Team Opticode to represent PH in Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals
MICROSOFT has announced that Team Opticode,composed of students Christian Lou Cepe, Jasmine Pearl Raymundo, and Rochel Reyes from Lyceum of the Philippines University Laguna, will be representing the Philippines at the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2017 World Finals to be held in Seattle this July.
As 2nd runner-up in the Southeast Asia Finals, Team Opticode qualified for the World Finals with their mobile app Minerva, which was designed to improve the quality of life of those with visual impairment.
Using various Cognitive Services running on Microsoft Azure, Minerva identifies objects in the immediate environment of users. After pointing their smartphone cameras at a box of cereal, for instance, the app will to describe this aloud using the phone’s speakers.
“The country is full of bright young minds, and Team Opticode represents the best of our present crop of budding technologists,” said Karrie Ilagan, Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines. “With this level of talent, we’re confident that the Philippines will emerge as a leading example of how digital transformation can be used to improve the people’s lives and provide better social opportunities.”
This latest milestone comes alongside an accelerating adoption of digital technology in both the public and private sectors in the Philippines. Following the establishment of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the government announced a “cloud-first policy” for all national and local government offices.
Team Opticode will be joined at the global rounds by Team CIMOL from Indonesia and Team HeartSound from Singapore, who were awarded as Champion and 1st runner-up of the Southeast Asian leg, respectively. They will also be joined by four other student teams from across the region, all of whom were recognized for their efforts to push the boundaries of human invention.
Team CIMOL’s won for their Hoax Analyzer web-based app, which aims to combat the proliferation of “fake news”. The app is capable of identifying if certain contextual information can be categorized as hoaxes or not.
Team HeartSound invented the S3, a smart wearable device that combines the function of a stethoscope and an electrocardiography machine. The device actively monitors the wearer’s heartbeat and flags any abnormality wirelessly to a doctor so that patients can receive further check-ups or treatment without delay.
The Imagine Cup World Finals will gather more than 50 students teams from all over the world, all vying for the top prize of US$100,000, mentorship opportunities with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and credits to bring their winning solution to the market.
In all, Microsoft will sponsor a total of seven teams to bear the standard for Southeast Asia at the World Finals this July, putting the breadth and depth of creativity and innovation in Southeast Asia youth on full display in front of the world.
Co-organized with ASEAN as part of the latter’s 50th Anniversary Summit, the Imagine Cup Southeast Asia Regional Finals saw 10 bright student teams competing to be the best in the region. These teams were chosen from local finals held in 13 countries across the region, which included
Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Microsoft’s association with ASEAN is a strong testament of the company’s commitment to develop and unleash the potential of young talents in South East Asia, as well as to foster the growth of the next generation to help them achieve more in the digital age.
Dave Miller, Developer Experience Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific, said: “For the past 15 years, Imagine Cup has been a platform to help students turn their dreams into reality. This year’s regional finalists brought great ideas to the stage, and we see a lot of potential in these projects in solving some of the biggest challenges today across the region. Imagine Cup is just the beginning for many of these budding innovators and entrepreneurs, and we are excited to be part of their journey.”