By Klyde Manansala
TEAM CIMOL of Indonesia was hailed as the first-ever Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Southeast Asia Champion at the Solaire Resorts and Casino and will be headed to the Seattle World Finals, together with seven other ASEAN countries, including the Philippines to present their very own innovative ideas.
Due to the widespread false information in the internet which leads to misunderstanding among users, Adinda Putra, Tifani Warnita, and Feryandi Nurdiantoro built a web-based application, which can identify whether a certain textual information such as news is a hoax or not.
The Indonesian students from Institut Teknologi Bandung won $3,000 and got the chance chance to shoot for the title of world champion and the $100,000 in Seattle, where they will compete with the best and brightest teams across the globe.
Out of the 10 Asian teams which vied for the seven spots in the Imagine Cup World Finals, the Philippines’ Team Opticode placed 2nd runner-up and bagged $1,000.
The Filipino team will also fly to Seattle to demo its application called “Minerva,” built by the students of the Lyceum of The Philippines University in Laguna, namely Christian Lou Cepe, Jasmine Pearl Raymundo, and Rochel Reyes.
Cepe came up with the idea of Minerva, a virtual assistant mobile application for the visually impaired, helping them identify the objects around them by just pointing their cameras at them.
Cepe said Minerva was inspired by the screening tool called “Eyeanaemia,” which was created by Dr. Jennifer Tang, a co-founder of Stat Innovations. Eyeanaemia also won the Microsoft’s Imagine Cup global student technology competition in 2014.
“We realize the problems that visually impaired people experience everyday, so we wanted them to imagine things around the world by the use of Minerva,” Cepe said.
Aside from detecting objects around, they are planning to include a phone call support for communication purposes and a music player for entertainment. Also part of the innovation of Minerva is putting the application on a lens such as an eyeglass so visually-impaired people can just wear it to detect objects around them, and for music and phone calls.
The five other teams who will compete in Seattle are Team Echo Innovators (Nepal); Team Parasitica (Bangladesh), winner of the People’s Choice Award; Team Welse (Thailand); Team Titans (Sri Lanka); and first-runner up Team HeartSound (Singapore).