An Anatomy Room Is Hidden at Microsoft Headquarters
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An Anatomy Room Is Hidden at Microsoft Headquarters

In most prominent technology companies, some essential new technologies or prototypes are concealed.

In Google, it may be "ATAP" for which an innovative project team is responsible;

In Apple, you may have to find where industrial designers work;

As for Microsoft, No. 87 in Redmond is always mentioned. In the building, Microsoft's hardware R&D team is working.

Recently, TechCrunch has conducted an in-depth interview with this mysterious team. The team has unveiled the ergonomics laboratory, audio lab, and prototype development center, and shared quite a few anecdotes about product development.

▲The picture is from Microsoft News

In the ergonomics laboratory, we can see different human tissue models, such as fingers, ears, and so on.

The lab looks close to an anatomy room in the hospital. These models are all props. Engineers use them to simulate human habits to ensure the comfort and stability of the product in different conditions.

▲The picture is from TechCrunch

For example, while testing the keyboard, the developer uses a high-speed camera to record the fingers tapping the keyboard, then observe how the skin stretches in slo-mo mode. This accuracy is up to ±1mm.

Additionally, to take all users into account, Microsoft has divided these models based on a strict standard.

As for "fingers," there are different sizes, namely children's or adults' fingers. In this way, the hardware team can solve the problem of unfit size in advance.

▲The picture is from TechCrunch

There are also "ears," "eyes," "noses," and so on. The physiological structures of these human tissues are complicated, needlessly to say they also differ in ages, shapes, and materials. Each is in a separate package.

▲The picture is from Microsoft

▲The picture is from TechCrunch

▲The picture is from TechCrunch 


Here's another laboratory in Building No. 87. It is certified by Guinness as "the quietest place in the world." It is Microsoft's audio lab dedicated to various studies of sound.

How quiet is it?

It is reported that theoretically, the quietest sound on the earth is -23dB, which is the sound of collision between gas particles in Brownian motion. In the audio laboratory, the sound is only -20.3dB, which is approaching the limit.

▲The picture is from Microsoft

Usually, Microsoft engineers use it to test the sound effects of electronic devices, such as the typing sound on the Surface keyboard.

Moreover, Microsoft is not just concerned about the taping and noise, but also whether the sound can trigger positive emotions.

▲The picture is from TechRadar

In addition to noise, the Microsoft team has shared seven critical aspects on which they focus during the development of the keyboard. 

They are the travel distance, spacing (distance between the two keys), and pitch (center-to-center distance between keys), curve (keycap style or tilt angle), material, sound, actuation force.

Only when all these indicators meet the standards, can a keyboard be regarded as a qualified product.

Edie Adams, the Microsoft chief ergonomics scientist, says: "It is exciting to integrate all our expertise of the human body with the industrial design."

▲The picture is from MSPoweruser

The last lab is the prototype R&D center. Explicitly, it produces a variety of prototypes.

As long as you have a complete design, you can use 3D printers to put the renderings on your computer screen into life. Then, you can analyze the pros and cons more intuitively within a few hours.

From what's behind the development of Surface computers, we know that Microsoft has designed a large number of prototypes.

Although renderings can improve some problems, they think that the ideal way is using a real product. Thus, the improvements based on actual products are undoubtedly more effective than intuition or the sixth sense.

In fact, not only industrial design requires 3D printing, but the general public is also obsessed with 3D printing technology.

For one thing, by scanning an object, a model can be built on the computer, and then you can get a perfect replica;

For another, it can print out what you imagine.

Check out the 10 most popular 3D printers on Gearbest are as follows: 

Creality 3D Ender-3 V-slot Prusa I3 DIY 3D Printer Kit 220 x 220 x 250mm Printing Size



Alfawise U20 Large Scale 2.8 inch Touch Screen DIY 3D Printer - EU



Alfawise U30 2.8 inch Touch Screen DIY Desktop 3D Printer



Alfawise U30 Pro 4.3 Inch Touch Screen High Precision DIY 3D Printer



Alfawise U20 Plus 2.8 inch Touch Screen Large Scale DIY 3D Printer



Creality 3D Ender-3 V-slot Prusa I3 DIY 3D Printer Kit 220 x 220 x 250mm Printing Size



Creality 3D Ender - 3X ( Ender - 3 Upgraded Version ) 3D Printer with Tempered Glass Bed + 5pcs 0.4mm Nozzles



Alfawise U20 ONE 3D Printer



Creality3D CR - 10S 3D Printer



Creality CR - 10S Pro 300 x 300 x 400mm 3D Printer



The above picture is from CNET

You may also want to read:

Alfawise U30 Pro 3D Printer Review: Is This The Best Home 3D Printer Under $250?

Alfawise U30 Pro vs. Creality3D Ender 3 Pro: Which Is A Better Budget 3D Printer?

Whoa! Alfawise U30 Pro 3D Printer Will MakeYou Feel Like a Potential Engineer!

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