Student Contest


UIST 2010 Student Innovation Contest Results


Visual Clipboard

We developed software that provides two unique functions, the Visual Clipboard and the Application Launcher. The Visual Clipboard allows a user to easily save and recall multiple clipboards without losing focus on the source application. A visual representation of the saved clipboard data appears both on the keyboard as a small icon, and on the touchscreen in greater detail. In addition to recalling recent clipboard data we provided facilities to allow users to bind clipboard data to individual keys. The act of having the user physically bind the data to a key aids in retrieval. Users can recall the saved clipboard using muscle memory or by visually scanning the keyboard for the desired clipboard icon. Less experienced users may choose to keep track of important clipboards on the touchscreen by selecting them as favorite. The second function of this software is an Application Launcher which eliminates the need to minimize full screen programs to view and execute desktop files. Icons for the files in the selected folder appear on each key as well as on the touchscreen.
Mark Laprairie, University of Regina
Spoorthy Seenappa, University of Regina


W.H.A.C.K (We Hinder Almost All Criminal Keyloggers)

W.H.A.C.K. is a program that utilizes the adaptive keyboard's ability to change the display of each key to thwart keyloggers. The displays of the keyboard letters, but not the letters themselves, are scrambled as follows: When the password box in a browser is clicked, the server sends a random layout of CAPTCHA letter-images to be displayed on the letters of the keyboard. With every new browser session, the server sends out a new random layout of CAPTCHA letters. When the user types in his password, our program, which is sitting on the server, decrypts the letters typed, and passes the actual password onward. A keylogger, though, only records the "random" letters typed.
Marco Pariente-Cohen, Machon-Lev College
Yosef Reisin, Machon-Lev College
Yair Saperstein, Yeshiva University
Yosef Skolnick, Brooklyn College



Whack-A-Mole is a fast paced mole hunting game that relies solely on the keyboard for user interaction. During gameplay, a mole appears at random on one of the keyboards dynamic keys only to vanish moments later and appear in a new location. Players earn points by touching the current key showing the mole as many times as possible before the games thirty second clock expires. We thought this experience could be used to help small children learn to type by guiding them around the keyboard with similar visual cues.
Sam White, University of Rochester
Robin Miller, University of Rochester
Anna Loparev, University of Rochester



Christopher Ham, University of Queensland
Edward Hall, University of Queensland
Patrick Mahoney, University of Queensland
Justin Rahardjo, University of Queensland



Murakumo, 叢雲 (group of clouds), is an art installation project that themes around group of idea clouds. This project inserts art between human interaction and computer. We visualize the flow of information that is often overlooked on a daily basis. Utilizing touch display and the keyboard displays of the Microsoft Adaptive Keyboard, the user can quickly, input data, retrieve and store ideas while manipulating the content that is flowing on to the cloud visualized by the projector. By looking at or using our project, we hope the user relaxes and rethinks about the interaction with computer and draws inspiration for new ideas from this project.
William Maio, RPI
Shigeru Imai, RPI
Yoichi Ochiai, University of Tsukuba


Simulcast Lectures

Simulcast Lectures is a user friendly lecture content capture system. All a user is required to do is plug a VGA cable into their laptop and Simulcast Lectures will capture the content in video and PDF format and stream the video live to anyone in the world. In addition, the system allows users to make annotations on their content using a touchscreen. Unlike with a traditional tablet PC, annotations can be made over any content, not just slides, which allows users to annotate videos or other non-traditional applications.
Microsoft's Adaptive Keyboard enabled us to both increase the available space on the touchscreen for making annotations and improve our UI, making it more accessible and more interactive. As users advance slides on their laptop, the slides appear on the Adaptive Keyboard's touch screen, allowing users to revisit old slides and edit the annotations they previously made. The two rows below the touch screen also display thumbnails of the slides, allowing for fast seeking within the slide list. In addition, the keyboard's keys display colors, pen sizes, and various switches and buttons that control the state of the application. Finally, the visual state of the keyboard changes based on what color and mode is selected.
James McCloskey, UCSD
Kevin Crossan, UCSD

UIST 2010 Student Innovation Contest

The Student Innovation Contest is back again this year with a new piece of hardware!

The goal of the contest is to develop new interactions on unique hardware that you cannot get anywhere else. We supply you with the special hardware and you show us how innovative you can be with it. This year, Microsoft Applied Sciences is loaning out a set of "adaptive keyboards", which can detect touch as well as change their visual appearance.


August 20, 2010 - If you registered but have not received a contest information email from the mailing list, please let Nicholas Chen know immediately.

August 18, 2010 - Registration for the contest is now closed. Since over 100 teams signed up for the contest, we will begin the process of selecting teams who will be receiving keyboards. For teams who have registered, please look for an email from Nicholas Chen with details about how we will be performing team selection.

Important Dates

August 17 - Entry deadline. You must get a team together and send an email before this date to reserve a spot. You do NOT need to have anything else ready.

August 27 - Participant eligibility check. You must satisfy the eligibility rules by this date to receive a keyboard.

September 1 - Final contest participants notified and keyboards mailed.

September 1 through October 3 - Hardware development period.

October 4 - Contest voting at UIST 2010 Demo Reception in New York City

October 5 - Winners announced.

October 6 - Deadline for returning hardware to the Microsoft representative at UIST 2010.


We want to reward the different forms in which innovation comes. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative, most useful, and best-implemented ideas.

For each of the three categories, two awards will be given:
The first place team in the category will receive $2000; second place, $500. More importantly, you will have the respect of conference attendees, your peers, and bragging rights.

Contest Rules

1.IMPORTANT: At least one person on a team must be registered and present at UIST. This is for 3 reasons: 1) You have to demo your idea, 2)You have to claim your prize, 3)It's the easiest way for us to get the devices back.

2. Teams must be unique in the composition of the members. Basically, this means that no two teams can have the exact same members. An individual can, however, be on several teams.

3. During the contest voting period, each team will be allowed to demo an idea. Teams will not be allowed to demo multiple ideas on a single keyboard (i.e., switch between different ideas). Different demos of the same idea are permitted.

4.Teams must bring supporting computers and hardware to run their demos, including the keyboard they were sent. No equipment will be given out at UIST.

How to enter

To reserve a place in the contest and to receive an Adaptive keyboard for development, contestants must submit an entry email to the contest chair no later than August 17th, 2010. This email should contain:

1) Members of the team and their affiliations. Minimum team size is 1, maximum is 4. Students only.See above note about team composition. Internationan students are welcome to participate as well.

2) Primary contact name(one person)

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Full shipping address( in order to receive the adaptive keyboard)

Send these details to the contest organizer:
Nicholas Chen -

Overflow Procedures

It is quite likely that the number of interested teams exceeds the number of devices we have available (about 40).

First and foremost, we will try to emphasize diversity across institutions. We'd like to have students from many places to participate. Following that, we will give preference to interesting ideas. We will announce if we have too many teams a few days after the initial registration deadline. If this happens, expect to be contacted about what your idea in the final week of August. We will keep your ideas in strict confidence.

Release Form

If your team is selected to participate, you must complete a Release Form before you will be sent an Adaptive Keyboard. In a change from last year, a team advisor must sign off on the form. The team advisor is an official representative of the institution (typically a staff or faculty member) and will be held responsible for seeing that the prototype hardware is used properly, and that it is returned to Microsoft.

The forms will be distributed to the selected teams. Similar to last year, the form is designed to protect Microsoft from liability.
Microsoft makes no claims on any novel intellectual property that teams independently develop.

Hardware Details

These keyboards connect to the computer via USB and include an external power supply. International versions of the power supply will be provided to teams based outside of the United States. Please take care not to misplace the various plug adapters. The U.S. plug will be required for use at the UIST demo session.

Software for the keyboard is split into two parts:the host application on the main computer, and the keyboard app. Host applications can be written in almost any language that can work with COM objects, or .NET bindings.(i.e. C++, C#, IronPython, VB.NET). Keyboard applications are created using Silverlight.

Given the complex nature of the underlying keyboard software and drivers, we are only able to support a limited number of computer platforms.The current requirements for running the keyboard are below:

1. A computer running Windows Vista or Windows 7. 32-bit only.

2. 1 free USB port

3. Visual Studio 2008*

4. Recommended: Expression Blend 3* for authoring Silverlight content.

* Software tools can be retrieved through Microsoft's DreamSpark website. All the tools listed above are available for free download to students.

Alternative configurations that can also work for development may be added later as they get tested. The only tested languages so far are C++, C# anf IronPython.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if something happens the contest committee did not foresee?
A: We reserve the right to change the rules at any time.

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

Q: Does Microsoft own novel intellectual property (IP) I develop?
A: No. However, teams may be subject to the intellectual property rules of their respective institutions. Please check with you team advisor.

Q: How long will I have to develop my idea?
A: Teams will receive their keyboards approximately a month ahead of the conference but teams are free to start developing without the hardware immediately. Teams must register by August 17th to participate, however.

Q: Do I get to keep the keyboard?
A: By default, assume no, as they are on loan. We will evaluate on a case-by-case basis following the contest.

Q: Can I hack at the hardware in addition to software programming?
A: You cannot open up or disassemble the hardware but are free to attach any sensors or other electronics to the keyboard, provided the keyboard can be returned to its original condition.