Fuelled by a passion to address some of the world’s toughest challenges, 23-year-old innovator Noof Abdulla will be representing Bahrain in the most esteemed student technology competition, in Seattle, USA.
The marketing graduate from Bahrain Polytechnic is part of the duo which forms Team Vanguards, and will showcase a sci-fi game which doubles as a therapeutic tool at the Microsoft Imagine Cup world finals in Seattle in late July.
As well as her journey to compete alongside the best of the best, Noof tells us more about her project, a survival game called Apollo X in which the player is stranded in outer space and must deal with fighting off horrendous creatures along with their own emotions.
WTM: What is your role in Team Vanguards? What was the project about?
NA: I am the business developer and user interface artist for the team. The project is a sci-fi horror game that uses virtual reality (VR) and biofeedback technology that adapts according to the player’s heart rate. The more scared you get, the scarier the game becomes. This can be used to help people control their emotions. The game is not only for entertainment purposes but could also be used as a therapeutic tool.
Being the female in the duo, did you ever find your ideas being in conflict with the other person?
We regularly discuss ideas and decisions before implementing them. Thankfully, gender was never a factor in our discussions.
What are your future hopes and aspirations?
I am currently eager for us to win the world finals and be able to publish our game. I would also love to start a movement which encourages game developers in Bahrain to work on their talent.
How was your experience at the Pan Arab semi-finals in Egypt?
We saw creative Arab minds come together under one roof to communicate and share their wonderful ideas with the rest of us. The ideas were brilliant and very interesting, and we got to learn from other cultures.
What does the team have planned for the world finals in Seattle?
We are planning to enhance the game by creating more content, augment the VR experience and deliver all this in the best format so that we can impress the judges in all ways possible.
What gives your project an edge from the rest of them that will help to impress the judges?
From my research, we are the only project that uses the latest in high-end technology and adaptive game play. We believe those are going to be the two major factors for
Tell us something people don’t necessarily know about you.
I am a curious person and love to learn the latest trends and keep up to date with them while experimenting with new things. I am a passionate person who strives to achieve more in life and would stop at nothing to reach my goals. I live to learn and master skills.
More women in the region are emerging as tech enthusiasts. What is your take on this?
I am happy to see that women are becoming more encouraged to try and enter new fields and that men are supporting them to do so.