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Imagine Cup 2011世界大会、Showcaseインタビューまとめ

Diary Imagine Cup 2011

というわけで、Team IUVOが高校生レポーターとしてNYに行って来たので、現地での活動の一つである、Showcaseでのインタビュー活動について、動画を交えてまとめてみたいと思います!
以下は、インタビュワー:山根 寛(YAMANE Kan)、カメラマン:金井 仁弘(KANAI Masahiro)でお送りします!

Win7 Touch: IndianRose (the 1st place)

――What kind of system did you exactly make?
We have made an application to allow autistic children to speak with voice synthesizers and pictures we call pictograms.

――Could you explain how the system actually works with a demo?
So the goal of the application is to have the child express his needs orally because he isn't able to do so by himself. Right now they have the binders with pictures in them they use to communicate. We wanted to digitalize all these pictures and to put it in, for example, a tablet PC, to let them have it on the go when they go on vacations, etc.
So the application is really simple-you have the pictures, ordered by categories, and when the child wants to express his needs, like he does with his binder, he selects the picture he wants, for example, "I want", selects an action, "to drink", and selects an object, "a cola". Then the child can use this button (check button) to validate the sentence, and then the PC will say "I want to drink a Cola".
It helps him communicate and express orally easily. It also helps him develop his communication skills, learn new words, and to get a little more associative(?) in everyday life.

――What kind of technical difficulties did you face in making this?
There are no technical difficulties, because it's so simple. We were astonished that no one had done it before. We found many projects like ours which were unfinished, or too expensive, but since the idea was so simple, we had no technical difficulties, although maybe the voice synthesizer wasn't always perfect, but it's just simple technology to help children.

――So you worked with real autistic children in this project?
Yes. We worked with three or four families to check the application. They helped us in designing by giving us feedback and directions. For example, we learned that these children are really good with technology and touch features from their experience with electric games. This 9 year old girl in the video, India Rose, was our source of inspiration.
はい。3〜4個の家庭からデザイン面でのフィードバックや指示をいただきました。また、このような子供たちと接することによって彼らが電子ゲームなどの経験からパソコンやタッチ機能にかなり慣れていることもわかりました。この自閉症の少女、India Roseは名前からもわかるように私たちがこのプロジェクトを始めようと思ったきっかけでもあります。

――What do you think of the Imagine Cup as a whole?
The Imagine Cup is a great, great, great experience. Many great students, hundreds of students, gather in this competition. It's a place where futures are made… it's simply amazing. It's like a dream come true for us.

Software Design: Oriteam (top 18)

――What did you exactly make?
We are making an Origami modeling software for preschool and childhood education. Origami develops a lot of skills like memory, fine motor skills, special perception and so on in children. We have made an Origami constructor. It allows you to work with virtual pieces of paper and create Origami models on your computer. It's 3-dimensional interactive, and since it is already in the mobile application marketplace, you can download it on to your mobile phone.
私たちはOricrafterという幼稚園などの子供たちが使えるような折り紙のソフトウェアを作りました。折り紙は子供の記憶力、器用さ、立体的思考などをはぐくみます。Oricrafterは3Dの画像を使ってパソコン内でまるで折り紙を折っているかのような体験をさせてくれます。もうすでにWindows Phone 7のマーケットプレイスにも流通しているため、お手持ちのWindows Phone 7でも利用することが可能です。
Using Oricrafter, we can automatically generate Origami diagrams with step-by-step instructions so that you can learn to fold objects that you have never tried before. We also have the automatic tutorial model. After you fold and construct the model virtually, Oricrafter generates a barcode layout on a paper. Using these barcodes with your webcam, Oricrafter will show instructions on what to do next when crafting the model. Using arrows and crease lines, it will display step-by-step instructions on the screen. We also have a Kinect prototype which can show video steps and rotating models.
With our software, we went to a kindergarten in Moscow, where real children learned Origami using our software. They were very amazed, and asked us to come back and show them how to make cars and airplanes.

――Why did you choose to use Origami?
Everyone in our team has been Origami friends from our early years, and when we learned how good Origami is for the children, we decided to develop this software!

――Do you have any plans for the future?
Sure. We are going to develop it and introduce it to kindergarten and schools. We also plan to add more varieties of crafts in the software.

Software Design: OneBuzz (top 6)

――What is OneBuzz?
Onebuzz is a malaria information management system. The problem with malaria is that even though it's a curable and a preventable disease, the existing systems are not quick and efficient enough to use information and resources to combat the disease. We aim to modernize this process by using Bing maps and other Microsoft technology.
Onebuzzはマラリアに対抗するための情報管理システムです。本来マラリアはうまく対処すれば防ぐことができる病気であるにも関わらず、現在はシステムのスピードや効率性の悪さによって全く防げていないというのが現状です。私たちはBing mapなどのマイクロソフトの最先端技術を用いてこの状況を改善しようと考えました。

――How does it work?
There are three main methods that are used to fight malaria today: providing anti―malaria vaccines to the people, providing bed nets, and spraying insecticide sprays. Our project keeps track of the data and information related to Malaria to make sure that the most effective methods are taken at the right place at the right time.
現在、マラリア対策として取られている方法は三つあります―マラリア対策のワクチン、蚊帳の配布、防虫スプレーの散布です。One Buzzはもっとも効果的な処置が一番必要とされる場所と時間に適用されるようにデータを管理しています。
On this computer, you can see the system that helps when spraying insecticides. What we're doing is keeping track of pools of water where mosquitoes are known to breed. Using satellite images and our own image-processing algorithms, we can actually locate the bodies of water where mosquitoes are breeding. Shown as the pink are the human settlements, and the blue shows the bodies of water. Of course, this information is very useful for researchers, but we wanted to go one step further and make it more accessible. So what we can do is to actually overlay simple instructions on ordinary maps. So you can see the high-priority parts of the region as the blue, which means there are lots of people living close to a certain body of water, and the green color shows regions of lower priority.
On this screen you can see one of the systems we're using to manage information about bed bet and other resources. What we can do is to see the quantities of the resources such as bed nets, medication, and sprays in the region. This is a high-quality overview of the bed net coverage in a certain state in India-the density of the yellow circles indicates the portion of people with bed net protection in that region. So regions with deeper shades of yellow are relatively fine, but the regions with more transparent shades are not. We can also zoom in further and see the data on a smaller scale. We can see from here the villages that require higher priority in distribution of the resources. We have other additional tools like SMS that are also useful.

――How long did it take for you to create this software?
We've been working on this project as a whole for about a year―we spent a lot of time doing actual fieldwork in malaria-infected areas because we didn't want to make a system that nobody would actually want to use. We're already working with organizations such as the National Institute of Malaria Research in India.

Software Design: Oasys (the 3rd place)

――What does Horizon do?
Horizon is a project that helps people with quadriplegia, or people who cannot move their hands or legs. We wanted to give them a chance to let them control the computer by using their head movements. The main point of our project was to be able to target everyone in the world, not only rich countries, so this solution is actually pretty cheap, really easy to build, and all the equipment you need is already available in most countries around the world.
As you can see, the project is based on a Wii remote, available in any game store around the world, which detects the movement of this ordinary IR led and sends the signals to the computer. Using our own algorithms and system, the PC translates these signals to the mouse movement. You can fix the IR led easily onto a cap, or anywhere on your head.
We have a lot of software that are part of Project Horizon which makes it easy to control the computer. For example, this keyboard on the screen features a lot of advanced functionality, big buttons, and tools like word suggestion and so on. The clicking is done with an automatic clicker, and you can right click, left click, double click according to the mode that you select. The way this works is that if you keep your mouse over a certain point for over, say 200 miliseconds, the software will generate this click for you. You can adjust the time and range for the automatic clicks according to the severity of the users disability.
We also have a phone access using our project, so we can connect with any normal phone using Bluetooth, send SMS, so the user can keep contact with anyone around the world.

――So it's not just a mouse.
No, it's a mouse with lots of features to make life easier.

――What was the most difficult in producing this software?
Well, at first we started with a project where the clicker was actually inserted in the mouth of the patients. After we tested it on a few people, their first feedback was "I don't want anything in my mouth." That was a very important feedback, and it made sense because they couldn't talk anymore, and it's going to feel very uncomfortable. So we had to figure out a couple of more solutions to keep the price as low as possible and to get a positive feedback from the users. We thought about brainwaves and stuff like that, but the price got too large. So we started thinking about auto-clicking, which was already pretty advanced and had a lot of customizable options that we thought we could use. For now it's the best solution, and we started adding things like the word suggestion. So that was the main idea-to keep the cost low, and to keep the software as user-friendly as possible.

――Do you have any future plans for this project?
We've already started getting some support back home in Jordan, a couple of days ago, Queen Rania, our royalty actually tweeted for us and that got us REALLY excited. We're already talking with two investors back in Jordan, and two tele-communication companies as well. The first investor said he's pretty interested in the project, and that he can contact an official in Nintendo and other companies. We also talked with the CEO of ARAMEX, the biggest shipping company in the Middle East, and he said he would like to buy our first batch of devices to put in the market.

Software Design: 25k (top 18)

――What does Vigilis actually do?
A: It's a software for the children and the parents to communicate and prevent sexual harassment and cyber bullying from happening on the child's mobile.

――As in cyber bullying and sexual harassment on the web?
Not just the Internet, but SMS and telephone calls also.

――How does it work?
Let me do a demo. First we log in, and we can see that in this case that Johannes is set as the child in question. If I was Johannes's father, I can see all the alarming messages and websites that Johannes has been in contact with through his mobile. This data is gathered from the child's mobile and automatically sent to the parents. It only looks for something that looks dangerous or unwanted, because we do have to respect the child's privacy.

――Do you have any future plans?
Well… the biggest thing on our mind is to finish the Imagine Cup. Then we'll see what happens.
We need to win that 25,000$!

Embedded Development: WCY_Team (top 15)

  • Team WCY_Team (ポーランド)
  • Project: COP4CE
  • Members:
    • Marcin Cieslewicz
    • Kamil Krajewski
    • Artur Stachurski
    • Marcin Perka
  • 参考リンク

――What did you exactly make for this competition?
We made an embedded system that supports prevention of crime by exchanging data and information between terminal users and the command center. It has lots of functionalities which makes the work of the field workers very efficient and convenient. This is a multi-module solution which lets users to add new modules and new functions at any time.
Let us show you the file module, which keeps information about the criminals that are yet to be captured. We can update this data at any time, so we can even take a picture of you right now and add you as a criminal. We just add a couple of information from the command center, and the information will reach the terminal user in a few seconds.

――What is the most important feature of your project?
Systems like these needs to be easily extendable at any time and most importantly, remotely. So you can add almost any information or any functionality to support crime prevention.

――Do you have any plans for the future?
Of course, but now it's difficult because this is just a prototype. Within in a year, we would like to create a few other terminals, integrate them, and if it works properly we will ask security companies to test it for us. We would also like to present this in the international industrial exhibition, and see what happens to our business after that.