From left: Team Nigeria: Otalu Babatunde, Victor Shoaga, Obasegun Ayode, and Oyatope Blessing, Team Humane from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in a short demo shortly after they were announced as the national winners recently at the Microsoft office in Lagos . They will compete in the world stage this Month in Seattle, Washington.. Photo by Emeka Aginam.
Those who think that software products developed in Nigerian cannot be retooled for global competitiveness market should better have a rethink.
Just recently, Team Humane under World Citizenship from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria was among 35 teams from around the world selected to contest at the 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup world wide finals holding this month in Seattle, Washington, the United States of America.
Microsoft Imagine Cup is the premier student technology program and competition, and a cornerstone of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative.
It would be recalled that more than 150 top teams from National Finals events had pitched on World Semifinals, where they were judged by a global panel of MVPs, industry experts and Microsoft staff.
Meanwhile, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia will be flying African flag at the worldwide finals this summer in the United States of America.
However, team Nigeria has a solution designed to help visually impaired navigate smartphones.
The solution developed by the Nigerian Team comes with an accompanying hardware known as the Humane handle, which interacts with apps installed on a device using Bluetooth.
One thing is clear. With their impressive outing at the regional level, there were convincing signals that they will make Nigeria proud at the global stage.
This development has positive signals for Nigeria as the only country in the West African sub-region to qualify for worldwide finals. Besides that, for three years running, Nigeria has been making it for global finals.
While government of Nigeria and the private sector are yet to plug the low hanging technology fruit in tech start-ups, solutions developed by Nigerian technology students have continued to be the toast of international community.
Just last year during Microsoft Imagine Cup contest in Seattle, Washington, , Team Nigeria’s AsthmaVisor solution attracted Microsoft attention after their live presentation.
During the time in question, Microsoft Corporation had expressed interest on the possibilities of working with Team LifeWatch from Nigeria on their AsthmaVisor solution designed to supervise asthmatic patients.
This development has shown that Nigerian indigenous solution can be retooled to the international market if given opportunity and the right platform.
We are ready for global showcase
Speaking on the level of their preparedness, the spokesperson of Team Humane, Ayodele Obasegun Tekena assured that they were ready for global showcase.
“We have upgraded Humane to include state of the art technologies such as AI for facial and scene recognition. We are also concluding partnerships with resume and job search companies which would help advance our solution as regards helping the visually impaired apply for jobs. We have increased the app base of the solution to fit educational use”, he said.
“We also plan on carrying a market survey where the Humane solution will be tested on about 1000 to 5000 persons. This survey would span for two weeks along sides the development survey.
To compete at world stage is the beginning is the beginning of our global competitiveness.
“ We are defining standards that will pilot innovation for the visually impaired”.
Solution has global competitiveness
For the Developer Experience & Evangelism Director, Microsoft Nigeria, Shina Oyetosho, the solution developed by these students has the capability to compete globally.
“Microsoft is committed in empowering students to become the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and developers, the competition inspires student developers around the world to create innovative solutions that change the way we live, work and play while also growing the skills they need to pursue a future in technology.”
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.