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PH Team in Top 10 at “ International Olympics of Technology”

Team Opticode

The Philippine Team composed of kept the audiences enthralled during the 15th Annual Imagine Cup at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Team Opticode whose members are Christian Lou Cepe, Jasmine Pearl Raymundo, and Rochel Reyes from the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Laguna made waves with their mobile app, Minerva, a virtual assistant mobile application for the visually impaired that taps on the power of the smartphone camera to identify objects in the real world. 

“This is a most impressive accomplishment for Team Opticode. The Imagine Cup is the world’s most prestigious student tech competition and we’re extremely proud of the team for all they’ve accomplished,” said Microsoft Philippines Managing Director Bertrand Launay. “A top 10 finish among 54 other teams from 39 countries in the World Finals shows that the Philippines can compete with the best in the world.”

Imagine Cup is considered as the “Olympics of Technology” that brings together students around the world to develop solutions with regards to the world’s toughest challenges. The competition comes with a prize of US$100,000 and mentorship sessions by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Team Opticode came up with Minerva, a mobile app that helps the visually impaired to identify objects that they have difficulty in seeing.  Using various cognitive services running on Microsoft Azure, Minerva identifies objects in the immediate environment of users. A user can simply point their smartphone cameras at an object, say a pizza, and Minerva describes it using the phone’s speakers.

Team Opticode hurdled the national and regional competitions in order to qualify for the Imagine Cup Finals in the US. 

This is a testament to the country’s growing pool of creative and innovative talents, mostly coming from the youth that swims like fish in water when it comes to the use of technology and science. 

“At the forefront of innovation are young creative people who see the world and flip it on its head. Team Opticode is a prime example of how digital transformation can be used to improve lives. These young upstarts are pushing boundaries and turning their visions into reality,” said Launay.

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