Microsoft says several of its projects are among the finalists of the World Changing Ideas Awards. Created by Fast Company, this is the first year of the awards and features 192 finalists. The magazine says it used 25 expert judges to look through more than 1,000 entries from around the world. The awards aim to acknowledge innovative ideas that improve the world.
As a multiple finalist, Microsoft had a few of its projects considered. The company points to Project Natick, which is an underwater data center. The company has patented its artificial reef datacentre concept with the intent of developing low cost data solutions.
The plan is to build submerged datacenters that will also promote ecology and develop marine life. The lead author of the patent application is Ben Cutler, leader of ‘Project Natick‘, Microsoft's prototype demonstration of a data center inside a submerged vessel.
Project Natick will shelter the underwater life through an artificial reef. Moreover, it will deliver edge speed data to large cities that sit on the coast.
Another Microsoft finalist in the Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards was Connected Eyes. Developed by Microsoft India and the L V Prasad Eye Institute, the solution uses artificial intelligence to correct vision.
LASIK (Laser-Assisted in SItu Keratomileusis) are a common surgical procedure to correct numerous conditions in the eyes. These surgeries are 99% successful, but a frequent side effect is uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA). The Connected Eyes solutions aims to predict UCVA for post LSIK surgery. Microsoft says it is the first company to explore the issue by using machine technology.
Microsoft's finalist project continued with DuoSkin. A collaboration between Microsoft Research and MIT Media Lab, DuoSkin is a temporary tattoo that uses connected electronics.
The product acts as connected interface that can be worn on the skin. Once worn, the DuoSkin technology will act as a NFC input for smartphones and other devices. The skin wearable tattoos can store such features as NFC tags, circuitry, and also come with customary designs.