Two more challenges for students have been included in the Imagine Cup 2012, giving students more chances to show how they would use Microsoft's latest technology to find solutions to tough problems.
Since October 2011, student teams around the world have been working on projects related to the 2012 theme: Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.
This year, in addition to the main competitions that have regional heats and culminate in the Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia, in July 2012, Microsoft is including extra Challenges that are run and judged online.
The Windows Azure Challenge and Windows Phone Challenge are already underway and now two more challenges have been announced - for Window 8 and the Kinect. There are two rounds in both challenges; Round 1 is open now until March 6 and, for the teams that qualify, Round 2 runs from March 27 to May 3.
The Windows Metro Style App Challenge asks teams of one to four students to design and build an app that takes advantage of Windows 8 features and design principles and "delivers an experience that solves one of the world’s toughest problems".
For this competition Round 1 is a "Qualifying Quiz" which tests knowledge of the Windows 8 system and applications. Teams will need to complete and pass at least one quiz during one of six quiz periods. At least one team member must answer 50% of the questions correctly in order to advance to Round 2, "Design and Development".
The Kinect Fun Labs Challenge in intended to bring Imagine Cup into the living room and expand the role of Kinect in competition, inviting teams to think about "entertainment with a social conscience" using Kinect technology for the Xbox 360 console and Xbox LIVE. The 100 teams that advance from the Round 1 "Concept Design" to Round 2 "Gadget Submission" will each receive a free Kinect sensor.
The top three teams from each challenge will receive an expenses paid trip to the worldwide finals to be presented with their prizes:
First Place: $8,000 USD,
Second Place: $4,000 USD
Third Place: $3,000 USD
to be divided equally among each officially registered member of the team, which can consist of one individual and up to four.
Round 1 of the previously announced Windows Azure and Windows Phone Challenges, ends on March 13, 2012 so there is still time for teams to enter for these competitions that are run along similar lines and with the same prizes.