Microsoft announced the top three winning teams participating at the Oman Imagine Cup 2012 Local competition held at the Golden Tulip Seeb under the patronage of the Information Technology Authority’s CEO, Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiqi, with the support of Omantel. Team Grawesome took first place, while second place was won by Team SOS and third place was granted to Team Sense Makers. The winning team, Team Grawesome, came in first in the Software Design category, giving them the opportunity to advance and represent Oman at the Worldwide Finals which will be held in Sydney, Australia in July 2012.
The audience voted on their favorite team for the “People’s Choice Award” through Twitter and SMS and Team SOS won the title, after garnering the highest number of votes.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premiere technology competition, which encourages students to use their imagination to create innovative technology solutions that can help address some of the world’s toughest issues. Themed: “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”, the top three winning teams were selected based on their ability to present innovative solutions that tackle challenges in healthcare, interactive learning, communication and transportation.
The judging panel included: Mr. Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Al Kharousi, Acting DG of the Information & Awareness Division at the Information Technology Authority; Mr. Salim Bader Salim Al-Mazrui, Omantel General Manager of Information Technology; Mr. Khalid Alsafi Al Haribi, Tawasul Co-Founder; and, Mr. Ziad Al Khalid, Microsoft Oman and Bahrain Enterprise & Partner Segment Lead.
The competition which is supported by Information Technology Authority (ITA) Oman and Omantel is targeted for students between the age of 16 years and 26 years, empowering them to use their creative and technical abilities to make a positive impact on society.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the top three winning teams today. These teams have truly stepped up to the challenge and presented sophistication and creativity through their innovative solutions,” said Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Oman. “The objective of Imagine Cup is to encourage the participants to use technology to make the world a better place, by addressing the challenges we see around us. I am pleased to say that the efforts of all top three winning teamswere recognized as an excellent projection of the creativity and innovation that drives the youth in Oman.”
Commenting on the occasion, Talal Sulaiman Al Rahbi, Deputy CEO of Operations at ITA, said, “For the last five years, the Information Technology Authority has been keen to sponsor this competition and raise awareness on the importance of developing students’ skills and providing technical support and supervision to the participating projects by specialized experts from ITA, in addition to coordinating efforts to overcome the challenges these projects are facing.
Those efforts have been fruitful thanks to students’ increasing interest in participating and presenting modern innovations capable of competing at the international level. Some past participating projects were actually able to achieve excellent results at both regional and international levels. We all remember the achievement of the “Brothers Forever” Team, when they won second place in the category of Digital Media, during the Worldwide Finals of the Imagine Cup 2011, held in New York, USA last July, an achievement which was undoubtedly honorable for the Sultanate.”
Omantel Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Mr. Hamdan Moosa Hamdan Al Harasi congratulated the winners and said their ability to create technological solutions held great promise for Oman.
“As we move into a world where technology is called upon to solve many more problems and create new approaches to better living, it is the talent and the ability of these young people which will power the progress of Oman. At Omantel, we are proud that we have supported the Microsoft Imagine Cup and once again placed a Vote of Confidence in the transformational capabilities of our Omani youth,” he said.
The top three winning projects from Oman are:
Team Grawesome: “Blood IT” is a system that monitors blood units in the blood bank. When it gets below a critical point or there is an emergency situation, a GPS system will allocate the nearest donors of that blood group. The system automatically sends an SMS and waits for the confirmation. The system is used to maintain the adequate blood levels in the blood banks.
Team SOS: “Red Moments” is a medical decision support system that helps the user diagnose or identify a disease that he or someone else has. The user will interact with system through the smart phone application. The task is to answer some basic or detailed questions in order to discover the disease. Once the disease is discovered, the application will recommend the required first aid procedure.
Team Sense Makers: ‘DeafBlind Gate” is an application that helps blind people communicate with deaf people and vice versa. It is like a gateway that allows these people to communicate with each other through the internet or even they can use it in the same computer. The idea is to use a “Kinect” device to simulate the sign language of a deaf person into text, then transfer this text to a voice, then read it to the blind person who receives the message. Then the blind can reply. by talking to the application which transforms the voice to text and sends it to the deaf person as sign language.
Imagine Cup compliments Microsoft's Unlimited Potential commitment to create social and economic opportunity through programs and products that transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and opportunities worldwide.