Microsoft Garage

Microsoft Garage has announced five new projects today. The collaboration division has been churning out apps and services all year and is on a roll. The new projects have been created by interns in Cambridge Massachusetts.

When Microsoft Garage was first announced, many were unconvinced. It is a skunkworks division of sorts, allowing employees to collaborate on projects Microsoft would otherwise not develop. Garage allows employees from a number of divisions to link up outside of their regular developments.

It seemed that Garage would result in a bunch of apps and services that became afterthoughts. The exact opposite has been true. Microsoft Garage has created some truly compelling services this year. Indeed, some of them have more potential that Microsoft’s full services. These apps have also become very popular, such as Word Flow for example.

The new projects are continuing the trend of Microsoft Garage keeping busy. Below are some details regarding the individual projects:

Project Santorini

Santorini is a photo service that links a journey of images based on location. Users can enter these photographic journeys by choosing a single photo.

“Enter the experience by choosing a starting photo from your OneDrive collection. Our novel dual-axis interface then allows you to fluidly navigate between photos taken in the same place and other locations. Enjoy your journey as memories flood back from your sister’s wedding, your son’s first day of school, or your unforgettable vacation. To re-enter from another starting point, simply return to the collage view and choose another photo.”

Write Ideas

This project is designed to help students prepare their writing and organize the writing they create. It also allows them to export content to Microsoft OneNote.

“Write ideas offers students the best prewriting tool to get a jump-start on their writing assignments.

Write ideas eases students through their writing assignments using structured prompts and questions. Using Write ideas, students are able to express their creativity in a variety of ways such as voice, doodles and text. Students can then export their work to email or OneNote and use it as a foundation for their writing assignments.”

Project Oceana

Oceana is essentially a web extension for the Chrome web browser. It lets users access and manage their Outlook directly in the browser.

  • “Stay in touch – Quick glance into your Outlook inbox and preview messages with a single click of a button.
  • Stay informed – View unread mail and receive optional push notifications whenever you receive a new e-mail.
  • Organize effectively – Delete and flag e-mails directly from the extension.”

Project Copenhagen

Copenhagen is another browser add-in. It gives users an easy way to share and view OneDrive files and attach them in Gmail.

  • “Simplify your sharing – Attach multiple files to your emails with a few clicks of a button all within Gmail.
  • Store files with ease – Download attachments directly to your OneDrive, right in your inbox.”

Hearing AI

    “Hearing AI aims to connect people to the world of sound. The interface allows people to visualize the intensity of environmental sounds in order to gauge the ambience of a physical space. Hearing AI distinguishes between four different types of sound environments and notifies people if there are sudden changes or if sounds are damaging to their ears.

    In addition, Hearing AI uses real-time speech-to-text technology to transcribe verbal conversations with an emphasis on visualizing the loudness of speech through typography.

    Visualizations: See the activity, volume, and ambience of the sounds around you. What’s the sound level in the environment? Is it loud enough to damage your ears? Hearing AI will let you know.

    Notifications: Get customizable notifications whenever Hearing AI detects sudden changes and important sounds.

    Speech-To-Text: Be able to not only read spoken conversation, but see the volume of speech excerpts in real-time.”