Imagine Cup 2016: Microsoft crowns Romania’s team ENTy World Champion

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Three Romanian computer science students from the University Politehnica of Bucharest won the 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup with a wearable device that tracks inner ear balance and spinal posture.

With this development, Microsoft has crowned team the Imagine Cup World Champion.

Team ENTy of Romania took their place as the 2016 Imagine Cup World Champion during a live broadcast and in front of hundreds of students in the Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center at Seattle’s Garfield High School.

This will give the wining students the opportunity to have one on one mentorship with the Microsoft Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Satya Nadella.

Flavia Oprea, Iulian Mateșică and Cristian Alexandrescu founded ENTy, the wearable device that tracks inner ear balance and spinal posture and tell users if they are having balance or posture issues. The device has already been tested with four doctors and approximately 375 patients.

Inner ear and spinal issues can usually lead to a lot of pain for patients, but they can be difficult and costly to measure. The technology developed by the Romanian students uses an accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope to track movement in real time. That data is then uploaded to an Azure SQL database that doctors can access.

Speaking with excitement, the Romanian team leader , Iulian-Razvan Matesica while expressing appreciation to Microsoft for the opportunity to participate in the Imagine Cup assured that they will take their project to the market.

“We did not know we could do it. We are going to launch it and get medical certificate for the product. This will help deliver the products to the hospital. But we need angel investors and seed fund to scale up the solution” she said.

“The medical industry is based on old technology and very expensive, so we said ‘OK, maybe we can make a cheaper technology, an affordable technology,’” Oprea said.

For Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Microsoft, every student who participated in the worldwide finals was a winner.

“We all have amazing solutions that can change the world. You have made us proud. Use the solution to make a difference in the world. This is just the beginning”, he said.

It would be recalled that the final leg of the nearly year-long Imagine Cup journey began on Wednesday, when 35 teams from all over the globe competed in front of our judges for the top three spots in the Games, Innovation and World Citizenship categories.

Team PH21 of Thailand in Games, Team ENTy of Romania in Innovation and Team AMANDA of Greece in World Citizenship each had claimed their $50,000 category prize and then moved on to the Championship round to compete for the grand prize – the Imagine Cup crown and a private mentoring session with Microsoft CEO.

Their innovations were judged by a trio of out-of-this world judges who helped to decide which of these incredible teams would be the Imagine Cup 2016 Champion, including special guest John Boyega, lead actor from Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Dr. Jennifer Tang, one-half of the duo that won the 2014 Imagine Cup Championship; and Kasey Champion, an accomplished software engineer and Computer Science Curriculum Developer at Microsoft.

“Now in its 14th year, nothing embodies the spirit of student innovation at Microsoft more than Imagine Cup, the company’s global technology competition that aims to give young developers the opportunity to acquire new and critical technical, business and team-building skills,”  said Steve Guggenheimer.