In late October the winners of the third annual UIST Student Innovation Contest were announced. Students in the 30 participating groups were challenged to develop new, innovative ways of using the Microsoft Touch Mouse, and six teams stood out as clear winners across three categories:
- Most Creative: Wellesley College, Mass. (TUI.TAR), and Claremont College, Calif. (FlipMouse)
- Most Useful:Carnegie Mellon University, Pa. (Window Manipulation), and Wellesley College, Mass. (Where’s Bo Peep?)
- Best Implemented:IT University of Copenhagen (Toki D.I.Y. Tookit), and UC Berkley (The Mossage Mat)
In addition two teams were selected by their UIST peers and received awards in the People’s Choice category. MIT Media Lab, Mass., created a project titled “Snail Interface” that can control the antennas of a snail using the Touch Mouse. Also, KAIST, Korea created a project titled “Grip to Identify,” which allows the modification of the Touch Mouse touch pattern to identify unique users who login to a computer.
The judges had their work cut out for them at this year’s event. “I knew it was going to be a great contest; creative students paired with Microsoft hardware is always a recipe for something exciting,” said Chris Harrison, a judge from Carnegie Mellon University. “Ideas ranged from funky to functional. We had snails with multitouch antennas for feeling out food all the way to mice that can sense who you are.”
Microsoft Hardware, Microsoft Research and the Applied Sciences groups supplied each student with a Touch Mouse customized specifically for the contest, as well as exclusive access to the Touch Mouse API for visibility of the real-time sensor information from the mouse’s touch sensor. The teams were challenged to:
- Experiment and combine the Touch Mouse with other devices and sensors
- Get creative and write new applications for the Touch Mouse
- Demonstrate “outside the box” thinking using a tool that we use in our daily lives, in unique and different ways
Congratulations to all the students who participated in the contest and demonstrated their creative thinking while using the Touch Mouse. To learn more about the annual UIST conference please visit the ACM website .
- Hrvoje Benko, Microsoft Researcher