Microsoft Imagine Cup regional finals : Sri Lankan trio to pitch new mind-reading tech | Sunday Observer

Microsoft Imagine Cup regional finals : Sri Lankan trio to pitch new mind-reading tech

From left: M.R. Sajeer Ahamed, A.C. Saif and M.I. Inzamam - The Straw Hats
From left: M.R. Sajeer Ahamed, A.C. Saif and M.I. Inzamam - The Straw Hats

A team, comprising M.R. Sajeer Ahamed, M.I. Inzamam and A.C. Saif from Moratuwa University will participate in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2019 regional finals.

The trio are the only participants from the South East Asia New Markets. The team (i.e. The Straw Hats) will compete with 11 teams for over USD 20,000 in prizes in Sydney, Australia on February 12 and for a spot in the Imagine Cup World Championship in May.

Hundreds of teams from 17 countries submitted projects for the Asia Regional Finals, but only 12 — RailinNova (China), Alpha-India (India), Caeli (India), RVSAFE (India), CodeSell (Indonesia), Fisherman (Korea), SUFECS (Malaysia), LookUP (New Zealand), AidUSC (Phillippines), InclusiveAR (Singapore), The Straw Hats (Sri Lanka) and Maker PlayGround (Thailand) — were selected.

The team developed a new mind-reading device that can predict a person’s thoughts by analysing their neural oscillations or brainwaves—that may allow speech-impaired people to communicate. Their solution, Mind Probe, uses electrodes placed along a person’s scalp to measure electroencephalogram (EEG) readings.

“Our project is aimed at helping people with disabilities such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which impair their ability to communicate. We tap into their brainwaves and predict the number they are thinking and use that information to interface with a smartphone,” the Straw Hats team said.

Imagine Cup has motivated two million students from over 190 countries to push the bounds of what’s possible.

“The participants at Imagine Cup are creating new apps and services to solve challenges in the world. We are here to help them take their first steps towards achieving their goals, and are excited to see how their ideas will define the future,” Microsoft Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Country Manager Hasitha Abeywardena said. 

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