Meet this year's NZ Imagine Cup finalists

From a field of 549 submitted proposals, just 24 teams have made this year's Imagine Cup National Finals.

Imagine Cup brings together students from New Zealand tertiary institutes (and even a few high schools) to tackle world problems through technology. The competition is run by Microsoft and the solutions tend to have a Microsoft product skew in its early stages.

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Judging for the competition is Sunday 24 March in Auckland, with the winner announced the next day. At least one team from the competition will represent New Zealand in the Worldwide Finals in Russia later this year. Previous New Zealand representatives Team One Beep and Team Mobile Eye have made it to the the latter stages of the global competition, but a Kiwi team has yet to take out the competition.

Imagine Cup features three categories: World Citizenship, with solutions for bettering humanity; Innovation, with commercial software advancing individual fields; and Game development.

World Citizenship

- APPortunists: A medical records tool and vaccine tracker designed for the developing world.

- DreamTech: Aged care monitoring for the elderly using Microsoft's Kinect cameras.

- EducateME: Feedback tool for students to help them track progress in schools.

- HEART: A heart rate monitor connected to the cloud using a smartphone app, alerting medical authorities if the user requires medical assistance.

- InfinityTek: InfinityTek's UVsense uses a wristband sensor to determine whether the current level of UV exposure is dangerous.

- Kinetic: A Kinect-based system designed to help children with cerebral palsy to practice moving their bodies at home.

- LifeEye: A system which warns Windows Phone users if they are driving in the wrong lane, with the possibility of wider adoption in-car with manufacturers and car rental companies.

- MKK: An educational game that rewards children for displaying good behaviour on school grounds, with the hope this good behaviour carries on into adulthood.

- STAYhealth: Health monitoring app with medication reminders, heart rate monitor, blood pressure monitor, weight monitor and a urine monitor.

- Zonect: Connects people across social networks to do activities and stay fit.

Innovation

- AdMount: Targetted advertising mounted on everyday drivers who are rewarded with at least $50 a week for being mobile billboards.

- Apptrix: Team Apprtix's Bingbong app synchronises text messages from a phone to Windows 8 devices.

- AquaFORCE: A multi-platform system to control aquariums from smartphones and dashboard water data.

- Eureka: Eureka's espace creates ad hoc virtual networks to setup small social networks with rooms full of strangers, aimed at professional development and conferences.

- Farthest: A smartphone app which helps measure distances using the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer.

- MindAngel: Software which uses a brain-computer interface to control different applications.

- My Storyteller: A Windows 8 application which lets parents record stories for their children to read along to.

- StudyGlue: Application for engaging with secondary and tertiary school students, connecting students in the same class or paper.

Games

- 2150 A.D: A space shooter game for the Windows Phone platform.

- Global Hazard: A zombie survival game using Bing Maps and OpenStreetMap to allow users to play in the real world.

- Intuition: A gaming platform for educators designed to gamily their curriculum.

- QuakeTown: Raising awareness of earthquake-proof construction and evangelising careers in civil engineering through a game developed for youth.

- Space Opera Symphony: A game based around the concept of paying it forward. The game's hero helps a character, then becomes that character in order to pay it forward by helping another character.

Disclosure: Sim Ahmed is a judge for the Innovation category at this year's Imagine Cup finals.