Microsoft has announced the 3 finalists in the Windows Phone segment of the Imagine Cup 2012 contest.
The Windows Phone segment of the contest challenges students to create software that can make a broad impact in the world by building great apps that start with strong functionality and finish with an outstanding Windows Phone user experience. Entrants are encouraged to use special Windows Phone features and cloud services.
This year Nokia sponsored the Windows Phone segment of the Imagine Cup 2012, and one of the 3 finalists was the app, Mother Care, reviewed (rather critically) above.
Entrants are complaining the app fails on multiple levels, including repeatedly crashing, lacks innovation, and accuse the app of only winning because the team originated from Aalto University in Finland, where Microsoft and Nokia recently set up an 18 million euros AppCampus two months ago to create applications for Windows Phone.
The Windows Phone segment is routinely the most popular segment of the Imagine Cup, which attracts more than 100,000 entries each year, with students pouring months of work into their applications. Entrants are demanding to know why such a poor application, which did not even win the Finnish regional contest, still beat out what appeared to be numerous better comers.
Hopefully, for the sake of the credibility of the contest, answers will be forthcoming.
Last year we saw a Windows Phone being used to detect malaria parasites in blood samples, and continuing this trend of addressing major real world issues, one of this years Imagine Cup entrants is using the magnatometer in a Windows Phone 7 handset to detect landmines.
The students from the Military University of Technology in Warsaw developed their SAPER technology, which stands for â€œSensor Amplified Perception For Explosives Recognitionâ€, which uses the magnetometer – normally responsible for your phoneâ€™s digital compass- to detect minute disturbances in the magnetic field around an explosive material. Forty different kinds of explosive materials can be sniffed out from 30 cm (11.8 inches) away.
All that needs to be done is wave the phone in a grid-like pattern 30 cm away from the suspected explosive.
The app connects to a cloud-based server and compares the recorded magnetic disturbance signature with other signatures in the database. If a threat is detected, the app returns a warning message and identifies the likelihood of there being a certain type of explosive material in the sampled area. GPS connectivity is used to pinpoint the site and to immediately alert the authorities. The threat alert message can also be automatically pushed to social networks.
â€œWe do not intend for SAPER to replace mine detection devices, but only to provide additional help when none are availableâ€, says Mariusz Chmielewski, the mentor of the student team behind the app.
A bit closer to home for most of us, the team suggests the app could also be used to detect wires within a wall.
Read more at Gizmag.com here.
Thanks Bernard for the tip.
Microsoft today announced the 15 finalists of the Student Technology Competition Imagine Cup Grants. Among the 15 final projects, 5 of them have Windows Phone platformÂ relatedÂ works. The winning teams will be awarded with a grant package in the form of cash, software, resources and other on the ground support to take their ideas and their innovative solutions to market as a next step to solving the worldâ€™s toughest problems.Â Microsoft has also announced the panel of judges which is comprised of leading industry experts from Microsoft and other companies as well.Â You can find their interesting Windows Phone app ideas below.
Team Dragon â€“ United States
â€¢ Team Dragonâ€™s project utilizes both Windows Phone 7 and a spirometer to enable a game called Azmo the Dragon, which helps children learn about and manage their asthma by having their breath be that of a dragon that destroys civilizations. The team expanded their scope into asthma care plans: prescribed regimens for families, given by doctors to help them care for asthma and respond to different situations.
â€¢ Team Dragon hopes to use the entirety of the grant funding for research and development, including pilot testing, prototyping and code development.
Team Geekologic â€“ France
â€¢ People around the world often donâ€™t realize the consequences that their negative actions have on the environment. Brainergy is a Windows Phone 7 Puzzle Game in which the player has to solve different challenges based on renewable energy. From the beginning of the adventure, players are confronted by a polluted world and will need to use renewable energy to clean it.
â€¢ Team Geekologic would like to use support from Imagine Cup Grants to add viral and social networking functionalities, and make it compatible with a number of different platforms.
Team Hawk â€“ Iraq
â€¢ Team Hawk developed a Windows Phone 7 application, the Refugee Application Form, that provides an instant and secure system for registering refugees and their welfare needs. It helps monitor health care and education, as well as facilitating aid distribution. The solution provides a mobile means for staff and users with minimal training to enter data relevant to the welfare and educational needs of the refugees. The data stored using Windows Azure can be accessed by the NGOs through any computing device.
â€¢ Team Hawk will use the entirety of the funding on the continued development of their application to make it more adaptable to various scenarios.
Team Lifelens â€“ United States
â€¢ Lifelens is an innovative point-of-care tool to diagnose malaria using an augmented Windows Phone 7 application. The project addresses the unacceptably high child mortality rates caused by the lack of detection and availability of treatment of malarial diseases.
â€¢ Team Lifelens is committed to using Grants support to develop their project for launch. They will use the investment for distribution of their devices, subsidizing the phones and field testing.
Team majiRanger â€“ Germany
â€¢ With majiSolutions, a three-fold product, the current workflow of waterpointmapping is automated as far as possible and optimized in quality. With a Windows Phone 7 application, majiMobile, the data regarding water resources is captured on the spot. It is then sent directly to a server where it is processed and analyzed by the majiFramework. Finally, a Silverlight application called majiWeb, provides various visualizations and possibilities for analysis, thus, being a base for important decisions.
â€¢ Team majiRanger hopes to use the cash prize to carry out two piloting projects, which will help them earn their first customers, and take majiSolutions from project to product level.
Source: Imagine Cup
These 15 teams are finalists of Imagine Cup Grants competition and not the whole Imagine Cup.
We have written about Tristan Gibeau and Wilson To â€˜s LifeLens app, which enables the diagnosis of Malaria in remote areas using only a Windows phone 7 smartphone and a special lens.
They are now waiting to compete in the Finals of the Imagine Cup 2011, sponsored by Microsoft. The 9th-annual Imagine Cup asks student entrants to "imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems."
"It’s going to make a difference in trying to contain the outbreak of malaria," said Gibeau, the project’s software designer.
"In the big picture, it’ll hopefully help in the fight against most diseases out there and make everybody’s life a little easier."
Gibeau said the software application can take a picture of a blood sample, process the data to detect malaria parasites, quantify how much malaria is in the sample and point the parasites out to the phone user.
"It actually draws a red box around the clusters of malaria, and it actually notifies you how many it found," Gibeau said.
Gibeau said the team is working toward patenting and marketing the new application.
He also said he is working on smart phone applications to detect sickle cell and other diseases and also plans to make the software easily adaptable to lab-based microscopes.
"From different conversations we’ve had with investors, we feel that this definitely is a money-maker," he said.
Read more at Huffington Post here.