A team of four University of Auckland students emerged victorious in the 2013 New Zealand Finals of the Imagine Cup competition held on 24-25 March. A total of 549 student teams submitted proposals to the New Zealand leg of this year’s Imagine Cup competition, representing a 30 percent increase in submissions year-on-year.

Team InfinityTek, made up of four University of Auckland students, was crowned Imagine Cup champions at the 2013 New Zealand Finals

The winning Team InfinityTek impressed the judges with UVsense, their innovative project that combines ultraviolet-light detecting hardware with a Windows Phone app to monitor an individual’s UV exposure. The wristband sensor measures the amount of UV radiation a person has been exposed to and conveys this information through a smartphone app.

Ming Cheuk, a member of Team InfinityTek, said, “We went in search of a problem that was widespread and affected us personally, and also one that we could solve with current technologies. We truly believe that our system will change behaviours and attitudes towards skin cancer prevention. Through the Imagine Cup, we were given the opportunity to develop skills outside of our regular studies. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the support of our mentors, Microsoft and our family and friends.”

The winning proposal was selected by a panel of 27 judges that included technical academics, industry leaders, technology media and senior executives from Microsoft New Zealand. Following their victory, Team InfinityTek will be representing New Zealand in the Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide Finals in July in Russia.

Candace Kinser, CEO of the New Zealand Information and Communications Technology Group and one of the judges on the panel, said, “The UVsense project highlighted the imagination and technical skills of Team InfinityTek, as they have a well thought-out concept and a well-developed prototype. Skin cancer resulting from over-exposure to the sun is a worldwide issue, and this team has created a novel way to help people of all ages manage their exposure easily and effectively.”

Since its beginning in 2003, the Imagine Cup — the premier student technology competition — has brought together more than 1.65 million young innovators from 190 countries to help resolve some of the world’s toughest challenges through the development of technologies. New Zealand has a strong track record in the global competition, with teams from the country having performed well in the Worldwide Finals over the past three years.

For more information, please visit www.imaginecup.com 

“Through the Imagine Cup, we were given the opportunity to develop skills outside of our regular studies.”

- Ming Cheuk, Team Member, Team InfinityTek