Microsoft India employees display innovative skills

May 17th, 2012 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 17 (IANS) Spectacles for the blind, a real-time communication between speech impaired and others and a guide to expecting mothers are some of the projects showcased by the employees of Microsoft at the Microsoft IT Research Centre here Thursday.

Participating in the Garage Science fair, the young minds displayed their innovative skills by showcasing their self-driven projects in the latest Microsoft platforms such as Kinect, Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

As many as 58 teams participated in the annual fair, with many of their applications aimed at solving real-world issues.

Kinectacles, the spectacles for the blind, caught the attention of everyone. The navigation system is primarily designed to help the blind navigate through unknown indoor spaces.

It uses Kinect hardware to detect obstacles, while the software sits on a computer and judges the depth and alerts the beholder of the possible interruption by means of audio output, said Rishabh Verma, head of a three-member team which develop the device.

The Kinect comprises two cameras in it. One simple VGA camera and the other depth camera, which gives depth of each and every pixel from the Kinect sensor. As a visually impaired moves closer to an object, stop message is played on audio device.

The team is incorporating additional features like image and maps recognition. The system will warn the beholder if the object he is heading towards is a wall or a table. It will also give direction to navigate from one point to the other.

Another project Kinect Bridge enables real-time communication between speech impaired users and others, who don’t know sign language.

It helps a speech impaired person to communicate with any other normal person in a seamless way.

A speech impaired will make sign gestures in front of Kinect, which translates the sign gestures into text for the normal person, said Bangaru Venkatesh, one of the four members of the team.

This application will also help a blind person on other side as the sign language also gets translated into voice.

My Obstetrics developed on Windows Phone promises to guide the expecting mothers through the nine-month journey to motherhood.

The application works in remembering different physiological changes which take place in the woman through various stages.

One can find out how her baby is growing and changing, how to cope with common pregnancy complaints, and when the baby is due.

The application also helps expecting mother to track few major parameters like weight and blood pressure and avoid complications, help track her Body Mass Index (BMI)

One can also save all emergency contacts at one place for easy reference and one click call, set reminders for doctor’s appointments, medicines and diet schedule, said Prashant Gaurav, who developed the application with Priyanka Mehtani.

The Microsoft employees in India have developed these projects in their spare time, purely out of interest, enthusiasm and passion for technology, said Matt Hempy, senior principal solution manager, MSIT-India.

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