By studying underserved communities, the tech giant hopes to improve the user experience for everyone.
On one otherwise unremarkable day in May 2013, August de los Reyes fell out of bed and hurt his back. Forty-two years old at the time, he was just six months into his dream job at Microsoft: running design for Xbox and righting a franchise that was drifting due to mission creep. At first, de los Reyes was worried that the fall was serious; he went to the ER and was assured that he was fine. Yet several hospital trips later, he found himself undergoing emergency surgery. His spine had been fractured all along. His spinal cord had been damaged. With breathtaking quickness, he was unable to walk ever again.