Student winners from across the globe, including the United States and Thailand, are honored at the 10th anniversary of the Imagine Cup.
Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the 10th annual Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, honoring student technology innovations that address the world’s toughest problems. The winners were announced in front of 106 student teams. The event was the culmination of a five-day celebration of technology, teamwork and innovation.
Software and Game Design Winners at Imagine Cup 2012
Team quadSquad from the Ukraine took top honors in the Software Design Competition with its device, Enable Talk, which uses a pair of gloves equipped with 15 flex sensors and a microcontroller that continuously recognizes sign language patterns, which are then transmitted via Bluetooth to a Windows Phone device that uses the Microsoft Speech API and Bing API to translate the signs into audio. With its victory, the team won US$25,000.
Team quadSquad was not the only competitor whose project was designed to enhance the quality of life for the disabled. Twenty-three percent of Imagine Cup projects this year were created to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities such as visual and hearing impairments and diseases that limit a human’s physical mobility.
In 2004, more than 275 million people globally had moderate to profound hearing impairment, 80 percent of them in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization’s most recent data.
“We were inspired to help our friends who are hearing- and speech-impaired to have the ability to communicate like everyone else,” said Maxim Osika, Team quadSquad. “The Imagine Cup is an amazing experience; we’re thrilled to be here learning from the experts around us.”
Teams competed in two Game Design competitions — Game Design: Xbox/Windows and Game Design: Phone. The winning games addressed social issues including poverty, environment and sustainability, education, and community involvement. In Game Design: Xbox/Windows, TANG Thai from Thailand focused on protecting the environment and preventing deforestation. In Game Design: Phone, Drexel Dragons from the United States created an engaging game designed to teach math and problem solving in new ways to elementary school students. Each first-place team received US$8,000.
More than 350 students from 75 countries traveled to Sydney after competing in local and online events, representing the best and brightest selected to compete in the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals. Cash prizes totaling approximately US$175,000 were awarded across eight competition categories.
More information on the Imagine Cup 2012 winners is available here: http://www.imaginecup.com/CompetitionsContent/Competition/WorldwideFinalists.aspx
“Over the past 10 years, Imagine Cup participants have applied technology and minds to positively impact their local communities and change the world,” said Moorthy Uppaluri, General Manager, Global Academic Programs, Microsoft. “Whether it’s using the cloud to aid in disaster recovery, inventing technology to make education more accessible to erase the digital divide or making it possible to diagnose medical conditions using mobile phones, the Imagine Cup has inspired students to imagine what once was considered impossible and make it real.”
Imagine Cup is more than a competition; it’s a way for young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to have an opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, set a clear business plan and even take their product to market. All Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finalist teams that competed in Sydney this year are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants, a three-year, US$3 million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality. More information on Imagine Cup Grants can be found at http://www.imaginecup.com in the coming weeks. In addition, through the Microsoft BizSpark program, Imagine Cup participants can launch startup businesses in their communities and across the Web. More information on BizSpark can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark.
Imagine Cup 2013 Heads to Russia
As is tradition at the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals, Pip Marlow, General Manager of Microsoft Australia, participated in the ceremonial flag passing to mark the transition of host country duties. Nikolay Pryanishnikov, General Manager of Microsoft Russia, was on hand to accept the flag on behalf of Russia, which will host the 11th annual Imagine Cup in St. Petersburg in July 2013.