UK Final takes place at Microsoft HQ, announcing who will represent the UK at the worldwide final
On Wednesday 20th April, the UK hosted its local Imagine Cup finals at Microsoft Campus in Reading. UK finalists from both the Software Design and Embedded Development categories of the Imagine Cup competition came along and showcased their entries to a panel of industry leading judges who, after much deliberation, picked a winner and runners up for each category. Winners not only travel to the worldwide final in July, but received a Windows Phone 7 device and a HP netbook to help them on their way!
Software Design Winner
Winning the Software Design category in the UK was ‘Project OVE’ from the University of Manchester. Project OVE is a solution that aims to bring together world problems and people that volunteer to solve them in a fresh and innovative way, using the latest Microsoft platforms and an interesting twist on peer-to-peer networking.
Project OVE (Open Volunteering Exchange) is a distributed platform to enable volunteering organisations to exchange volunteers. It was created by a team of students from The University of Manchester.
The aim of Project OVE is to enable people to quickly organise events requiring a group of volunteers with diverse skills. When this can be achieved it could be used to realise some of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
'We entered the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition as we thought that this year’s theme (i.e. the solving of the United Nations Development Goals) presented an interesting project relevant to the challenges of the world today, and as we are all in the School of Computer Science it would also provide us with experience in real-world applications. One of the benefits of our project's unique design is its reliability, which is particularly important when volunteers need to be rapidly mobilised in times of emergency. We are using a peer to peer (P2P) based system: if the network is affected adversely, peers who are still online can still communicate with each other, allowing volunteers’ information to continue to be exchanged. By taking part in the Imagine Cup we have been given the opportunity and support from Microsoft and the University respectively to transform this original idea into reality.' Team Project Ove
Project OVE is made up of Sam van Lieshout, Damo Walsh and JP Lacerda. Due to unfortunate personal circumstances, only Sam van Lieshout was able to attend the UK final – and given the fact that they won in spite of being undermanned, huge credit goes to Sam for his outstanding presentation on the day.
Pic. Microsoft's Emanuele Ognissanti, Sam van Lieshout and Microsoft's Ben Nunney
Embedded Development Winner
No stranger to the Imagine Cup, this year’s Embedded Development winner in the UK was ‘Cycling Into Trees’ from the University of York. The team’s project is ‘Child Sleep Safe’ which, using a mixture of embedded hardware, software, and home automation systems, aims to reduce cot death numbers by monitoring a baby whilst sleeping.
In the team’s words: “Every year thousands of babies die during the night as their temperatures are not correctly monitored and maintained. We live in a world where technology can do amazing things – it’s about time we used it to address this life-changing issue.”
Cycling Into Trees is made up of Kevin Pfister – a one-man team who has previously been a UK and worldwide finalist. This year marks the last year that Kevin will be able to compete.
Pic. Microsoft's Ben Nunney, Kevin Pfister and Microsoft's Emanuele Ognissanti,