Smart innovation to lend a hand, makes Arab region proud at Imagine Cup finals in Seattle


Team Night’s Watch from Tunisia, were the pride of the Arab world at this year’s Imagine Cup finals in Seattle, when they were placed second in the World Citizenship category for their project ‘Smart Hand’.

The team, consisting of four engineering students from Esprit University in Tunisia, walked away with $10, 000 to further their innovation of a prosthetic hand or ‘Smart Hand’ for people without limbs. Smart Hand was inspired by one of the team members, Mohammed Zied Cherif, who was born with a birth defect in his right arm. The team wanted to find a way to make his life, and the lives of people with similar disabilities, easier. The prosthetic hand makes use of a Myo Armband and a phone app and allows the user to programme their smart hand using the app. The user can grab items, shake hands and use a mouse on a PC. Smart Hand costs less than other available solutions and doesn’t require any surgical intervention, as it can be worn like a glove.

Team Night’s Watch was selected as one of three teams to represent the Arab world at this year’s finals in Seattle, after winning the Citizenship category at the Pan-Arab semi-finals in Cairo at the end of May.

“We have worked very hard to ensure this project has an impact on people's lives. Being placed second, was not just for our team or our country but for the whole Arab region and is proof that we can create and develop innovative and impactful projects” says Soumaya Tekaya from Team Night’s Watch. “Mohammed, who inspired the Smart Hand, is extremely proud of this achievement and says he can’t describe the feeling of being able to use both of his hands for the first time. We believe that this is just the beginning for us,” concluded Soumaya.
The Imagine Cup is a student competition that has inspired countless to dream and build original solutions to help change the world. For many of the teams, their journey to the Imagine Cup World Finals started way back in August 2015, when students began forming their teams at schools all across the globe to compete on their local level to qualify for the World Finals.

This year’s finals capped an exciting three days for 35 global student teams. The final leg of the nearly year-long Imagine Cup journey began on Wednesday, when the teams from all over the globe competed in front of the judges for the top three spots in the Games, Innovation and World Citizenship categories. The 2016 World Finals teams competed for more than $200,000 in cash and prizes, a 1:1 mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and the coveted Imagine Cup.

Team ENTy from Romania, , walked away as overall champions of the 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup, after designing a wearable device that tracks inner ear balance and spinal posture. The team consists of three Romanian computer science students from University Politehnica of Bucharest.

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