Committed to Fostering Innovation in India: Microsoft

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An automated traffic navigation system, a crowdsourced risk analysis platform to curb depression and a smart video player that understands a user’s preference was among the student-led projects showcased here at an event hosted by Microsoft that reiterated its commitment to fostering innovation in India. Powered by its “Academia Accelerator” campus engagement programme, the Microsoft and academia collaboration showcase, AXLE 2018, featured 16 top engineering projects from across campus hackathons conducted over the past year.

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Microsoft has been working closely with the students and faculty of some of India’s top colleges through the Academia Accelerator programme for the past five years. “Academia Accelerator aims to provide insights to students about important technology trends and practices and also adding the layer of cutting-edge industry know-how to the existing computer science curriculum, thereby,” said Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) who delivered the keynote address at the event.

Other projects showcased at the event include a web app for speech to sign language conversion useful for people with hearing disability and a system to analyse a user’s health during long sessions on the computer by detecting the pulse rate of people using regular web cam stream. The students displayed solutions based on popular technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR).

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Learning, accessibility and road safety were among some of the favoured themes which were showcased. The shortlist of projects was a result of a yearlong engagement where more than 2000 students participated across 16 colleges and built over 350 projects, Microsoft said in a statement. “The success of this programme (Academia Accelerator) is testament to the great engineering talent we have in India. We have seen significant uptake for the Academia Accelerator programme in the last five years as students recognise the importance of understanding technology trends and undergoing practical training sessions during their formative years,” Bhansali added.

In line with the commitment to fostering innovation, the key focus, Microsoft said, is on empowering students to think innovatively to craft solutions for real-life challenges.

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