embeddedSPARK Competition Has Its Grand Finale in Redmond

REDMOND, Wash. – June 24, 2011 – After months of grueling work from aspiring developers around the world, and multiple rounds of deliberation by contest judges, the embeddedSPARK competition announced its $15,000 grand prize winner. This week the contest’s three finalists presented their projects before a panel of judges at the Microsoft campus in Redmond. The winner, Sebastian Londoño (see project description of ArS8ver below), was announced on Tuesday at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue, following a visit to the Microsoft Store.

Grand prize winner Sebastian Londoño proudly displays his $15,000 earnings along with the 2011 embeddedSPARK Challenge trophy, flanked by finalists (left) Gianni Rosa Gallina and (right) Marco Bodoira.

This year’s theme was “Experience Embedded” and called upon participants to create a solution utilizing Windows Embedded Compact 7, which seamlessly connects to PCs, media, online content and data. Windows Embedded Partners provided toolkits including all necessary software for contestants and even presented the opportunity for projects to turn into products through contacting a Microsoft Authorized Embedded Distributor. As in previous competitions, many contestants see their products make it to the mainstream market after working with OEMs and other developers across the embedded landscape.

The embeddedSPARK forums have seen almost 3,000 unique posts discussing the projects submitted to this biannual event. These three products made it to the final round:

  • ArS8ver
    aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries when natural disasters occur, through intelligent technologies that optimize the search time for victims and manage to get a broader picture of the disaster, which is usually not accessible due to debris and suspended particles in the air.

  • KitchenPal
    is a complete tool for everyday housekeeping, cooking and shopping. It is a three-in-one device with touch-screen display and can be integrated with a mobile device application that runs on both Windows Mobile 6.x and Windows Phone 7.

  • Post-IT!
    is a digital blackboard that members of a household can use to write and share notes and shopping lists. Information can be edited from virtually anywhere through the embedded Digital Blackboard, the Web Digital Blackboard site and the Windows Phone 7 app.

From left to right: Olivier Bloch (Microsoft Technical Evangelist), Gianni Rosa Gallina (second place), Sam Phung (judge), Sebastian Londoño (first place), Mike Hall (principal software architect, Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft), Marco Bodoira (third place), Gitte-Lena Andersen (embeddedSPARK contest organizer).

Second place winner Gianni Rosa Gallina (KitchenPal) and runner-up Marco Bodoira (Post-IT! and 2010 grand prize winner) took home $5,000 and $1,000 respectively, in cash prizes.

But the fun did not end in Redmond for the final three. Yesterday the three finalists were given a citywide tour of the Seattle Metropolitan area and all it has to offer, a truly exciting experience for the international contestants who have never seen the West Coast of the United States before. Everyone who participated in this biannual event brought a tremendous amount of creativity and talent, and their work shows that the next generation of developers is coming into its own.

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