Microsoft to help 10 Kinect startups

However, the company has yet to allow for the commercial sale of products based on Kinect for Windows

Microsoft on Friday announced a program designed to help 10 developers or startups launch businesses around products for Kinect, the controller that senses motion and voice.

Developers with Kinect applications for the Xbox or Windows are invited to apply to the Kinect Accelerator program, even though Microsoft does not yet allow the sale of products based on Kinect for Windows.

The program is being supported by TechStars, the organization that mentors technology startups and offers them seed funding from a group of venture capital investors.

The 10 people or startups accepted into the Kinect Accelerator program will spend three months in Seattle working out of the Kinect Accelerator office, where they will receive technical training and support and be mentored by entrepreneurs, investors and Microsoft executives. They will also get US$20,000, an Xbox development kit and the Windows Kinect SDK (software development kit). At the end of the program, the companies will present their business ideas to angel investors, venture capitalists and the media, and potentially receive additional funding.

Companies accepted into the program must give up a 6 percent equity stake in their business to TechStars in common stock.

Any developer or company working on a Kinect-enabled application for Windows or Xbox that can be a commercial product is eligible to apply. Businesses at any stage of development are invited to apply, including those that simply have an idea.

Microsoft initially was resistant to allowing external developers to build on its Kinect sensor, which was launched as an add-on to the Xbox and lets users play games by moving their bodies or using voice commands rather than using a controller. But it quickly became clear that hackers and developers were keen to get creative with the Kinect.

In June, Microsoft released an SDK for people interested in building Windows apps for the Kinect. However, the SDK is available only for noncommercial use. At the time, Microsoft said it planned to release a commercial package in the future, but it hasn't yet.

Microsoft did not reply to a request for comment about how participants in the Kinect Accelerator program might move forward without permission to build commercial products or knowledge of what Microsoft's terms for creating Kinect products might be.

In a video posted on the TechStars blog, Microsoft shows off some "unexpected" potential uses for Kinect, including people playing instruments without the instrument; a doctor in an operating room flipping through X-ray images without having to touch anything; a teacher controlling a display of the night sky by waving his arms; and a technician remotely controlling a robot that defuses a bomb.

At the CTIA conference last month, one small company showed off a Kinect application that would let people bank from home by waving their arms in front of their TVs.

People can apply to the program through Jan. 25. The three-month program starts in March.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Topics: application development, Microsoft, hardware systems, software
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?