Microsoft announces Kinect incubator

Xbox 360 maker giving 10 groups $20,000 and three months to develop the next big thing using motion-sensing camera peripheral.

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The Kinect was released last year primarily as a closed commercial product, but it quickly drew interest from indie coders who hacked it to do everything from helping pilot a helicopter-like device to improving operating room efficiency for surgeons. Microsoft is looking to foster more of that sort of experimentation by giving small teams money to build a business around the Kinect's functionality.

Microsoft is watching to see what developers can do with the Kinect.

Announced today, the Kinect Accelerator program will offer 10 teams three months and $20,000 to create a business based around the Kinect and Natural User Interface technologies. Microsoft provides a few examples of qualifying concepts, but the main requirement is that the business takes advantage of the Kinect.

The program will run next year from March to May, and selected teams must be able to relocate to Seattle, Washington, for the duration of the program. In addition to funding, the incubator will provide office space, development tools, technical training and support, mentorship, input from investors and Microsoft executives, and more. A demo day will be held at the end of the 90 days for teams to pitch their work to angel investors, venture capitalists, Microsoft executives, and the media.

Applications are being accepted now through January 25, 2012. Early submissions will be granted additional consideration.

Discussion

50 comments
megakick
megakick

SolidTy all of those Sony games are sequals not new IP. MS is working on new IP.

antoss
antoss

I'll be honest, I bought the slim xbox/kinect bundle, Absolutely happy with my upgrade from xbox's, But the kinect itself.....meh. I had a good run of kinect sports over live, But since then all it does for me is brighten up the t.v from sleep mode when i sit on the couch...handy,but hardly worth a wow factor. Plus here in australia we still dont have speech recognition yet...i believe its coming soon but,well uno ive had it for like a year now. It cant compute the australian accent yet lol. Have a good day :-)

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

@hig1134 Xbot? I am a diehard Sony fan. I play my PS3 not my Xbox on a Sony TV and use Sony brand surround sound headphones. I love SONY but i know that MOVE and Kinect were both failures. Kinects only saving grace is that it can be used outside of gaming, the move can't. Motion controls must die.

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

LOL Love the haters in here. Clearly you do not understand business. MS is basically making a power move with this. 20k is nothing to MS but it will give a small business start-up capitol and could produce High quality innovation. Another genius move by MS.

Haasdude
Haasdude

Hey Microsoft, I've got the answer to all of your problems - "The Gunstringer 2." You're welcome, I accept cash or check.

JusticeFromSeed
JusticeFromSeed

@vega13mv Have you ever actually looked at what percentage of the games the console developer actually makes? Not a lot. A good chunk of the AAA titles, in MS's case, but very few of the grand total. Sony makes even less. Nintendo probably makes the most out any of them, in terms of quantity, but the fewest in terms of percentage. Long story short: it's expected that 3rd parties will make these games. Don't like it, complain to them. What you're doing in akin to buying a Vizio tv and blaming Vizeo for no good channels.

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

They just made the hardware...throw it on the table and ask developers to make something amazing with it....Kinect is actually a very innovative piece of equipment but the games...not so hot :D

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Even though this is unlikely to generate new videogames for kinect. It can lead to some interesting ideas. The hospital operating room application was the best. So 3 months 20,000 to actually "screw around" and "hack" the kinect device. The idea sounds interesting. Even if no videogames result.

endorbr
endorbr

Give me $20,000 and I'll tell you what to do with Kinect... Stop making it.

vega13mv
vega13mv

wow, even MS doesn't know what the hell to do with it so they're paying people to come up with something. Here's a $20,000 idea MS, make good games instead.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

I hope they come up with games that don't suck.

stomponyahead
stomponyahead

I have a Kinect, the only thing this thing is good for is netflix. What a shame.Game developers arent even freaking trying to make use f it. Thx alot microsoft. :(

zulwalks
zulwalks

wonder if this is world wide

zulwalks
zulwalks

@cr8ive they did but then they ignored......as long as they don't sell the stuff they made MS was okay with it.....but this is to see whether if with enough incentive, they can make a software that they can actually sell. Of course they won't buy every person that knows how to hack a kinect......that would be human trading

Hig1134
Hig1134

@Oldboy08 Move is beter for games than kinect, xbot.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

So then.. Who wants to set up a 'team'? That $20,000 sure as hell sounds nice!

Agelu
Agelu

Every once in a while MS comes with a fairly important piece of tech.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

In other words, MS will pay you and a team $20,000 for your ideas. Nice.

cr8ive
cr8ive

And yet when the first kinect hackers started to appear, MS were very vigilant trying to shut them down... ...then the first rule of MS kicks in... "If you can't beat them... buy them!"

random515
random515

So, wait, the Kinect incubator isn't something you can put a Kinect in and have it grow into something good? Damn.

jlsgamespot
jlsgamespot

What qualifies for the Kinect Accelerator? 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…hmmm, the possibilities 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 Go ahead, surprise us! Reference: http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/Templates/Template.aspx?DynamicPageId=51 Guys looks like Microsoft has Big plans for Kinect technology. Plans that include, and far exceed the Gaming Arena. Watch out. Microsoft is on the move yet again.

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

Kinect is a failure as a gaming controller. So is PS move? Is that even the name? I cant remember since it's been so long since I've heard about it. If these companies make motion controllers for the next gen...it will be the end of hardcore gaming.

Mr_arizona
Mr_arizona

@iamdanthaman Where does it saying giving away $20,000? It says offer $20,000 for businesses to use the tech for user interface purposes. You can expect M$ will be getting some money back as it's like a investment. The 1 thing it is not focusing on is hardcore gamers. Where is the $20,000 for companies to give us awesome Kinect games or use Kinect in addition to a controller? I'm speaking mostly as a gamer and right now the selection sucks and is only awesome if you love dancing and avatar games. It's potential in gaming is lacking severely and it's at most getting lazily forced into worthwhile games.

steelmouth
steelmouth

sound like a great oppotunity for those trying to make it in the tech world, i mean win or lose just the exposure is a big big oppotunity bravo MS lets do this more offen

Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

Im afraid the majority of the audience were kids.... Release some good mature games for kinect.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Sounds like an awesome program. I wish I had some time and a few like minded friends.......

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

If Kinect can help make a better spy drone, robot eye, sensor of any kind that's good use of the tech, as a gaming controller it's an absolute failure and should be taken out of the equation.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Still holding on to Kinect, I see. I wonder how long it'll be before there's a kinect 2?

iamdanthaman
iamdanthaman

@Mr_arizona Are you really going to comment on an article about MS giving away $200,000 to develop new creative uses for Kinect by saying that they are afraid to explore its potential? What exactly are they trying to accomplish here, is not explore its potential?

Mr_arizona
Mr_arizona

Kinect is a good piece of tech and has tons of potential. But M$ is afraid to explore its potential and is happy just making Kinectimals and goofy avatar games. I'm not saying turn our favorite games into Kinect only games but blend it like some Wii games do. You can either use a controller or the Kinect. In some cases both at once. Just like a system seller give us a Kinect seller game.

IceJester45
IceJester45

Looks like we're probably going to have a new Xbox by 2013, anyway. I'm more interested in that than I am an extra push for Kinect games. Kinect has some good stuff --"Dance Central 2," "The Gunstringer," "Child of Eden" -- but it isn't exactly the game changer the new console will be.

sulaymanqazi
sulaymanqazi

JUST KILL THE F***ING KINECT AND END PRODUCTION ON IT! no one wants kinect anymore...

Ovirew
Ovirew

@garland51 You, sir, make a very good point.

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

...for a second there I thought they were talking about incubators used for babies.

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

it deserves a casket instead,,,it looks like a robot head

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft...why not just do away with Kinect completely & give 360 owners (& future Xbox owners) some 1st/2nd party games?

blaznwiipspman1
blaznwiipspman1

kinect is pretty fun actually, its better than the gimmick wii, and I can definitely see this tech in the next xbox.

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

why didnt they do this before the release of the Colossal piece of sht

CrossFire312
CrossFire312

Glad I didn't get one. Kinect is cool and all, but not for games.

Mr_arizona
Mr_arizona

Wow it is helping doctors and pilots. That is good. Maybe one day Kinect can be used for hardcore gamers someday?

-Fromage-
-Fromage-

They better not come up with more dancing games.

hippiesanta
hippiesanta

Kinect should be use for spaceship and work place... not games

Icehearted
Icehearted

Smacks of desperation. Where are the huge Kinect titles? Where are the original ideas that will make an iffy $150 controller worth the price? Where are the AAA? I know I'm being a little cynical here, but building the controller without having the really big titles ready was putting the cart before the horse, and if they can't come up with anything of note, this would seem like the next logical step to take. It seems like they're just fishing now.

RobinGS
RobinGS

I think we'll have to wait for Ghost Recon FS and other major titles that will use kinect to see what it will be like in a real game. Kinect Sports 1/2 are the best use so far. Maybe this Novemeber update we're meant to be getting will improve Kinect use...

svaubel
svaubel

So I guess M$ has already forgotten what it was originally designed for: games. Guess i'll trade it in somewhere since they seem to not care about actually making games for it.

WiseLyrics
WiseLyrics

Now that's how you Kinect with the world!

kirbymaster5
kirbymaster5

Because lord knows Microsoft doesn't know what to do with it other than keeping Rare from making good games.

zzamaro
zzamaro

Wow, interesting. Oh, and Kinect: It only does everything except games.