Imagine Cup team holding head high

  • TECH
  • Friday, 09 Jul 2010

WARSAW: Malaysia’s Team HDC raised the Jalur Gemilang at the Imagine Cup 2010 here when it beat more than 60 other international teams to make it to the finals of the Software Design category.

Sadly, it eventually lost to Team Skeek of Thailand, TFZR Team of Serbia and OneBeep of New Zealand which placed first, second and third in that category. But our team is still standing proud.

“It is definitely a learning experience for us. Although we didn’t make it all the way, from this experience, we have learned how to improve ourselves and our application,” said Team HDC member Keith Khoo, 19, after the results were announced.

The team, from The Asia Pacific University College of Technology and Innovation, is the first Malaysian team ever to progress that far in the competition which has been running annually since 2003.

Made up of Khoo, Lee Chong Yang and Choong Yen Yen, Team HDC presented its Project Apple at the event. Project Apple is a software solution that encourages healthy eating and food planning to help manage wastage.

Team Skeek won for its software that helps the hearing impaired, while TFZR Team showed off a program that enables medical patients to communicate using speech synthesis, SMS-es, or Windows Live Messenger.

OneBeep demonstrated a method to send educational content to computers anywhere in the world using the power of radio.

The other categories in the competition are Embedded Development, Game Design, IT Challenge, and Digital Media, as well as six awards.

But the Software Design category is the primary competition in which its winners take home the Imagine Cup trophy, and US$25,000 (RM85,000) cash.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s TEC4Life team came in third in the Envisioning 2020 Award category, where the students are required to express their vision of how technology can transform our lives by 2020.

Also, Tunku Abdul Rahman College’s Team Hypo took third place in the Windows Phone 7 “Rockstar” Award, a pre-event category.

The Imagine Cup is hosted by software giant Microsoft Corp.

Grand finale

At the closing ceremony on July 8 at the Teatr Wielki (the Great Theatre and Polish National Opera) — the largest stage in Europe — the audience was treated to a pre-recorded message from US First Lady Michelle Obama.

She challenged the contest participants to continue making the world a better place. “You have harnessed great ideas. You built wonderful creations and now you’re heading back to your respective countries. But in a way, your work has only just begun,” she said in the videoclip.

“I want to challenge you that when you return to your communities, to be ambassadors for innovation, to be envoys of excellence and to be teachers in your own right and your own ways, and to share with others what you’ve learned through this wonderful voyage of discovery and creativity at the Imagine Cup.”

Her message held a special significance to Team HDC, which had earlier announced that Obama played a role in inspiring the birth of its Project Apple.

“She is one of the people who inspired our project ... she is always encouraging kids to eat healthily,” said Lee, 20.

Team HDC’s plan to deploy Project Apple in Malaysia will go ahead.”We hope to deploy our solution by year end,” Khoo said.

More than 325,000 students participated in Imagine Cup 2010, and in excess of 400 of them made it to the world finals here.

This year’s theme is Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.

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