Microsoft has announced that its first European lab for focusing on Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) is now officially open in Munich.
As more and more companies move towards IoT innovation, the Microsoft IoT & AI Insider Lab is designed to allow local customers the experience to experiment and create new hardware or software using Microsoft’s latest IoT tools.
Munich is currently home to several other large players within the European tech industry, including Bosch, BMW, and Siemens AG. This is also the third such lab that Microsoft has opened, following Redmond, US and Shenzhen, China. Both Cisco and IBM have also recently opened labs in the German city.
Cyra Richardson, Microsoft general manager of IoT business, said: “Companies have said their three weeks in the lab was worth four, five or six months of coding on their own.”
Engineer, Sean Kelly, said: “I’m in a room with every conceivable machine I could ever want to use, surrounded by a team of experts in everything I don’t know well.”
“I can build anything I want to build. Then, you bring in customers with a problem and we get to solve it. For an engineer, it’s the closest thing to nirvana.”
The lab will provide 24/7 access to customers who wish to use it and the lab itself will be split into several sections including labs, workshops, and offices.
Microsoft also believes that this will provide a springboard for to provide possible partners with opportunities to pitch their own IoT services and solutions to companies. One of the partners is Cisco.
Vikas Butaney, General Manager, Cisco IoT Connectivity, said: “Customers can get a first-hand experience of the combined power of Cisco IoT and Microsoft Azure IoT platform to develop innovative use cases in the IoT Insider lab. Customers can now securely connect devices, use intelligence at the edge and with Azure IoT achieve their business outcomes.”
Companies of any size will be able to use the lab with full access and no cost. Each lab session will last in the area of one to three weeks.