Microsoft on Monday formally opened the "Microsoft Garage" at its India Development Centre (IDC) in Hyderabad.
The Garage is a resource that supports experimentation and encourages problem solving in new and innovative ways, ultimately empowering people to achieve more, the software giant said in a statement.
Telangana's Information Technology Minister K. Taraka Rama Rao inaugurated the facility in the presence of Jeff Ramos, Partner Director, Microsoft Garage; Anil Bhansali, Corporate Vice President, Cloud & Enterprise, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Private Ltd; T.K. Rengarajan, Corporate Vice President, Artificial Intelligence & Research (AI&R), Microsoft Global; and Reena Dayal Yadav, Director, Microsoft Garage - India.
The Garage is a platform for Microsoft employees that supports and encourages a culture of experimentation, working together across organisations and technology to explore ideas and build prototypes, adding value to existing products.
Equipped with state-of-the-art and modern facilities, the 8,000 sq.ft Garage India, has been built to support teams from across the company for their various projects.
It has three dedicated lab sections -- Hub for hackathons and workshops, a Makerspace and an Advanced Makerspace with electronic Workbench, 3D Printers, Laser Cutter, PCB milling machine for creating prototypes; a Reality Room dedicated to working in the space of Augmented Reality (AR) Virtual Reality (VR); and Mixed Reality applications and dedicated space and equipment for doing work on Deep Learning.
Some of the projects that got their start in the Microsoft Garage in the recent past include Seeing AI, an app for visually impaired people that narrates the world around for them; SMS Organizer, an app created for the Android OS that organises, categorises and customises the user's SMS inbox, helping them focus on categories of messages that are important to them; Favorite Lock Screen - a unique lock screen app created for the Android OS that provides users with daily HD wallpapers and news about their favourite celebrities and interests; and Kaizala, mobile app and service designed for large group communications and work management.
Interestingly, Microsoft joins several other large tech players coming to Hyderabad to tap into its innovation potential and startup ecosystem. Most recently, Facebook launched its VR-based hackathon for startups in Hyderabad with T-Hub. In the past Intel, Uber, Boeing, Cisco, Samsung and United Technologies too, have picked Hyderabad and T-Hub to run their innovation programs.