I've said before that you can regard the Imagine Cup as a kind of alternative reality where you are surrounded by people passionate about technology, the food and drink is free and you are in some amazing location. I think the time also moves faster too, since I can't believe that we have already been here nearly a week. Anyway, today everything is rounded off with all the students showing the projects for everyone to see, business leaders and high powered politicians dropping by to take a look and the announcement of all the winners.
The whole setting was amazing and it was really nice to get a chance to look at some of the projects that I hadn't had a chance to see during the judging process. I also had some good chats with teams that I had seen, who were very keen to know what I thought. The best thing for me was that everyone I spoke to was determined to come back next year and do it all again. And these were people that had been without sleep for the best part of a day and a half and sweated and strained to get the best possible project and presentation into the competition.
The festival itself was hosted by Joe Wilson, who seemed as surprised to be wearing a suit as we were to see him in one. I've put loads of photos up on Flickr, I'm sure the Imagine Cup website will have some better ones.
Finally the results of our deliberations were announced and Project Soak was revealed as the winner. This entry from the Australian is an innovative watering system with the ability to make sure that plants get precisely the right amount of water and no more. It considers all the angles, from the current soil moisture, the needs of the crop and even the current weather forecast, to make sure that no water is wasted.
The team already have a farming estate signed up to prove that their idea holds water, so to speak. With a good looking and functional interface and a realistic development plan it is a very strong winner, and we look forward to seeing it achieve great things in the future.
After the presentation we all went back to the hotel to get ready for the final night party. At this point there was nothing left to play for, and everyone was keen to relax and have a good time. So we did.
The party itself was held at an amazing place just under one of the bridges of Paris. With a DJ specially flown in from the 'states, lots (and I mean lots) of really good food and drink. I only managed to last until 11:00 (my excuse is that I have to be up early tomorrow) but it was great just to meet up with the team members and chat about life, the universe and everything.