150 Belgian IT-students started off with a dream “solving the world’s toughest problems to make it a better world to live in ”. They would do this by signing up for a worldwide student competition, being pushed to use their imagination and passion for technoogies to reach their dreams and full potential. This competition is what Microsoft likes to call Imagine Cup. 16 Belgian teams were still in the running right before the world wide finals in Sidney.
Last Wednesday,9 of these groups came together at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Brussels to present their submissions and learn from each other. Those 9 groups came in from different schools all over Belgium, presenting their project, solving the world’s toughest problems to make it a better world to live in. The groups were active in different catagories like software design, phone, Azure and gaming. It turned out to be a night full of passion, belief and learning opportunities.
First off in the categorie Software Design was Make a Sign from HEPL, presenting their Kinect based solution to learn sign language in an intuitive and playfull way. Followed by Team Euterpe from HEPL / ULG presenting their Kinect based solution to boost your singing talent by taking the right posture in using your voice. Both displaying the endless opportunities of Kinect in reaching your full potential.
5 more groups followed presenting their beautifully designed games, raising awaraeness around world issues like the environment, energy sources, womens rights, and much more. We were really amazed by the eye for detail in both design and gameplay.
2 more groups presented their phone app. Without Borders (HeLHa, HeNaLux, UGent) developed an app making it easier for lost children to get found, sharing pictures, mail and content related to sightings of the child, integrate automatically social media and stay tuned via notifications and reports on your phone. ABC Solutions (Artesis) made it possible to monitor and improve in a fun-way the physical and psychological wellbeing of the mother.
You're starting to notice a lot of creativity and effort came in to developing solutions for today's societal issues. It really offered a lot of inspiration and trust in today's youth, being tomorrow's leaders.
At the end of the night a winner was chosen (by all who were present) in the category software design. It was the group Make a Sign (HEPL) who came out as winners, with their inspiring Kinect based solution to learn sign language.
The entire night was based around discovering and dreaming. Discovering dreams, passion and experience, while dreaming big, starting small and moving fast. Perhaps a quote from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wraps it up best : "Ideas matter - find passion and be tenacious."
The closing reception offered the perfect opportunity for the different teams to give feedback and learn from others. Helping to improve their concepts.
We want to thank all participating groups and members of the jury for making it an inspiring night!
Take a look at our Facebook page for pictures of the event. Trailer videos of all participating groups will be posted in the following week, so make sure to check it out!