Sri Lankan trio to pitch new mind-reading tech at Microsoft Imagine Cup Regional Finals

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A team, comprisingM.R. Sajeer Ahamed, M.I. Inzamam and Saif A.C. from the University of Moratuwa will represent Sri Lanka at the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2019 Regional Finals. The trio were the only participants from the South East Asia New Markets to be selected.

The team from Sri Lanka (i.e. The Straw Hats) will compete with 11 teams for over USD 20,000 in prizes in Sydney, Australia on February 12th, 2019 and for a spot in the Imagine Cup World Championship this May.

Hundreds of teams from 17 countries submitted projects for the chance to move forward to 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 to advance.

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

“Our project is aimed at helping people with disabilities like 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 then use that information to interface with a smartphone,” noted M.R. Sajeer Ahamed, M.I. Inzamam, and Saif A.C. – The Straw Hats.

Imagine Cup has motivated nearly 2 million students from over 190 countries to consistently push the bounds of what’s possible. Students this year were challenged to develop an original idea in teams of up to three and submit a project proposal and video pitch for the preliminary round of judging.

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

For the past 17 years, Imagine Cup has been the world’s premier technology competition for students to turn their dreams into reality. Students from across the globe build amazing teams to bring their biggest, boldest ideas to life. Working with mentors and industry leaders, they get feedback to further hone and develop their projects.

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