Interest in infocomm is alive and well in Singapore, as shown in the growing number of students taking part in the annual National Infocomm Competition (NIC). More than 3,100 students from secondary schools, junior colleges (JC), polytechnics and the Institute of Education (ITE) took part in NIC’s 13 challenges last year. At the awards ceremony which was held at the Red Dot Museum on 1 April 2010, teams from Raffles Institution (RI) took top spots in the Secondary School Circuit and the JC Circuit, while a team from Nanyang Polytechnic emerged the winner of the Poly/ITE Circuit.
The competition will be even bigger this year, with 16 challenges lined up for NIC 2010. These include new challenges such as [i.code], Imagine cup:Software Design and NetRiders 2010, which require students to develop practical PC and mobile applications as well as networking solutions to tackle realistic scenarios.
The teams that took the top spots in the National Infocomm Competition 2009.
The NIC was first started in 2006 to recognise students and schools or tertiary institutions for their creativity in developing innovative infocomm applications or solutions for real-life challenges. Speaking at the awards presentation and the launch of NIC 2010, RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said he was happy to note that many such exciting and practical applications and solutions have emerged over the past four years of competition.
An example is the flash game called "Somethin's Fishy", developed by R Studios from RI, which won the Singapore Games Creation Challenge of NIC 2009. The game puts across a serious environmental message in a fun and interactive manner, requiring players to remove pollutants from a river by fishing out rubbish, repairing damaged toxic pipes and activating filters to purify the water.
NIC also provides a platform for students to pit their skills against students from other countries. In the Open Jive Challenge 2009, for example, Temasek Polytechnic won against competing teams from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. Their application, "Smartshop", allows online shoppers to "view" products from different angles and distance, and try them out virtually using a webcam and computer. Augmented Reality technology is then used to superimpose virtual imagery of the clothes onto the live image of a person taken by the webcam.
Participants in NIC 2009 said they were drawn to the competition for various reasons. Tan Jun Kai, a final year Business Informatics student at Nanyang Polytechnic, found the NIC challenging because it made participants think on their feet. “Everything was impromptu,” he said.
Crescent Girls’ student Grace Teo said she felt a sense of satisfaction because “we showed that we girls are able to win, against the stereotype that infocomm is a boy’s thing. The experience made us more well-balanced, not just in academic areas, but also developed our IT skills”.
For Joseph Lee from RI, interest in ICT was sparked when he took a course on programming to try it out, and realised he had a passion for it. “You can create things that are possible only in the virtual world,” he said.
Indeed, as RADM(NS) Tay pointed out, the infocomm industry offers infinite opportunities for those who are interested in using ICT to innovate and develop applications and solutions, not just for competitions but also in working life. “You are only limited by your own imagination,” he said.
Take part in the exciting challenges of National Infocomm Competition 2010! More information is available at www.infocommtalent.sg/nic.