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Auckland team wins at tech world cup

author:NZ herald

A team of Auckland University students have won first place in the innovation category, a $50,000 cheque and the experience of a lifetime at Microsoft's Imagine Cup World Finals.

The 12th annual World Finals saw 125 students from 34 university teams fly to Microsoft's hometown of Seattle, courtesy of the software giant, to compete for the prestigious Imagine Cup. Teams competed under three categories -- Innovation, World Citizenship and Games.

At an awards ceremony in front of more than 5000 and broadcast live at Microsoft's TechReady conference, the winners of each category were announced, with New Zealand's Team Estimeet clinching first place in the Innovation category.

New Zealand's Estimeet (right) won first place in the innovation category for their app. 

The team, consisting of Hayden Do (19), Jason Wei (19), Chris Duan (30), and Derek Zhu (22) all from Auckland University, said the experience was one they would not be forgetting.

Estimeet, the app created by the team, is an innovative solution to a problem many of us face every day - what to do when we are supposed to be meeting someone who has not turned up and is not answering their phone or emails.

The app uses real time location tracking to show how far away each person is from arriving at a social or business meeting and whether they will be arriving on time. According to the team, the difference with their app was that they had removed the exact location to allow accurate but non-specific information.

"We found that people were very sensitive about their information sharing, so that's why we decided not to share their exact location. The main difference we have is the privacy and we think that will appeal to a lot of users," Wei said.

During the initial category judging, the panel was impressed with the "really good concept" as well as with several of the features of the app including its integration with Microsoft Outlook and plans to integrate with Facebook.

For more read: Auckland team wins at tech world cup 2012