Feel the Future: Our Third Developer Contest

[image description: Black background with a mans hand holding a glowing drawing of a human brain.overlayed is an abstract connection graph in white. Text says "Feel the future, the best way to predict the future is to make it"]

Our third Neosensory contest is here.

Your brain is a fantastic piece of machinery. Despite being locked away in the darkness of your skull, it is the ultimate arbiter of your perception and reality.

Your brain perceives the world by learning to decode data from your existing sensory pathways. This starts with the sensory receptors in your peripheral nervous system–whether the various touch receptors in your skin, the sensory hair cells in your inner ear, or many other kinds. 

Nothing stops your brain from adapting to new data streams; you can extend existing senses or add entirely new ones. 

One of the easiest ways to build new senses is to use Neosensory Buzz–a haptic feedback wristband. Developers and designers can create new senses by encoding data streams through the wristband’s 4 vibrational units in real-time. 

Whether you are capturing data streams through a hardware build (like an Arduino) or accessing data already available through APIs or other means, there are endless ways you can add to the human experience.

For this contest, we have expanded our API and SDKs–unlocking new functionality for developers. You now have access to: 

  • detecting when users press buttons on the Buzz wristband (and responding accordingly)
  • manipulating the color and brightness of the LEDs on the Buzz wristband
  • enhanced vibration mode for punchier vibrations (can be used when the wristband is not vibrating continuously over long stretches of time)

Are you looking for inspiration?  

To whet your appetite, check out these posts on our previous winners (Hack your senses, Expand your senses with Edge Impulse). Below are some suggested areas you can explore. 


Is there a data stream that can make people feel more connected to themselves, each other, or the planet? For example, monitoring all the global earthquakes or glacial melt via API. 


Can we external systems become extensions of ourselves? Examples might be feeling the sensor data from a drone you’re flying for better control or feeling computer network traffic to detect hackers. 

Logistics and Enterprise

Can we use sensory addition to improve the operations of a business? Can we feel sensor data from systems in a factory to detect problems earlier? Can we sense a fleet of vehicles and learn helpful and actionable insights?  

If you have a spectacular idea that falls outside of these categories, that’s great too! 

How the contest works:

  1. Come up with a brilliant concept.
  2. Fill in this form by April 27th at 11:59 PM PST with your idea to enter to win 1 of 5 Buzz haptic wristbands. 
  3. Build, test, iterate, repeat! We encourage building in the open. Make sure you join the Neosensory developer slack to ask questions, get advice, and let the community know how it’s going
  4. Submit your final project by the 18th of June. 
  5. Take part in Demo Day, where finalists will present their projects to our panel of judges. 
  6. Eligible entries will appear on the Neosensory developers blog. The Audience favourite will be chosen via a public vote. 
  7. Winners announced!

If you already have access to a Buzz band you can skip step 2 and dive straight into building. We would still love to hear about what you are working on.

Not a developer but have a stellar idea? Sign up to our developers slack to search for a teammate.

Be sure to sign up for our mailing list for important contest updates.

Final submission will be via a form, fields include.

  • A list of build materials
  • Description of build/ implementation
  • A blog post describing your project 
  • Description of user research/involvement
  • Videos/Images and schematics 

Check out our Judging criteria here

Grand prize winner: 1000 USD in bitcoin/PayPal or similar. 

The grand prize winner will wow our judges with their idea and execution. Test data and involving the target users in the development and iteration of their idea will demonstrate real-world impact. Build an outstanding, impactful, and well-executed sensory augmentation application that dazzles to snag this prize.

GIF: two people standing by a huge lightbulb pump fists in celebration as bulb lights up. Illustrated in blue tones

2 Judges favorites Prizes 250 USD in bitcoin/PayPal or similar. 

Our Panel of judges will select two of their favourite entries for this prize.

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1 Audience favorite 200 USD in bitcoin/PayPal or similar. 

Will be selected by counting the public votes via a twitter poll. All eligible entries will be publicly available for viewing on the neosensory blog. You’re encouraged to also share your project while building your entry.  

Participation prizes

Eligible entries will receive prizes from our company swag bag! 

Important dates

Dev Chat: Friday 9th April 2 pm PST
Submissions for hardware close 27th of April 11:59 pm PST
Hardware winners announced: 29th of April
Dev Chat: Friday 14th of May 2 pm PST
Final Submissions: 18th of June 11:59 PST
Demo Day: TBD
Winners announced: TBD

Useful resources to get you started. 

Watch Hacking your sense 101 webinar
Watch Dr David Eagleman’s Ted talk
Read Livewired – Dr David Eagleman’s latest book.
Read David’s Neosensory blog post about what developers should consider when designing new sensory experiences.
Chat with fellow developers: join the Neosensory developer slack.
Follow along with tutorials exploring extra senses using Buzz.
Learn more about our cross-platform API and SDKs with our getting started guide
Read the fine print about entering our contest.