Tenth International Symposium on Wearable Computers
October 11-14, 2006




Important Dates

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Previous ISWCs

Wearable Computer Design Contest

Deadline September 12, 2006

ALTER Think, Inc., an educational non-profit organization, has received a grant from Britefire, a South African training and development firm. This year's Wearable Computer Design Contest is being conducted in fulfillment of that grant. The purpose of the grant is to research wearable computer technology for use in delivering skills and knowledge training in developing countries. For example, in South Africa, there is almost no training available in basic business and office skills, and what there is remains bricks and mortar-based. With the number of people needing training, the current infrastructure cannot possibly meet the demand. Yet South African (SA) companies, eager to have their staff-particularly new hires-educated in current business practices, need a new solution. You and your team might have it.

The Challenge: Students are challenged to propose designs of simple wearable computer-based learning systems that support distance education and training at minimal cost using minimal resources. Example of training courses are: telephone etiquette, basic letter writing skills, time management, introduction to customer service, and sales training. SA has, as do many developing countries, an extensive number of cell phones in use, and that would be one (but not the only) medium to consider. Other examples of simple wearable computers are iPodsŪ and MP3 players. Intermittent electricity supply, extremely limited access to unusual technology and/or replacement parts or repair service, and the difficulties presented by multiple languages in play simultaneously are other factors to ponder. Creating a system that encourages communication across language barriers by relying on more visual cues and interfaces is also important.

Design Criteria: The winning design will be inviting, attractive, portable, low-cost, low-maintenance, durable, easy to interact with, and provide good quality training delivery. Innovation is encouraged as is utilization of proven technology. Features that provide additional capabilities without significantly adding cost or complexity may earn extra points. Electrical engineering and computer science contributors are invited to work with students across disciplines such as design, learning technology, human resource development, industrial engineering, adult education, and developmental psychology to ensure high-usability and appeal.

What to Submit: Both 1) posters for display and 2) handouts that: a) summarize the design and its merits, and b) explain what research influenced the submitted design are required. A working prototype is not necessary, but will be eligible for a 250 euro bonus prize. A member or members of each team will have five minutes to describe their design and its features at the ISWC WCDC session. A panel of volunteer judges will hear each presentation, ask questions, and review the posters and handouts. Their score will be based on those criteria and their decision is final.

The deadline for contest registration is September 12, 2006.

Prizes: The grand prize for winning this contest is 1,000 euros to be awarded as part of the IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC) in Montreux, Switzerland, October 11-14, 2006. The grand prize trophy and check will be presented by the President of Britefire.

Information and Registration: For more information or to register, contact Sarah Ward of ALTER Think, Inc. by email at , call +1 (703) 698-7777, or visit the website at http://www.alter-think.com. If you use Skype, our Skype ID is: alterinc.

We look for to receiving your innovative design entries and thank you for your participation. Good luck!

Notes: 1) Individuals or teams may submit more than one entry, but the organizers retain the right to limit submissions to one per group should the number of submissions get too large. 2) Designs submitted may be used (but not owned) by Britefire and/or ALTER Think, Inc. as part of their efforts to develop and deliver distance learning in developing countries and by submitting them, with design credit properly given, the designers and developers agree to this without restriction, recompense, or penalty and declare that they have the authority to so license.