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ntAfter five days in Sydney, a pair of sign language to speech gloves have taken out the Imagine Cup of 2012.
ntThe theme for this year was “imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”, and it threw up all manner of entries, from applications to improve the quality of life the disabled to reconnaissance flying vehicles for emergencies, and at least a couple of cloud-based medical devices.
ntImages by Chris Duckett/TechRepublic
Imagine Cup 2012 - Ukraine
ntTaking out the Imagine Cup for 2012 was the quadSquad team from Ukraine.
ntThese gloves are worn by people using sign language. An attached computer/phone will translate the signs into speech. The demostration of the gloves in the final presentation was very impressive and landed the team with the US$25,000 first prize.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Japan
ntSecond place in this year’s competition went to the All Lights! team from Japan.
ntThe lights communicate with each other using light beams and a visual communication protocol, which the team developed to figure out if some lights can be dimmed. Inspired by the energy crisis occuring in Japan in the aftermath of its natural and nuclear disasters, the team designed the lights, primarily, to save energy.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Portugal
ntPicking up third in the software design category was the Portuguese wi-GO, a cart that uses a Kinect and laptop comination to follow its user. In the finals presentation, the team showed how difficult it could be for one of the team’s members, who is wheelchair-bound, to go shopping.
ntThe idea and implementation is impressive, but this is one of those projects at Imagine Cup that seems to be held back by the use of Microsoft desktop technology. As the project continues, I would hope that the team optimises the project to use an unobtrusive micro-controller rather than the thumping laptop attached to the cart.
ntThe highlight in the entire finals presentation occured when a cameraman accidently made the gesture to start the wi-GO tracking and was bailed up in a corner by the device. Five stars.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Taiwan
ntThe uCHAMPsys team from Taiwan made it into the finals, showing off their weight loss solution that uses a bespoke circuit board inside of a watch to track user movement, in much the same way that a Fitbit works.
ntShown above are the third generation of watches that the team has created.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Taiwan
ntAnd here are the results from the uCHAMPsys team, in human and cardboard forms.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Priorities
Imagine Cup 2012 - Kazakhstan
ntThe Kazakhstani team came up with ArchAngel, a flying and hovering reconnaissance device for use in emergency situations. It was the hit on the show floor.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Brazil
ntIt should come as no surprise to see that the Brazilians brought football to the Imagine Cup 2012. It’s wasn’t all fun though, as the Brazilians collected a swag of awards over the course of the event.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Greece
ntA member of the Greek team sporting the headwear used in their system to help sufferers of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Jordan
ntThis is Team Dancing Pillow, from Jordan. Their initial inspiration was one of the team member’s inability to wake up in the morning, but the invention evolved to one that can assist hearing impaired people in emergencies.
ntThe pillow vibrates when triggered, accompanied by a garish flashing light and a device that emits a strong smell to wake the user up in case of a fire, etc.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Cyprus
ntBrailleMessenger is a Windows Phone application that allows the sending and receiving of messages for blind people. The phone vibrates when a user’s finger is run over the braille dots.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Australia
ntThe sole Australian finalist this year was StethoCloud, a Windows Phone application and digital stethoscope combination that is intended to help in the diagnosis of pneumonia.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Croatia
ntCroatia’s entry this year was a Windows Phone application that help blind people navigate by speaking directional commands to help them get to their destination.
Imagine Cup 2012 - Poland
ntThis Polish entry into the Kinect fun section of the competition involved activities such as bouncing on a ball and raising one’s arms to interact with a game. It was built to help children undergoing rehabilitation by physiotherapists.
Imagine Cup 2012 - South Korea and Cote d'Ivoire
ntMembers of the Cote d’Ivoire and South Korean team mixing it up. The brown costume at the back is intended to be a peanut, I am led to believe.
Imagine Cup 2012 - South Korea and Koala
ntBecause nothing says Australia like a man dressed in a mangy Koala suit. All that is missing is his coin bucket.
ntA Korean Imagine Cup contestant finds clear joy in posing with the creepy-looking Koala.