There’s a place where Microsoft employees go when they want to tinker: the Microsoft Garage.The Garage is a physical counterpart to Google’s 20% free-time idea, although employees often go there after hours, not as part of their day jobs.
It’s on Microsoft’s campus, in Building 4, where Bill Gates’ office used to be, reports CNN Money’s David Goldman. Its chock full with techno goodies, including a soldering bench, a laser cutter and a 3D printer. Sometimes, whole product teams get a “Garage week” where they head to the space to innovate.
It’s a decent concept. There’s no rules, no pressure. Just a motto: “Do epic sh-t.”
The Garage, which has been around since 2009, has lead to some cool projects. Last year, Microsoft’s Steve Clayton blogged about Mouse Without Borders, which lets you move the same mouse between two different PCs.
A Microsoft Office developer is currently working on a project that would allow people to make mobile payments by tapping a card reader with a finger, reports Goldman. The NFC-enabled smartphone never has to come out of the person’s pocket.