Windows 10 Gets Mixed Reality Flashlight and New Emoji; Microsoft Using Machine Learning to Prevent Unexpected Updates
Microsoft has begun testing a new Window 10 update that brings a Mixed Reality Flashlight feature to let users take a quick peek at the real world while continue to be immersed in a virtual world. The update also comes with a large number of new emoji characters on board. The update comes in the form of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17723 aka Redstone 5 for Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, while Windows Insiders who have opted the “Skip Ahead” channel are provided with the Build 10204, codenamed 19H1. The public release of the new Windows 10 Preview Builds is expected to debut sometime in the first half of 2019. Separately, the Redmond giant has started using machine learning to predict the right time to update your system – without annoying you by pushing the updates at a wrong time. The Windows maker recently leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to rapidly seed the April 2018 update to compatible machines.
The biggest new feature that Microsoft has designed for the latest Redstone 5 and 19H1 builds is the Mixed Reality Flashlight. The feature opens a low-latency pass-through camera feed from your control to let you peer into your physical environment without removing your virtual reality (VR) headset. “With the latest Windows Insider Program build, you can open a portal into your real world at any time via the Start menu, a button shortcut, or a voice command,” write Windows Insider Program Dona Sarkar and Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc in a joint blog post while announcing the new Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds.
In addition the Mixed Reality Flashlight, Microsoft has added Unicode 11 support to bring as many as 157 emoji characters. These include new superheroes, redheads, a softball, a pirate flag, and a llama. You can access the new emoji addition through the Emoji Panel by pressing the Win + “.” key combination or using the touch keyboard. The Emoji Panel is currently available for over 190 locales. Furthermore, there are tweaks to the existing emoji characters to make the experience align with what companies such as Apple and Samsung are offering on their mobile devices.
Microsoft has additionally revealed that it has started using machine learning and trained a predictive model on Windows 10 to stop installing updates when the system is in use. This is helpful to let accomplish your important tasks before installing a Windows update on your PC or laptop. “[I]f you have an update pending we’ve updated our reboot logic to use a new system that is more adaptive and proactive,” the Sarkar and LeBlanc explain. “We trained a predictive model that can accurately predict when the right time to restart the device is. Meaning, that we will not only check if you are currently using your device before we restart, but we will also try to predict if you had just left the device to grab a cup of coffee and return shortly after.”
Before making the new change public, Microsoft has been testing the machine learning-driven model internally and has claimed “promising results.” The model is notably receiving regular updates as instead of having its presence on systems, it is available on the company’s cloud infrastructure. Moreover, it is now heading to Windows Insiders to receive further improvements ahead of its availability for the masses. Microsoft has opened up its feedback hub to instantly receive feedback from early testers.