QU to represent Qatar at MS tourney in Sydney
DOHA QATAR University (QU) will represent Qatar at the finals of the coveted Microsoft Imagine Cup, an annual international contest of peoplefriendly technologies, to be held in Sydney in July.
The decision follows the victory of its ‘Technology Lanterns’ team after a close contest held at Four Seasons Hotel on Tuesday.
Four teams including two from Qatar University, one from Carnegie Mellon University and one consisting of members of both Carnegie Mellon University Qatar and Texas A&M University participated in the competition.
QU’s Technology Lanterns team presented a project for the blind named ‘3D-KINDIO: Navigation Aid for Blind and Visually impaired’ to win the competition.
Dr Osama Halabi mentored the team consisting of four members, Fatma Mohammed al Msaifri, Mariam Essa al Ansari, Roqaya Saed al Shaabi and Yasmin Aladden Halwani.
The ‘3D KINDIO’ project is a combined hardware and software application that leverages Kinect, 3D Audio, and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to assist the virtually impaired.
The winning team was selected by a five-member jury consisting of Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute Dr Ahmed Elmagarmid, Chief Executive Officer of Silatech Tarik M Yousef, Director of IT at Qatar Foundation’s IT Directorate Sa’di Awienat, Head of Applications and Software Development section at Aljazeera Network Munjed Attili and Director of Developer Platforms & Technologies at Microsoft Corporation Michael Mansour.
The four projects shortlisted out of 400 entries from Qatar included a project for the visually impaired, an Arabic teaching project, a social network project based on specific interests and aspirations and a fun game project. The projects were named ArabicTutor, Dreamerport, Kinect Funzee and 3D KINDIO.
Addressing a press conference prior to the declaration of the winner, the Country Manager of Microsoft Qatar Naim Yazbeck said, “We are happy to bring the contest for the first time to Qatar and are impressed by the commitment shown by IT students across universities and schools in the country.
The competition has been divided into software and games categories.” Yazbeck said that the projects were judged by their innovativeness, creativity and timing of the delivery.
“Technology can help realise Millennium Development Goals such as poverty alleviation and protection of health and environment and by organising this contest annually for past one decade, we want to send this message strongly to people,” he said.
According to Yazbeck, Microsoft will not only fund the winning team’s trip to Sydney, but also train them for the next two months to help them accomplish their project to be presented in the finals in Sydney.