Microsoft announced the new Challenges for the 2012 Imagine Cup: Windows Azure Challenge and Windows Phone Challenge. "For Imagine Cup 2012, students can choose from three team competitions--Software Design, Game Design: Xbox/Windows, and Game Design: Phone," the Redmond company stated.
This year students will have the opportunity to submit projects into both of these Challenges in addition to the Software Design, Game Design and IT Challenge competitions which were announced in October
"Students already signed up to compete in of the three competitions can increase their chances to share their world-changing ideas by signing up to compete in the Windows Azure or Windows Phone Challenge." Adding, "Students can also participate one-on-one in the IT Challenge to battle it out with some of world's top student technological brainpower," Microsoft said.
Each of the competitions asks contestants to "imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems."
The Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals will be hosted in Sydney, Australia.
The Windows Phone Challenge sponsored by Nokia invites students to develop socially conscious apps that will be judged on functionality, utility and user delight. Nokia will also help students get started with their game-changing ideas by offering a number of engaging development suggestions already available in areas such as education, health and environment on the IdeasProject website.
Students who participate in the Windows Azure Challenge will be at the forefront of how the cloud is transforming the way we live and work.
"Windows Azure has been a popular technology among Imagine Cup students in past years. 32% (36 projects) in last year's competition used Windows Azure and the winning Software Design team, Team Hermes from Ireland, won top honors for their traffic solution built on Windows Azure."
"The team designed a device that plugs into a car and monitors dangerous driving behavior and road conditions, providing instant feedback to both the driver and the car owner. The solution uses embedded technology, Windows Phone 7, Bing Maps and Windows Azure to change driving habits and reduce road deaths. With its victory, the team won $25,000," the software company blogged.
Check out Imagine Cup 2012 competition Web site for more information, about the Windows Azure and Windows Phone Challenge pages, and to learn how to participate and find handy tips to help you get started.
Microsoft also announced the launch of the "Imagine Cup Grants" program.
"Announced at the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals in New York City in July, the three-year, competitive Imagine Cup grants program was created to help students bring their project to market and truly start solving the world's toughest problems. For each of the next three years, Microsoft will award between two and four grants that are a combination of cash, software, consulting and other support."
Microsoft notes "This year, all Imagine Cup 2011 worldwide finalist teams are eligible to apply for these grants starting today with their Imagine Cup 2011 projects. All 2011 worldwide finalist team captains and Academic Developer Evangelists will receive emails directing them to online applications for the grants which will be due by November 11, 2011, so winners can be announced in early 2012."
Grant recipients will be judged on four criteria: project impact and viability, team quality and motivation, solution design and innovation, and problem definition.
Visit the Imagine Cup website to learn more about the Imagine Cup grant awards, eligibility, criteria, judging process, and more.
Here some videos from the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals: