Microsoft names finalists of tech contest
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA VISUAL impairment and the availability of Arabic mobile learning tools and interactive education tools are some of the issues addressed in the shortlisted Microsoft Imagine Cup technology solutions in Qatar for this year’s competition.
Microsoft Qatar on Sunday revealed the four projects which have qualified for the country finals of its premier technology competition, Imagine Cup 2012.
Now in its 10th year, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, in partnership with Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and Tumuha TEC, is open to students between the ages of 16 years and 26 years. It empowers them to use their creative and technical abilities to make a positive impact on society.
“We are impressed with the entries received for the competition, as they are an excellent showcase of the young talent we have in Qatar,” said Naim Yazbeck, country manager of Microsoft Qatar. “The notion of making the world a better place is at the heart of Imagine Cup and it provides a platform for the brightest young minds across Qatar to express their creativity and passion for technology by coming up with new solutions for the challenges we face today in the world. The teams have exhibited tremendous passion and innovation and I wish them the very best of luck in the competition. Our focus on Imagine Cup reflects Microsoft’s continued commitment in supporting young talent to drive future prosperity in Qatar.” The projects selected were submitted by teams from universities across the country, including those from QF’s branch campuses. Two of the four talented groups who qualified for the finals are from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and Texas A&M University at Qatar, while the other two groups are from Qatar University. Using their creativity, the students developed ideas to address the Imagine Cup 2012 theme: ‘Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.’ “The Microsoft Imagine Cup Qatar submissions, including those from Qatar Foundation’s branch campuses, have demonstrated the breadth of local creativity and talent that we have here in Qatar,” said Sa’di Awienat, IT director at QF. “QF is committed to nurturing these talented young students and as a partner of Imagine Cup Qatar, we are ensuring their creativity and potential is unlocked on our mission to help transform the nation to a knowledge economy.” The team winning first place in the software design category in the Qatar Country Finals, taking place on April 24, will advance to participate in the Imagine Cup worldwide finals which will be held in Sydney, Australia, in July.
The four projects shortlisted from Qatar are: 3D-KINDIO: The project by the ‘Technology Lanterns’ team from Qatar University who, by combining hardware and software applications that use Kinect camera, 3D audio, and augmented reality (AR) technologies have developed a programme to assist the virtually impaired.
Arabic Tutor: The project is a submission by the ‘Arabic Oasis’ from Qatar University.
The submission outlines plans for an m-learning platform for interactive linguistic skill acquisition, particularly for learning Arabic spelling and vocabulary.
Dreamer Port: A submission from the ‘DreamerVoice’ team which includes members from Carnegie Mellon University Qatar and Texas A&M University Qatar, the DreamPort is set to be a social network that bases itself on connecting people with similar interests, dreams and aspirations.
Kinect Funzee: The project is an interactive game that helps students learn and have fun at the same time and was submitted by ‘Team Prince’ whose members are from Carnegie Mellon University Qatar.
Imagine Cup compliments Microsoft’s commitment to create social and economic opportunities through programmes and products that transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and opportunities worldwide.