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Imagine Cup Finals Crowns Winning Student Developer Teams for 2017

It's a sweet win for X.Glu, this year's top team of student developers from the Czech Republic with a glucose meter that extends to the Azure cloud via an app built with Visual Studio and Xamarin.

X.Glu, a team from the Czech Republic consisting of Czech Technical University of Prague students Marek Novak, Tomas Pikous, and Barbora Suchanova, earlier this week was named the winner of this year's Imagine Cup. The competition is a yearly event held by Microsoft open to student developer teams worldwide to showcase apps built with Microsoft's software and services.

X.Glu already holds a patent for its glucose meter for diabetes patients. Team members recognized that an area of healthcare, glucose meters, have looked fairly staid, with no real innovation in design or technology. The idea was to make glucose meters more useful, particularly in how the data from them is gathered and disseminated. The app they built used Visual Studio and Xamarin and also employs gamification techniques to engage target users -- children -- while also storing and managing the data for parents and doctors who might need the information for ongoing analysis and care. Of course, the app also is deployed on Azure to scale the apps and data for ease of secure access to the data for those who need it.

For their first-place efforts, X.Glu gets $100,000, a $125,000 Azure grant, business mentoring from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and a trip to the next Microsoft Build 2018 conference. Congratulations to them, and the other teams that made it, including these teams who made the semifinals:

Second Place: The Oculogx team is made up of three mixed reality researchers from Georgia Tech who are looking at ways to introduce more innovation in the logistics and supply chain industry. For the competition, they built PickAR, which uses Microsoft's HoloLens to streamline the usually expensive warehouse order-picking process. The potential savings that their system is capable of has captured the attention of Walmart, who is having the team build a pilot project of their system for testing with Walmart's supply chain.

Third Place: Nash, a trio of software engineering students from Buenos Aires, Argentina, developed the RESCUE system that quickens emergency personnel response to natural disasters using computer algorithms and machine learning to provide richer data for rescues. The jewel of the RESCUE system is the deployment of inexpensive drones to record and collect aerial overview data for further assessment to help with rescue and recovery operations. The team's hope is to provide the platform to disaster-prone regions that lack financial resources to deploy more expensive and technology-intensive solutions.

Fourth Place: NeuroGate consists of a mix of students studying software engineering and neuroscience whose app expands on earlier award-winning work they entered into the HackHarvard competition in 2016: ArrowAI made use of a Leap Motion device and Azure Machine Learning to inexpensively diagnose Huntington's disease in patients. This time around, for the Imagine Cup, they expanded the app and renamed it Neurogate, which collects physiometric data via a Microsoft Kinect to help identify other neurodegenerative ailments.

Full video coverage of the event and profiles of the top teams are at this link on Channel 9.

Information for next year's competition will be unveiled at a later date; teams can get alerts for the next competition here.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. For 1105 Media, he managed MCPmag.com, Virtualization Review, and was Editor in Chief of Visual Studio Magazine and host of The .NET Insight Podcast until 2017. Contact him via his photography Web site at http://domingophoto.com.

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