Microsoft Stories
Cornerstone Academy Trust

Cornerstone Academy Trust

March 15, 2021

In this episode we focus on Cornerstone Academy Trust, which is based in Devon and oversees four primary schools. Its staff place innovation at the heart of teaching and learning.

Cornerstone has forged strong partnerships locally, regionally, nationally and globally, and also provides teacher training, professional learning, leadership development and school-to-school support at both primary and secondary levels. It has been appointed a Microsoft Training Academy, a DfE English Hub and a Science Learning Partnership, and is also part of the West Country Computer Science Hub.

Like every school in England, Cornerstone has had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and the knock-on effect that's had on their pupils' education. In this podcast, you will hear from Jonathan Bishop, headteacher and CEO of Cornerstone, about how innovation has helped his staff continue to provide first-class learning to their classes.

You will also hear from Chris Rothwell, Head of Education at Microsoft UK, about how schools are working together and sharing that innovation.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

January 18, 2021

In this episode we focus on Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, one of the largest fire services in the UK. It looks after 12,000 square kilometres that includes numerous mountains and 650 kilometres of coastline. It's also an organisation steeped in tradition. So when Chris Davies became Chief Fire Officer, he made it his mission to drag it into the 21st century. Now, the firefighters are using Microsoft Surface devices to help them free people trapped in car accidents, and HoloLens to provide remote training.

You will hear from Chris in this podcast, as well as Ryan Lewis, Microsoft’s National Technology Strategist for all the public sector organisations in Wales, about how the country is increasingly embracing digital transformation.

Click the play button and join us on our journey.

Dimension Studio

Dimension Studio

December 17, 2020

In this episode we are visiting Dimension Studio, a Microsoft mixed-reality partner that creates incredible experiences using holograms. Dimension has worked with stars such as Madonna, boxer Anthony Joshua and tennis player Andy Murray. It also helped to create a hologram of a model, so she could see herself walking down the catwalk.

Dimension is on the cutting-edge of digital experiences, so I was keen to talk to them and Alex Montgomery, Director of Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft, about innovation in mixed-reality and using Microsoft HoloLens to create new ways of seeing the world.

Abbey Road

Abbey Road

December 7, 2020

In this episode we focus on the famous Abbey Road studio in London, which has been used by musicians such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Sir Edward Elgar, and was used to record the scores to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, Gravity and Black Panther.

Specifically, we will be looking at Abbey Road's music technology incubator, called Red. Microsoft helps Red run hackathons, which aim to understand what the future of sound recording could look like.

You will hear from Dominika Dronska, Head of Digital at Abbey Road, and Chagall, a singer and musician who uses a motion capture suit in her performances. They will talk about what innovation means to them.

Click the play button and join us on our journey.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

November 23, 2020

Hello and welcome to Microsoft Stories, a new podcast about technology and innovation.

In this episode we focus on Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs some of the busiest hospitals in London. Staff are wearing Microsoft HoloLens, the mixed-reality headset, as they work in high-risk areas. This has been useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as only one person wearing a HoloLens has to be close to patients, while the rest of the medical team can watch a live feed in another room.

You will hear from James Kinross, a consultant surgeon and senior lecturer at Imperial College London who was on the frontlines of medical care during the pandemic.

You will also hear from Annette Garner, an Azure specialist focused on data and AI in health, and Laura Robinson, Health and Life Sciences Lead at Microsoft UK, who reveal how technology can help doctors, nurses and GPs, and ease pressure on the NHS.

Project Natick

Project Natick

November 2, 2020

In this episode we are focusing on Project Natick, a Microsoft research project that placed data centres in the sea and powered them using renewable energy.

The aim is to see if data centres can be deployed closer to the people, businesses and organisations who use them. Almost half of the world’s population lives within 120 miles of the ocean, so the benefits for them are potentially huge.

How did Microsoft come up with the idea to place data centres in the sea, and how did it happen?

Ben Cutler, who leads the Project Natick team, and Michael Wignall, Azure Business Lead at Microsoft UK, will answer those questions in this podcast.

OceanMind

OceanMind

October 19, 2020

In this episode we are focusing on OceanMind, a UK company that's using Microsoft's Azure cloud platform to help protect oceans and tackle illegal fishing across the world. The work undertaken by CEO Nick Wise and his staff has a positive impact on the sustainability of our planet and human rights issues.

We chatted to Nick about innovation at OceanMind, and how his company, which is based in Oxford, can operate so successfully in countries on the other side of the planet.

You will also hear from Eve Joseph, UK Responsibility Manager at Microsoft, about how start-ups are embracing innovative ways of working, and Microsoft's AI for Good programme.

Xbox Adaptive Controller

Xbox Adaptive Controller

October 5, 2020

Hello, and welcome to Microsoft Stories, a new podcast about technology and innovation.

In this episode we hear about the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which makes it easier for people with limited mobility to play videogames.

The controller allows gamers to connect to external buttons, switches, mounts and joysticks, giving them an easy-to-set-up and readily available way to play Xbox One or Windows 10 games.

UK charities welcomed the device, as well as its packaging, which has been specially designed to be opened by gamers with limited mobility. The controller has received widespread praise, won a Golden Joystick Award and been included in a gallery devoted to groundbreaking design at the V&A museum in London.

You will hear from Vivek Gohil, a 30-year-old gamer who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, who says the controller has allowed him to play his favourite games again. We also hear from Chris Kujawski, principal designer on the Microsoft Device Design Team, who worked on the Adaptive Controller.

Click the play button and join us on our journey.

Project Tokyo

Project Tokyo

September 21, 2020

In this episode, we hear about Project Tokyo, an incredible solution for people who are blind that was created in Microsoft's Cambridge Research Lab.

You will hear from Principal Researcher Cecily Morrison, who led a group that adapted a Microsoft HoloLens headset. When a person who is blind puts on the headset, it will call out the names of the people in the room with them.

You will also hear from Hector Minto, Microsoft’s Accessibility Evangelist for Europe, about how technology is changing the way people with disabilities interact with the world, and how those people are increasingly creating their own digital solutions.

The Seablings

The Seablings

September 7, 2020

In this episode, we hear from Anna and Cameron McLean, who spent 43 days rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. When they had completed the 3,000-mile journey, they had set two world records: the first brother and sister to row across an ocean, and the fastest mixed-sex pair to row across the Atlantic.

This is the story of their journey, but it's also much more than that. I wanted to find out if innovation played a part in their success. If it did, then how? How did they innovate while facing rough seas and sharks? Did they innovate together on that tiny boat, or were they innovating while taking turns on the oars?

In this podcast, you will hear directly from Anna and Cameron about their Atlantic crossing and how they innovated along the way.