NZ tech team take home experience, but no prize

By Stephen Gillam

InfinityTek team members Ming Cheuk, Jacky Zhen, Muthu Chidambaram and Daniel Xu showcasing their sunsmart app at the Imagine Cup in Russia.
InfinityTek team members Ming Cheuk, Jacky Zhen, Muthu Chidambaram and Daniel Xu showcasing their sunsmart app at the Imagine Cup in Russia.

Four of New Zealand's top young technology developers may have been beaten, but they have not been disheartened.

Microsoft's World Imagine Cup, featuring about 300 of the world's top young technology developers, has come to a close in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

New Zealand representatives InfinityTek, made up of Daniel Xu, Ming Cheuk, Jacky Zhen, and Muthu Chidambaram, narrowly missed a podium berth but received high praise from the judges.

The team entered the World Citizenship category with UVsense, an app that records the UV radiation a person is exposed to and gives the user personalised information about their exposure to radiation during the day, including alerts for when they are at risk of skin damage.

The judges noted the team's app, including its potential for other uses, and asked the team how they would fend off future success.

Daniel Xu said the competition was an excellent experience for InfinityTek, despite the disappointing result.

"We have learnt a lot during the last seven months, and the whole team is really proud to have represented New Zealand. We are thrilled at how far we have come - but our fight to prevent skin cancer is only just beginning," he said.

Portugal's Team For a Better World won first prize in the category with their blood testing device that quickly determines someone's blood type and gets the information to any device with Windows 8 installed.

Team Omni-Hearing Solution from Taiwan came second with a hearing assistance app while Australia's Team Confufuish Royale came third with a food bank distribution system.

Team InfinityTek worked closely on their design with the Cancer Society, the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand and a leading dermatologist from the Skin Institution, and are working with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to calibrate the sensor on their custom hardware.

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