Microsoft is aiming to give a select number of developers a chance to create some new and unique commercial applications for the company's Kinect motion sensor-camera. The program is called Kinect Accelerator, with Microsoft partnering with TechStars, a company that helps technology start ups to receive funding.
The program is currently accepting applications until January 31, 2012. 10 finalists will be chosen from the pool of applicants who will then participate in a development incubation program in Seattle, Washington from March to May 2012. The finalists will receive office space, an Xbox development kit, the Windows Kinect SDK and $20,000 for its initial software investment. While the teams develop their Kinect applications during this time period, they will also receive help and advice from Microsoft representatives along with entrepreneurs and investors.
The culmination of the three month program will be a presentation where the development teams will show off their work to potential investors and venture capitalists along with Microsoft executives and others.
This is clearly a way for Microsoft to quickly expand the possibilities of using the Kinect technology for more than just games. While there are a lot of software creators making non-gaming related Kinect applications just for the fun of it with the current free version of the Kinect Windows SDK, this kind of program might spur them to consider launching their products for commercial use in the future.