Microsoft created the Imagine Cup 10 years ago with the idea that students can and will change the world. This worldwide competition brings together the best and brightest technology students from more than 100 countries to apply their creativity and imagination to solve the world's toughest problems in areas such as education, environment and health care and others.
For Imagine Cup 2012, students can choose from three team competitions—Software Design, Game Design: Xbox/Windows, and Game Design: Phone. Students already signed up to compete in of the three competitions can increase their chances to share their world-changing ideas by signing up to compete in the Windows Azure or Windows Phone Challenge. Students can also participate one-on-one in the IT Challenge to battle it out with some of world’s top student technological brainpower. Each of the competitions asks contestants to “imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.” The Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals will be hosted in Sydney, Australia.
Windows Azure has been a popular technology among Imagine Cup students in past years. 32% (36 projects) in last year’s competition used Windows Azure and the winning Software Design team, Team Hermes from Ireland, won top honors for their traffic solution built on Windows Azure. The team designed a device that plugs into a car and monitors dangerous driving behavior and road conditions, providing instant feedback to both the driver and the car owner. The solution uses embedded technology, Windows Phone 7, Bing Maps and Windows Azure to change driving habits and reduce road deaths, which impact a significant number of young lives each year. With its victory, the team won $25,000. Read about other winning solutions here and in the blog post, “Team Wins Imagine Cup 2011 in Software Design For Traffic Solution Built on Windows Azure.”