One of the highlights of last year’s Blur conference was involvement we saw from regional Kinect hacking groups. We even had several “kinect hacks” showcased on the exhibit floor.
The release of the Kinect opened up a whole new landscape of hacking in HCI. Pre-Kinect, working on next-gen user interfaces required a) a research lab or b) lots of money. Post-Kinect, hackers everywhere were opening up ideas, lowering the barrier to entry, and shaking things up.
The Kinect Accelerator is run by the good folks from TechStars and backed by Microsoft. If you get accepted into the program you get 20k, office space, a TON of Microsoft resources, Kinect/Xbox SDKs, mentorship — and it all ends with a demo day, where you’ll pitch angels and VC’s to get your Kinect startup funded!
This is, in short, AWESOME for the HCI community. In my short time exploring this area of research, I’ve quickly noticed how large the gap is between academia and commercialization. If next-gen HCI is going to achieve it’s full potential, it must get OUT of the lab and into the hands of users and buyers. The Kinect Accelerator is a MASSIVE opportunity for hackers and engineers working in this area to jump start their startup.
I can personally vouch for the folks at TechStars — they’re friends, awesome people, and some of the smartest people in the startup world. If you are fortunate enough to get into the Kinect Accelerator, you will come out realizing tremendous benefits.
So, spread the word, apply yourself, get folks involved.