Many of today's technologies that we take for granted—the Internet, global positioning systems (GPS), the laser, multi-touch displays, search engines—are inventions that were made possible by people who took their ideas and made them a reality.
Inventors’ Day has been adopted by many countries around the world, not only to remember those whose inventions are still being used daily. Inventors’ Day is also a day to encourage people to follow their own ideas, support today’s aspiring inventors who are visionaries, and stimulate discussion and collaboration on how inventions and creativity can bring about a positive change to the future.
Where do ideas for inventions come from, and how do they develop into real products? They start with an idea and basic research.
According to Jeannette M Wing, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research, who oversees the company's core research labs, “Basic research creates knowledge. It advances our fundamental understanding of the world. It will lead to tomorrow's technological breakthroughs.”
Who are these inventors? At Microsoft, there are more than 1,000 researchers and engineers who contribute to ensure that our products and services perform more reliably, more efficiently and more securely. Some of the features that delight our customers were invented by our researchers.
Our research investments in speech, natural language processing and machine learning, as an example, have contributed to the development of Skype Translator, which translates spoken conversations in real time via video chat. Many people working on the project are multi-lingual and say they are passionate about it because they know only too well the frustrations that comes with not being able to have a free-flowing conversation with friends, colleagues or even their own family members. Read more about their experiences here.
Microsoft is thrilled to start rolling out Skype Translator to millions of people—by introducing six voice languages. This includes English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish, as well as 50 other messaging languages into the Skype for Windows desktop app after investing years of hard work, dedication and enthusiasm to make Skype Translator a reality today.
Do you want to be an inventor of future innovation? Why not follow in the footsteps of the young inventors who captured our imagination—and great prizes—at the 2015 Worldwide Imagine Cup Final? Learn more about the Imagine Cup and how to use your creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrated solutions to change the way we live, work and play.
Looking for even more opportunities to kick-start your life as an inventor? Microsoft Imagine can make it a reality by connecting you with the tools and knowledge you need to create, code and develop your ideas. So whether you're new to coding, studying it in school or planning for your career, you can dream big, build creatively and boldly bring your ideas to life.