Students from Arizona State University have won the US leg of Microsoft's Imagine Cup, it was announced Monday, with a project that helps low-vision and legally blind students take notes with a custom-designed touchscreen tablet and camera set-up.
The team's Note-Taker project eventuated after David Hayden, one of the team’s legally blind members, found he was "unable to keep up with note-taking in blackboard-intensive math courses."
The Note-Taker project utilizes a touchscreen Tablet PC and a tightly integrated camera to display a live video feed on a split screen interface. Users can simultaneously view the live video footage and take typed or handwritten notes on the same device.
"Technology empowers the individual to make the world accessible according to their own needs," said Hayden.
"Our work demonstrates this by equipping low-vision students with a portable assistive technology that enables them to take their own notes — a process that is well known to benefit retention."
Team Bloom from the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy received the Game Design for Windows and Xbox award for their project which helps kids learn about alternative energy solutions through game play.
The Imagine Cup is the world's number-one student technology competition. The event attracts around 325,000 students from around the globe each year and challenges them to create a better world through innovative technology and fresh new ideas.
Team Note-Taker will represent the US at the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals in New York City from July 8 to 13 where they will compete against teams from more than 70 countries around the globe.
See how the Note-Taker works here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsoHsFwxGdo&feature=player_embedded
To see the full list of finalists and their projects, head to http://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftTechStudent