AMMAN — Microsoft on Wednesday announced “The Devastators”, a team from the Jubilee School, as winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013 Jordan competition in a ceremony held at the King Hussein Business Park.
Her Majesty Queen Rania honoured the winners of the contest, which was held under the theme “Dream it, Build it, Live it”.
In a video screened at the ceremony, Hamzeh Fakhri, a member of the winning team, said his group developed a “smart-top” that helps the elderly by monitoring their health and measuring body temperature.
The winning team will join other winners from over 180 countries to compete for the Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide finals that will take place in Russia in July this year, according to the organisers.
Other winners of the competition were “Jordan First” from the Jordan University of Science and Technology, which won a prize in the Games category, while “the Fat Fighter” and “The Balcony” from the Petra Private University jointly won the World Citizenship category. “The Devastators” also won first place in the Innovation category.
A total of 450 students from various local universities and schools participated in the competition, which challenged them to come up with different innovations and technology solutions using Microsoft’s latest technology platforms, organisers said.
This year’s competition presented students with three main categories: World Citizenship, Games and Innovation.
Prior to the ceremony, Queen Rania toured an exhibition showcasing the projects of the 10 semifinalist teams, including “Black Iris Games”, whose members developed the “Knights of the Horde” battlefield game; “MobiSailors”, developers of a Windows phone online game to explore continents; and “IBee”, whose members came up with a new concept for understanding bees and a systemised way for beekeeping management.
Other showcased projects included “Hjjawi’s” eye scanner, “TeaM Pro’s” car-accident alert system which uses GPS technology and “Unique World’s” educational game targeting autistic children, according to a statement from Queen Rania’s office.
Ali Faramawi, corporate vice president of Microsoft Corporation Middle East and Africa, said that over the past four years “we had one of the top 10 finalists in the competition from Jordan and they were among the best teams out of 180 countries”.
He added that at Imagine Cup 2011, OaSys, a Jordanian team, came third among competitors from 183 countries.
The team competed against 350,000 competitors that year to create an affordable system that allows people with quadriplegia — paralysis of all four limbs — to control a computer, move a mouse and type using an infrared device.
Prior to the ceremony, Faramawi told a press meeting that the competition encourages innovation among youths and makes them realise that they have a chance to become innovators.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is a global student technology competition that provides an opportunity for students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution that addresses the main theme of the competition. In the past decade, more than 1.65 million students from 190 countries have registered to compete in the competition, according to organisers.
Ideas submitted by students were screened by a panel of judges that included industry experts from Microsoft, Zain Jordan, MENA iTECH, the Royal Scientific Society, Al Etihad Bank, STS, int@j, Nuqul Group and Maysalward.
by Khetam Malkawi
Jordan Times May 09, 2013