Microsoft is opening a research laboratory in collaboration with ETH Zurich. “Microsoft’s new lab here in Zurich will focus on longer-term topics in the field of machine vision,” said Marc Pollefeys in an article in the Swiss Sunday paper NZZ am Sonntag. Pollefeys, an ETH professor, will head the lab.
The lab will initially employ 15 people, who will explore the problems at the interface between ETH basic research and the challenges facing Microsoft product development. This will include communication between devices themselves. Until now, machine vision is still limited to individual devices, said Polleyfeys.
In addition, Microsoft and ETH Zurich have also agreed to collaborate in the area of mixed reality, with the IT giant from Seattle financing several doctoral positions.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told NZZ am Sonntag that his company has long enjoyed collaborating with the two Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne. But the actual impetus for the new laboratory also came from Pollefeys.
“Of course, it also helped that the head of the lab, ETH Professor Marc Pollefeys, spent several years at Microsoft’s headquarters researching our computer glasses,” said Nadella. “The fact that he has now returned to ETH Zurich was the real catalyst for us to establish a laboratory that can draw on the world-class research taking place here.”
Zurich is home to world-class talents who can contribute to the products that Microsoft is developing, according to the interview.