Microsoft Kinect is mostly known as the motion sensing device you hook up to your Xbox to track movement on screen while playing games. But an accelerator program at Microsoft is challenging entrepreneurs to create innovative ways to use the Kinect and applying it to more than just games.
Eleven teams of entrepreneurs worked 13 weeks with $20,000 to fine-tune their creations and presented their ideas to a room full of investors on Thursday in Seattle. The companies were selected from 500 that applied from around the world.
The Microsoft accelerator program is accepting application for its fall class of startups from now until July 13. The upcoming program will “build on the success of the Kinect class and offer a fall class focused on Windows Azure and cloud-based startups,” notes Microsoft in a press statement.
Microsoft provided explanations of each of these startups:
Freak’n Genius makes it possible for anyone to animate instantly using Kinect for Xbox.
GestSure Technologies has developed a device that allows surgeons to navigate patient MRI and CT scans in the operating room while maintaining sterility.
Developed while coaching some of the most elite athletes in the world, IKKOS is changing the way the world learns movement by using Kinect. The product aims to assist athletes in performing better than they thought possible through teaching physical movement faster than traditional methods. The product is also being validated to teach stroke patients how to regain movement with Dr. Richard Macko, director at the Veterans Administration Center of Excellence for Exercise & Robotics in Maryland.
Kimetric uses Kinect for Windows sensors strategically placed across a store to gather useful data, helping a retailer better understand consumer behavior and, at the same time, allowing the creation of a new interactive shopping experience for customers.
Jintronix uses Kinect for Windows to track a patient’s movements as he or she performs rehabilitation within a virtual environment,
increasing accessibility and engagement while lowering cost. Jintronix uses the depth-sensing and gesture technology of Kinect for Windows to improve healthcare and rehabilitation.
Manctl seeks to bring 3-D capture to the masses by producing 3-D scanning software solutions based on consumer-grade depth
sensors such as Kinect for Windows. With their main product Skanect, French co-founders Nicolas Burrus and Nicolas Tisserand challenge other expensive and complex 3-D scanning solutions by offering a cost-effective way of producing real-world 3-D models of people, places and things.
NConnex is designed to allow for 3-D room scanning using Kinect for Windows. Their product, NConnex Designer, allows users to digitally place furniture in their homes and get a feel for sense of space before purchasing.
Based in Los Angeles, Styku is empowering consumers to “try before they buy” using a virtual fitting room technology enabled with Kinect for Windows.
ubi interactive can turn any surface into a 3-D, multitouch screen with Kinect for Windows.
Voxon, based in New York, is developing the first open hardware reference designs and standards for “voxie” volumetric 3-D movie capture and display with the introduction of the VoxieCam,
VoxieStage and VoxieBox. The founders are eager to release these kits into the creative community so visual artists, makers and game designers can begin building experiences that will usher the public into the volumetric age of “holographic” entertainment and education.
Zebcare uses Kinect for Windows to monitor the well-being of seniors in real time, without the use of images or video. Zebcare provides ongoing reassurance that loved ones are active and well.
Check out this video of Microsoft executives below: