Technology to enable us lead healthier lives

This is the theme for the Imagine Cup 2006 – Imagine a world where technology enables us to lead healthier lives.

I am sitting here currently in one of the final sessions where the final 6 teams from around the world in the Software Design category are making their project presentations.

The first team today demonstrated an end-to-end solution that enables patients to be able to easily monitor their data as well as report appropriately to their next of kin (particularly in the case of kids and older people who are likely dependent on others).

The second team demonstrated a solution where blind people can get directions to their destination.  Actually, one of the team members wore a blind-fold and demonstrated how he can navigate from one end of the room to another.

As I sit here and think about what these students have been able to accomplish, it is heart-warming and exciting.  I was thinking back to what kinds of things I was doing hwen I was 20 years old, and I can tell you that I fall short by a mile of what these students are doing today.

I traveled over 10,000 miles to come see the students and their work and each and every mile has been very worth seeing the students’ talent, passion and creativity and output.

All of this reminds me of a famous Arabian proverb – he who has health has hope; he who has hope has everything. 


Comments (5)

  1. loc says:

    Hi Soma,

    How’s the Visual Studio Live project going so far? I’m asking now because I needed to build a tool for my PC the other day, but I didn’t have Visual Studio installed. I know Visual C# Express is only 50+ MB download, but I was immediately thinking to myself "Shoot, where on earth is VS Live?"

    That is the perfect scenario for VS Live! That is the reason to ship VS Live! To ENABLE users build quick and dirty applications anywhere anytime. The big picture, which relates to your subject "Technology enable us do this and that", is that VS Live will promote technology – specifically computer programming – to everyone, especially young kids.

    We need VS Live now! Now! Now! Give us a beta quick. What ever you have right now, We want to use it ASAP.

    (Please keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, supporting X and Y features.  Just a really simpler version of V C# Express.)

  2. johnmont says:

    Hi Loc,

    I’m the group program manager working on some of these scenarios. At this point there’s not much I can say since there’s not much we’ve built, but I can say that we’re through the blue-sky phase and starting to develop prototypes. One of the scenarios we’re looking at enabling is the rapid-installation kind of thing you’re talking about. I’m not sure whether what we’re planning will fit your needs in v1 and to get a C# app to run on your computer you’d still need the 20MB .NET Framework redist, but if we keep to the schedule I have been circulating, we might have a public alpha version this winter.

    Oh, and don’t tell Soma — we haven’t shown him the full thing yet. 🙂


  3. loc says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your info. I used to check your blog quite often a few months ago. I’ll try to keep an eye on your updates.


  4. loc says:

    I’m pretty sure I can come up with an out of the box solution to that rapid-installation challenge, if I know enough about the system and the framework.

    For example, since you need to write the code first, which takes a while, before running the app, the .NET framework doesn’t need to be fully installed right away. Assuming that it takes 5 minutes to code, you can divide the .NET framework into small pieces, and only install the essential piece(s), which should take less than a minute or so (according to my imagination). Once the environment (Intellisense and all that) is ready for user to start writing code, you can install the rest of it in the background. Hah! Nothing is impossible.