2009 NZ Imagine Cup Winners


A team of students from Lincoln University has won the national finals of the 2009 Microsoft Imagine Cup, and will represent New Zealand at the worldwide Imagine Cup finals in Cairo, Egypt this July. This year’s theme was to use technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Team Think addressed this challenge in their winning entry by aiming to improve education through a simple tablet and PC interface. They identified that learning reading and writing requires practice through verbal communication and hand gestures. To this end, they devised a program for tablets that provides both handwriting recognition and audio output, eliminating the need for basic literacy to understand lessons or instructions. They hope to take this prototype to developing countries that have underutilised computers due to literacy issues.

A field of 88 teams from around New Zealand entered the Imagine Cup, narrowed through regional competitions judged in conjunction with strategic partner organisations Intergen, Provoke, NextSpace, New Zealand Computing Society TechNZ and Fronde. The national winner was chosen from six presenting teams by a panel of judges at the national finals last night at the University of Auckland Business School. Team Think will now have the chance to win the USD$25,000 cash grand prize awarded at the worldwide competition.