This seems like a great opportunity for some creative thinking over the holidays. Only 17 days left in Round 1.

Sparks will Fly | 2009 Challenge image

Sparks will Fly
2009 Challenge

Show us your “home of the future” and win $15,000, plus a trip to TechEd 2009!

We know you've got great ideas – and we want to see them in action. So go to your quiet place, think big and enter the Sparks will Fly 2009 Challenge. Here’s how the contest works:

ROUND 1

Submit a 1-3-page paper that outlines an embedded project that will help realize the home of the future. Maybe you envision a thermostat that sets itself according to the latest weather forecast, or a refrigerator that re-orders groceries. Be creative, but make sure it’s an embedded device that you could actually build.

Deadline: January 7, 2009

On January 9, 2009, we’ll announce the 50 participants who will advance to round two.

ROUND 2

It’s time to put your skills to the test. All 50 finalists will receive a free SPARK Your Imagination kit, based on the VIA Artigo Pico-ITX board. Build a working prototype of your idea and submit a 4-5-page paper that describes your solution. You’ll also need to create a 3-minute video that summarizes your project.

Deadline: March 11, 2009

ROUND 3

On March 13, 2009, we’ll reveal the top 3 finalists. Each of the 3 finalists will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a flight to ESC Silicon Valley, where they’ll demonstrate their project during the Microsoft keynote.

The winner will be announced at the end of the keynote, and will receive an additional cash prize of $15,000 and a trip to TechEd 2009 in Los Angeles.