Microsoft's 10th annual Imagine Cup, a competition focusing on student technology innovations, ended today with a Ukrainian team taking the top place prize of $25,000. Team quadSquad developed a pair of sensory gloves, called EnableTalk, that translate sign language gestures into speech using a Bluetooth-enabled Windows Phone and Microsoft's Speech and Bing APIs. The team's project is designed to improve the lives of deaf and mute individuals by allowing them to communicate verbally.
Although quadSquad took first place in the Software Design portion of Imagine Cup 2012, Team TANG Thai from Thailand and the Drexel Dragons from the USA won this year's game design section — with Team TANG taking the Xbox / Windows section and Drexel Dragons winning the mobile category. Microsoft held several Imagine Cup challenges too, involving Windows 8, Windows Phone, Kinect, and Windows Azure.
More than 350 students from 75 countries took part in Imagine Cup this year, showcasing gadgets, software, and games using Microsoft's various technologies. In total, Microsoft says over 1.65 million students have participated in the competition over the past decade, and the company plans to hold next year's competition in St. Petersburg, Russia.