If there is any multinational company that is keen on building a generation of skillful and talented developers in the world. It is Microsoft Corporation. The tech giant has been assiduously involved in empowering several individuals through some of its brilliant initiatives. And one of those initiatives is the annual competition called “Imagine Cup” (Olympics of Technology)
Imagine Cup is a global and yearly competition that brings together student developers to help resolve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Argauably, the biggest software competition for undergraduates in the world. And Nigerian undergraduates over time have been participating in the competition.
This year, after several applications from various university undergraduates in Nigeria. Seven teams were selected to pitch their ideas at the Microsoft Office in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Out of the seven teams that were invited, six teams showed up for the contest. Team Ease, Team Leady, Team BaseAngle, Team Jarv, Team TREP, and Team HighRise. The environment was bordering on the frenetic as these teams unveiled their ideas. At the end of the presentations by the teams. Team TREP stole the show and were crowned winners. The team will go on to compete at the Middle East & Africa finals.
This is a huge opportunity for the entire teams not for just for the Team TREP that won. The exposure and experience would be an added value to them in terms of fine-tuning their solutions better. “I wish I had this kind of opportunities in my days,” says Banuso Akin, Manager, Microsoft Nigeria.
He says – through this competition, world’s young, aspiring entrepreneurs and developers collaborate to build a technology application. They create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what is needed to bring a concept to market.
One lesson was glaring enough. All the teams were exposed to what is called Business Model and Value Proposition. Every solution must address a pressing problem. If they are real social problems, the better.
“This is not about who wins or who doesn’t. It is about the exposure and knowledge being transferred in the process,” says Michael Oluwole, 2015 Imagine Cup winner.
From a critical and logical view point, the decision of the judges weren’t questionable. Team TREP met beyond every reasonable doubt certain criteria and evaluations.
All the teams were evaluated based on four major criteria. Technology, Innovation, concept and feasibility. These criteria could be summed up to the value propositions, marketability and architectural design of the students’ projects.
Team TREP (Winner)
Team TREP built a medical device called RealDrip. It is a non-invasive device that monitors the flow of intravenous fluid IV treatment (Taking Drip).
This device notifies the medical staff in real time. The device monitors the rate at which intravenous fluid is dropping (flow rate) and alerts the medical team.
The essence of the alert is for the medical team to remove the intravenous needle on time to prevent backflow of blood which may lead to pulmonary embolism of necellary action.
This team developed a mobile application for Glaucoma detection using smartphone camera.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases which causes a irreversible blindness. The ratio of ophthalmologists to patients is quite small, as well as affordability.
The purpose of Glymia is to drastically reduce the rate at which glaucoma causes blindness.
The model of was built using state of the art computer vision technique with high accuracy better than an average ophthalmologist. Added to this is – the low cost, handheld and easily accessible smartphone retinal imaging device affordable for local communities
The team built a solution called the V-Panic. This is a cloud based and digital mobility solution integrated with the Microsoft Azure platform. This solution was designed to solve the problems of car theft, emergency situations such as fire while driving.
A V-Panic User is expected to download the App and signals the developers during times of emergency. The solution also helps users to run a full analysis on their car to know if their cars are good enough to reach a particular destination without breakdown.
This team pitched a solution called Falid. It is a content validation system leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). For instance if one gets admitted into the university and hears that his/her department doesn’t exist again.
If you have Falid integrated on your browser already. All you need to do is to type on the search string to confirm if such news is authentic or fake.
In other words, it is a fake news detection solution integrated on user’s browser.
The team Jarv presented a desktop based solution called Jarv AI. This is a personal assistant solution which saves users the time of either playing a music or opening a file on their PC. The unique selling point for this solution is that. SOMme of the Jarv features could be used without the internet.
Gaide is a single glasses which would tell the wearer (blind) details about his/her environment or sorrounding. It advices the user accordingly. By leading and navigating the user based on the current environment.
Nigeria has bunch of talents. It would be wise to provide that good environment for those talents to be harnessed.