Last week, we announced that four talented souls would be heading off to Microsoft’s Redmond campus in Seattle. These four talented souls were Chathusha Wijenayake, Lakmal Meegahapola, Charith Eranga and Chanaka Lakmal. You probably know them better as Team BitMasters from the University of Moratuwa. When we announced their departure, they were heading off to represent Sri Lanka at the Microsoft Imagine Cup Global Finals.
Today, we are happy to announce that Team BitMasters has won the award for 2nd place under the Innovation category at the Microsoft Imagine Cup Global Finals.
By now you probably know exactly what the Microsoft Imagine Cup is. But in case you’re lost, Microsoft Imagine Cup is a 14-year-old globally held competition. Organized annually by Microsoft, it encourages students to use technology and solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
The competition has many different categories, from gaming to innovation. It was in the innovation category that Team BitMasters participated with their product Amplus. If you’re a regular attendee of hackathons like we are, then the name Amplus should sound familiar to you. Amplus is a something aimed at advertising agencies.
The device itself is a small rectangular unit, connected to a power supply, a display, and a small camera. Using the camera, Amplus scans demographics of people in front of the display and then shows advertisements aimed at the demographic. Right now, Amplus is designed to recognize gender and show advertisements that are based on this demographic.
Behind the scenes, Amplus also offers analytics for advertisers to help them get a clearer picture as to how well the ads are performing on these displays. Already, the BitMasters have successfully tested Amplus with both small business owners and giants like Dialog and Softlogic. Another arena they’ve tested Amplus in is at hackathons.
It’s slowly becoming a common sight to see the BitMasters at a hackathon. Ever since they debuted Amplus, they’ve participated in almost every hackathon they’ve come across. At each hackathon, they got some valuable feedback. They took this feedback to heart and slowly evolved Amplus into what it is today. And that’s how the team that never got past the national stages of Imagine Cup last year, went on to dominate and represent Sri Lanka at the Imagine Cup Global Finals.
So what’s next for Team BitMasters? That’s something only time will tell. Today, they’ve won the award for 2nd place in the Innovation Category at the Imagine Cup Global Finals. That means they are now armed with a cash prize of $10,000. Not to mention quite a bit of global fame. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll be writing about BitMasters and Amplus as Sri Lanka’s latest big startup.