I'm sitting here in the main hall of the Imagine Cup 2007 listening to the final set of presentations for the Software Design invitational. The first three sessions I have already seen and it was pleasing to see that they have taken on board some of the judges comments in their presentations.
(Team inGest: Daniel Kelly, Cathal Coffey, Eric McClean, Mark Clerkin)
These guys already had a well oiled presentation and I really enjoyed the additonal video at the end that showed the process of building the software. Through a pair of red and green gloves combined with a standard web cam their software, appropriately named Signal, was able to track hand and finger position in order to interprete signs and convert them to the corresponding letters or word. Signal is able to help the user learn sign language through the demonstration of signs. The web cam then record their motion and determines if they made the sign appropriately.
(SMOR Team: Neven Tubić, Milan Stojić, Ivan Vujić, Sava Čajetinac)
Unfortunately due to the hardware that DriveOn requires it was setup on its own stage which made it hard for the audience to see what was going on. DriveOn is a three (actually multiple) screen driving simulatior specifically designed for teaching students to drive. In addition to building the rendering engine, the students also built an instructor management UI that allows the instructor to setup scenarios for the student to work through. For example they can add/remove traffic, can puncher a tire or change traffic lights. It is hard to believe that 4 students managed to build this entire solution in only 10 months
(En#605: Lim Chan-kyu, Min Kyoung-hoon, Lim Byoung-su, Jeong Ji-hyeon)
The host nation really delivered a well rehersed presentation which clearly identified the problem, presented their solution, Finger Code, and how it works. Simply Finger Code is a set of smart gloves that a deaf blind person can wear and receive/transmit letters in the form of finger braille.
Out of the second set of three teams to present I had only seen the Thai application, which meant I had to wait in anticipation for Austria and Jamaica.
(3KC Returns: Prachaya Phaisanwiphatpong, Vasan Chienmaneetaweesin, Jatupon Sukkasem, Pathompol Saeng-Uraiporn)
The Thai application, LiveBook, can essentially be broken into two parts. On the one hand they have taken a standard web cam and used it to OCR any book or text (including handwriting). Then taking the text they search a database for images that correspond to words. The images are then presented inline in the text using some nice 3D rendering. In this way the images can be used to 'interprete' the text by someone who can't read.
(OOT Development Team: Michael Hurnaus, Juergen Oberngruber, Claudia Oster, Christian Schafleitner)
INTOI - Interchange of Ideas is an electronic whiteboard that allows the user to do a wide variety of activities such as zooming in/out, loading and interacting with images and other media. The system was presented well with attention paid to the use in the classroom.
(ICAD: Imran Allie, Conroy Smith, Ayson Baxter, Damion Mitchell)
CADI is a collaborative real-time workspace that enables the teacher to share notes, communicate (including language translation) and interact with students. The Jamaican team presented their solution with a single presenter who captured the audience, while the other team mates were actors in the demo.
All six finalists displayed all the characteristics of a winning entry. As one of the other pre-finalist judges commented "I'm glad I'm not working out the winning entry!"
Good luck to all the remaining entrants. Tomorrow we will discover the judges' verdict