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Microsoft announces winners in Games, Innovation , World Citizenship for World Championship

By Emeka Aginam, in Seattle, Washington

After several presentations at the ongoing 2016 Imagine Cup technology contest holding in Seattle, Washington, three student teams took first place in Games, Innovation and World Citizenship competitions yesterday , securing their spots for the final round of this challenging global student technology competition.

The top winner will receive a private mentoring session with Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella and the coveted title of Imagine Cup Champion today.

Students from around the globe came to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, this week to compete for more than $200,000 in cash and prizes in the Imagine Cup World Finals.

Thirty-five teams had presented their projects in the annual competition, which gives students a way to acquire new technical, business and design skills to help them turn their creative ideas into reality.

A stealth game with an unusual storyline and gameplay system, a high-tech wearable device that tracks posture and a virtual reality-based approach to combat bullying were the three projects that students will present today as they vie for the title of Imagine Cup Champion.

The top winner will receive a private mentoring session with Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella and the coveted title of Imagine Cup Champion today.

The World Championship competition begins at 9 a.m. PT Friday before an out-of-this-world panel of judges and will be livestreamed for all the world to see.

The top three teams in each category and their cash prize are:
Games: 1st Place: PH21 of Thailand, $50,000, 2nd Place: None Developers of Indonesia, $10,000 and 3rd Place: Tower Up of Brazil, $5,000

Innovation: 1st Place: ENTy of Romania, $50,000, 2nd Place: Bit Masters of Sri Lanka, $10,000 and 3rd Place: HealthX of the United States, $5,000

World Citizenship: 1st Place: AMANDA of Greece, $50,000, 2nd Place: Night’s Watch of Tunisia, $10,000 and 3rd Place: InSimu of Hungary, $5,000

PH21 of Thailand created a stealth puzzle game with an unpredictable storyline and an unusual gameplay system. The player controls Marza, a mysterious woman who has stolen a device with the power to see the future, and Alpha, a little girl who has the ability to manipulate time. The two characters must cooperate to overcome obstacles and find the best route for each puzzle.

The ENTy team of Romania created a high-tech wearable device that tracks the balance of the internal ear and checks the spine posture in real time. The device is the size of a door key and is worn on the back or head and can detect inner ear problems and other data that can be useful to doctors in diagnosing patients.

The AMANDA team of Greece developed a gamified virtual reality app to help combat bullying. It puts users in 3D interactive scenes, many involving bullying, to gauge their responses and focus on boosting empathy, awareness and self-esteem. The project is named for Amanda Todd, a Canadian teen who made a video detailing her experience of being bullied before taking her own life in 2012.

The BoneyCare team from China received the Ability Award, which recognizes a student team whose project is geared toward advancing accessibility and empowering people with disabilities, for their cloud-based app aimed at helping people who stutter.

Also honoured during the yesterday awards ceremony was Lisa Wong of Canada, who was named Microsoft Student Partner of the Year


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