Since its launch, the Kinect has been hacked in hundreds of amazing and crazy ways. Now, Microsoft is planning to embrace that by helping Kinect-based startups realise their potential.
Called "Kinect Accelerator", the initiative will see Microsoft fund and nurture 10 aspiring groups of engineers and entrepreneurs, and give them the chance to turn their ideas into reality. For Microsoft, this seems like a fairly pain-free way of discovering the most creative Kinect talent out there.
No doubt there's going to be huge competition for the 10 finalist slots. While the application procedure doesn't sound too taxing, questions like "Please describe your business in 140 characters or less" and "Explain how the company will make money" will certainly set the bedroom coders apart from the serious entrepreneurs. For the 10 that make, it Microsoft will provide a three-month incubation program in the first half of 2012. Microsoft says this will mean:
"Every company participating in the Kinect Accelerator will receive an investment of $US20,000, an Xbox development kit, the Windows Kinect SDK, office space... and mentorship from entrepreneurs, investors and Microsoft executives intensely focused on making their business a success. At the end of the program, each company will have an opportunity to present at an Investor Demo Day to angel investors, venture capitalists, Microsoft executives, media and industry influentials."
That's a pretty big deal for anyone who manages to make it into the final 10. Personally, I'm just excited to see what ideas these guys have, and what the results turn out like. [Microsoft via Technology Review]