Doha: Microsoft yesterday announced the winners of the Qatar Imagine Cup, one of the world’s premier student technology competitions.
Out of some 470 registrations received this year, Team QSpark won the competition with its ‘Artouch’ project, which provides ways to virtually interact with exhibits in museums using Microsoft’s Kinect sensor.
The winner will represent Qatar in the Worldwide Finals to be held in July in St Petersburg, Russia with an opportunity to win over $300,000 in prizes.
Imagine Cup Qatar, which concluded yesterday at the Hilton in Doha, showcased the innovative ideas of five countrywide final teams from local universities.
The competition gave students in Qatar an opportunity to bring their technology ideas to life with Microsoft resources and support.
The teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges which included experts from Microsoft, Qapco, Emirates Group, ictQatar, and Qatar Computing Research Institute. The competition was hosted by Khalid Aboujassoum, winner of Qatar Foundations’ Stars of Science 2012.
This year, teams in Qatar developed original technologies to help disabled citizens, manage airport queues, and reduce food waste, among other projects.
“Qatar’s talented students have a strong track record at Imagine Cup and will continue to make Qatar proud in St Petersburg this year. We believe in the ability of technology to make a difference in our world, and combined with the innovation and creativity of young people around the globe, it is a powerful force for change that we see every year at this competition,” Naim Yazbeck, Country Manager at Microsoft Qatar, said.
“The finals will give students a chance to share their ideas in a global forum among the best young programmers, technologists and designers in the world,” Yazbeck said.
Dr Mohamed Al Mulla, Qapco VC and CEO, said he was very impressed with the high quality of the proposals submitted by the five teams.
“It has been very impressive to see the scope and the innovation displayed by all the teams this year, their ideas are wonderful and have made the jobs of the judges very hard,” Dr Al Mulla said.
As sponsor for the Innovation Category of the Imagine Cup in Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman, the Emirates Group will award the winning students in this category with a special prize. Imagine Cup 2013 comprised three competition tiers which included games, innovation and world citizenship.
Last year, the national team of four Qatari young women participated in the worldwide finals against 98 countries and made it to the top 20.
Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, which is the world’s largest student competition, is open to students who are 16 years of age or older, empowering them to use their creative and technical abilities to make a positive impact on society.
The Imagine Cup competition spans one year, beginning with local contests and then going on to online contests in over 100 countries/regions.
The finalists qualify to attend the Worldwide Finals held in a different country every year.