Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
Check out the amazing entries and winners of the Canadian 2012 Imagine Cup!
Wow! That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of the presentations I saw Monday at the Canadian finals. Congratulations to all the students who took the stage to talk about their solutions to help healthcare, the environment, and medical research. Your work was nothing less than inspiring!
For everyone who couldn't be there in person, enjoy this video sharing some of the highlights of what was truly an inspirational day and scroll down to find out about the Canadian winners!
I can’t possibly sum up the day in a single video or blog post, so you’ll be seeing a series of blog posts highlighting different aspects of the Imagine Cup. But I can sum it up in 2 words: Students rock! I think their work challenges the rest of us to raise the bar a little higher for ourselves.
Now without further ado, here are the results
This category requires the use of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework plus one additional Microsoft technology such as Azure, Kinect, Windows Phone, Windows 8, or Windows Embedded. Teams may also integrate additional technologies into their solutions including non-Microsoft technologies to create their solutions. The winner of this category will represent Canada at the world finals in Australia.
In this category students are limited to using a Windows Phone Game to help solve one of the world’s problems. The teams at this year’s finals did an amazing job trying to inspire and educate through their games
At the Canadian Imagine Cup, two students from McGill university try to address the challenge of providing healthcare in rural areas using a Windows Phone application, the cloud, and a Windows 8 application. Their solution earned them 3rd place at the Canadian Imagine Cup Finals.
India is one of the world’s largest countries, home to over a billion people. It is also one of the poorest countries, over 72% of the population live in villages. Rural India has very poor healthcare, 43$ have no access to healthcare. 70% have no resident doctor and 80% of medical workers are unqualified.
Connect doctors and patients, provide an easy way for patients to express their symptoms and provide an infrastructure for doctors to diagnose rural patients and recommend appropriate actions.
Windows Phone, Windows 8 and SQL Azure
Abhijeet Kalyan and Shravan Narayan from McGill university came up with project Neem, a rural healthcare solution. The solution revolves around a village healthcare worker. You find someone in the village who is respected in the community, and is computer literate to act as the village healthcare worker. You provide them with some very basic medical training and a Windows Phone. Using the Windows Phone they can scan the national id card of a patient. Any stored information about the patient is retrieved. The village healthcare worker has enough training to take a temperature, check blood sugar levels, check a pulse or blood pressure. These vitals can be recorded in the phone application. The health care worker can also record any particular symptoms the patient reports by tapping the area of the body and selecting the symptoms
The patient data is stored in SQL Azure and then accessed by doctors in the city through a Windows 8 application. The doctors can review the patients symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment. With the Skype application on Windows Phone, the team is also considering adding a Skype option for direct patient to doctor or doctor to healthcare worker interaction.
Shravan and Abhijeet also see a bigger picture of using the data generated from the application to help public health organizations, governments and aid agencies. A desktop data analytics application could help interpret the data and identify trends while still keeping patient information anonymous. Perhaps helping agencies identify what diseases are diagnosed in different regions.
Rural healthcare isn’t just a challenge in India, this is a challenge we face in Canada as well, as many doctors feel they will have a higher quality of life setting up practice in the city leaving small towns woefully short of desperately needed medical services. Hopefully the work done by these students will be the beginning of a solution.
If you want a token for the Windows 8 store, you need to attend an app excellence lab.
There is no question that the Windows 8 store is a significant opportunity, and getting in early will improve the chance of your app getting noticed. In Canada, your first chance to get a token to put your app in the store is by completing an app excellence lab. Bring your completed or nearly completed Windows 8 app to the lab and spend up to 4 hours with a trained Microsoft services engineer. They will help you get your app up to snuff, answer questions you may have, and give you tips on how you can improve your app.
In this post I’ll explain
The lab is an up to 4-hour engagement with a trained Microsoft Services Engineer. This engineer will run your app through a series of tests based on a quality checklist to ensure your app is (or will be) in top-notch shape when you submit. You will also get a chance discuss ways to make your app even better and you will get answers to any questions you might have.
When you schedule your slot, you receive a detailed survey with questions about your app, useful advice, links to guidelines, etc. The survey is not the only criteria we use at the labs, but if you follow the preparation given in the survey, you will likely have a high-level, great app.
If your app meets the criteria, you will receive a token to register your developer account. Once verified, you will be able to submit your app to the Windows store. If your app does not meet the criteria, nothing is lost. You will still end up with a much better app and you will be able to submit it when registration opens for all developers.
Attend a Windows 8 Developer Camp, Windows 8 Design Clinic or Windows 8 Hackathon (upcoming cities and dates at the bottom of this blog post)
Review the app-building content from the Windows Developer Centre to learn the fundamentals of building a great Metro-style Windows 8 App.
Create a Windows 8 Metro-style app (or game) TODAY. Get it ready as if you were submitting it to the store for certification.
Read through all of the great UX Guidelines online in the design section of the Windows Developer Centre.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
if you can’t attend one of the Windows 8 events, you can still learn about how to build Windows 8 apps online at the Windows developer center and bring your app to the labs.
Toronto May 22-25; May 28- June 1
Montreal June 4 – 8
Vancouver June 11-15; June 18-22
Excellent question, well if you live nearby, your best bet is to drive to the nearest city where there is a lab, Ottawa to Montreal isn’t that far. But, if you live in Halifax or Edmonton that could be a challenge, let alone Yellowknife or St John’s. So, just submit your app information to email@example.com as described above and register for a remote session using Skype or Lync during one of the lab weeks listed. Don't wait until the day before to request a time please, so we can address capacity issues.
Another good question, If your app is 100% complete then there is much higher chance that you will get a store token when you leave the lab. But there is still value in attending the labs with an app that is not completely finished. Up to 4 hours with a Microsoft engineer is sure going to help you figure out what little thing you need to add to finish up your application with the confidence that when you are finished it will be store ready. So, no your app doesn’t have to be 100% complete, but the closer to finished you have your app, the more you will get out of the app excellence lab.
So what are you waiting for? Get coding Canada! I can’t wait to see what you build!
When you use the power of the WinRT you can build some pretty amazing apps without requiring complex code. Leverage the code that’s already there to get a great app in the store early!
When you are deploying an app to the store it’s better to have Timer than Timer698. Getting in the store early can make a difference. In Canada, the app excellence labs give you the earliest chance to publish to the store. But with the labs coming up in June, you may think you can’t build a decent app in time. Fair enough, some of you may have some amazing ideas that will take some time to develop. But there is so much you can do with a simple idea when you add the capabilities of WinRT.
My kids have been playing computer games since they were 12 months old. As a parent I was always on the lookout for fun or educational computer games. One of the most common games was the match game. You have 4, 16, or 25 cards flipped upside down, you have to flip the cards over and find the matching pairs. This would be easy enough to build on Windows 8, but how do we take a simple app and bring that to the next level without a lot of work? leverage WinRT!
Not every great app requires 3-6 months development time. You can build apps that will surprise and delight users in under a week with the help of WinRT and a little imagination. It’s also a great chance to learn more about the Windows 8 platform and how to publish apps to the store before you release *the* big app you are working on. Don’t miss out on your chance to be first to the store. Get coding, and contact Win8CDN@Microsoft.com to request a session either in person or remotely in one of the app excellence labs and get your app in the store.
One last thing, if you decide to build and publish the match game I described above, let me know, I know some kids who will want to try it!
More Windows 8 events are coming to a city near you! Don’t miss out on these great chances to be one of the first in the Windows 8 store!
More dates and cities have been added to the Windows 8 event list. Don’t miss out!
To get the most from the events, or to help you get started if there is no event near you:
If you come to the Design Clinic or hackathon in Montreal, stop by and say hi, I’ll be there