The annual Imagine Cup World Championship was hosted earlier today where the three remaining student teams competed for the grand prize title. The global technology competition was created to embrace and encourage innovative thinkers and developers. After yesterday’s Finals Awards Ceremony, the three remaining teams held their breath for this morning’s announcement. Team AMANDA’s virtual environment to build empathy against bullying and PH21’s stealth cooperative puzzle game were at the top of their respective categories. Each of them earned $50,000 as a cash prize for the achievement. However, it was Team ENTy’s application for monitoring balance and posture that took the grand prize.
Flavia Oprea, Iulian-Razvan Matesica, and Cristian Alexandrescu from Romania created a wearable device that would track the posture for users. This was made possible by the use of an accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope that all worked together to record movements in real time. With that information, doctors could determine if the individual was having difficulties in the way that they held themselves or walked due to an inner ear or spinal issue. According to Geekwire, Team ENTy tested with four doctors and approximately 375 patients to with the device.
The team’s commitment to the healthcare field is an admirable one. As team member Oprea stated:
“The medical industry is based on old technology and very expensive, so we said ‘OK, maybe we can make a cheaper technology, an affordable technology,’”
This was the Imagine Cup‘s fourteenth event and is still going strong. Over 150 student teams attended the national finals, but that number was narrowed down to the thirty-five that met in the global competition. With Team ENTy’s victory over those odds, they will be rewarded not only with their prize money but awarded a private mentoring session with the CEO Satya Nadella of Microsoft himself.
For the rest of the teams, it’s back to hitting the books and plotting new innovations that just might be next year’s Imagine Cup Championship winner.Further reading: Competition, Education, Imagine Cup, Microsoft