Second Student Competition

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The Second COGAIN Student Competition: Power of Gaze


The Second COGAIN Student Competition has been initiated by the Network of Excellence on Communication by Gaze Interaction (COGAIN). COGAIN is supported by the European Commission's IST 6th framework program. COGAIN integrates cutting-edge expertise on interface technologies for the benefit of users with disabilities. The network aims to gather Europe's leading expertise in eye tracking integration with computers in a research project on assistive technologies for citizens with motor impairments. For more information, see COGAIN.

The objective of the competition is to boost the development of new, innovative applications that make use of eye input or innovative solutions for eye tracking. COGAIN especially invites submissions that enhance the communication or control by gaze by making the interaction faster, easier, or more enjoyable.


  • Any student (undergraduate or graduate) or non-commercial participant (not a student but not a professional either) may enter the competition.
  • Participants do not need to have any prior contact with COGAIN.
  • Participants may be individuals or a group.
  • Multiple submissions from the same participant(s) are allowed.
  • The application must take advantage of gaze input on some level. It can either be totally gaze-controlled or combine gaze with other input modalities.
  • The submission can be almost anything, for example, a new faster gaze communication method, a novel or improved way to point-and-select by gaze, a novel gaze-controlled way to control the environment or support mobility, a totally new concept (demonstrated with a proof-of-concept application), anything that makes the use of gaze as a controlling method easier, faster, more enjoyable ... use your imagination!
  • The participants are allowed to freely choose their implementation tools and eye tracking devices. However, please note that COGAIN cannot provide eye trackers for the participants; they should use the trackers they already have, or alternatively, implement the application with special tools that allow development via emulation (see "implementation tools and eye trackers" for more information).
  • COGAIN cannot provide support for the implementation or the usage of the eye tracking devices or implementation tools.
  • Only complete submissions will be reviewed. Please see "Submissions" for more information.
  • The recommended language of the submission is English. Other languages used in the interface of the application are allowed but the report must be in English.
  • COGAIN is eager to spread high quality applications to eye control users around the globe and select applicants can get assistance in the distribution of their programs after the competition.


The submission should include:

  • Title of the application
  • An installation packet, with all required parts.
    Note that the submission cannot be only a description of an idea, algorithm, or concept -- there must be some clear way to test it with an eye tracking device, therefore, an executable application that demonstrates the idea is required.
  • Installation / setup instructions
  • A brief documentation explaining the idea of the application, brief notes on its implementation and an explanation how it works, and results of an initial user/usability test (recommended length is 5 pages).
  • Contact information: name(s), (team name), organisation, email address, mail address, phone/fax
  • Supplementary materials such as videos or still images are allowed but not required.

Please send the complete submission by email to:

student-competition (at) cogain (dot) org

or by conventional mail to:

COGAIN Network Coordination Office
Päivi Majaranta / Pinni B1036
Department of Computer Sciences
FIN-33014 University of Tampere


  • Launch of the competition at COGAIN 2008: 2 September 2008
  • Deadline for the submissions (extended): 7 June 2009
  • Notification on results: 1 August 2009

Review criteria

The submissions will be reviewed by a jury formed by academic and industrial partners of the COGAIN network and association. Judging will be based on the following criteria:

  • Originality and innovation
  • Suitability for especially gaze-based control / how well the application takes advantage of gaze
  • How well user requirements of a disabled person were taken into account
  • Quality of the submission, including the software and the documentation


Three best submissions will be awarded. Each of the three best submissions will be granted with an Gift Card for the amount of 250 euros.

All acceptable submissions that are reviewed will receive a signed certificate of participation in the competition.

Implementation tools and eye trackers

We recommend using eye tracking devices available for people with disabilities, click here to see a list...

Any other eye trackers may also be used (including trackers not targeted at people with disabilities) but the members of the jury must be able to test the application, hopefully with a real eye tracking device. Therefore, it would be useful if the student(s) could email the organizer (at student-competition (at) cogain (dot) org) well before the deadline so that the committee can organize the review. A mouse emulation mode might be beneficial, as it would allow the jury members to easily test the application anytime by emulating gaze with mouse, or with another eye tracking device that has an eye mouse.

The participants are invited to consider using the COGAIN ETU Driver which supports several trackers. It includes a mouse emulation mode. For more information and download, see ETU Driver homepage.
Also other framework applications are possible, such as, for example SAW - Special Access to Windows, which can also be used by mouse emulation and Require very little programming skills. For more information and download, see SAW 5

Please note that COGAIN cannot provide support for the implementation tools or eye tracking devices.


Please send any queries to student-competition (at) cogain (dot) org

Read more about the first COGAIN Student Competition: Creative Gaze ...
Some of the applications submitted to the first competition are available at the COGAIN website, see Downloads/ Leisure Applications

A 2-page announcement for easy printing: PDF