Contest Showcases Safety Devices Created by College Teams
The Microsoft Corp. in collaboration with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) Computer Society has announced the winners of the first Microsoft Windows ChallengE competition. Teams of students from universities across the United States designed a working prototype device that enhances human safety to fulfill the theme “Make the World a Safer Place.”
The first-place team is James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.). Second place was awarded to Boston College (Massachusetts); third place to University of Wisconsin, Madison; fourth place to Santa Clara University (California); and fifth place to San Diego State University (California).
“Windows ChallengE is about empowering students to be innovative, think creatively and gain practical skills that they can apply in the real world,” said Scott Horn, director of the Embedded Devices Group at Microsoft.
The winning project, from James Madison University, is an airport security checkpoint device designed to help protect the millions of people who fly every day. The device collects information from a passenger’s boarding pass and uses a chemical sniffer to sense and identify potential high-security risks posed by baggage or passengers. The solution, a combination of a mobile handheld device based on Windows operating software and a chemical sniffer, would alert security staff if a passenger is on the government’s suspicious persons list, or is carrying dangerous substances.
During the finals competition held at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., judges reviewed projects from 29 teams, each consisting of four students and a faculty mentor, and pared the list down to nine finalists. The winners will go on to compete in the IEEE Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC).
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