ability to share rich, three-dimensional content.
He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in bioengineering from the University of Washington. While a graduate student, he developed the Mothmobile, the infamous hybrid robot that used an insect as its control system via a neural electrical interface.
Steven is a frequent speaker at international conferences and his work has been featured in both technical publications and popular media. He holds over 95 patents. He loves spending time with his family, and aspires to make the perfect espresso shot.