A team from the University of Washington’s MS in Technology Innovation program at the Global Innovation Exchange has reached the finals of Microsoft’s 2022 Imagine Cup, a global student technology competition.
The UW’s Team Melodic, composed of Xiaoyang Qiu, Jinyao Ouyang, and Shuoxuan Wang, competed against tens of thousands of students from more than 160 countries and advanced earlier this month as the regional winners for the Americas. The team will compete in May against regional winners from Asia and the combined Europe/Middle East/Africa.
According to Microsoft, each team had to take on a local or global issue in its competition category — Earth, Education, Healthcare, or Lifestyle — and was assessed based on its use of Azure cloud technology, accessibility and inclusion, marketability as a business idea, and its potential for making an impact.
Melodic’s technology addresses critical needs for prelingual deaf children, who can benefit from therapy to help them form proper sounds crucial for speech. Professional speech therapy is expensive and time consuming. Melodic’s solution leverages Azure to provide real-time analysis of mouth movements and sounds, and uses that information to provide breath, mouth, and sound training to children.
The system also gives speech pathologists the ability to create custom, high-quality, broadly deployable therapies at costs lower than traditional methods, according to a GIX story on the finalists.
Melodic was one of four teams from GIX that advanced to the regional finals.
The team will compete at the world championships for a grand prize of $100,000 and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.