Continuation from part 2, this is part 3 of our journey through 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup: Big Idea Challenge. If you haven’t read part 1 or part 2.

In this blog post, our journey continues with the last part of Microsoft Imagine Cup Big Idea Challenges.

 

Microsoft Imagine Cup Big Idea: Design Challenge

Likewise, we challenged the Microsoft Imagine Cup Big Idea: Design Challenge. For this challenge, we were required to produce 4 main sections; Hero User Flow, Information Architecture Flow, Wireframe, and Visual Target. In other words, a document that contains information about our mobile and Microsoft Band application (app). As I am from an Accounting and Finance background, I had little idea of what we were supposed to write. Daniel patiently explained to me while I also did some readings and research on the things we were required to include.

We wrote about our main goals and the 4 main sections after brainstorming and getting to know how the visually impaired use their mobile phones. Similarly, we engaged our family and mentors’ help to be our draft-reader before submission.

On 15 Jan 2016, Mr Pablo Veramendi once again announced about winners. This time it is about the Microsoft Imagine Cup Big Idea: Design Challenge.

As we anxiously scrolled down the page, optimistically hoping third time’s the charm. Once again, we found out that we were honorably mentioned; one of the top 10 teams in the world. Even though we failed to emerge as the winner, we were more than delighted to be honorably mentioned three times for all three 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup Big Idea challenges.

In spite of the outcomes, we definitely learnt a lot throughout all three Big Idea challenges. However, there is still much to learn and much more to prepare for the upcoming Microsoft Imagine Cup National Round.

Judge feeback on our design

Microsoft Imagine Cup recruit judges from all over the world. They work for many different companies, not just Microsoft. Some are faculty members but most are technology professionals. All volunteer their time to evaluate projects thoughtfully in the hopes of helping students improve their work and build a bright future.

Among the feedback that we’ve gotten are:

“I really like the idea here regarding the BAWA Cane, and adding both mobile devices and Microsoft Band (wrist device) to assist further the navigation for visually impaired people makes a lot of sense.” — Microsoft Imagine Cup: Big Idea Design Challenge judge.

“What I liked was that they were using a new technology like Microsoft Band to create a solution that will use the Band’s inherent advantages to further a social cause.” — Microsoft Imagine Cup: Big Idea Design Challenge judge.

 

Conclusion

After experiencing the Big Idea Challenges, we could to refine and strengthen our final project to help the visually impaired community. A solution that could help to better perceive their environment to be able to do more with more independence and confidence. BAWA Cane, a smart IoT cane, capable of connecting to mobile phones and wearable devices powered by big data analytics to provide insights and foresight of the surrounding environment that empowers every visually impaired to do more.

As the Big Idea challenges have completed, we started gearing up to submit our project to the 2016 Imagine Cup Competition.

Stay tuned to know about our journey through Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia!

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