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[Call for Participation] Snap Creative AR Challenge

EventIMX 2020
Research AreasHuman Computer Interaction

Snap Creative AR Challenge

Snap Research is convening faculty and their students to join us in defining the future of storytelling with Augmented Reality. Faculty will propose how they will work on a project with their students in the months leading up to the event co-hosted at ACM IMX 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Students will show their work through lightning presentations and a hands-on mini-exhibition. The event will end with a meta-discussion on the challenges and opportunities revealed by these projects, seed future work and community-building efforts around AR and storytelling, and produce a position document with all the participants.

Every type of recorded media technology, from radio to television, to video games, has evolved into a rich medium to tell stories. AR is not an exception, and we believe it is poised to become the next major storytelling platform. AR opens new opportunities for artists, designers, engineers, and scientists to come together to define the future of storytelling through this new medium. Moreover, AR will enable creators to reimagine and build on traditional forms of storytelling, like theater or cinema. This community aims to shape the future of AR-enabled creative expression in the multidisciplinary and multicultural approach it requires.


We will be meeting in Barcelona in Spain the 17 -19 JUNE 2020. And we are excited to announce that we are going to be co-located with the ACM Interactive Media Experiences, ACM IMX2020.

TVX / IMX is the leading international conference for presentation and discussion of research into interactive media experiences. The conference brings together international researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines, ranging from human-computer interaction, multimedia engineering and design to media studies, media psychology, and sociology.

Call for Proposals

Faculty should submit a write-up of up to five pages describing how they plan to work on an AR storytelling project with their students, and their experience and/or interest on the topic. This could be a class syllabus, a description of the plan for an independent study, or any other mechanism they have to work with graduate or undergraduate students. The application does not need to describe the actual project(s) since those might emerge from interactions with the students.

Students are expected to do a hands-on demonstration of their project at the event and provide a video, write-up, or other documentation for the website.


We expect projects to push AR storytelling in new directions and press people to think about AR in new ways. For that reason, projects should:

  • Favor compelling and novel user experiences over technical complexity; i.e., it’s fine if an idea requires a simple implementation as long as it is a novel and creative.

  • Be concrete and demoable at the event, rather than just a set of presentation slides.

  • Embrace perspectives from different disciplines rather than being purely technical or purely artistic.

We do not want to constrain the type of projects people work on, but if it is helpful, here are some examples:

  • AR lenses that tell a story in new ways, overlaid on a university campus.

  • Software designed with and for artists or creators to use AR for storytelling.

  • An application for head-worn displays that uses audio and haptics to augment reality while people experience stories in the physical world.

  • A new immersive theater experience that relies on AR in novel ways.

  • Shared and persistent AR for storytelling.

Submit your proposals to:

Timeline (subject to change)

  • Jan 15, 2020: Deadline to submit all proposals

  • Jan 30, 2020: Final notifications of acceptance. Acceptance notifications will be communicated as we review the applications. In the event of running out of slots, we’ll notify of this on this website

  • Feb to May 15, 2020: Professor-led process with students. Professors will create their own selection process to choose the most promising student project, and up to 3 students to attend the event

  • May 17, 2020: Submit final documentation of the project the professor and their students are planning to present

  • June 17, 2020: Present and participate in the event at ACM IMX in Barcelona

Gathering at ACM IMX 2020

After working on their projects for a few months, participants will attend a full day event oriented around showcasing and describing on the students’ projects, after which participants will discuss the opportunities for further research and development in AR storytelling.

The proposed schedule (subject to change) is as follows:

  • 8 :30 to 9:00 AM: Arrival and set up

  • 9:00 to 9:30 AM: Welcome and introduction to the goals and schedule

  • 9:30 to 10:30 AM: Lightning presentations. Student teams come up to the front of the room and describe their projects for up to five minutes each

  • 10:30 to 12:00 PM: Mini exhibition 1. Half of the student teams will find a spot where they can stand and show their projects to the other half, who will be walking around

  • 12:00 to 1:30 PM: Lunch

  • 1:30 to 3:00 PM: Mini exhibition 2. The other half of the students show their projects while the first half walks around. This can also be held in the roof garden

  • 3:00 to 4:30 PM: Discussion. The organizers will moderate a discussion among all participants to identify challenges and opportunities that emerged from the projects. For example, we will discuss the technical feasibility of the ideas and the artistic, social, and privacy issues that may arise

  • 4:30 to 5:00 PM: Wrap up and plan for future community-building actions


During the event, participants are expected to demonstrate their work in ways people can experience the idea(s). They are also expected to share or post documentation of their project in the form of a video, write-up, or any other way they feel their project is best explained. This will be posted on the website for people who cannot attend the event.


Snap Inc., the company behind Snapchat and Spectacles, will provide discretionary funding of 10,000 USD to each of the 10 teams of faculty and students selected to participate in this Creative Challenge.


Teams will also receive mentorship from Snap Inc.


We are committed to having a diverse set of participants and encourage faculty members from around the world to apply.

Please reach out to for any questions.