Microsoft Announces the Winner of Imagine Cup Thailand 2018

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

Celebrating its 16th anniversary, Imagine Cup Thailand 2018 was held under “Code with Purpose” theme, highlighting the importance of empowering youth with technology skills and encouraging their creative ideas to make a positive impact in the world.

BANGKOK, 28 March 2018 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, announced the winning team of Imagine Cup Thailand 2018. Team BeeConnex from King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, emerged victorious amidst stiff competition between the finalist 10 teams. The team wooed the judges with their Smart Hive project, an IoT beehive management device that monitors and detects problems inside beehives to solve the mystery behind the mechanism of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a global phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, dooming the beehive’s future existence which this solution can potentially increase the production of the agricultural product significantly.

Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition challenges  Thai student developers to create cloud-based solutions that will change the world. To reflect the current state of digital transformation and empower Imagine Cup competitors with more opportunities to build their cloud development skills, this year, Microsoft held the competition under the “Code with Purpose” theme.  Participants were asked to pitch their projects for a chance to win cash prozes, Azure credit, and mentoring opportunity that can take their projects to the next level.

All of the submissions demonstrated students’ true passion to change the world, while the top pitches used the cloud technology in a way that has real potential to change the future. The students submitted a variety of incredible proposals that demonstrated the power of Azure with 27% of submissions utilizing Cognitive Services, 19% leveraging App Services, 15% utilizing Cloud Computing, 15% – related to storage, 8% – focusing on database, 8% featuring IoT, and 8% – highlighting AI and Machine Learning.

Mr. Somsak Mukdavannakorn, Public Sector Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limitedsaid “The rise of digital transformation in Asia Pacific’s economies will widely affect the labor market where many types of jobs will evolve and change. According to “Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific” survey produced by Microsoft in partnership with IDC Asia Pacific, 95% of jobs will be transformed in the next three years. Microsoft remains firm in its commitment to equip Thai youth with the necessary technology and skills that will help them get future ready, eventually becoming the workforce that will drive Thailand forward into the digital era. We are truly humbled by talent and passion of these bright minds, and are honored to be able give them the platform where they can learn something of value, something that can help them further develop their projects, create their own business, and make their dreams come true. Also, 4 Thai student teams have won the World Finals to date.”

The winning team BeeConnex, consists of three members – Mr. Boonrit Boonmarueng, Mr. Watcharit Boonying and Mr. Thitiya Trithipkaiwanpon – from Computer Engineering Department, King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. The winning trio came up with the idea of a Smart Hive, and built an IoT device to help beekeepers manage the beehives more efficiently. The device uses cognitive technology to analyze the pattern of buzzing sound inside the hive, detect irregularities, and alert the beekeepers through the dashboard and in-app IM.

Mr. Boonrit Boonmarueng, a BeeConnex team member said, “Bees have a great impact on the ecosystem and studies have indicated that without them, the entire ecosystem could collapse. They are also important to the economy, as they are used commercially for large-scale pollination. However, beekeepers are currently facing a major threat known as the Colony Collapse Disorder and this encouraged us to learn more about bee-related issues. People have been studying the disorder for a long time, but technology has never been fully utilized to address this issue. We discovered from our installed sensor device that bees send countless patterns of signals with different meanings or called ‘Bee Dance’. The device later sent the information to cloud computing, which operates using Microsoft Azure in line with our intention to put everything on the cloud. It made me realize that this wasn’t only an idea for a competition, but was also a smart way of studying the countless and complicated bee patterns in a short time that could never been done through human hearing. With the ability to analyze and anticipate problems, Azure can also prevent the Colony Collapse Disorder by providing live notifications once bees begin to exhibit abnormal behaviors.”

“The inspiration behind our Smart Beehive idea comes from the realization of the danger the Colony Collapse Disorder poses to the fragile ecosystem, and the economic hardships it brings to beekeepers in Thailand and globally. Microsoft technology provided the exact support and benefits we need to develop our application. We are so glad of the win, but more importantly, we are honored to see our idea became something tangible that can contribute to preserving the natural ecosystem in terms of food production from the effective pollination.”

This year’s competition is also supported by key partners, UNICEF and SiriVenures, who sponsored two special recognition awards – ‘Education on the Cloud’, by UNICEF, and ‘Smart Living on the Cloud’ by SiriVentures.

These partnerships reflect the awareness of integrating technology to support youth education in every sector. The winner of ‘Education on the Cloud’ is team Bot Therapist, a team of students from King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi who proposed an idea of “Bliss”, a robot designed to be a companion to help autistic kids learn and grow, while inSpectra, a group of students from King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi is the winning team of ‘Smart Living on the Cloud’ award with a project of gas leak and substance detection system based multi-spectral imaging and image fusion.

Dr. Rangsun Wiboonuppatum, Education Officer, UNICEF said, “One of our key missions is to provide the best educational opportunities for Thai youth to help them become capable adults. As technology continues to play a more important role in our lives, Imagine Cup represents the perfect opportunity for the youth to express their creativity and learn the necessary skills.” In addition, Mr. Jierawat Gulsapudom, Head of Ecosystems, SiriVentures said, “We truly believe that the advancement of technology can improve every aspect of people’s lives when it is integrated with the right creative idea, and young people are one of the important drivers of innovation in the modern society. As a leading innovator for the future of living, we are very glad to be a part of the initiative that supports technology skills in the young generation and encourage them to come up with innovative ideas that can be made possible.”

Team BeeConnex will receive the royal trophy from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and represent Thailand together with inSpectra, the team that won ‘Smart Living on the Cloud’ Award by SiriVentures in the 2018 Imagine Cup Southeast Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 4, 2018  where they will compete with teams from nine countries for a chance to win a trip to the World Finals in Seattle The World Finals, which will take place in June this year, and will see the best and brightest teams from across the globe compete for the title of World Champion, $100,000 cash prize and the chance to take home the Imagine Cup.