Microsoft intern makes a water cooler that flirts with you

From priceless hands-on work experience to private concerts by Deadmau5 and Macklemore, a Microsoft internship is a sweet gig. And judging by this article, the interns at Microsoft Research just might have the most fun of them all. The piece profiles six summer interns and their work in a variety of fascinating areas at Microsoft Research, from pushing the boundaries of game theory to meshing machine learning with lighting effects.

The work of Halley Profita, Ph.D. student in The Correll Lab at the University of Colorado-Boulder, caught my eye in particular. She set out to transform the workplace environment in two freshly renovated buildings on Microsoft’s Redmond campus through highly innovative interactive installations.

“We wanted to explore ways of integrating technology further into the workplace in order to promote company culture and encourage interconnectedness and general well-being,” she explained. Using internal technologies like Kinect, Profita created cool stuff like a water cooler that flirts with you, to encourage you to drink more water and hang around and socialize, and a wall unit that shows you relaxing Tai Chi moves to help you focus.

Read more about Profita and her peers on the Microsoft Research site. Meanwhile I’m going to go download one of those internship applications.