OAU Wins Microsoft Competition

A new winner, Team Humane, has emerged in the just concluded National Finals of the 2016 edition of Microsoft Nigeria Imagine Cup. The team, Team Humane, which represented Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, beats other contenders in a keenly contested competition. The competition, which is now in its ninth year in Nigeria, is the premier student technology program and a cornerstone of the Microsoft Youth Spark initiative.

According to a statement issued by the organizer, the program is aimed at providing an opportunity for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs from all academic backgrounds which will enable them to collaborate, develop a technology application, create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what is needed to bring a concept to market.

This year edition had eleven participating teams drawn from various tertiary institutions within the country. The winning team, Team Humane, which comprised of Otaru Babatunde, Oyatope Blessing, Shoaga Victor, and Ayodele Obasegun, competed in the World Citizenship Category.

The solution, as provided by the winner, is one for the visually impaired, which enables them to interact and navigate freely on their mobile phones. The solution comes with an accompanying hardware known as the Humane handle, which interacts with apps installed on a device using Bluetooth. A visually impaired person would be able to navigate through various apps installed on his/her mobile phone using the handle and an integrated voice navigation system.

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Speaking on the feat achieved and how it was able to realize it, the team leader, Ayodele Obasegun, said the target of the team was to leverage the use of technology in solving problems.

He explained, “We have been developing solutions for various organizations, and we felt a need to impact our community and the world as a whole, hereafter this solution for the visually impaired. It was initially targeted at gaming for the visually impaired, but later we felt we can do more than gaming.”

Commenting further, Obasegun said, “We are very happy. As part of our dedication on this solution we have been on a booth camp for weeks to ensure there would be no errors on this project, so it is quite exciting that we eventually emerged winner. We had earlier participated in the competition two years back (2014), we took the reviews and feedback from the previous competition and I must say it paid off. We took these feedbacks and refined our solutions to what it is now, we are so happy we won, also we appreciate the feedbacks we got from friends, developers’ community and from our Head of Department at school.”

Also speaking at the National finals, Director, Developer Evangelism, Microsoft Nigeria, Shina Oyetosho explained that, “Microsoft is committed to 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.”

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He further noted: “This competition also provides student developers the opportunity to learn through competition by helping to drive new skill development and inspiring collaboration and team building,” he added.

Team Humane will go on to compete in the Middle East and Africa semi-finals, for a place at the world finals schedule to hold in Seattle, Washington in July this year.

Others teams that received laurels during this year competition include Team Elite from the Ajayi Crowther University that came in as second runner-up with their IDP finder solution, while Team Circuit from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology with their solution Ulcerex came in as first runner –up.

The competition provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrate solutions that can change the way we live, work and play.