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Kinect Accelerator Program Launched

Kinect-Accelerator-SNOV. 19, 2011 • Having initially discouraged most non-gaming applications that took advantage of the Kinect motion controller, Microsoft has decided to go into the other direction by launching its Kinect Accelerator program to encourage innovative Kinect products. Up to 10 startups or individuals will be accepted into the program. Those chosen will come to Seattle, Wash. for three months to work from the Kinect Accelerator office to receive technical training, mentoring by Microsoft staffers and venture capitalists. They also will receive an Xbox 360 development kit, plus the Windows Kinect SDK, as well as $20,000 in funding. After completing the program, the participants will get aid in presenting their business plans to investors and the media.

Impact: When looking at Microsoft’s current television advertising campaign for the Kinect it is clear how far the focus has gone beyond games. The new ads show the Kinect being used for education, science, medicine, the arts, just about everything except games. Furthermore, the commercials acknowledge that it was the user community that took the Kinect to levels Microsoft had not imagined. It is all pretty inspiring but we still wonder about the long-term commercial potential. The Kinect may sell a bundle but will people really be using it that much after the initial fad wears off?

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