Microsoft India, on Thursday, showcased a wide of range of products that use company’s cloud-based artificial intelligence, cognitive services and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that can change the way citizens, enterprises and governments engage in healthcare services, agricultural practices, education and everyday work. The company claims that many of these technologies were tested out or used in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Haryana among others.
“These AI, cognitive technologies and IoT applications can help in India’s inclusive growth,” said Sriram Rajamani, Managing Director of Microsoft Research India. “The world is today powered by an intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to benefit society. We are committed to ensure that technology is defining and shaping the future, and is a combination of unbridled innovation and digital inclusion,” he added.
Here is a look at some of these transformative technologies from Microsoft that will change the way you live:
1. Project FarmBeats: A research project for agriculture that enables seamless data collection from various sensors, cameras and drones. It comprises two broad areas: a data-acquisition system consisting of drones and sensors and a data-analysis system consisting of connectivity pieces, cloud storage, and predictive analysis.
2. HAMS (Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety): This virtual harness for vehicles focuses on two key factors: the mental state of the driver-including distraction and fatigue, and his /her driving relative to other vehicles. Project HAMS is being used by Institute of Driving and Traffic Research (IDTR) – a joint venture between the Department of Transport of State Governments and Maruti Suzuki India.
3. AI for farming: This program was expanded to reach more than 3000 farmers across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during the Kharif season of 2017 for a host of crops including groundnut, ragi, maize, rice and cotton, among others. The results were amazing and an increase of yield of 10% to 30% across crops was noted. The Sowing App was developed to help farmers achieve optimal harvests by advising on the best time to sow using data about weather conditions, soil quality and other indicators.
4. Interactive Cane: Powered by artificial intelligence, the interactive cane was developed to help people with visual impairment. Microsoft Research is experimenting by adding several sensors to existing canes, and adding gesture recognition to the cane. Interestingly, Microsoft Research is doing these using sensors added to the cane, and an AI agent on a microcontroller with very low resources on the cane itself, thereby making the cane an intelligent edge device.
5. IoT monitoring of water quality: Indian ISV TechSpan Engineering has implemented a monitoring system built on the Azure IoT platform, using sensors provided by the Austrian firm s::can and their India Partner Aaxisnano. Using the power of the Microsoft cloud, IoT and data, the solution taps into the robust s::can sensors to provide measurements across 17 parameters – from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chloride and Fluoride levels to temperature and color.
Apart from this, Microsoft also introduced AI for local language computing that will help you translate and recognize speech across several Indian languages. Text to speech translations currently includes such capabilities in Hindi and Tamil on Microsoft Narrator, on Windows 10.