Twenty Projects That Just Won the Human Computer Interface Challenge

The greatest hardware competition on the planet is going on right now. The Hackaday Prize is the Oscars of Open Hardware. It’s the Nobel Prize of building a thing. It’s the Fields Medal of firmware development, and simply making it to the finals grants you a knighthood in the upper echelon of hardware developers.

Last week, we wrapped up the fourth challenge in The Hackaday Prize, the Human Computer Interface challenge. Now we’re happy to announce twenty of those projects have been selected to move onto the final round and have been awarded a $1000 cash prize. Congratulations to the winners of the Human Computer Interface Challenge in this year’s Hackaday Prize. Here are the winners, in no particular order:

Human Computer Interface Challenge Hackaday Prize Finalists:

This challenge was all about a human-computer interface, and once again the entries have blown us out of the water. These are the best projects for HCI we’ve ever seen, but what does that mean?

The most obvious example of a human computer interface is, by far, the lowly keyboard. Over the past few years, the mechanical keyboard community has built upon the works of firmware geniuses and created a universe of unique keyboards in every shape and size imaginable. But these Hackaday Prize finalists go one step further.

The Ergonomic Handheld Mouse / Keyboard Alternative from [Shervin Emami] is an all-in-one solution for your keyboarding and cursor moving needs. It’s a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, but this one’s a chording keyboard built out of a $5 finger strengthening device originally designed for guitarists and people with RSI. By adding some buttons, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer, [Shervin] turned this $5 device into a piece of hardware that is priceless.

But obscure input devices aren’t all that are featured in the finalists for this year’s Hackaday Prize. Those mechanical keyboard fanatics are making contributions, too. One of the best is the Redox Keyboard from [Mattia Dal Ben]. As the name would imply, this keyboard is derived from the very popular Ergodox keyboard, a split keyboard that’s making waves with the DIY crowd. [Mattia]’s Redox has a few improvements, including changing the controller from a Teensy to the much cheaper Arduino Pro Mini, making the keyboard smaller, and making the thumb cluster easier to reach.

But the Human Computer Interface Challenge isn’t all about keyboards. There’s plenty of examples, and one of the greatest is [Bruno Laurencich]’s Motion Capture system that you can build yourself. This build began with a desire to make a digital performance with a dancer on stage. This obviously requires a motion capture suit, but they’re expensive. None were available at a reasonable price.

That didn’t matter to [Bruno], and where there’s a will, there’s a way. This motion capture outfit is built out of several MEMS IMU devices, all strung together to a master control unit. With a few sensor fusion algorithms, the results are acceptable. This means [Bruno] is able to capture the motion of the human body, and render these captures in a Lawnmower Man-like simulation. It’s just about the coolest entry into the Human Computer Interface Challenge, and there are almost two dozen more like it.

The Hackaday Prize isn’t over, though. The Musical Instrument Challenge has just begun. It’s our competition to build the equal of the synthesizer, the electric guitar, or the theremin. If you’ve got the skills to build a machine that makes bleep bloops, we want to see it. We’re really looking forward to the results of this competition, it’s sure to be amazing. Twenty entries from this challenge will each win $1,000 and a shot at the grand prize. There’s still time to win your place among the hardware greats, so start your Hackaday Prize entry now.

17 thoughts on “Twenty Projects That Just Won the Human Computer Interface Challenge

  1. Also Digital white cane appears to be a finalist for the same project last year, it doesnt show that it was submitted for 2018 hackaday, can someone check that? Correct it if needed?

    1. Hi, Can I know why projects like NeuroLS, Minder and NeuroCuddl were just down right eliminated?

      I found them to be the most deserving and most creative. Half the projects here lack enough build logs or documentation to win.

      This rounds result was a bit unfair.

      1. I don’t find that very obvious. “Show at least four (4) Project Log updates or at least four (4) Build Instructions updates on your Project Profile.” For my understanding, that is {if (logs >= 4 || instructions >= 4)}. And even if you can combine them, the BodiHub still only has 3 logs and 0 instructions…

        1. The BodiHub actually has nine previous logs, totalling 12. It says it’s a continuing extension from the A Wearable, IoT+ANN Dev Board for Body Sensing, and links to it in the first paragraph. The creator apparently wasn’t too keen on just cutting and pasting all nine of the previous build logs to the submission.

    1. Hey Mark! These projects that were accepted with under 4 logs are my fault and are being rectified. As community leader, I do everything I can to give Hackaday community members as much support as possible. This includes looking for as many ways as possible to prevent active members from being disqualified for technicalities when it is clear that the documentation and the spirit of the Prize are there. In this instance, I overstepped my bounds by interpreting build instructions and logs from previous pages of projects as acceptable logs. Our dedicated legal people have pointed out this incongruence with the official rules and the importance of sticking to them closely. Sorry for my error!

  2. I’m pretty disappointed with the outcome of the Human Computer Interface Challenge. Why are there rules if they don’t apply anyway? Some of the projects that have won don’t have enough build logs. On the other hand there are much more impressive projects which comply with the rules didn’t win, too bad.

    1. Hey Jan! The projects that were accepted with under 4 logs are my fault and are being rectified. As community leader, I do everything I can to give Hackaday community members as much support as possible. This includes looking for as many ways as possible to prevent active members from being disqualified for technicalities when it is clear that the documentation and the spirit of the Prize are there. In this instance, I overstepped my bounds by interpreting build instructions and logs from previous pages of projects as acceptable logs. Our dedicated legal people have pointed out this incongruence with the official rules and the importance of sticking to them closely. Sorry for my error!

  3. For those who are curious, this is how the judging works! Every project is both ranked & rated 1-10 by at least 2 technical judges, and every judge judges less than 80 projects total. The total number of judges varies based on the number of entries. These ranks & ratings are averaged and the highest 20 averages win.

  4. Anyone from Hackaday here?

    I tried to open all prize finalist’s project pages simultaneously in new tabs. The first 9 loaded, the rest didn’t. I tried refreshing a loaded tab and it couldn’t be loaded anymore. It seems like I’ve been flood-banned from hackaday.io!
    I’m also unable to load supplyframe.com, but I can load hackaday.com.

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