From Surface Keyboards To Teddy Bear Robots, Microsoft’s Mad Scientist …

“I think I have the best job in the company,” says Stevie Bathiche, Distinguished Scientist of Windows Hardware at Microsoft, where he’s worked since 1999. Bathiche is something of a mad scientist in residence, a guy whose job it is to tinker for a living–and to hire and manage a team of similarly curious tinkerers.

That team, about 20 people strong, is called the Applied Sciences Group, and is made up of a diverse collection of scientists and engineers. The Applied Sciences Group’s fingerprints are everywhere, in algorithms for Kinect, in Microsoft’s multi-touch mouse, in some of the underlying technology of the Surface tablet and its accessories.

Fast Company caught up with Bathiche to extract lessons from his experience running an experimental wing of a large corporation.

Thinking Long, and Short

The Applied Sciences Group occupies a funny niche between research and product development;

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