Kinect’s Accelerator Program

Windows 8 has begun the evolution of user interfaces and input devices thanks to its Metro interface and the push towards alternative input like touch. While Metro clearly looks like it has touch in mind, what about voice and even motion/gesture controls?

Recently Microsoft has begun prepping its Xbox Kinect accessory for use on the Windows front.

The idea of hooking up a massive Kinect camera to your laptop or desktop might sound a little silly, but does Microsoft have a potential market it plan?

I have asserted in a previous article that Microsoft should focus Kinect on multimedia PCs in the living room, this makes sense considering the Kinect is already getting familiar to the living room setting.

Now it seems that Microsoft is really trying to push developers to get out new apps and part of the strategy seems to target living rooms and even such unique settings as operating rooms and clinics.

While this isn’t a strategy I personally thought about, it shows that I clearly am not Microsoft and it is certainly not a bad idea. Imagine a doctor using motion technology to interface with a computer while analyzing data in preparation of things like surgery.

This sounds somewhat Sci-Fi and at the moment it doesn’t have clear merit, but looking for alternative uses for technology like the Kinect is innovative and imaginative at the very least.

Just a week ago Microsoft announced its Kinect Accelerator program, eying developers and startups who are using Kinect technology to build their own innovative and cutting-edge apps. This program is certainly a cool idea and encourages users to submit their development projects in the KA program.

According to Microsoft, the top ten finalists in the program will get many benefits from Redmond to help further develop the Kinect apps.

The benefits include a $20,000 investment by Microsoft, the Xbox and Windows Development Kits, and other resources like even office space will be provided, alongside technical training for the kits by Microsoft.

For those who think this is something they would be interest in, there a few requirements of course. The requirements include:

  • Any Kinect-enabled application on Windows or Xbox that can be a commercial business
  • Manufacturing to retail, education to healthcare, art installations to gaming, social to interactive play
  • Can be cloud-hosted, on any platform, but needs to be an application
  • Could be one view of an application that may also have a web UI, mobile UI, etc
  • Kinect-controlled applications, like what you have on your phone, but on a big screen or a computer screen
  • Content you might expect to consume in your living room or in an operating room

Essentially they are looking for talent that can recognize a good idea and carry though all the way to a working prototype. To apply for the Kinect Accelerator Program Click Here.

So what do I think about the KA Program? I personally applaud Microsoft for trying to reach out to developers, even those that might be indie studios. Microsoft has recently stopped looking like the cold, old-fashioned suit-and-tie giant of the 90s and instead is working hard to reinvent itself as hip, fresh, and willing to change with the times.

What do you think of using Kinect on the desktop/laptop front? Have a particularly interesting Kinect/PC idea? Share your thoughts below!

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