The Microsoft Imagine Cup a global student technology competition is nearing its finale.
The Irish have a good standing in the competition – in 2011 team Hermes from IT Sligo won the overall award at the global finals in New York.
That team has since gone on to start their own business called CleverMiles, a cloud-based rewards platform aimed at turning 18 to 35-year-olds into safer drivers.
Develop practical solutions
The main thrust of the competition is for students to “develop practical solutions for the world that they live in today”. This year’s three categories are: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship.
Two Irish teams have already made significant strides in this year’s competition.
Team RUOK from IT Sligo was selected as a one of the four team grant winners worldwide and will receive a $50,000 grant to build out their idea. RUOK is a TV application that provides support to elderly people living independently. By connecting RUOK to the TV, users can interact with others through Skype while using Kinect and Windows to access exercise programs and receive notifications from their home alarm systems, heart rate monitors, and medication reminders. Microsoft will fly the team to Silicon Valley for two months intensive training.
Team Symbiote from Dundalk IT was named the world wide winners in the World Citizenship category of the Imagine Cup for its idea called Nyx. The solution is a Kinect-powered Windows game designed for patients with multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy.
In July 2014, Microsoft will bring the winners of the world semi-finals to Seattle to compete in the Imagine Cup World Finals. More info here www.imaginecup.com.