Microsoft has just announced smartARM of Canada as the 2018 Imagine Cup champions. The group won the annual Microsoft competition for their robotic hand prosthetic which uses Microsoft Azure Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and Cloud Storage.
As winners of Imagine Cup, smartARM will receive a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, $85,000 in cash and a $50,000 Azure grant. The second place team, meanwhile, was iCry2Talk of Greece. That team entered the competition with a low-cost and non-invasive intelligent interface which is able to translate a baby's cry in real time and associate it with a specific state. Finally, coming in third place was Team Mediated Ear of Japan. They're best known for their Medicated Ear project which allows hearing-impaired individuals to focus on a specific speaker among a multitude of conversations.
Microsoft is also announcing the winners of the special Imagine Cup awards for their work in AI, big data, and mixed reality. SochWare from Nepal won the AI award for their solution which helps farmers identify plant diseases. Secondly, Dusgsafe from India won the big data award for their work for validating genuine drugs and decrease illness from counterfeit substances. And lastly, Pengram from here in the US won the mixed reality award for their project which lets engineers holographically teleport into a workspace.
Over 2 million students from 190 countries around the world participated in this year's Imagine Cup, but only 49 made it to the finals. It was definitely a long and rough road for these champions, so we congratulate them on their achievement. We're looking forward to next year's Imagine Cup to see what problems can be solved next with Microsoft tech.