May | 2017 | Red Robot


Lights On! It’s Time To Shine For Super-Sized Vivid Sydney 2017


Vivid Sydney will bathe Sydney in breathtaking colour and a dizzying array of special effects as the world’s largest festival of light, music, and ideas switches on for 23 nights from 6pm tonight, 26 May 2017.

Featuring seven light precincts and more than 90 large scale light installations and projections, Vivid Sydney will run bigger, bolder, and brighter until 17 June.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said “It’s all systems go as the city becomes a massive, creative canvas from tonight, with art and technology coming together to present awe-inspiring creations conjured by some of the world’s leading creative minds and technology innovators.”

“Visitors to Vivid Sydney come for the lights and stay for the sights of this great State.  In 2016, Vivid Sydney welcomed a record-breaking 2.31 million attendees. In 2017, we’re hoping to surpass last year’s massive $110 million injection into our State’s visitor economy,” he said.

More than 180 local and international artists have created the light installations and projections for Vivid Sydney, including The Rocks, Campbell’s Cove, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Taronga Zoo, Martin Place, Darling Harbour and festival debutante, Barangaroo (South).

Projections will illuminate iconic buildings and landmarks throughout the city including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia as well as the organic backdrops of enormous trees and natural rockscapes in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

The ultimate canvas, the Sails of the Sydney Opera House will feature Audio Creatures, an indescribable world of colour and light, featuring imaginary sea creatures lurking deep in the harbour and shimmering plant life.

Special effects and animations are found at every turn, from the ground below visitors’ feet at Barangaroo (South), to Darling Harbour’s Magicians of the Mist, a 50 metre high water fountain featuring 40 metre high projections, lasers, fireworks, flame and a dramatic soundtrack.

North of the harbour, a steampunk waterworld themed adventure awaits in Chatswood, while giant illuminated lanterns of endangered animals are sparking conversations about conservation at Taronga Zoo.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney Sandra Chipchase said “Over the next 23 days, visitors can take their pick of hundreds of events, including more than 284 Vivid Ideas discussions and creative forums in 59 venues, that will explore our creative future, or more than 390 Vivid Music performances in more than 40 venues, featuring a range of genres from indie folk and electronic music to musical theatre and jazz.”

Festival highlights include:


Lighting the Sails: Audio Creatures: The Sails of the World-Heritage listed Sydney Opera House will be brought to life by Audio Creatures: a series of imaginary creatures curated and designed by visionary director Ash Bolland. Audio Creatures will feature morphing and mesmeric marine creatures and plant life, cut with sleek futuristic technology across the iconic Sails. Audio Creatures will be set to a bespoke soundtrack by Brazilian electronic producer Amon Tobin.

Organic Vibrations: Australian contemporary artist Julia Gorman and French collective Danny Rose will create a new artwork projected onto the heritage-listed façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA).  The installation will use projection-mapping techniques to bring to life images originally made by Gorman in watercolour, oils, and marker pen depicting sinuous lines and colours inspired by the natural world. (The Rocks)

Magicians of the Mist: Fantastical fountains, flame jets, lasers, music, fireworks and walls of water show the power of creativity and innovation in this spectacular projection. (Darling Harbour)

Trapdoor: Discover what optical illusions are in store if you dare to step onto this fantastical floor mural that tells otherworldly stories of Barangaroo. (Barangaroo South)

Electric Forest: The forest comes to life as never before, from wild hanging fruits to schools of fish, when you enter this strange world of illuminated plants, illusions and a psycho- acoustic soundtrack. (The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney)

Lights for the Wild: Shine a light on the plight of endangered animals with your interactive wristband and gaze in amazement at the beauty of these majestic, giant illuminated lanterns – you can even step into the mouth of PJ the Port Jackson Shark! (Taronga Zoo)

Steampunk Waterworld: Peer into an incredible submerged steampunk water world of lights, sounds and special effects at the Reflection Pool in The Concourse. (Chatswood)


Curve Ball: Creatives, artists and musicians join forces to deliver this immersive, large scale, live music audio and visual spectacular combining quality dance music and stunning visuals. (3pm-10pm Sunday 11 June, Carriageworks).

Hidden Sydney – The Glittering Mile: The roller coaster ride into the story of Kings Cross and the colourful cast of characters from its gritty, glittery past. (25 May – 18 June, The World Bar, Kings Cross).

Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker) Presents Missing Link: The charismatic hit-maker returns, premieres new material and resurrecting old favourites in an ambitious in-the-round performance. (1 -3 June, Sydney Opera House).

Dappled Cities: One of the most beloved indie bands to emerge from Sydney over the past two decades presents new album IIIII (pronounced five), complete with immersive lighting spectacle in this one-off concert. (4 June, City Recital Hall)


Game-Changer Talks Series: Hear from the creative forces shaping our world and lives, including Buzzfeed founder, CEO and media visionary Jonah Peretti. (28 May, City Recital Hall); influential Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone (28 May, City Recital Hall) and iconic American artist Shepard Fairey (17 June, Sydney Town Hall). Fairey, the artist behind the Barack Obama HOPE campaign, will also create a public mural in the heart of Sydney’s CBD during the festival, while an exhibition of his music-themed works is on display at Darling Quarter.

The Sunrise Conference: Delve deep into the future of technology, business and innovative start-up ecosystems at this enlightening forum.(31 May)

Semi Permanent: Hear about our innovation future straight from the source in a series of interactive, immersive experiences with world leading innovators from Getty Images, Nike, Uber, Google and more. ( 25-27 May)

Clipped Music Video Festival: Learn from artists and filmmakers at this creative hub as they collaborate and debate and celebrate the art form of music videos. (3 June)

Good Design Festival: Join design luminaries, experience the best in all things design and celebrate the winners of the 2017 Good Design Awards and exhibition. ( 8-11 June)

Rhodes: Creative: Explore tomorrow’s technologies today with hands on activities including 3D printing and robotics. (28 May  – 16 June)

The Vivid Ideas Exchange: You name it, there’s probably a session about it, debating and dissecting everything from fashion to placemaking, storytelling, ageism, marketing, health, innovation, big data and mixed reality. Events at the Vivid Ideas Exchange run every day from 10am to 5pm on Level 6, Museum Contemporary Art Australia throughout Vivid Sydney.

Shows: Sydney, Australia

  1. GV’s various of Circular Quay area – Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House Sails, etc.
  2. GV’s various of Royal Botanic Gardens
  3. GV’s various of Kings Cross
  4. GV’s various of Martin Place
  5. GV’s various of Barangaroo South
  6. GV’s various of Chatswood
  7. GV’s various of Taronga Zoo
  8. GV’s various of Darling Harbour
  9. Interview Minister Adam Marshall, NSW Minister for Tourism & Majour Events – English Speech
  10. Interview Sandra Chipchase, Destination NSW CEO & Executive Producer, Vivid Sydney – English Speech
  11. Interview Ignatius Jones, Creative Director, Vivid Sydney – English Speech


Other: About Vivid Sydney 

Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, which for 23 nights – from Friday 26 May until Saturday 17 June – transforms the Harbour City with its colourful creative canvas. Now in its ninth year, Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency. Vivid Sydney features large-scale light installations and projections (Vivid Light); music performances and collaborations (Vivid Music including Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House); and creative ideas, discussion and debate (Vivid Ideas), all celebrating Sydney as the creative hub of the Asia-Pacific. For more information visit


DHL Launch New “Silk Road” Rail Route between Asia & Europe

SHENZHEN, CHINA – The first multimodal rail connection between Shenzhen, China and Minsk, Belarus was launched by German logistics giant DHL and China Brilliant, an integrated service provider in global manufacturing and consumption. The route follows the ”Belt and Road” corridors that China is touting as the modern Silk Road.

In a ceremony at Shenzhen’s Pingyan Railway Station, Zhang Chunhua, Founder of China Brilliant Group, DHL’s local partner in the venture highlighted the importance of this new route for the Shenzhen economy.

“By building a central railway and logistics centre, it will allow Shenzhen businesses to reduce their production costs and benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative.”

The sixth route on the Asia-Europe-Asia multimodal network, the Shenzhen-Minsk route will not only serve China. With road and port transfers, the route can extend to Southeast Asia and neighbouring countries including Vietnam, Philippines, and Taiwan.

Steve Huang, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Greater China said, “I think this supports the One Belt One Road initiative a great deal because there is no rail service from Southeast Asia to Europe and by this connection from Shenzhen actually brings the whole rail connection between Europe continents and Asian continents. So, I think this is a great support to Belt and Road initiative.”

The route will also benefit Eastern Europe. Ihar Shylau, First Deputy Head of the Belarusian Railway says that the route will not only benefit the capital city Minsk, in Belarus but also other smaller cities. “This route is only the first step, we must provide and organise connectivity for all Belarusian regional cities, Homel, Vitebsk, Mogilev, and so on”.


1. Pingyan Railway Station

2. First Shenzhen, China to Minsk, Belarus train service

3. Train head of the first Shenzhen to Minsk train

4. Banners of all the supporting organisations

5. Event tent, backdrop and broll of guests

6. Broll of speeches and guests

7. Soundbite of Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Greater China

8. Soundbite of Zhang Chunhua, Founder, China Brilliant Group

9. Ihar Shylau, First Deputy Head of Belarus Railway

10. Launch activation

11. Train launch – the first Shenzhen – Minsk train route service moving off

Other: None

May, 22, 2017




“The Emoji Movie” soars into Cannes on the Eve of the Festival’s 70th Anniversary

CANNES, FRANCE – On Tuesday May 16th, on the eve of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, actor T.J. Miller (who voices Gene) from “The Emoji Movie” was in Cannes to celebrate the opening of the film festival and the worldwide launch of the film trailer with an exciting stunt and colourful Photo Call on the French Riviera.

“The Emoji Movie” will be released in theaters by Columbia Pictures globally from the 28th July 2017.

The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user.

In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions.

Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris).

Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.

Shows: Cannes, France – 16th May 2017


Duration 1’ 30”

Including T.J. Miller’s arrival into Cannes Film Festival on a parasail

T.J. Miller then launches the trailer alongside some of the Emoji characters from the movie.


Duration: 4’ 42”

Timelapse of Emoji photocall stage

T.J. Miller parasail stunt


Emoji characters around Cannes


Duration: 1’ 21”

4 soundbites from T.J. Miller (Gene) & Kate Miller (Heart Eyes)

1. on his parasail into Cannes

2. on how they feel to be in Cannes

3. on the movie

4. on the parasail stunt


Duration: 2’ 00”


Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world.  The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits—the record-breaking monster comedies Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, and the mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies—with the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village in April 2017; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with The Emoji Movie in August 2017; the inspirational The Star in November 2017; Hotel Transylvania 3 in September 2018; and an animated Spider-Man feature from the minds of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018.  The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films:  the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits.  In 2007, Surf’s Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film; a sequel entitled Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania will be available on home entertainment in January 2017.  The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise including the brand new Open Season: Scared Silly now available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray, was founded in 2002.  Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.

Microsoft Announces the Next Wave of Creativity with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

SEATTLE, USA -Today at the Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle, Microsoft Corp. shared the first details of the next major update to Windows, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Available later this year, the Fall Creators Update delivers new experiences for more than 500 million Windows 10 devices: a new design system; creative experiences that will move with you across Windows, iOS, and Android; new apps coming to the Windows Store – including iTunes; new tools that make Windows home for all developers; and the world’s first Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers – no markers required.

“We designed Windows 10 to empower the creator in all of us,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows Devices Group, Microsoft. “We’re excited for our customers to take advantage of the new features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update that will empower innovative experiences; a modern, unified design for cross-device experiences; and an easier path for developers to create for the future of computing.”

Introducing a new design system for the next wave of creativity across Windows devices:

Microsoft Fluent Design System will deliver intuitive, harmonious, responsive and inclusive cross-device experiences and interactions. For developers, Fluent Design is built to help users create more expressive and engaging apps that work across a wide range of device and input diversity.

Windows experiences move with you across Windows, iOS, and Android

Microsoft Graph is an intelligent fabric that helps connect dots between people, conversations, projects, and content within the Microsoft Cloud – ensuring experiences flow seamlessly between Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Key features helping to bring this to life include:

  • Timeline visually displays what a user was doing previously, allowing users to easily hop back into files, apps and websites as if it was real time.
  •  With Cortana, you can Pick Up Where You Left Off across Windows, iOS and Android devices.
  • Clipboard is a fast, easy way to copy and paste just about anything between connected devices by allowing copying from the desktop and pasting on a phone.
  • OneDrive Files on Demand allows access to all files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on a specific device. 

Windows Story Remix:  A new way to transform your photos and videos

Built on .NET and distributed through the Windows Stores as a Universal Windows Application, Windows Story Remix uses AI and deep learning to organize and transform photos and videos into stories. It will use the Microsoft Graph to connect users across devices. Story Remix brings memories, photos and videos together to create stories with a soundtrack, theme and cinematic transitions. Users can also create mixed reality by adding 3-D objects to photos and videos to tell stories in a whole new way, or turn photos and videos into a canvas, drawing on them with Windows Ink.

The Windows Store brings full UWP support for Windows, iOS, and Android – and welcomes iTunes

The Windows Store is adding additional popular applications later this year:

  • iTunes is coming to the Windows Store by the end of this year. Windows users will get the complete iTunes experience, including Apple Music and the iTunes Store, as well as support for iPhone and other Apple devices on any Windows 10 or Windows 10 S PC.
  • When Autodesk introduced its Universal Windows Platform (UWP) SketchBook last summer, it became its fastest growing new platform introduction with an average of 35 percent sales growth every month throughout 2017. Autodesk SketchBook, the de facto application for painting and drawing, was built from the ground up as a UWP app leveraging the pen and touch capability of Windows 10. Autodesk will continue to use UWP to extend its Windows Store offerings to include support for Windows Mixed Reality in Autodesk Stingray, a 3-D game engine and real-time rendering software.
  • SAP will bring SAP Digital Boardroom to the Windows Store this month. SAP Digital Boardroom is one of the most popular solutions from SAP. It is a next-generation board portal that leverages data from lines of business applications to provide a single source of truth for executives to steer the business in real time. The app was submitted to the Windows Store as a Progressive Web App. This allows SAP to reuse its web content and investments to target multiple platforms, while at the same time take advantage of deeper integration with Windows 10.

Making Windows home for all developers

Microsoft is inspired to make Windows and Visual Studio the best home for all developers — not only for applications on Windows, but app experiences that span across all platforms and all devices. Today several new tools for Windows developers were announced:

  •  .NET Standard 2.0 for UWP and XAML Standard are both coming later this year to make web, C++, .NET or UWP developers love to build on Windows.
  •  With modern code, developers can take advantage of Windows and the Microsoft Graph, using Project Rome for UWP, Android and now iOS.
  •  With the Xamarin Live Player developers can build, test and debug their iPhone applications from a Windows PC. With it, all users need is Visual Studio and their iPhone to get started building native apps for iOS in minutes.
  •  Microsoft has simplified the install of Ubuntu by bringing it to the Windows Store. Microsoft also announced it is working with SUSE Linux and Fedora Linux running on the Windows Subsystem for Linux — to bring them to the Windows Store. Now, Windows is the only platform that can run both Windows apps and Linux apps side-by-side.

Introducing the world’s first Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers – no markers required

Today, Cirque du Soleil announced how it is using Windows Mixed Reality to transform the way it imagines and create shows. To demonstrate the creative decisions it has to face, it rebuilt a virtual version of the stage from the show Kurios, including its famous huge mechanical hand.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will also see the magic of mixed reality brought to consumers around the world. We are working with developers to create this new frontier in computing and want any developer to get a Windows Mixed Reality dev kit. Due to wide interest from the community, developers in the U.S. and Canada can pre-order an Acer ($299 USD) or HP ($329 USD) Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition starting today from the Microsoft Store for delivery later this summer.

In addition, Microsoft unveiled the first Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers with no markers required. The motion controllers offers precise and responsive tracking of movement in your field of view using the sensors in a Windows Mixed Reality headset. There is no need to install hardware on the walls around you. Our partners plan to market and sell these controllers on retail shelves this holiday. Acer will sell a Windows Mixed Reality headset and motion controller bundle priced at $399 USD this holiday.

For more details on today’s announcements, please visit the latest Windows Devices Group blog from Terry Myerson or visit the Microsoft News Center.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Shows: Highlights of Day 2

  • Soundbites from Terry Myerson, EVP, Windows and Devices Group
  •  Footage of Windows Story Remix: A new way to transform your photos and videos
  • Windows Story Remix uses AI and deep learning to organize and transform photos and videos into stories. Story Remix brings memories, photos and videos together to create stories with a soundtrack, theme and cinematic transitions. Users can also create mixed reality by adding 3-D objects to photos and videos to tell stories in a whole new way, or turn photos and videos into a canvas, drawing on them with Windows Ink.
  •  Soundbites from Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow
  •  Footage of Microsoft’s partnership with Cirque du Soleil
  • Today, Cirque du Soleil announced how it is using Windows Mixed Reality to transform the way it imagines and create shows. To demonstrate the creative decisions it has to face, it rebuilt a virtual version of the stage from the show Kurios, including its famous huge mechanical hand.
  •  Soundbite from Joe Belfiore, CVP, Windows
  •  Footage of Build 2017

Other: None

May, 11, 2017



Microsoft Announces New Tools & Services to Help Developers Build More Intelligent Apps, on Every Platform, for Every Platform

SEATTLE, USA, May 10, 2017 Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Harry Shum welcomed thousands of developers to Seattle for Build 2017 — Microsoft’s annual developer conference. During his opening keynote, Nadella announced that Windows had reached 500 million Windows 10 monthly active devices and noted how — together — Windows, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Azure offer developers more than a billion opportunities to connect their innovations with Microsoft customers. Microsoft also announced new Azure data and cloud services to help developers quickly modernize their existing apps, new AI and Azure services that allow any developer to more easily build intelligent apps, with understanding and natural user interaction capabilities, and showcased new data, IoT edge and AI services built for a future with an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

“In a world of near infinite compute power and an exponential growth in data, we are focused on empowering every developer to build applications for this new era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

A vision for more Intelligence – from the cloud to the edge.

Microsoft shared an early peek into innovations it’s bringing to bear to help every person and organization, achieve more.  In support of this vision Microsoft announced:

·         A preview of Azure IoT Edge, technology that extends the intelligence — and other benefits — of cloud computing to edge devices.

·         Extensions to the Microsoft Graph to combine insights from the world of work with device insights and contextual awareness of the physical world.

·         Technology that will allow you to search the real world in the same way you search the digital world, helping to keep your data safe and secure while making you more productive.

The cloud for every developer with tools to target any platform and device 

Microsoft showcased how it is meeting developers where they are, and helping them be more successful, with new Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio services and tools to help modernize existing applications and quickly build intelligent apps for all major platforms:

·         Introducing Azure Cosmos DB, built from the ground up to power planet-scale cloud services and data-intensive applications — from IoT to AI to mobile — with incredible performance, fault tolerance and support for every type of data, including graph. It is the industry’s first globally distributed, multi-model database service to deliver horizontal scale with guaranteed uptime, throughput, consistency and single-digit millisecond latency at the 99th percentile. Developers get incredible flexibility with the only schema-free database service, with support for popular NoSQL APIs, that also offers five well-defined consistency choices while auto-indexing all your data.

·         New MySQL- and PostgreSQL-managed services that join Azure SQL Database to give developers expanded choice and flexibility on a service platform that delivers high availability and scalability, with minimal downtime, and data retention and recovery.

·         An early preview of Microsoft’s new database migration services, which will allow Oracle and SQL Server customers to more easily move their data and quickly modernize their apps.

·         Azure SQL Database improvements:

– A new Managed Instance private preview, which offers customers SQL Server instance-level compatibility and makes it even easier for organizations to migrate existing SQL Server apps to Azure SQL Database.

– General availability of Threat Detection and preview of Graph support.

·         General availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac, which enables developers to work seamlessly across Windows and Mac environments with full support for mobile, web and cloud workloads, and previews of Docker tools, Azure Functions and Xamarin.IoT support.

·         Support for containers of nearly every type, on every platform, with the general availability of Windows Server Containers support in Azure Service Fabric, with Visual Studio tooling, and a preview of the ability to use Docker Compose support for Service Fabric to deploy containerized apps to Service Fabric — enabling developers to deliver mission-critical, scalable apps and services.

·         DocuSign supports a rapidly growing customer base of 300,000 companies and more than 200 million users across 188 countries. The company today announced Microsoft Azure is its preferred cloud for global expansion, starting in Canada. DocuSign uses Azure SQL Database to process enormous volumes of digital transactions.

New developer onramps to the world’s largest productivity platform  

With more than 100 million commercial monthly active users, Office 365 is where the world works.  Today Microsoft announced plans to better connect developers with Office 365 customers around the globe, including:

·         Any developer can now publish for Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. Coming soon, apps in Teams will be more discoverable for end users through a new app experience. Developers can also add new capabilities to Teams apps, including third-party notifications in the activity feed, Compose Extensions and Actionable Messages.

·         Microsoft also made new Microsoft Graph APIs available to developers, including APIs from SharePoint and Planner. The Microsoft Graph gives developers access to Office 365 data and intelligence and helps connect the dots between people, conversations, projects, schedules, processes and content. These insights help developers build smarter apps, enabling smarter ways to work.

·         Developers and ISVs who host their production SaaS applications on Microsoft Azure and sign up through the Azure website can now have their apps’ data and workflow automatically extended to authorized Office 365 customers through standard connectors for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. To help ISVs expand their business even further, Microsoft is also providing additional incentives to its sales force when they jointly co-sell eligible SaaS apps and services to enterprise customers.

AI to augment the capabilities of every developer, organization, platform and person  

Microsoft also highlighted its vision to amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology, bringing AI to every developer through the unique combination of the Microsoft cloud and AI. New cognitive services, platform innovations in the Microsoft Bot Framework, advances in deep   learning tools, continued infusion of AI into the company’s products and services, and intelligent insights offered through the Microsoft Graph unlock this opportunity for developers and new growth scenarios for businesses. New announcements included the following:

·         The company added new services to the industry’s broadest offering of cognitive services and now 29 services for developers, with unique customization options. That enables developers to infuse off-the-shelf or custom intelligence capabilities such as vision, speech, language, knowledge and search into their app and bot experiences in any scenario. New services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and Video Indexer. A new PowerPoint add-in called Presentation Translator, which leverages Microsoft’s Translation APIs, was featured, allowing real-time translation to multiple languages during any presentation. The new Cognitive Services Labs were also launched, enabling developers to experiment with new services, such as a Gesture API, still in the early stages of development.

·         Using the new adaptive cards supported by the Microsoft Bot Framework, developers can write cards once that look great across multiple apps and platforms. Using the Bot Framework, developers can also now publish to new channels including Bing, Cortana and Skype for Business, and implement Microsoft’s payment request API for fast and easy checkout in their bots.

·         Azure Batch AI Training is a new Azure offering, available in private preview only that will allow developers and data scientists to configure an environment with parameters and run their models against multiple CPUs, multiple GPUs and eventually field-programmable gate arrays.

·         In addition to Harman Kardon’s Invoke intelligent speaker with Cortana, partnerships were also signed with HP on devices and Intel on reference platforms to deliver Cortana-enabled devices.

·         The Cortana Skills Kit is now in public preview. Developers can build skills for Cortana by creating a bot and publishing it to the new Cortana channel of the Bot Framework. This is available across Windows 10, Android, iOS and the new Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker. The Cortana Skills kit is currently available in the U.S. only.

·         A demonstration was provided on how multiple Microsoft products and services, including Dynamics 365, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Cortana Skills, Microsoft Graph and Sentiment Analysis, will be integrated into Tact, the sales experience platform that turns any connected device into a AI-powered virtual sales assistant, later this year.

Project Emma – empowering people with Parkinson’s through machine learning

The Emma Watch was developed as part of a Documentary by Microsoft researchers Haiyan Zhang and Nicolas Villar. Their challenge was to work with Emma Lawton, 32-year-old designer diagnosed with Parkinson’s, unable to write or draw because of tremors in her hand.

The team developed a device, worn on the wrist that vibrates in a distinctive pattern to disrupt the feedback loop between brain and hand. Emma has been able to regain her ability to write with the aid of the Emma Watch and the Microsoft team is now working with a neuroscience research group to undertake trials for additional people with similar Parkinson’s symptoms. The aim of this additional research is to utilize machine learning technology to optimize and streamline function of this (and similar) devices to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.


– GVsEvent Footage – Highlights of Build 2017 in Seattle

– Soundbites from Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

– Footage of Project Emma – The Emma Watch was developed by Microsoft researchers Haiyan Zhang and Nicolas Villar. Their challenge was to work with Emma Lawton, a 32 year old designer diagnosed with Parkinson’s, unable to write or draw because of tremors in her hand. The team developed a device, worn on the wrist that vibrates in a distinctive pattern to disrupt the feedback loop between brain and hand.

– Footage of how AI technology impacts workplace safety.

– Footage of the vision for Cortana – from your office to your car, and anywhere else you may be.

– Soundbite from Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group.

– Soundbite from Harry Shum, Executive Vice President of the Artificial Intelligence and Research Group.

– Footage of Presentation Translator – The Presentation Translator is a PowerPoint add-in that leverages Microsoft

– Translation Services to create closed captioning, as well as real time translation during a PowerPoint


Other: None

May, 10, 2017



Microsoft Unveils New Education Offerings to Prepare Students for the Jobs of Tomorrow

NEW YORK — May 2, 2017 — Today Microsoft shared its aspiration and products to help students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

CEO Satya Nadella and Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices, announced a new Windows experience – Windows 10 S, Microsoft Teams for a collaborative classroom, Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition, a partnership with Pearson to use 3D and mixed reality experiences for immersive learning and a range of new Windows 10 S PCs, including Surface Laptop. Microsoft also announced the availability of Intune for Education that will help teachers configure and manage all the PCs in their classroom.

Microsoft introduces Windows 10 S

Inspired by students and teachers, Windows 10 S is streamlined for security and superior performance. By running only applications verified for security by Microsoft in the Windows Store, and ensuring that users browse the web safely with Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 S offers easy setup, faster log-in, a full day of battery power and consistent performance.

Working with partners, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba, Microsoft will offer new Windows 10 PCs with features including Windows Ink and touch. Windows 10 S will be available for free for schools on any compatible, genuine Windows device along with Office 365 for Education, which is also free for students and will be available around the world in time for the 2017 school year.

Bringing Microsoft Teams to the classroom 

Microsoft Teams is a digital hub for the classroom where students come to collaborate and learn. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks, a new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work, personalize learning, and easily communicate with students, parents and staff.

Teams also enables teachers to bring in rich and engaging content from the web, guest speakers, and our 3rd party partners such as Kahoots directly into their classroom environment. And most importantly, Teams helps students develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future.

Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition teaches coding in the classroom 

Microsoft is broadening the Minecraft’s appeal in the classroom with Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition. This new feature allows students to learn coding basics by connecting to popular learn-to-code platforms such as Tynker, ScratchX, and a new open source platform from Microsoft called MakeCode. Code Builder supports both block-based coding and JavaScript, supporting students along their journey with Computer Science. A one-year free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition and the Code Builder extension are available today for Windows 10 and Windows 10 S for schools around the world in the Microsoft Store for Education.

Bringing 3D and Windows Mixed Reality experiences to the classroom to spark creativity

Microsoft also announced a new strategic partnership with Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world, who is working to integrate 3D and mixed reality into their secondary and university level curriculum.

With Paint 3D available in Windows 10 today, students can create and experience 3D content. This fall Microsoft will be releasing 3D in Office and updates to View 3D, allowing the ability to capture mixed reality by inserting 3D objects into your world using the rear-facing camera on a Windows PC.

Microsoft introduces new Surface Laptop, powered by Windows 10 S

Microsoft is expanding the Surface family of devices with Surface Laptop, designed for college students. At only 14.47mm and 2.76lbs, Surface Laptop is the thinnest laptop in its class, with a 7th-generation Intel® Core™ processor, a fast and fluid typing experience and 14 hours of battery life.

The 13.5” PixelSense display is optimized for touch and inking with optically bonded gorilla glass. The keyboard is covered in Alcantara fabric and features a quiet and responsive keyset, large precision trackpad and soft palm rest. Surface Laptop is available in four colors: Platinum, Graphite Gold, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue.

Surface Laptop starts at $999 USD and will be available starting June 15. Customers can preorder Surface Laptop starting today in the U.S. and Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom where available at Microsoft Store, and Surface Laptop will also be available in Canada and China later this year, and availability in other markets will be announced in the coming months.

The fastest way to set up and deploy Windows PCs with Intune for Education

Available today, Intune for Education offers a complete end-to-end solution for teachers to configure and manage all the PCs in their classroom and school IT administrators to better set up and manage their fleet of devices. Schools can set up new devices quickly and easily, and schools can securely deploy applications and services that meet teachers’ and students’ needs. Schools can purchase Intune today or simply try it out with a free 30-day trial.



Soundbites from:

  • Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
  • Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft
  • Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
  • Megan Saunders, General Manager, Microsoft
  • Catherine Boeger, General Manager, Microsoft Office
  • Deirdre Quarnstrom, Director, Minecraft Education


  • Microsoft technology in schools
  • Windows 10 S Experiences including footage of Fluid Math and Complete Anatomy
  • Surface Laptop, the newest member of the Surface family which is a great choice for College students.
  • Windows 10 S Devices, a new range of Windows 10S devices available to customers in time for the new school year.
  • Intune for Education for easy device set up; the fastest way to set up and deploy Windows PCs
  • Microsoft Teams and Office 365 for the classroom. Teams gives teachers a comprehensive digital hub to redefine how teachers and students learn and collaborate together. Office 365includes accessibility features that level the playing field for students of all abilities to learn more effectively and be more productive.
  • Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition – a new innovation bringing coding and computational thinking concepts to students, inspired by what motivates Minecraft players to learn to code.

May, 02, 2017