Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s global student technology program and competition that provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrated solutions that can change the way we live, work and play.
This year’s Imagine Cup global finals will begin on July 27 at our headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and twelve teams from Europe will be competing! We’ll be introducing you to all twelve here on the Microsoft News Centre Europe, so you can cheer on your favorites as they enter this year’s exciting competition.
Of our European finalist teams, three will compete in the Games category; four in the Innovation category and five in the World Citizenship category! We wish you all great success!
Founded in 2003, Microsoft Imagine Cup is the company’s premier student technology program and competition, and a cornerstone of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. It provides an opportunity for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs from all academic backgrounds to collaborate, develop a technology application, create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what is needed to bring a concept to market. In Imagine Cup, the brightest young minds join together to exemplify the power of student innovation.
IZHARD FROM RUSSIA
WINNER: 1st Place – Games
The IzHard team developed a 2D puzzle-platform called OVIVO, a unique game that uses a greyscale minimalistic design to illustrate forces, like gravity, that impact gameplay. This distinctive design was inspired, in part, by the team’s background in graphic design, and has led to the creation of fun, visually appealing, puzzles.
KUALITY GAMES FROM THE NETHERLANDS
WINNER: 2nd Place – Games
Where once computer games were considered the preserve of bedroom dwelling teenage boys, today the gamer demographic is a lot more diverse, with mobile gaming, multiplayer, and even professional gaming as a spectator event growing in popularity. To capitalize on this trend, Kuality Games created Bounce ‘em Up, a physics-based, multiplayer action game, based on solid foundations of fast-paced arcade-style gameplay, simple yet distinctive eye-catching visuals, and smooth intuitive controls.
NoObs FROM AZERBAIJAN
WINNER: 2nd Place – Innovation
The Azerbaijani finalists believe that good posture is as important as eating right, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep. The team has developed an inventive way of reminding us to give our posture the attention it deserves, using sensors and wearable technology.
SIYMB FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM
WINNER: 3rd Place – Innovation
The UK team has found an innovative way to exchange contact details with the power of wearable technology and IoT. By syncing a smartphone with a wearable device, the team’s solution seamlessly transmits predetermined information from one user to another with a handshake, dismissing traditional business cards as a thing of the past.
PROGNOSIS FROM GREECE
WINNER: 3rd Place – World Citizenship & Ability Award
The team from Greece created a tool that analyzes a patient’s voice to identify early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. At Imagine Cup, the team hopes to complete its detection models and build the community support that they need to bring their product to market in 5 years time.
MISTORY FROM HUNGARY
WINNER: People’s Choice
Europeans love to travel. More than 60% of the EU’s population aged 15 or over travelled for pleasure in 2012, and we collectively clocked up 2.4 billion nights abroad on tourism trips in 2013. That’s why Mistory created a mobile app which aims to make exploring a new city more interactive and more fun.
The first city available to explore through the app is Budapest – though the team hopes that, in the future, the app will expand to enable millions of people to explore cities across the world.
SERIOUS ENGLISH NAME FROM POLAND
Using a combination of gaming and wearable technology, the Polish team has developed BandBarian – a new way to get a generation of gamers moving. Tapping into the same thinking behind wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist, which encourages you to hit the gym, BandBarian encourages you to meet your fitness goals by enthusiastically slaying virtual fiends.
STIMULUS FROM FRANCE
The French finalists are making Virtual Reality experiences bigger and better. For Stimulus, traditional VR headsets struggle to recreate an authentic ‘feeling’ when in the virtual world. The team decided to build an affordable physical simulator that produces left-right and back-forward movement and comes with plug-ins such as fans and compressed air to simulate speed or collisions.
EPILEPSY COMBAT FROM ROMANIA
The Romanian finalists are taking on improving epilepsy diagnosis through wearable technology that can detect and trigger a response to epileptic seizures. In time, it hopes to be able even to pre-empt them.
ENCOURAGE FROM GERMANY
Team encourage from Germany is working to help keep people safe in cities by developing a smartphone app that allows a person in distress to send out a call for help and notify relevant authorities with just one tap of their phone.
S.E.C.S FROM CYPRUS
Cyprus is known as the ‘Food Island,’ and this Imagine Cup team is working to help Cyprus and the world meet the increasingly difficult challenge of feeding the planet. Drawing from their personal experiences, plus many discussions with professional farmers and others, S.E.C.S. decided to build a solution that enables the farming industry and household farms to benefit from technologies like the Internet of Things so they can reap more from what they sow.
#IDONTGIVEANAPP FROM ITALY
Growing interest in the area of fitness wearables has translated into a range of promising entries in this year’s Imagine Cup, including #idontgiveanapp, an Italian team responsible for developing HeartWatch, an app capable of detecting cardiac arrhythmia. By constantly checking the user’s heartbeat via the Microsoft Band fitness tracker, HeartWatch is able to generate notifications about any anomaly your heart may experience.