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Imagine Cup winners utilise technology to raise awareness, serve people with disabilities

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 05,2015 - Last updated at May 05,2015

AMMAN — Seeking to entertain and educate, a group of university students developed Wadro, a digital game that on Tuesday ranked first in the gaming category of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Jordan 2015.

The four students, majoring in IT at Middle East University, developed the game to raise awareness about water shortage and highlight the physical changes water goes through, Ahmad Abdelhafez, one of the students, told the Jordan Times after receiving the award.

The 2D/3D game revolves around a drop of water that moves inside water pipes. It is exposed to environmental changes, including evaporation, freezing, condensation and melting. The game requires intelligence and strategy.

“The game will be launched on app stores at the end of this month,” said Abdelhafez, who was among the winners that received awards presented by HRH Princess Sumaya and ICT Minister Majd Shweikeh at a ceremony to announce winners in the three categories of the Microsoft competition. 

In the award’s citizenship category, students from the Jubilee School won first place for their project Captiosus, which is a Windows smartphone app that serves as a personal assistant and a social networking platform dedicated for people with visual disabilities. 

It assists people who are visually impaired in managing their social media, opening up to the world and interacting with their surroundings.

Welink, a project by University of Jordan students, won first place in the competition’s innovation category. The students created a device to make it easier to interact with persons with hearing disabilities through special gloves that receive voice vibrations and convert them to pulses felt by deaf people, who recognise the word.

Addressing the attendees, Laila Sarhan, regional general manager for North Africa, East Mediterranean and Pakistan at Microsoft, commended the level of innovation in Jordan, saying the Kingdom is home to a pool of talents.

“There are always quality and innovative projects and ideas coming from Jordan,” she said.

Out of 100 projects that competed, 13 teams were shortlisted as finalists, Sarhan added.

As part of the competition, participants were required to innovate solutions that help them “realise their dreams and enrich the lives of others around them using Microsoft’s latest technology platforms”, according to the organisers.

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