In the blue corner, representing University of Western Sydney, Team Th3 PCs with their solution to help doctors in third world countries manage their patients better!
In the red corner, returning champion University of Canberra is represented by Team 1337 sporting a new look with a proposed answer to childhood literacy shortfalls!
Who will win? It's anybody's game to win this year in Australia as the two teams come with a fresh, more international outlook on their projects, showing that Aussie students are concerned as much about the rest of the world as they are about their own home turf.
Thus started the local Software Design finals in Australia - held in the main Microsoft HQ in Sydney. Spanning an entire day, this head-to-head showdown between last year's top two competing universities was always going to be a gruelling but exciting challenge to the two groups of students and their mentors.
In previous years, the predominant focus in Imagine Cup Software Design entries has been close to home - environment primarily and other issues that, while impacting the world, also had a closer-to-home aspect about them. This year, it was gratifying to see how outward-focused the submissions were, and how committed both teams were to realising their solutions in the world.
In fact, Th3 PCs teamed up with a hospital in Sri Lanka and piloted their solution there with the end result being that the Dean of Medicine plans to roll out the system hospital wide. That was definitely a proof point in their favour.
However, it came down to who had the best solution on the day with the most promise and University of Canberra - AGAIN - won out with their system aimed at reducing childhood illiteracy in accordance with the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Their solution came with extensibility built in from the ground up - allowing teachers and parents the ability to create their own interactive stories as well as literacy quizzes that work even for those who are still learning how to spell and recognise words. Their system incorporated a range of technologies including speech recognition and text-to-speech capabilities to allow for a diverse audience who may have difficulty in reading normal text. I'm not going to give away any more info - it's their solution to show to the world in Poland. :)
Congratulations Team 1337! I look forward to seeing you in Poland and showing the world that Australian students know what they’re doing with technology!