Students Make Their Mark on the Future at the Imagine Cup 2010 Worldwide Finals

WARSAW, Poland — July 8, 2010 — The winners of the eighth annual Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals were announced this evening at the Opera House and National Theatre (Teatr Narodowy) in Warsaw, Poland, where more than 400 students gathered to celebrate their unique innovations aimed at solving the world’s toughest problems. This year’s Imagine Cup, sponsored by Microsoft Corp. and known globally as the world’s premier student technology competition, began with a field of more than 325,000 high school and university students representing more than 100 countries and regions and culminated with a weeklong celebration in Warsaw. During the week, students demonstrated their real-world solutions and competed for cash prizes totaling $240,000 (U.S.) across five competition categories and six awards.

Team Skeek from Thailand took home the grand prize of $25,000 (U.S.) in the Software Design category for their solution eyeFeel, which allows hearing-impaired people to communicate with others via an augmented-reality environment. It combines speech and face recognition, converts it to English from text, and generates virtual conversation text balloons and sign language animation in real time.

“These student projects are sophisticated technology accomplishments that highlight the incredible things that can happen when inspired ideas and the will to make them happen come together,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International. “These students should make us all proud, as they are taking concrete steps to help others and make our world a better place. With their passion and the assistance of technology, these young adults can and will affect the future.”

“We wanted to implement something that would have a unique impression on the user and also be fun to use,” said Pichai Sodsai of team Skeek. “We dared to dream and worked hard to make it come true.”

Students care deeply about their projects having an impact. This year’s projects primarily focused on solving challenges in education, healthcare and the environment. Within those, a few trends emerged among the students’ projects that spoke to specific global issues. For example, a number of projects used social networking to address carbon emissions caused by vehicle traffic, several teams created alert systems to help people quickly access local emergency services, and a plethora of solutions were designed to help the visually and hearing impaired communicate more effectively.

In addition, the increasing prevalence of cloud computing was carried into Imagine Cup projects. Students historically have been the early technology adopters who set the pace for others, and this year’s Imagine Cup is no exception. Nearly one-third of all finalists used Windows Azure, one of Microsoft’s cloud computing offerings, to develop their projects. 

The winners were announced this evening during the Imagine Cup World Festival. The following is a list of the top three winners in each of the five competition categories. Cash prizes, totaling $150,000 (U.S.), were awarded to winners across the five competition categories.

Software Design

  • First Place: Thailand, Skeek

  • Second Place: Serbia, TFZR Team

  • Third Place: New Zealand, OneBeep

Embedded Development

  • First Place: Taiwan, SmarterME

  • Second Place: Russia, MCPU

  • Third Place: France, GERAS

Game Design

  • First Place: Philippines, By Implication

  • Second Place: Belgium, NomNom Productions

  • Third Place: France, Gears Studio

IT Challenge

  • First Place: China, WeiQiu Wen

  • Second Place: Bolivia, Miklos Cari Sivila

  • Third Place: Singapore, Zhengbin Hu

Digital Media

  • First Place: Taiwan, Mirror Vita

  • Second Place: Saudi Arabia, Dreaming Spirits

  • Third Place: Singapore, Woolgathering

In addition to the competition categories above, the Imagine Cup includes six achievement awards. These six awards provided more opportunities for students to win cash, prizes and a trip to Poland. $90,000 (U.S.) worth of cash and prizes were awarded to winners of the six achievement awards. The following is a list of these winners:

Envisioning 2020 Award. The Envisioning 2020 Award challenges students to express their vision for how technology could transform people’s lives by the year 2020.

  • First Place: Taiwan, Jigga-Dongxi

  • Second Place: India, KOLA

  • Third Place: India, Target Locked

Interoperability Award. The Interoperability Award is designed to recognize the software application that best leverages out-of-the-box Microsoft technologies and blends them with other technologies to connect people, data or diverse systems in a new way.

  • First Place: Jamaica, Xormis

  • Second Place: Brazil, Uptiva Dreams IT

  • Third Place: Indonesia, Chandradimuka

Next Generation Web Award. The Next Generation Web Award asked teams to write open source Web applications using modern technologies, such as Silverlight or ASP.NET, on the Microsoft Web Platform.

  • First Place: Korea, Wanna Be Alice

  • Second Place: Poland, Rhea

  • Third Place: Brazil, Samba Samba

Touch & Tablet Accessibility Award. The object of the Touch & Tablet Accessibility Award is to create a new education application that uses Touch & Tablet technology while expanding the possibilities about how a user interacts with the computer.

  • First Place: United States, Team Note-Taker

  • Second Place: United States, OneView

Windows® Phone 7 “Rockstar” Award. This award challenged teams to create a Windows Phone 7 application in either Silverlight or XNA Framework that was original, visually compelling and appealing to the average consumer and that used mobile-oriented features.

  • First Place: United States, Beastware

  • Second Place: Indonesia, Tselina

  • Third Place: Malaysia, Hypo Team

Windows Internet Explorer 8 Award. The Windows Internet Explorer 8 Award competition is designed to recognize software applications that create an enhanced user experience by leveraging Web Slices, Accelerators and Search Providers in Internet Explorer.

  • First Place: Poland, Rhea

  • Second Place: Poland, LittleRitle

  • Third Place: Poland, CieszakTeam

  • Web Slice: Poland, Invention Task Force

  • Accelerator: Brazil, Samba Samba

  • Visual Search: Russia, BigTurtle

“The Imagine Cup stands alone as a competition that is focused on applying technology to solve the biggest problems of our time,” said Professor Dennis Anderson of Pace University, one of this year’s Software Design judges. “Microsoft has created more than a technology competition for students; it has created a lasting impact for the next generation of leaders.”

Microsoft today also announced that the Imagine Cup 2011Worldwide Finals will be held in New York City, America’s financial and emerging technological center. This is the first time the United States will host the event. More information about Imagine Cup 2011 can be found at Students can begin registration for next year’s competition today.

The Imagine Cup was made possible by support from a number of key partners dedicated to helping students realize the potential of technology. These sponsors include Ministry of Economy in Poland, Institute of Industrial Design, Energa Group, Orange, TakingITGlobal, XNA Game Studio, Lenovo, Bradesco, Windows Embedded, Microsoft Central Marketing Group, Microsoft Interoperability, Microsoft Office Labs, Windows Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft Office of the Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Accessibility, Microsoft Learning, Microsoft/web, Windows Mobile and Microsoft Research.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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