The Hackaday Prize

Frequently Asked Questions

What does my project need in order to be considered a "connected" device?

Connected means that the device you're building connects and communicates with the internet or with another device. This can take the form of bluetooth, zigbee, wifi, ant and a range of other connections. The best projects will be the ones that include dynamic pieces of hardware that can interface with other devices, either directly or over the internet.

What does "open" actually mean?

Open refers to how much you have documented about your project and how much you will make available to the public when you push your project out into the world. Optimally, we would like to see open source drivers, hardware, and development tools; the final project would also be licensed as open source (using the wide range of licenses that are possible). This is a judging preference, so providing design files in a format that uses open source tools (and therefore allows others to easily use or modify them), will help you with the best chance of edging out your competition.

What are the judges using as criteria for who moves on to the next level?

Our panel of expert judges are making their decisions based upon the following criteria:

• How "Open" is the design? Preference will be given to projects that exhibit depth of Open Hardware and Open Source Software.
• "Wow" factor: is the entry innovative, is the build impressive?
• Is the entry a connected device and is that “connectedness” meaningful to the function?
• Is the project reproducible and could the work be extended for other uses?
• Does the entry exhibit engineering innovation?
• Is there an intuitive interface? (is the entry usable in the real world?)
• Is it/could it be manufacturable? (applicable to judging in final round, only)

How much of my build log will I be judged upon?

All parts of your project will be judged, but it is wise to include the core details of your project in your videos as these will be viewed first to get the gist of the entry.

When is the first hard deadline?

You must officially submit your project as an entry by 11:50pm PDT on August 20th, 2014 to have a chance at moving on to the next round.

What do I need to have ready by August 20th?

You need a video explaining your project (no matter its stage of completion), you must be a registered member of, and you need to have officially submitted your project to The Hackaday Prize (having accepted the terms and conditions associated with entering).

Really? That's it?

Yes. Before the expert judges get to work on September 29th, you will have the opportunity to continue updating your project.

What is the purpose of "community voting"? (AKA 'Astronaut or Not'). Do I win a trip to space if I win that?

The voting section (Astronaut or Not) is a way for us to hand out some extra prizes and include the Hackaday community in making those choices. It does not, however, have any effect on the overall outcome of the contest or the awarding of the more valuable prizes (top five winners and 50 grab bags).

OK, then how do I win a trip to space?

From the initial pool of entries, the editorial staff will narrow the field to 50 semi-final entries based upon eligibility and quality of documentation. The expert judges will narrow these 50 entries down to the final 5. From there, the expert judges and any special judges will decide upon the ranking of the final 5, including the grand prize winner.

What about the other prizes?

Once the grand prize winner has been chosen, the remaining prizes will be awarded in order of rank as decided by the judges.

How do I see which projects have already been entered?

Check out this full list of official entries.

I hate being on video! Can I win without making videos?

You must submit video in order to win. However, you don't need to be in front of the camera in order to make a video.

Video is the most reliable way to make a judgement call about whether something works, since the judges are unable to see the projects in person. Nothing beats actually showing your project working. We won't judge on flashiness though... simply present the quality of the idea and how it was executed in your project.

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