Microsoft has announced that Team Opticode,composed of students Christian
Lou Cepe, Jasmine Pearl Raymundo, and Rochel Reyes from Lyceum of the
Philippines University Laguna,will be representing the Philippines at the
Microsoft Imagine Cup 2017 World Finals to be held in Seattle this July.
As 2nd runner-up in the Southeast Asia Finals, Team Opticode qualified for
the World Finals with their mobile app Minerva, which was designed to
improve the quality of life of those with visual impairment.
Using various Cognitive Services running on Microsoft Azure, Minerva
identifies objects in the immediate environment of users. After pointing
their smartphone cameras at a box of cereal, for instance, the app will to
describe this aloud using the phone’s speakers.
“The country is full of bright young minds, and Team Opticode represents the
best of our present crop of budding technologists,” said Karrie Ilagan,
Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines. “With this level of talent,
we’re confident that the Philippines will emerge as a leading example of how
digital transformation can be used to improve the people’s lives and provide
better social opportunities.”
This latest milestone comes alongside an accelerating adoption of digital
technology in both the public and private sectors in the Philippines.
Following the establishment of the Department of Information and
Communications Technology, the government announced a “cloud-first policy”
for all national and local government offices.
Team Opticode will be joined at the global rounds by Team CIMOL from
Indonesia and Team HeartSound from Singapore, who were awarded as Champion
and 1st runner-up of the Southeast Asian leg, respectively. They will also
be joined by four other student teams from across the region, all of whom
were recognized for their efforts to push the boundaries of human invention.
Team CIMOL’s won for their Hoax Analyzer web-based app, which aims to combat
the proliferation of “fake news”. The app is capable of identifying if
certain contextual information can be categorized as hoaxes or not.
Team HeartSound invented the S3, a smart wearable device that combines the
function of a stethoscope and an electrocardiography machine. The device
actively monitors the wearer’s heartbeat and flags any abnormality
wirelessly to a doctor so that patients can receive further check-ups or
treatment without delay.
The Imagine Cup World Finals will gather more than 50 students teams from
all over the world, all vying for the top prize of US$100,000, mentorship
opportunities with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and
credits to bring their winning solution to the market.
In all, Microsoft will sponsor a total of seven teams to bear the standard
for Southeast Asia at the World Finals this July, putting the breadth and
depth of creativity and innovation in Southeast Asia youth on full display
in front of the world.