UIST 2009 - Student Innovation Contest
21st UIST @ Monterey, CA






Sponsored by

Generous support also provided by industry

UIST 2009 | Student Innovation ContesT Results

For information on the contest, please visit the main student innovation contest webpage.

Videos from the event | Images from the event


First Place - Most Useful : Heelblazers

Benjamin Jones Harvey Mudd College
Ozzie Gooen Harvey Mudd College
Daniel Lubarov Harvey Mudd College
Gregory Fong Harvey Mudd College

We present a method for accessible typing with imprecise input by biasing a typing predictor with the pressure distribution over the keyboard.

Video | Website


First Place - Best Implementation: Safelock

Jeff Allen Southern Methodist University
John Howard Southern Methodist University

We used the keyboard to biometrically authenticate a user with just eight entered characters. We measure four attributes about each keystroke, allowing us to compress a significant number of attributes within a relatively small word. These included: flight time (the interval in between each keystroke); hold time (the amount of time for which the key was held); (normalized) maximum pressure; and a curve fit to the pressure over time as a user pressed each key.

Video | Website


First Place - Most Creative: Hidden Forces

Julia Schwarz Carnegie Mellon University
Brian Lim Carnegie Mellon University
Stephen Oney Carnegie Mellon University
Kevin Huang Carnegie Mellon University

Our demo allowed users to control multiple cursors by waving magnets above the keyboard. We did this by placing one small magnet underneath each of the keyboard keys with the north side facing up. We then used a larger magnet (north side facing down) as a cursor. The larger magnet would repel nearby magnets, thus pushing them against the pressure-sensitive pads, allowing our computer to know where the magnet was located above the keyboard. We were able to control multiple cursors with this technique, thus turning the keyboard into a multi-point, in-air interaction device.

Video | Website


Second Place - Most Useful: Rollotext

Alyssa Rosenzweig University of Toronto
Frank Li University of Toronto
Koji Yatani University of Toronto
Leila S. Rezai RWTH Aachen, Germany

Text entry with a conventional keyboard is often difficult for people with physical or motor disabilities. Our system, Rollotext, allows the user to type without precise finger movements. The user first places a ball mounted to her hand or arm approximately on the key she wants to type. Then she rolls the mount, placing the highest pressure on the desired input key, and releases to type that key. In addition to text entry, the Rollotext interface can also be used as a joystick emulator.



Second Place - Best Implementation: BallMeR

Malte Weiss RWTH Aachen University
Gero Herkenrath RWTH Aachen University
Jonathan Diehl RWTH Aachen University

BallMeR is an action-packed competitive soccer game for two players at one single keyboard. The goal is to kick the ball into the opponents goal by deforming the ground itself. The magic Microsoft keyboard is spatially mapped to the playing field. If you push a key, a hill appears at the corresponding position in the field. If you hit harder, the hill grows larger and creates a higher impulse to shoot the ball away. Although their have been rumors that the game might crunch your fingers, elaborate user studies have proven that BallMeR is a lot of fun!

Video | Website


Second Place - Most Creative: Rock Climbing

Greg Little MIT
Paige Phillips MIT
Aubrey Tatarowicz MIT
Matthew Webber MIT

We made a rock climbing game. Each player uses four keys to control the four limbs of their climber. Applying pressure to a key does whatever is difficult with that limb at the time. If a hand is holding a rock, then pressing the associated key will hoist the climber up using this arm. If a hand is not holding a rock, then pressing the associated key reaches the arm upward to a new rock. Hands and feet will automatically grasp the nearest rock if they are held there long enough. Tapping the key associated with a limb releases its hold on the wall. Pressure sensitivity allows users to lift parts of their body and extend limbs various amounts in order to position a hand or foot over a new rock. Using the controls, each player tries to scale the wall faster than their opponent, who is playing using different keys on the same keyboard.

Video | Video 2



If you have questions or comments, please contact the contest chair:
Chris Harrison, Carnegie Mellon University