The University of Auckland team repeats Imagine Cup win

Tuesday 26 March 2013, 2:02PM
By University of Auckland

The University of Auckland student team InfinityTek have won top honours in the New Zealand finals of the world’s largest and most prestigious, innovative software competition.

The team won the World Citizenship category and were overall winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013. They will represent New Zealand at the World Finals in Russia later this year.

This is the second year in a row that a University of Auckland team has won the New Zealand competition with last year’s team featuring in the top six at the world finals in Sydney. It’s also the third year in a row that a University of Auckland team has dominated the New Zealand finals.

The University of Auckland team members also won and placed second in the Games category this year. In the Imagine Cup teams of tertiary students compete to build innovative and world-changing applications using Microsoft technology.

The overall winning team, InfinityTek, won with an app called ‘UVsense’ , a product that uses a custom-developed wristband sensor to monitor UV exposure and wirelessly communicate that data to a Windows 8 smartphone. The goal of the app is to allow people to manage their skin cancer risk – the most common form of cancer in New Zealand.

They also won the World Citizenship category prize of $6000, producing the app “with the greatest potential to make a positive contribution to the betterment of humanity”.

The team of winning students was Daniel Xu, Jacky Zhen, Ming Cheuk and Muthu Chidambaram who will travel to St Petersburg in Russia in July to represent New Zealand in the global Imagine Cup 2013 finals.

Team members Muthu Chidambaram, Daniel Xu and Ming Cheuk are graduates in Mechatronics Engineering at The University of Auckland. Daniel Xu and Ming Cheuk are now completing their PhD with the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, and Jacky Zhen is a Computer Science (Hons) graduate, now completing a Masters in Computer Science at The University of Auckland.

Winners of the Games category were The University of Auckland’s QuakeTown team with the best game app built on a Microsoft platform. Team members were Tobias Sveaas and Zain Ali from The University of Auckland, (and Jason Lau from AUT). They took the first place prize of $6000 for QuakeTown – a drag-and-drop construction game for Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 devices.

In this app, players create earthquake-resistant structures using a variety of real-world materials, meeting certain design goals, material and cost limitations. Once the structure is designed, the player shakes the device (or uses the keyboard for non-accelerometer devices) to simulate an earthquake of a given magnitude and see how their structure holds up using realistic physics calculations.

Second in the same category was The University of Auckland team ‘2150AD’ (Ada Shou and Ray Jiang), who took the $2,000 prize for 2150 AD - a top-down space-shooter game with varied mission objectives, enemy behaviour and upgrade paths. The game is already available in the Windows Phone Marketplace where it has received high ratings and a large number of downloads.

The 2013 Imagine Cup attracted entries from 549 students across New Zealand this year with 100 selected for interviews and 24 teams made the semi-final round of judging by a panel of Microsoft and industry volunteer judges at The University of Auckland on the weekend.