The one thing that is common between the search giant- Google, An e-commerce king- Amazon, The company that showed the world to think different- Apple and the ex-richest man’s Microsoft is ‘The Garage’. Yes, they all started from the garage, worked on their ideas, built their product from scratch and become the world’s best technology companies.
Moving a step ahead, Microsoft wants everyone in its organization to work in the garage, experiment their ideas and built products that add value to the company. Hence, it offered the physical space for innovation in the name of ‘The Garage’.
Inaugurated at 26th of March in Hyderabad, Microsoft’s Garage in India is the second largest such unit globally for experimentation after the one at its headquarters Redmon, US.
The Garage is an initiative that provides a platform for employees where they can take their own ideas, explore across organisations and technologies, solve problems in new and innovative ways and build prototypes.
Equipped with the state-of-the-art and modern facilities, the garage has three dedicated lab sections to work for.
- Hub for hackathons and workspaces.
- An advanced Makerspace with electronic workbench, 3D printers, laser cutter, PCB milling machine for creating prototypes.
- A reality room with dedicated space and equipment for working on Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Deep Learning.
Let’s rewind a bit:
Way back in 2009, the first garage was set up at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, US. Since then, Microsoft sets up the garage initiatives in Israel, Vancouver, Silicon Valley and Beijing among others. Later this year, the company is in the plan of opening another garage in Bengaluru’s Microsoft office. The garage program in India was initiated in 2014 and various projects have been undertaken here. The dedicated space for this program was officially launched this monday.
The Garage is the Mother of Innovation:
In the Garage, the Indian teams have already taken up projects in Seeing AI – an App for the visually impaired, SMS Organiser, Lock screen- an App for the Android OS that provides users with daily HD wallpapers and Kaizala- mobile App and service designed for large group communications.
So far Microsoft Garage has been able to roll-out 27 products and services into the market.
Apart from providing necessary resources and collaborative support, the company would also help those working on projects to get patents for their innovations. The people are working on new-age technologies like the Internet of Things, robotics, and quantum computing to build the product of the future.
The 10 cool projects from Microsoft Garage:
NewsPro – You can find articles on more than a million topic. Choose your area of interest and the app sources articles to match.
FindTime – Attendees can propose the preferred meeting times, receive a summary of everyone’s choices and vote on which one works best. When a final time is chosen, the app will automatically send a calendar invite to participants on the list.
Mouse Without Borders – With a single mouse and keyboard, users would be able to drag and drop content, or copy and paste text, from one computer to another.
Arrow – A personal launcher for Android smartphones intended to make the OS simpler. The app learns about how you use your phone over time, uses this information to make things easier and save the hassle of looking for apps, contacts, reminders etc.
AutoTag ‘n Search My Photos – The app will tag people in your photo collection by learning their face models. The app scans images tagged to your Facebook account to recognize your friends’ faces.
Snip – A tool that takes screen captures to a new level. You can add comments and drawings before you send the captures to someone.
Send – The app that makes your emails feel like texts. No email formalities like subject lines, signatures or salutations, you sign in with the same info you use for your Office 365 account and from the app, you can email anyone with an email address.
Social Share – The PowerPoint plug-in integrates with the app to make it easier to share presentations or individual slides on Twitter and Facebook. You can share your latest project with your social network.
InstaNote – The app that turns note-taking into an easier and more organized task. When you hear something important come up mid-meeting, tap “Action,” “Issue,” “Idea,” or “Other” to capture the last 30 seconds of audio. Recordings can be sent via email or OneDrive for further transcription. It seems a transcription feature is still in the works and currently in beta.
Journeys & Notes – An Android app that connects people who have travelled the same path between two places. Users can leave notes for one another, share advice and check in during various parts of their trips
So, you have an idea and want to experiment it, Microsoft sets out a space for it. Go get the Garage, innovate and tell the world who you are.
Meanwhile, if you want to know the Microsoft’s recruiting process or more details about the Garage, shoot us a question @ BuzzYard.