Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Waikato Team Make Microsoft Imagine Cup Final

25 January, 2013

Waikato Team Make Microsoft Imagine Cup Final

A team of University of Waikato students have made the final of the 2013 New Zealand Microsoft Imagine Cup by developing an app to help absentee-parents maintain relationships with their children.

The Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s largest technology competition, invites tertiary students from around the globe to create software using Microsoft applications to find real solutions to real-world problems. This year students were asked to choose from one of three categories; Innovation, World Citizenship, or Gaming.

The Cold Studios team of Ersin Buckley, Shawnee Kitson, Brian Cole and Marcel Beetz have created an app called My Storyteller, which is designed to bring families with one parent working away from home closer together. They are entered in the World Citizenship category.

Throughout the competition they’ve receive academic support from University of Waikato Computer Science lecturer Bill Rogers and business mentoring from Business Mechanix director Lyndal Stewart.

“My Storyteller is designed to bridge the gap between caregivers and children in the busy modern world,” says team leader Brian Cole. “The app allows caregivers to record themselves telling a custom story to their child while overseas, which is then sent home through the internet and can be played back at any time.”

The idea came to him when reflecting on his years in the military, and how he would miss pivotal moments in his children’s development.

“When I was in the military for months I would be sent away from home. I’d come back and see what I missed out on, for example I saw my son crawl for the first time on Facebook.

“People are missing out on a huge chunk of time with their children and this is a way of using new technology to help them still be a part of their children’s development.”

The app would be particularly useful for families with one parent on FIFO (fly in fly out) work, nightshift workers, or any situation where one parent is absent for a period of time says Brian.

They’re one of two University of Waikato teams to make the final.

The Microsoft NZ Imagine Cup will be held in Auckland from 24-25 March. Teams present their apps in front of a panel of judges and on the second day are given the opportunity to talk to investors and industry VIPs.

The event is a forerunner to the Imagine World Cup (also known as the ‘Software Olympics’) which will be held in Russia this year.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - 'I, Daniel Blake' - Ken Loach's Bleak Masterpiece

'I, Daniel Blake' is a bleak masterpiece, a chilling and moving story of two people striking up an unlikely friendship under extremely adverse circumstances. It is both a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers, and a celebration of the decency and compassion of ordinary people who look out for one another when the state has abandoned them. More>>

Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter

  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news