As I shared in my previous posts about the Imagine Cup and Collaboration and then about the US Finals, the Imagine Cup is a competition that challenges students (ages 16+) to use technology to solve the world’s toughest problems.
Out of over 350,000 students who registered for the competition this year from more than 180 countries, we now know which 124 teams are going to the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide finals in New York City from July 8-13th. I can’t emphasize enough how incredible these students and their projects are. Our judges are going to have their work cut out for them when they see the teams in action and ultimately share out winners on July 13th. In advance of the 13th, however, I encourage you to vote in the People’s Choice Award we’re holding for the public to be able to weigh in on their favorite teams. You can take a look at the videos about their projects and then vote on which one you like the most.
In terms of what you’ll see, there are a few tech trends to notice – all of which illustrate that these students are at the leading edge with our technology.
For example: one third are using Azure (36); almost half are using Windows Phone 7 (53) with uses ranging from finding the nearest recycling center to helping disaster victims broadcast their location; almost one-third (34) are using BingMaps; and we even have at least 10 projects using Kinect with uses ranging from helping children with cerebral palsy to providing a simulation device for surgeons in training.
There are also some several topical trends. A very important one is that of accessibility. Across the globe, students have created solutions using technology such as the Microsoft Speech API, and Windows 7 Touch to help those who are blind to be able to navigate and “see” their surroundings, to help those who have limited mobility to “get around” and to more effectively interact with their world.
You will find these solutions and more in our People’s Choice gallery.
Enjoy! And remember Go Vote!