BELLEVUE, Wash. – It’s tough enough to move a laboratory to new digs, but when you add in a world-class kitchen and a state-of-the-art machine shop, you get a sense of the challenge that Intellectual Ventures faced when it had to uproot its Bellevue lab to make way for a light-rail station.
The solution? Today, the invention factory started up by pioneering Microsoft researcher Nathan Myhrvold has its lab in a nondescript 87,000-square-foot building on Eastgate Way, just around the corner and down the street from the main corporate offices.
The exterior may look dull, but the interior is anything but. As the researchers at Intellectual Ventures’ lab make their rounds, they walk past a Rocketdyne H-1 rocket engine saved from the Apollo program … a Tesla coil that can shoot Frankenstein-like sparks in time with a soundtrack … and a working full-scale model of Charles Babbage’s 19th-century Difference Engine.