Microsoft Imagine Cup

Imagine Cup ' 07 is a Microsoft worldwide event, the finals of which is gonna be held in France sometime in July.

I had an opportunity to look at these projects, the final eight ones. The India Finals were held at NIMHANS convention center, here in Bangalore. Well, It was one thing that the event had a very timely theme. The theme was, "Imagine a world where technology aids a sustainable environment." Rightly Dr. Pachuari gave a video key note address to this event. Dr. Pachauari is the Director of Nobel awarded TERI.

Before that we had an exhibition of the eight projects selected for the national finals. Few of them were really good, but few were below the mark for a national level entry. I was in fact surprised to see them at that level. The only way i tried to convince myself with these projects being finalized there was that they might have been able to tackle some software issues with these simple applications.

The final three teams were given 10 mins each to present their projects to the audience on stage and I thought the time alloted was too less to do anything. Only one team, I thought managed to put up a good show, but they had to be content with a second place.

The third place winner had a farming assistance kind of project. Their software suggested various crops for the season. The sad part was, the core engine of this project was developed by some Australian university guys and these people were showing the strength of software re-usability.

The second place winner was a project that supposedly saved so much power that they expected too much. they developed a n/w software that would monitor usage of computer systems by people over corporate networks and change their power settings. But they did not finally implement the adaptive and machine learning modules and got second.

Well, then you must be expecting that the first one had something very good. Well, that also failed to impress me so much. They had a wireless sensor network for data collection. As much the sensors cost, they only measure a sq. inch of area around them and have a range of 100m or so. With this, they had a networking software and around this interface.

All said and done, the winner is going to France and participate in the world finals. I really doubt if this project can showcase an ability to solve environment problems.


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