Imagine Cup dev team finalists announced

Four teams of student developers are lining up to represent New Zealand at the worldwide finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 competition, to be held in Poland in July.

The preliminary finals for the annual technology competition were held yesterday at Microsoft's Auckland offices to whittle down a field of 20 teams, each using Microsoft technology for development projects.

The competition, in its eighth year, challenges students from around the globe to develop technologies to help solve the world’s toughest problems.

The four teams advancing to the national finals are:

Team One Beep – From the University of Auckland, Team One Beep developed a system for delivering data over conventional radio transmitters; the purpose of which is to enable educational material to be delivered to impoverished schools and communities in areas of the world where there are no phone lines let alone internet services.

Team Enpeda – Also from the University of Auckland, Team Enpeda devised a working prototype of a computer controlled driver assistance system. It uses a cell phone camera and is able to detect the road environment ahead and warn drivers if they stray off course and into danger.

Team eUtopia – From the University of Waikato, Team eUtopia came up with a live video distribution service that links conservation organisations to the public and allows for remote monitoring, private research and even surveillance of animals.

Team Vital Link – From the University of Auckland, Team Vital Link tackle the issue of poverty, in particular, fair trade for artisans in impoverished countries whose handicrafts are often undervalued. The team aims to provide a global marketplace by capitalising on the viral marketing capabilities of Facebook to help these people make enough money to improve their daily lives.

The national finals will be held at the University of Auckland Business School on 30 April.

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