Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Insider build reanimates the often passed-over Surface app, adding a new capability: a way to use AI so that your eyes appear to meet the gaze of those you’re speaking to on video chats.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Insider build 20175 for the Dev Channel also takes the Alt+Tab functionality that it introduced at the beginning of July, and expands upon it. Now, in addition to the ability to cycle through various Microsoft Edge tabs using ALT+Tab, users can now pin active tabs to the taskbar, with improved preview features.
Microsoft’s Dev Channel has been repurposed for testing new code of all types, not necessarily specific to an upcoming feature release. It’s not possible to say whether any of the new features being released will ever arrive in a “stable” build used by the majority of Windows users.
It’s probably fair to say, though, that even a majority of Surface users don’t routinely use the Surface app. While the app does pull in functionality found elsewhere, such as Surface Pen controls, it’s generally a basic summary of your Surface’s key features, including the warranty status. Now, Microsoft’s adding a control that might attract more day-to-day users.
Eye Contact, unfortunately, is not specific to all Surface users—just those who own the Surface Pro X. But the app promises to make it look like you’re looking directly at whoever you’re talking to via a video chat, through the magic of AI. It works with every app, Microsoft says, and not just Skype or Teams. Of course, Eye Contact will be more appealing once it rolls out to all Surface devices.