Schools are now in session, and so is this year’s ACM UIST Student Innovation Contest – sponsored by Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group and Microsoft Research – where the goal is to innovate new interactions on cutting-edge hardware. You might remember last year’s Adaptive Keyboard Prototype challenge, where contestants worked to create new uses for the input device concept.
This year, 30 student groups have been challenged to develop new and innovative gestures, interactions and demos for the Touch Mouse, Microsoft’s first multitouch mouse designed for Windows 7. Each student group will receive a distinct Touch Mouse, specially engraved for the competition, and exclusive access to a pre-release of the Touch Mouse Sensor API, allowing contestants to get under the hood of the Touch Mouse and play around with the software and its capacitive sensor. Folks are encouraged to use the mouse in creative ways, by combining it with other devices and sensors or by writing new applications for the mouse. Eager developers will be able to create their own demos before anyone else and best of all, they get to keep the Touch Mouse after the contest.
This multitouch mouse is a great example of exciting new research being conducted and products being developed by Microsoft in the natural user interface space. This work aims at ultimately benefiting the users who can now interact with their computers more naturally than before. Here at Microsoft, we’re constantly exploring the future of human-PC interaction by advancing the state of the art in our research areas. This contest is another great opportunity to do just that by collaborating with up-and-coming innovators to find new ways of extending the Touch Mouse to further improve the overall PC experience.
We hope the results of this year’s UIST contest will surprise and delight the Applied Sciences Group and Microsoft Research teams and, even more importantly, provide a positive setting for future researchers and engineers to expand their horizons through collaboration with their peers and exposure to senior researchers at Microsoft.
Check out the video below for official UIST contest details:
Make sure to check back here when we announce the winners on October 18th!
- Hrvoje Benko, Microsoft Researcher