The technologically-savvy Seoul got a boost of innovation this week as South Korea played host to Microsoft’s 2007 Imagine Cup . In its fifth year, the competition gives students the opportunity to be inventors within the boundless potentials of technology, and each year has delivered a smorgasbord of fresh ideas.
This year’s winners, cultivated from 344 young minds representing a multitude of nations, all held true to the designated theme of education. A team from Thailand came out on top with their development of computer software able to read documents aloud to illiterate individuals.
Gates Imagine Cup: Students try out an invention at one of Microsoft's world-renowned Imagine Cup competitions
However Korea did more than just host the event. Their home team garnered a second place win with a software program accompanied by a glove filled with special sensors. These are able to convert words (either spoken or typed) into vibrations which translate to a deaf or blind person.
With participants coming from approximately 59 different countries, the Imagine Cup was an array of diversity as much as it was a unified setting for the growth of technology. One guest speaker was quoted as saying, “"By challenging students to develop working solutions to development challenges, Imagine Cup allows new ideas and new economic opportunities to flourish."”
While Microsoft made a commitment to celebrate invention & innovation without recruiting potential employees, it is quickly obvious that the future of technology is safe in the hands of a crop of brilliant young people.