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Microsoft announced the winners of the Imagine Cup 2012 Qatar finals at an event held at the Four Seasons hotel in Doha. Considered the world's premiere technology competition, Imagine Cup encourages students to use their imagination to create innovative technology solutions that can help address some of the world's toughest issues.
Team Technology Lanterns, whose project tackled the issues of the visually impaired, was announced as the first place winner in the Software Design category in Qatar.
The team was presented with the Grand Prize of an all expenses paid trip to Sydney, Australia to represent Qatar in the Imagine Cup worldwide finals in July 2012.
The first place winning team members will also receive ASUS laptops along with other exciting prizes.
The event was attended by Dr. Hessa Al Jaber, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology, ictQATAR, who gave a speech which focused on ICT and digital opportunities in Qatar, following Microsoft Qatar Country Manager Naim Yazbeck's opening remarks.
"It gives me great pleasure to be able to announce the Team 'Technology Lanterns' as the winner of Imagine Cup Qatar today," said Yazbeck. "Imagine Cup has grown from its humble beginnings in 2003 with only 1,000 participants worldwide to include hundreds of thousands of participants who have showcased what technology can do. The competition has proved that it can help equip tomorrow's technology visionaries and leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to compete in the global economy, and I am very proud to have such promising candidates represent Qatar in the worldwide finals in July and wish them the best of luck."
Team Technology Lanterns' 3D-KINDIO project featured combined hardware and software applications that use Kinect camera, 3D Audio, and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies in a program that assists the visually impaired. The project was selected based on the team's innovative use of technology to solve one of the key issues the world is facing today; assisting the visually impaired to become active members of the community. The team consists of Fatma Mohammed Al-Msaifri, Mariam Essa Al-Ansari, Roqaya Saed Al-Shaabi and Yasmin Aladden Halwani from Qatar University.
"At Samsung we are dedicated to developing innovative technologies that empower and enrich people's lives so we are proud to have been part of Microsoft's Imagine Cup which has brought the power of technology and potential of young people to the forefront," said Madhav Narayan, Senior Regional Director, GCC, Enterprise Business at Samsung Gulf Electronics. "We hope that those young technology visionaries move on to make a difference by addressing real world issues that can significantly improve the lives of millions of people around the world."
The four projects shortlisted were submitted by teams from universities across the country, including Qatar University and Qatar Foundation's Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and Texas A&M University at Qatar. Using their creativity, the students developed ideas to address the Imagine Cup 2012 theme: 'Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems' and were given the opportunity to present their projects to a panel of judges including industry veterans from Qatar Foundation, SEC, Silatech, Al Jazeera Network and Microsoft.
Microsoft is working to support Qatar's 2030 national vision by realizing the potential of the Qatari workforce through initiatives such as Imagine Cup. By driving local growth and supporting the human foundation of knowledge-based economies through access to technology, training programs, public and private sector partnerships and education initiatives, Microsoft hopes to play a key role in improving student's skills and fostering an innovation mindset.
"Microsoft's Imagine Cup has highlighted the power of technology in making positive changes in the community when coupled with young talent in Qatar," said Abdul Salam Knio, Managing partner of ICT "The finalist teams' presentations to the judges today have demonstrated the vast creative talent we have here in Qatar and we are proud to have been part of a project that showcased the work of the technology leaders of the future."
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