Microsoft announced the finalists of Microsoft Innovation Award 2009 last week, and there were a judging committee for the award at the company’s annual conference for system engineers in Yokohama, Tech-ED Japan 2009[J].
Microsoft assists the finalists in marketing, engineering and international business development. In 2007, tech start-up known as web browser developer Lunascape won the best award with Afterglow (it gives users the ability to draw on top of a presentation using a laser pointer with only one extra camera), and in 2008 healthcare software developer Gsport [J] won it with Yugamiiru[J] (it measures how crooked your posture is).
Five companies were chosen as the finalists this year, and each of them had a five-minute presentation.
– Sokkly by Little Island (Saitama Pref.)
Sokkly is an interactive stuffed robot having feature of voice recognition to accept its owner’s commands and speech synthesis assembling words from a library from pre-recorded voices.
Video: Sokkly was introduced on BBC’s comedy program Graham Norton Show (English).
– Real Narrators by Sky Fish (Tochigi Pref.)
This software is a text-to-speech add-on for PowerPoint presentation, and it reads your presentation file with the speech synthesized voice you like.
Demonstration Video: Real Narrators reads the company profile of Sky Fish (English/Chinese).
– Link Knowledge by San San[J]
We covered this company a number of times here on Asiajin. See these articles.
– Trust Delete by One Be[J]
One Be is a Tokyo-based tech start-up and was founded by three persons who previously worked with Trend Micro, a computer virus vaccine software company. Trust Delete is a management solution enabling remote data/file removals for security reason, and it allows you to remove data/files stored on PCs that have been accidentally stolen or lost.
– Wall Through by Magic Tube[J]
Magic Tube is a Nagoya-based tech start-up. The company developed an augmented reality(AR) solution allowing you to see a remote landscape in a window-resembled LCD as though if the landscape image were located behind the wall on which the LCD is. In correspondence to your viewpoint, the shooting angle of the image on the LCD will be changed by tracking the motion of what you’re looking at, as if you were standing at the remote landscape.
Demonstration Video (quoted from Impress PC Watch):
Based on the committee’s judgement as well as votes by the event participants and the event website visitors, the best award is scheduled to be fixed in December.