Imagine Cup is a global competition that empowers the next generation of computer science students to collaborate and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications that shape how we live, work and play. Every year tens of thousands of students from across the globe compete for money, travel and prizes and for the honour of taking home the Imagine Cup.
This year, students were challenged to develop an original idea in teams of up to three and submit their project and video pitch for the chance to advance in the competition.
Out of hundreds of teams who submitted projects to the Imagine Cup EMEA online semi-final, three teams from the Middle East and Africa were selected to participate in the EMEA regional finals.
Team Athena-IO – Tunisia
Team Athena-IO from Tunisia narrowly missed out on a first place win in the regional finals with their Mixed Reality content creation platform that helps businesses better train their workforces.
After leaving university, the team noticed there was a lack of skilled people to fill an increasing number of technical jobs, and unemployment in the region was a problem. Inspired by the fact that by 2030, Africa will have 600 million youth under the age of 25 joining the workforce without the necessary skills to succeed in the future workplace, the team decided to take action.
Team Athena-IO developed a Mixed Reality solution which takes a hands-on approach to training and skills development. They believe hands-on learning is the best way for humans to acquire new skills, and they see massive potential for holographic computing and Mixed Reality to reimagine the learning process. Says the team, “We grew up on this Imagine Cup journey and our focus now is really on solving the issues our communities face. We couldn’t be more grateful to Microsoft for giving us a platform to be heard.”
Team EKKO – Pakistan
Moved by the plight of millions of people in Pakistan struggling to cope with neurological disorders like cerebral palsy or apraxia of speech, Team EKKO developed a portable device which can be used for cognitive rehabilitation using vibrational waves.
Their “EKKO-A Wave Therapeutic Device” is based on Neurotransmission Cognitive Theory. The team says their solution is a new way of using vibrational waves for cognitive therapy, which have been found to be effective in the fast recovery of muscles because of their resonance with the natural frequencies of muscle fibres
Team iCropal – Kenya
Agriculture is a major component of Kenya’s economy. But many farmers experience challenges ranging from a lack to funding, outdated technology and environmental challenges to pests and diseases which continue to decrease yields and outputs.
Recognising the lack of intelligent, flexible and affordable technologies on the market to help farmers understand and treat the diseases affecting their farms, team iCropal led by two computer science students, AbdiHakim Hussein and Ian Kamau, came up with an effective solution.
Their application uses cognitive Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality to help farmers understand the diseases that could negatively impact their farms. For example, a cattle farmer could use the app to interact with a virtual veterinary assistant who uses a holographic image of a cow to explain the disease, outline its potential cause and also predict possible treatment options.
“iCropal is the application that can contribute to the revolution of agriculture and help millions of farmers. The world is moving towards the intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. With this opportunity we want to empower society,” says the team.
First place teams from the regional finals will advance to the World Championship to compete for the grand prize of $100,000 as well as an Azure Grant.
Do you want to build the skills necessary to bring your technology solution to the next Imagine Cup? Get started learning Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Mixed Reality and more with Azure for Students.