Microsoft Hosted Think Next 2014 This Week…
At the Tel Aviv Port and I came away with from the event impressed on several levels.
For those of you not in the know, Think Next is the annual industry event for Startups that participate with the Microsoft Accelerator or that Microsoft Ventures has invested in. In addition, the event has a theme associated with the keynotes and the Demo Fest. This year’s theme was Creativity in Technology. No Limits.
There was no shortage of technology or creativity.
The most significant thing about Think Next 2014 was not just the incredible technology or innovation on display, nor the crowds of people attending the event, it was the incredible people behind the innovations and creativity at Demo Fest.
As I wandered the stands and saw the demos I was struck by the immense number and variety of innovations on show but also that approximately half the stands were displaying innovations by Microsoft. Initially I wondered about this and then it occurred to me that Locard’s Exchange Principle was in play here:
As the Windows 8.1 Bing Search above indicates, this is a theory of forensic science that anyone or anything, entering a crime scene both takes something of the scene with them, and leaves something of themselves behind when they leave. Can you apply this outside of Crime Scene Forensics? yes, I believe you can.
Microsoft began the Accelerator and Microsoft Ventures to invest in, mentor, nurture and assist Startups with great ideas but as Locard’s Principle states you don’t just leave something behind, you also take something with you. In this case, it appears that the Startup mentality has become a greater part of Microsoft itself.
Microsoft was always innovative but speaking to their employees who were demonstrating and explaining the technology and ideas behind it I was impressed, inspired and a little awed by the passion and creativity I was seeing. This was on par with what I saw with the Startup demos.
The Warptest POV
Think Next 2014 gave me a lot to think about and if I had to pick a few of the incredible ideas on display to mention then they would probably be these: –
- Microsoft Cortana AI/ Electronic Personal Assistant for Windows Phone. (see my description here)
- StoreDot‘s incredible prototype 30 second chargeable smartphone battery
- Zula: a winning mobile solution for team collaboration.
- ZUtA Labs: A pocket-sized robot printer that travels across your paper, printing as it goes. Join their Kickstarter here)
- Intendu: leveraging Kinect technology to provide neurocognitive rehabilitation.
- Stratasys: 3D Printing. Their demo was run using a desktop 3D Printer connected to a Windows 8 laptop.
- Microsoft Photosynth: the new and improved 3D App for stitching panoramas from your photos
I strongly recommend checking out the other incredible innovations that were on display via this link.
Think Next 2014 was more confirmation that Microsoft of today is a company with a clear vision of where they are going, how they are getting there and who they want to make that journey with.
If this doesn’t sound like the Microsoft you thought you knew then maybe it’s time to revisit what Microsoft can solve for you today.