Future Decoded 2016: day two – as it happened

  • Future Decoded held on November 1 and 2
  • Microsoft unveils Microsoft Teams, a new collaboration tool
  • Speakers today include Uber’s Chris Messina and Roger Walkden, HoloLens Commercial Lead
  • Exclusive HoloLens developer session
  • Thousands of people to attend at ExCeL, London



And that’s the end of Future Decoded. We heard from the Chancellor on Cyber Security, a 3D printing expert on manufacturing disruption, inspiring stories from Martine Wright, science from Bill Bryson and much more, including HoloLens. Thanks for reading.


Reichental: The disruption of 3D printing is happening now.




Reichental suggests we could 3D print food, starting with sweets but moving to more substantial items. What if I had a device that takes my vital signs, sends that information to a 3D printer and have that print a food item that contains what I need?


Reichental proposes that we could 3D print human organs, including a heart. This is not science fiction, he says. It is adaption of technology into bio-printing.


Reichental says that by 2025, 3D printing could have an economic impact of up to $500 billion a year.


Avi Reichental, Chief Executive of XponentialWorks, on stage. Reichental says we can personalise objects using 3D printing, each unique and distinct. Hip replacements, hearing aids and braces are now 3D printed.



Walkden taking people through how they get started with HoloLens. First, find a high impact use case. Then build the software yourself, build it with Microsoft or build it with a partner. Customers are using HoloLens for design and creation projects, assembly and manufacturing roles, training and development, communication (Skype is built in), and entertainment.


Walkden: HoloLens is mixed reality, it’s very different from virtual reality and augmented reality. It’s creating new scenarios suitable for commercial, enterprise and professional space. HoloLens is commercial first and entertainment second. There are a huge amount of partners getting excited about what they can do with HoloLens.

Walkden talks about how ThyssenKrupp is using HoloLens to help its maintenance teams.


Pre-orders now open for HoloLens – Developer Edition and Commercial Suite.


Roger Walkden, HoloLens Commercial Lead, now on stage to talk about 3D. “There were queues of people, it’s been difficult to fit everyone in. For everyone who did get a demo, hopefully everyone left with a big smile on their face.”



Demo of Paint 3D, with the word “Microsoft” and a picture of a stage superimposed on Future Decoded stage and turned round as if it was 3D. Now a cartoon version of Andrew Spooner has been dropped into the picture, including a real 3D face.


Spooner says last hour of keynotes will focus on 3D, how you create it using HoloLens and Paint.



Andrew Spooner, Microsoft Technical Evangelist, is back on stage.


Afternoon keynotes are under way, kicked off with a HoloLens advert!


If you want to watch the Microsoft Teams webcast and you’re at Future Decoded, it will be shown in the main keynote room shortly.


Koenigsbauer: The art of teamwork is finding the right tools. Office 365 offers the broadest and deepest collaboration tools.

That’s the end of the live feed. For more information on Microsoft Teams, click here.


Accenture CIO now talking about how Microsoft Teams will revolutionise his business and others. He could write long notes or send gifs, it’s “creating a glue”, he says.


Microsoft Teams preview starts today, available in 181 countries, in 18 lsnguages. General availability in early 2017.



Notes, budget, Power BI, planner tabs brings all these tools into one place where everyone can work together on them. It brings in all Office 365 assets into one cohesive plan. Activity bell lets you see who has contacted you and who has posted things that affect you.

TBot helps you with any queries. You type in a question and Tbot will give you the answer. WhoBot answers questions about people: “Who is Tom?” for example. The bot will then tells you who that person is, what they are working on etc.

Skype also embedded, so you can call up instant meetings.



You can embed and paste stickers, gifs, pictures and video straight into Teams. You can also bring in bots that, for example, run polls among your team members. You can flag up important posts with red labels, like messages and use the @ symbol to talk to specific people.


Office CVP Kirk Koenigsbauer: Teams makes it easier to share information with others. Every team member can participate. But every team is unique so you can customise your workspace, integrating cloud services with a feature called Tabs. Notifications from GitHub or Twitter, among others.

Teams will encrypt data at rest and in transit.



Nadella: Microsoft Teams will bring together, chat, Power BI, planners, to help get work done. This is an experience that truly empowers that idea of how teams work and how it drives success.


Nadella talking about how he uses email, Skype and Yammer to stay in touch.

Nadella: So important as you move across tools that you have that connection that moves with you. AI that helps you reason over Office 365 data and helps you focus your attention on things that matter the most. Offering privacy and security for every business. We are introducing Microsoft Teams, where people can come together to work on content, create work plans, integrating in one unified experience. Designed to facilitate real-time collaboration while building up institutional knowledge of a team.


Nadella: How to assemble a high performance team and setting them up for success is one of the central pursuits for any organisation? No two teams are the same. No two projects are the same. There is a universal toolkit: Office 365.

Satya nadella, microsoft, transform


Nadella: We want to talk about the artform of “teams”. Human attention and time is scarce. We think about teams of people and what they can achieve. Orchestra is bound together by a score but they have their own instruments. One team.


Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, now on stage in New York via weblink.


Microsoft head of PR Frank Shaw, on webcast, says it’s been a great few weeks for the company. He points people to use hashtag #MicrosoftTeams on Twitter.


Special announcement from Microsoft coming up in the next few minutes. Stay tuned!





More excellent doodling from the Microsoft team:



This afternoon, Future Decoded will hear from Roger Walkden, Senior Director on the Windows Experiences team at Microsoft. He runs the HoloLens EMEA Commercial Program, as well as the London HoloLens engineering team.


We’ve been doing a bit of doodling too. Here’s a summary of some of the events from this morning at Future Decoded:pic


Amazing speeches in the exhibition hall, the place is packed!



That wraps up morning keynote speeches! Back to the exhibition hall!


Messina says he has his own bot that interacts with people.


Messina: Categories of bots are increasing. (Demo of Shopify, which lets users shop while in text messages). Small businesses can interact with customers without downloading app. (Demo of holiday app Crosby). Crosby building own messaging experience but doing it cross-platform. They’re offering group travel planning. Bots for groups is going to be interesting. Bots are on Skype and Meekan lets you schedule things in a group.



Messina: Uber can be accessed via messaging apps, meaning people don’t have to download our app, saving time.


Messina: Kids born today, growing up with Cortana, are going to have a very different view of the world and technology. To things are driving this: Computing is getting a lot more data and messaging platforms are in their ascendency.


Messina talking about the growth of personal computing, from the launch of PCs through Windows to phones and social networks.


Messina: Second platform epoch was Windows, where we took digital platforms and put them in the workplace.


Messina: We will be speaking to bots as seamlessly as we speak to humans.


Chris Messina, Developer Experience Lead at Uber, takes to the stage! He also invented the #hashtag!


Davis: This tech could be used in diagnostics or medicine, anywhere where video capture has fallen short in the past.


Davis showing how to creative interactive videos using sound.



Davis talking about software creators who can boost parts of video, so someone’s pulse can be seen really easily, or the breathing of a sleeping baby.

Sounds can be “seen”. Playing music moves leaves on a plant. That movement creates tiny sounds that we can’t hear but program can.


Abe Davis, Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University, now on stage.


Hofmann now showing how Minecraft can be used to run AI reinforcement learning. The AI agent learned through trial and error to walk along a platform without falling off.


Hofmann: We have released Project Malmo, a platform for AI experimentation built on Minecraft. It’s also open source on GitHub and works across platforms.




Katja Hofmann from Microsoft Research Cambridge now on stage.

Hofmann: We have made advances in facial recognition, and we have seen this technology laying the foundations for new applications. Last month researchers at Microsoft said they were now able to achieve human level speech recognition. We have machines that can understand language and translate it, machines that can see and recognise images.

We can use Minecraft to experiment with AI, as it has diverse environments and can handle large amounts of data. Minecraft is an open-ended game and it is a fascinating platform for AI research.


Andrew Spooner back on stage talking about Shearwater’s bid to help epilepsy sufferers predict when they will have a seizure. More information here.


Sirosh: The world around us is going to be an adaptive, constantly learning one. And that will be revolutionary.



eSmart Systems on stage to explain how they use drones and deep learning, using Azure, to help energy companies in the field keep infrastructure running at its best. They can create virtual, 3D models and add them into images to create more data and give machine learning more to learn from. The AI can then detect objects quicker and with better accuracy.


Sirosh: Deep learning is everywhere. Automated cars have deep learning behind them to spot pavements, vehicles, animals etc.


Now we are going inside a Microsoft data centre – 100% carbon neutral, millions of computer core, enough cable to circle Earth twice. 36 data centres across the world – Ireland, Singapore, Netherlands.


Uber is using Microsoft’s facial recognition APIs to make sure drivers are who they say they are, making rides safer for passengers.


Demo of facial recognition API using recent Presidential debate. Amazing ability to automatically detect people, ages, even how they are feeling from their facial expression.


Sirosh: What if you wanted to extract patterns from vast amount of data? You need intelligence where the data lies, the future is algorithms operating where the data lives, other options will be severely limited by the cost of data movement. Azure Data Lake Store is a hyper-scale storage system for data. Offers big data queries as a service.

Microsoft Cognitive Services takes data and allows me to do face recognition, detecting age or gender. It’s simple to add, with just a few lines of code required.



Sirosh: Intelligence can be put into an existing database and you can make slight modifications in the app to make it very powerful. SQL Server can make one million predictions per second.

Document DB is a blazing fast planet-scale NoSQL. Low latency, elastically scale storage, embed intelligence.


Sirosh: Applications interact with intelligence through a query. It’s a big win. What you get is throughput, compliance, security, manageability, all in one place. SQL Server 2016 can now host any data from on-premise or in the cloud, it’s available on Linux, and will soon be generally available. It’s a very powerful platform for data-driven intelligence.


Sirosh: You can now build a model to predict the outcome of laser eye surgery. A lot of data is collected on the procedure, and those data points are fed into machine learning models, using web services in the cloud, and they can make predictions.

Then you can devise an optimal surgery plan, and personalise eye surgery for an individual. This is AI for the eye. Artifical intelligence for eyecare, and it’s powered by the intelligent cloud.


Joseph Sirosh, CVP Data Group at Microsoft, now on stage.


Spooner: We are starting to do amazing things with big data.



Spooner: It takes time to build great things. We are creating ever more intelligent software that runs on ever more powerful devices. We are taking moon steps forward, massive leaps.


Andrew Spooner, Microsoft Technical Evangelist, on stage as host today.



Day two keynotes are about to start. Excited! We’ll be covering them all live here.


Chris Messina from Uber will be speaking at Future Decoded today, and he’s looking forward to it… we think.


The 84-inch Surface Hub is proving popular. People are zooming across the world using the touch-screen map.



Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate VP Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft, gave a great speech yesterday:


From our spot in the exhibition hall, we’ve seen a couple of people wandering around quietly saying “wow” to themselves. Future Decoded does look amazing.

We have stands featuring Azure, Dynamics 365, Services, Windows 10, HoloLens, the list goes on and on!


Here’s the full agenda for day two of Future Decoded:



The exhibition hall is already starting to fill up. People are here early to make the most of Future Decoded, hear from some amazing speakers and test out some great technology.



On day one of Future Decoded, Microsoft UK CEO Cindy Rose wrote a blog on “decoding digital transformation”. For a full round-up of day one, click here.



Welcome back to live coverage of Microsoft’s Future Decoded event, which is aimed at helping businesses digitally transform so they can grow and succeed. On Tuesday, we heard from speakers including Chancellor Philip Hammond, who vowed to tackle cyber criminals, author Bill Bryson and Paralympic athlete Martine Wright.


Philip Hammond speaks on day one of Future Decoded

Today, we will see an exclusive HoloLens developer session, and speeches from Cambridge Research Centre researcher Katja Hofmann, Uber’s Developer Experience Lead Chris Messina and Microsoft Technical Evangelist Andrew Spooner.