By Emeka Aginam, in Seattle, Washington
After an impressive presentation at the ongoing Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition holding in Seattle, Washington, the United States of America, the spokesperson of Team Nigeria, Obasegun Ayodele, has disclosed that they will be targeting about 10 million visually impaired people across the African continent with Humane solution.
Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is the world’s most prestigious student technology competition, bringing together student innovators from all over the world.
Visual impairment, also known as vision impairment or vision loss, is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses
Although Team Humane from Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU , Ile- Ife, was not among the three first place winning teams that have moved to the Championship round, their nomination for Ability Award on Wednesday was a strong signal that software Nigeria has global competiveness if given the opportunity.
Meanwhile, Tunisia is the only African country that won second place award on World Citizenship category.
This is a boost to Africa as a continent.
By today, Imagine Cup World Champion will be announced. The winners will have the opportunity to have one on one session with the Microsoft Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadela who had challenged the Imagine Cup students to use digital technologies to change the world.
Meanwhile, in the Ability Award, Nigeria was among the 8 teams out of 35 that were selected to further present their project to the software giant, Microsoft. But only Team BoneyCare from China won the Ability award out of the 8 teams that were nominated.
In a demo before panel of judges, Ayodele disclosed that with about 285 million virtually impaired people living around the world, 3.5 percent of the figure resides in Africa.
Assuring that they will use the solution to solve this problem, he explained that Humane platform allows the Windows Smart Phone easily accessible to the visually impaired.
With the solution, the Visually impaired , according to him, could surf the web, dial numbers, send messages, receive notifications, play music, interact with their environment using their Windows 8 Mobile Smart Phone.
Speaking to Vanguard shortly after announcing the result of the top three teams in the Games, Innovation and World Citizenship, yesterday, he said that they will take their solution to the market.
“But first, we sit down, go back to the drawing table to analyze Imagine cup. We way people see technology in Nigeria in Nigeria is not the way it is seen globally. . We have to see technology from global perspective. Imagine cup competition has opened our eyes to the global market. It has opened opportunity for us. We have received request from Nigeria and Swedish Research Group for seed funding. This is just the beginning of our dreams
“We will start a company when we get back. Designing the solution has given us opportunity in hardware. We need the mentorship of Microsoft Nigeria for mentorship. Coming to the world stage is an opportunity.
For Kendra Nnachi, Audience Evangelism Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Humane platform is amazing, adding that the beauty of Imagine is scaling up solutions for global competitiveness.
Nnachi who is passionate about tech start-ups said that, “The experience has opened their minds. I want to see a situation where Human solution e is taking to the next stage. I am excited. These boys are smart. They are the most brilliant imagine cup students group from Nigeria. Use solution to change the world”.
It would be recalled that out of 35 Teams from 34 countries around the world selected for the final showcase, Nigeria is the only country from West Africa flying the continent flag. Similarly, South Africa and Tunisia are also among the countries from Africa flying the continent flag.
It would be recalled that more than 150 top teams from National Finals events had pitched on World Semi-finals, where they were judged by a global panel of MVPs, industry experts and Microsoft staff.