The first hackathon to extend and augment the senses!

Inviting makers and thinkers to a weekend of exploration at the frontiers of human perception!

The Idea

is to bring together makers from a variety of backgrounds and provide them with a weekend's worth of time and space to develop new devices and applications that hack, expand and augment the senses.

The Tools

we'll be using include some seriously cool technologies, like Brain-Computer Interfaces, virtual, and augmented reality headsets, sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, and even cardboard boxes! BYOD too!

The Vision

is that by exploring perceptual hacking we can expand the scope of human experience. We'll definitely learn a great deal, and who knows, we might just build something amazing along the way.

Hackathon Judges

We have gathered some of the most inspiring minds working in neuroscience, design and new media art to serve on our final event's judging panel

Check out our collection of inspiring projects, people and centres.

Click here to access the Repository.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Hackathon?

An event where people from various backgrounds come together to develop awesome projects in a short timespan. In our case, it will be around 2.5 days, starting Friday afternoon on the 24th of June and finishing Sunday evening on the 26th.

What is Hack the Senses?

Hack the Senses is a 12-month project funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project explores perception and sensory science in an attempt to push the boundaries of human experience. We are hosting a hackthon to prototype new ways to accomplish this and to create new sensory substitution and augmentation devices. Check out our Inspiration section for some ideas and great material to get your thinking going!

What are the key dates?

Applications for the hackathon will close at Midnight on Sunday the 4th of June, 2016. You will be notified of the outcome on the 5th of June. The hackathon itself will take place between 24-26 June.

Will you provide food and drinks?

Yes, we will provide ample, quality, healthy meals and drinks for the entire duration of the hackathon.

Does the hackathon run overnight?

No. We believe - and know from experience - that performance drops significantly under sleep deprivation. For this reason we will draw the event to a close each day at around 10pm. Getting some sleep will only benefit your projects.

Why is there an application process for a hackthon?

We decided to have an application process so that we can ensure that there is a good balance of skills and backgrounds at the hackathon. We want to facilitate exciting collaborations and bring various disciplines together. Also, this allows us to get to know you a little bit, so we can better prepare for the event.

Who should apply?

We are looking for curious makers, enthusiastic explorers and restless 'thinkerers' from all walks of life. Skills in coding, design, and engineering, or knowledge of psychology or neuroscience might be particularly helpful, but all are welcome to apply and join!

Will there be any prizes?

Yes, a prestigous judging panel will award prizes during the final day's public event. We have a partnership with Intel's Code for Good campaign, and will award a $500 cash prize. Two teams will also receive the opportunity to participate in a design workshop with Tim Bouckley, senior designer at IDEO. Amazon Web Services has also sponsored a prize of $500 + $250 worth of credit for the cloud computing platform for each participant. Winners will be expected to join at least two public engagement activities organised by the Hack the Senses project. The first will be a public workshop at the London Science Museum in July and/or August. The second event will be at the British Science Festival in Swansea on the 6th of September. Both of these commitments are in fact excellent opportunities where you'll get to showcase your project to the public, gain exposure, feedback and valuable connections, not to mention the fun. The costs of attending these events will be covered by us.

What will be the fate of the prototypes?

All the intellectual property (IP) generated by you during the event will remain with you/your team. The organisers will not make any claims on any IP. However, teams may also receive offers and invitations to work with us more closely to develop their protoype further and to incorporate it into our subsequent science engagement activities. The conditions of these collaborations can be individually negotiated.

How can I apply?

To apply, please fill out this form, which asks you some simple questions about your background and why you would like to participate. The submission deadline is Midnight (GMT) 4 June, 2016. There are only 50 places at the event and we will screen applications to make sure that we can create a good balance of skills and backgrounds at the Hackathon.

Why do I have to pay a holding fee?

We don't want to charge you for attending a hackathon. At the same time, free events have a no-show rate of over 40%. We also want to ensure that those who sign up to attend really show-up. The only way to try to ensure that both of these criteria get fulfilled is to introduce a refundable ticket. The way it works is this: If you receive notification that you have been invited to participate at the hackathon you will get a link where you can book your place for a £10 holding fee. If you come along to the hackathon and stay for the majority of the event (barring unforeseen circumstances) then you will receive a full refund. If you sign up but don't turn up at the hackathon, we will not refund your holding fee. We believe this is a fair deal.

What should I bring?

Please bring laptops as we can not provide computers. 3d printers, soldering irons, and other tools for making will be available on site. If you have any devices that you would like to work with yourself, or offer to others to use in their projects, please bring them along as well. Also, feel free to bring along any exciting, creative, quirky objects you think might be useful for prototyping. One can never know!

Our venue will be


the City of London’s first purpose built digital fabrication and rapid prototyping workspace.

1 Frederick's Pl
London EC2R 8AE


Get in touch

Have any questions about Hack the Senses?
Drop us a message, or just say 'Hi!'