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Microsoft opened its first ever Garage in India at its Hyderabad campus. The Garage is a resource and platform for Microsoft employees to work on projects that they are passionate about. It supports experimentation and encourages problem solving using new and innovative methods. The projects can be anything and doesn’t have to be related to the employee’s primary function within the company.
Equipped with state-of-the-art and modern facilities, the Garage takes up 8000 sq ft. area and has been built to support teams from across the company. Incidentally, this is the second largest Garage facility in the world, right after Redmond. There are three dedicated lab sections — A Hub for hackathons and workshops, a Makerspace and an Advanced Makerspace that has a electronic workbench, 3D printers, laser cutter, PCB milling machine for creating prototypes. Finally, there’s a Reality Room that is dedicated to projects in the space of AR, VR and mixed reality along with space and equipment for projects on deep learning.
“Microsoft believes in enabling its employees to utilize their knowledge, capabilities and innovative acumen to build solutions for the rapidly changing technology landscape. The Microsoft Garage serves as a hub to engage our workforce, with facilities and programs optimized for hacking, ideation, and collaboration. Microsoft Garage’s engagement with the innovation ecosystems in our GDC locations, helps create the right kind of partnerships to accelerate experimentation and innovation in the local context” said Jeff Ramos, Partner Director, Microsoft Garage.
Microsoft Garage is already there various campuses of Microsoft across the world including Silicon Valley, Vancouver, Redmond, Washington, New England, Israel, Beijing and India. The Garage in India has been under development for the past two years and there is another one under development in Bengaluru as well that will launch in 2018 itself.
The Hyderabad Garage will focus mostly on farming, healthcare, augmented reality, mixed reality, virtual reality and Internet of Things.
Even though it was not formally announced, the Garage in Hyderabad has already given us the Kaizala app, a mobile app and service that was designed for large group communications and work management. Apart from this, Garage has given the world ’Seeing AI’, an app for the visually impaired that narrates the world around them. There’s ‘SMS Organiser’ for Android and iOS devices that organises, categories and customises the user’s SMS inbox while ‘Favorite Lock Screen’ updates the lockscreen of Android and iOS devices with a new wallpaper everyday.