(PhysOrg.com) -- Microsoft has launched a project where it will give 10 companies $20,000 each for making the best use of Kinect on Windows or the Xbox. The project is Microsofts strategic push for extending creative and engaging application prototypes outside gaming environments. Applications are being accepted now through January 25th, 2012. The Kinect Accelerator is to be an on-site, Seattle-based incubator project.
The 10 top company applications, chosen by Microsoft after a competitive screening process, will have three months next year to deliver. The plan calls for work to begin March and continue through May in Seattle. Each Kinect Accelerator participant gets an Xbox development, the Windows Kinect SDK, plus office space.
Microsofts idea is characteristically targeted toward more business. Just as its ecosystem of outside developers and technology partners helped build apps through the years for Windows and its digital dashboard, an ecosystem beyond Redmond can help grow Kinect and related Microsoft products.
Microsoft says it just wants to help companies explore. We have seen many interesting uses of the technology in the short time Kinect has been in market so we are excited to see new ideas and which companies will apply.
What the project gives to Microsoft is the advantage of more and more businesses leveraging Kinect for Xbox or Windows. What it offers participants is a unique chance not only to bag some money but work alongside key Microsoft staffers. Mentors for the Kinect Accelerator include entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the industry as well as staffers from Microsoft Studios, Xbox, Microsoft Research and other Microsoft units.
What types of apps will make the Microsoft people salivate? The answer, according to Microsoft, goes something like Surprise Us.
Suggested areas include retail, education, healthcare and art installations to name a few. According to the projects criteria list, it can be any Kinect-enabled application on Windows or Xbox that can be a commercial business.
Ten companies will be chosen to take part and they can be startups or already established.
No prior experience developing with the Kinect is required but the business concept needs to leverage Kinect capabilities. The application has to apply to the Xbox 360 as well as other platforms.
Microsoft will stage an Investor Demo Day where each participant will present to angel investors, venture capitalists, Microsoft executives.
Microsofts Kinect is a motion-sensing input device that was launched as a controller-free gaming device so that kids and adults could play their living room games without having to clutch a controller. Visionaries in and outside of Redmond, however, easily see possibilities outside gaming that leverage new types of computing experiences. Kinects future beyond gaming also is seen in hospital operating rooms, classrooms and in business.
Explore further: Microsoft's Kinect to cost $150, on sale in November