27th ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium

27th UIST @ Honolulu, HI
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UIST Student Innovation Contest

Welcome to the sixth annual UIST Student Innovation Contest (SIC) website!

The goal of the contest is to innovate new interactions on state-of-the-art hardware. We give you the hardware, and you show us what you can do. Contestants will demo their creations during the demo reception at the conference on October 7, and the winners will be announced the same day. A jury of UIST-celebrities and the organizers will select two winners in each of the "most creative" and "most useful" categories, and conference attendees will vote for their two favorite teams in the "people's choice" category.


Please read the contest rules and instructions below and click here to register.



This year’s hardware focuses on bringing more software-centric students into the fold for the contest.  It’s a hardware prototyping platform that runs top-to-bottom in JavaScript; network communication, user interfaces, sensors, actuators, and all the rest are controlled through JavaScript to get you up and running fast and let your creativity flow.

The Hardware: The Kinoma Create

The Kinoma Create comes with a built-in touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth, a front-facing sensor connector, and a 50-pin rear sensor dock.  It’s all programmed wirelessly using Kinoma Studio, the provided software.  Studio can compile code for the Kinoma Create, as well as for Android devices: this means that you can have hardware interoperate with your cell phone.  This software also allows you to simulate your sensors, so you can get started with your designs before you receive your device!  Marvell will also provide example code for a variety of sensor and interface tasks to get teams started quickly.

Through Kinoma, we are also providing teams with a sensor budget of $50 to acquire sensors and actuators for their projects.

We’re focusing on household interfaces this year.

The following video gives details about the contest and hardware:


Images of various demos built using the Kinoma Create to get your creative juices flowing!


There are a few changes in this year's student contest registration process, please read carefully to make sure you earn a chance to participate:

  1. Write a 100-word description of your household-related demo idea (required).
  2. Prepare a link to a picture, drawing or sketch of your demo idea (required).
  3. Register for the UIST contest by filling the linked form by August 10th, and include your description and image link from #1 and #2 in the form: http://bit.ly/uistcontest2014reg
  4. Await notification of team selection and further instructions. Organizers will evaluate all submissions and select 30 accepted teams based on the criteria in the contest rules section. Your team will be notified of acceptance by email.
  5. For accepted teams, one of your team members MUST register for the UIST conference and pay conference dues by the deadline August 15th.
  6. Once we've confirmed your UIST conference registration, we will ship you the Kinoma Create for development.



Innovation comes in many forms, so we've decided to award 1st and 2nd place prizes in the three categories below:

The "Most Creative" and "Most Useful" category winners will be selected by the judges. The third category of "People's Choice" will be decided by UIST Conference attendees voting for their favorite projects.

We reserve the right to change the award structure based on a number of factors, such as (and not limited to) the number of participating teams.


This year, we have the means to provide two travel grants to encourage high school and undergraduate teams to participate and build demos.

The two travel grants of $1000 each will be provided to cover travel expenses and registration for two teams. These grants are to support high school and undergraduate teams ONLY.

To apply for the travel grant, you are asked to provide a 2-minute video with an explanation of your idea and a basic working prototype or an interactive mockup before the contest conference registration deadline on August 20th. The video should clearly demonstrate your idea and we will evaluate your submission based on the novelty of your idea and the quality of the prototype you will continue developing. Obviously, you won't have the hardware to test your code on, but you can use the Kinoma Studio software to simulate hardware, show us physical mockups of your envisioned demo, etc. You should provide a public link to your video in the registration form.

If selected, we will contact your team for documentation of your student status to confirm the awards. The awards will be disbursed after the completion of the contest and successful demos at UIST.

Apply here by August 15th: http://bit.ly/uistcontest2014travelgrant


Registration and Eligibility:

Q: I am NOT a student, can I still participate?
A: Unfortunately, no. The contest is limited to students at all levels (High School, Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD).

Q: I'm in high school, can I participate in the contest?
A: All students are welcome. However, you will have to be old enough (at least 18 years old) and able to travel to the UIST Conference in Waikiki, Hawaii.

Q: I'm an international student, can I participate in the contest?
A: Yes. International students at all levels are encouraged to participate. You will be responsible for your own travel and arrangements.

Q: Are postdocs eligible to participate in the contest?
A: Unfortunately, no. Postdocs are expected to pay the full registration rate at the UIST conference and thus are not considered students. To maintain fairness among all teams, this means they are not eligible to participate.

Q: What happens if I wish to withdraw from the contest?
A: Teams are welcome to withdraw. Please email the contest chairs at least 2 weeks before the conference. Keep in mind you might be asked to return the hardware provided. If you are seeking conference registration reimbursement, your reimbursement will not be processed until you have returned the hardware kit.


Q: How many teams will be selected to participate in the contest?
A: Based on space and power limitations at the venue, we will be selecting a maximum of 30 teams. We reserve the right to change this number based on a number of factors (including number of teams registered, ideas submitted, team composition, etc.).

Q: Is there a waiting list for team selection?
A: If accepted teams decide to withdraw or do not register for the conference within a week of selection notification, additional teams may be invited to participate. We will only contact additional teams if spots opens up.

Q: Can one person be a member of multiple teams?
A: Unfortunately, no. Please decide to be part of one team for the contest. We also encourage students at the same institution to form full groups of 4 students, instead of smaller teams.

Q: Can teams be composed of students from different schools?
A: Yes, definitely. Simply enter the school name of your team captain at the top of the registration form. Then, enter the school names for your other members in the section for each additional member.

Q: Can student members be removed or added from teams after the registration deadline?
A: Yes, we are allowing for student members to be added or removed up until 2 weeks before the contest. The team captain or student registered for the conference cannot withdraw, otherwise the team will forfeit their participation. Email the contest organizers as soon as possible to make any changes.

Demo Ideas:

Q: Are we limited to household-themed demos?

A: Yes. Constraints breed creativity!  Keep in mind that the household is a broad space: kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, …

Q: Can I publish a paper on what I come up with?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I own the intellectual property (IP)?

A: You own the rights to what you develop.

Q: Will I be able to demo my idea on my own computer?

A: Yes. In fact, it is mandatory, since we will not provide any equipment at the conference.

Q: Can other people help me develop this code?

A: It is permissible to get external help for bugs and other issues. People external to the team cannot contribute large pieces of code (or ideas).

Q: Can my adviser help?

A: Ideas can be discussed with advisers, but core ideas should come from the team members.

Kinoma Create Hardware and Kinoma Studio Software:

Q: Can teams receive multiple Kinoma Create sets for interactive applications?

A: Unfortunately, no. We can only provide one kit per team and that will also keep the contest fair. Of course you can add any further sensors, servos, lights, materials, etc., to your prototype.

Q: Do I get to keep the Kinoma Create kit after the contest?

A: Yes.

Q: Are the Kinoma Create kits available for purchase or can we receive a detailed parts list to reconstruct?

A: Currently, no. The Kinoma Create was funded on indiegogo, however the kits are not yet available for purchase and have not shipped to backers.

Q: Are we allowed to develop our demos in languages other than the ones used in the provided examples?

A: You are welcome to write your own ports for different languages and develop your demos in any language, however we cannot provide any technical support, and we highly recommend using JavaScript as it is the lingua franca of the Kinoma Create system.

Q: What OSes are supported for Kinoma Studio?

A: Currently OSX and Windows.  The Kinoma team is actively working on Linux support, however there is no guarantee that it will be ready in time for the contest.

Travel Arrangements and Grants:

Q: Is it possible to receive funding for travel and registration?

A: Yes.  We have some available money for travel grants.

Q: I will need a visa to attend UIST. Can you provide a visa invitation letter?

A: Contest organizers won't be able to help with visas. There is a section at the bottom of the registration page that details how you can request a visa support letter directly from ACM. Please visit: http://www.acm.org/uist/uist2014/registration.php 


Q: How will you stop people from voting multiple times for "People's Choice"?

A: We encourage you to interact with conference attendees to show off your projects and ask them to vote for you. Student volunteers will be monitoring the voting stations.

Q: What if only a few teams enter?

A: We reserve the right to change the rules at any time. If a small number of people were to enter, we are likely to modify the award structure.


Q: What if something happens the contest chairs did not foresee?

A: We reserve the right to change the rules at any time. We will inform all registered contestants of any changes.


Many thanks to Andy Carle and the others at Kinoma/Marvell for providing the contest hardware.


The UIST 2014 Student Innovation Contest is being organized and co-chaired by:

David Kim (Newcastle University, UK)

Valkyrie Savage (UC Berkeley, USA)

Email: studentinnovation@uist.org

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Keynote Speakers

Mark Bolas
Mark Bolas
Bret Victor
Bret Victor

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SIGCHI ACM: The Association for Computing Machinery SIGGRAPH

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University of Toronto

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