Team AidUSC from the University of San Carlos Cebu (USC) finished in third place at the recent Microsoft Imagine Cup Regional Finals held in Sydney, Australia. The students won for its development of Aqua Check, a mobile application that detects water contamination.
Composed of senior college IT students Danielle Ann Piamonte, Erl Joshua Arcenal, and Jeremiah Valero, the Team AidUSC trio competed against 11 teams from Asia Pacific. Their winning innovation puts spotlight on water as one of the most critical natural resources in the world. According to the World Health Organization, around 2 billion people globally use a drinking water source that is contaminated.
To address that, the Filipino group developed Aqua Check, which detects water contamination by taking a photo of a water sample through a microscope. Powered by Microsoft’s Azure Custom Vision, the app allows anyone to analyze water samples and even map the contamination location. This is a big step for the country towards ensuring that all communities have access to clean and potable water.
With the help of the University of San Carlos’ community extension program, Team AidUSC further improves Aqua Check; the team aims to have the technology patented in the near future. Moreover, the trio is trying to raise funds to obtain a foldable microscope and a PPNL microscope, which can bring about faster results and better insights into the technology.
Held annually since 2003, the Microsoft Imagine Cup is known as the “Olympics of student technology competitions”. This year’s Imagine Cup encouraged participants to “Dream it. Build it. Live it” in order to create applications that shape how individuals live, work, and play.
The champion and first runner-up places went to Team Caeli from India and Team RailinNova from China, respectively. Team Caeli developed a smart automated Anti-Pollution and Drug delivery mask designed for patients suffering from chronic respiratory conditions. Meanwhile, Team RailinNova came up with Rail Component Inspection Robot, which determines and identifies rail defects through multi-sensor monitoring.
Team Caeli will continue their journey at the Imagine Cup World Championship. The winner of the world championship will bring home $100,000, a $50,000 Azure grant, and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Other countries included in the regional finals are China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
For more information about Imagine Cup, please visit imaginecup.com/.