Making the World a Greener Place

REDMOND, Wash. — July 1, 2010 — This year, an international competition is taking place, involving teams from across the nation where the best of the best come together and face off as the world watches. I’m sure a few of you may have heard about it (hint: it ends in “Cup”).

That’s right — we’re talking about Imagine Cup. Were you expecting something else?

To help get innovative juices flowing around the world, Microsoft is sponsoring the Imagine Cup — a student technology competition created to showcase innovative ideas that can change the way we function in the world. Over 100 countries are coming up with creative ideas that play off this year’s theme — to imagine a world where technology helps solve the world’s toughest problems.

As mentioned in a previous Imagine Cup feature article, Windows Embedded has its own category at this year’s Imagine Cup, with the key subject matter being green technology. Incredible ideas were submitted by students from schools around the globe. Here are three more Imagine Cup finalists in the Embedded Development category that are sure to captivate the world.

Team Carbon Footprint from China is currently working on a project that can potentially solve climate problems caused by excessive carbon dioxide emissions. Their product would calculate the amount of carbon emissions from given tasks and monitor the statistics to provide environmental protection suggestions to users. The key goal would be to use this as a standard, so businesses will want to create products that reduce carbon emissions.

Team GERAS is creating a system to help the elderly feel safer in their own homes.

From France, team GERAS, short for Geriatric Emergency Recognition and Assistance System, is working on a system that is able to detect when an elderly person may be having health issues. This system, which consists of multiple sensors and an “intelligent carpet,” is installed around a person’s home and would be able to detect when an elderly individual falls. In addition, if a person is feeling ill they can communicate with the system’s intercom to call emergency services as needed.

Thailand’s team, SuperLove Factory, is developing the innovative Braille Eye project, which would generate simulation images that can be felt through a display board leveraging Windows Embedded. This would let people with vision impairments get more out of life by letting them visualize by touching and feeling an image. In addition, Braille Eye is being envisioned to support third-party software and technologies, such as face detection and objection recognition.

Along with the entries above, there’s no doubt we have some unbelievable ideas this year, so be sure to check them out. You can vote for your favorite embedded project as part of the Imagine Cup’s People’s Choice Award right now at the official Imagine Cup website.

The overall team with the most votes will be crowned the People’s Choice champion and will be recognized July 8 at an awards ceremony at the Imagine Cup World Festival at the Warsaw opera house. Also on July 8, first prize in the Embedded Development category will win $25,000, second place gets $10,000, and third walks away with $5,000.

Looking for even more details on Imagine Cup? The Windows Embedded team will be in Poland for the event and will be posting an update on the Windows Embedded News Center, so stay tuned! Be sure to keep an eye on the official @msftweb Twitter account for daily updates from the event as well.

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