University students representing their countries in a Microsoft innovation contest showed off potentially revolutionary creations to company co-founder Bill Gates.
The chance to show off their inventions for the world's richest man was a treat for the students yesterday, who were among the 76 teams that will compete at the worldwide 2006 Imagine Cup finals in New Delhi in August.
Teams representing India, Brazil, Germany, South Korea, Britain and the US achieved the spotlight in Redmond, Washington, said Microsoft Director of Academic Initiatives Joe Wilson.
"It is about making the students feel like rock stars because they are so smart and do such amazing things," Wilson said. The finalists were culled from more than 68,000 students from more than 100 countries, according to Microsoft.
"It is pretty cool," Depak Jagdish of the India team said after showing Gates an invention that enabled blind people to perceive surroundings by using echo feedback similar to that used by bats. The competition, now in its fourth year, was focused on using technology to solve real world problems.