Microsoft's Imagine Cup Shines on Next Generation of Developers
An example of that boldness came in the form of Team Butterfly, a young female duo from Bahrain that produced a nail polish mixer. While seemingly simple on its surface, the nail polish mixer is a combination of software and hardware that enables women to select a color for a nail polish to match a swatch or color of their own creation and have the mixer whip up the exact nail polish they want. “As a father of a 16-year-old girl, I know how big a deal this can be,” Guggenheimer gushed. “Imagine Cup is about fostering new ideas and encouraging students to push the boundaries and imagine what’s possible now and in the future,” Guggenheimer said in a statement. “Student developers play a huge role in helping to bring new technology innovations to life in ways that shape the way we work, live and play. Going forward, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup program aims to empower even more students, at younger ages, with the technologies, skills and resources to build a lifelong passion for technology, helping to grow the next generation of innovators.” Eyenaemia, a team of two software developing medical students from Australia, took home $50,000 and the Imagine Cup. With Eyenaemia, Jennifer Tang and Jarrel Seah created a simple and non-invasive screening tool for anemia that analyzes and calculates the risk for conjunctiva through eye selfies. The team, which won first place in the World Citizenship category, was victorious over the other two first place winners in the Games and Innovation categories: Brainy Studio from Russia and Estimeet from New Zealand, who also won $50,000 each.New Zealand’s Estimeet won the $50,000 first place prize and a trip to Microsoft Ventures Boot Camp in the Innovation category. Team Tep from Hungary won $10,000 second place prize and Bahrain’s team Butterfly won the $5,000 third place prize. The Estimeet app shows users all their friends’ distance and estimated time of arrival from the meeting location as well as whether they are on their way. Coming in behind Eyenaemia in the World Citizenship category was Taiwan’s team SMART crew with its project Versatility of Usens: From Lab to Life, claiming the $10,000 second place prize and Ireland’s team Access Earth, with project Access Earth for the $5,000 third place prize. The SMART crew’s tool gives stroke patients the tools to measure their progress through a wearable motion detector system. The Access Earth tool was referred to as “TripAdvisor for the mobility impaired.” Part of Microsoft’s goal with the Imagine Cup has always been to help foster the next generation of professional software developers. The company called on renowned members of the tech community to serve as judges in the various categories, including the company’s own Bill Buxton of Microsoft Research and John Shewchuk, a Microsoft Technical Fellow considered one of the top developers at the company. In addition, Microsoft tapped Nadella, Erik Martin, general manager of Reddit.com, and Code.org Founder Hadi Partovi to choose from the final three teams and select a winner.
In the games category, Russia’s Brainy Studio won first place with its TurnOn game. Team Bomon from Korea won second place and $10,000 for its Under Bed game, and Egypt’s team Illogic won third place and $5,000 for its Puppy in Bubble game.