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chat with companies in Microsoft's Kinect Accelerator program
05-24-2012, 01:08 AM
Post: #1
chat with companies in Microsoft's Kinect Accelerator program
http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/23/kinec...#continued

4 participants in the Kinect Accelerator program (for developing Kinect apps) were interviewed by Engadget. The following are excerpts. for full text, refer to the link:
Freak'n Genius

Freak'n Genius co-founder Kyle Kesteron is a former illustrator and toy developer and current entrepreneur. The genesis of his company dates back to November of last year, when he participated in a Seattle Startup Weekend and emerged with a couple of partners and an idea for a platform that lets people create their own high-quality cartoons. You see, animation is a difficult, labor intensive process that requires a unique set of skills, but with a bit of software and a Kinect sensor bar, most anyone can create South Park-style animations.


In practice, the way it works is relatively simple. First, users create and import their own background and character illustrations and photos or choose from Freak'n Genius-provided content. That content can then be manipulated and adjusted via hand gestures to customize and set the scene. Then, like digital marionettes, Kinect allows the characters to mimic your movements and speak when you do. Up to two people can control characters at a time, but layered recording is available so that one person can animate multiple characters. Once you've made your masterpiece, you can easily share the results on Facebook or YouTube.

Kesteron told us that Freak'n Genius is initially bound only for Xbox, as it naturally fits in with the console's Kinect Fun Labs project.

GestSure Technologies

GestSure Technologies, for one, aims to put Kinect in operating rooms to make life easier on surgeons and nurses. Currently, doctors must prep for surgery by examining and memorizing the results of patient MRI and CT scans because they can't be used in the OR. Should a surgeon need to reference such results in the midst of a surgery, he has to either instruct an assisting nurse to leave and obtain the info needed or scrub out and get the data himself. Either method takes time, which is less-than-ideal (to say the least) when someone's life potentially hangs in the balance.

Enter Jamie Tremaine, a mechanical engineer, whose mind began to reel with the potential provided by Kinect back in November of 2010. The week of Kinect's release, Tremaine was out running with his buddies, general surgeon Dr. Matt Strickland and software engineer Greg Brigley, and the idea to leverage Kinect's gesture controls for use in operating rooms was hatched. GestSure Technologies was the result of that jogging epiphany, and within three weeks the first prototype was built.

[Image: gest-sture.jpg]

The device has already been tested in operating rooms, and FDA registration of the device is expected to be complete in less than two weeks. After that, the devices can be sold implemented in medical facilities all over the US.

Kimetric

Kimetric is an outfit from Argentina, founded by brother and sister Alejandro and Florencia Muther, that's finding ways to put Kinect to work for store owners to help them manage their business by collecting customer data and creating contextually aware store displays.

By using Kinect, however, Kimetric can acquire a wealth of consumer data, such as: how many people stop to view a product, customer movements within the store, what products they handle, but don't purchase, plus the height, size, age and ***** of those customers. Additionally, Kinect can identify which product a customer is handling and trigger a nearby display to show corresponding item information.

Kimetric uses one or more Kinect sensors strategically placed throughout an establishment to gather data tailored to individual store requirements, and provides that info to store owners via cloud-based portal or in-store solution. For those of you concerned about such a system invading your privacy, we were assured that it neither tracks individuals nor collects specific customer info, and the information gathered is only available to retailers in aggregate form.

Styku

Styku's a start-up that aims to put virtual fitting rooms in homes and retail outlets.

With a background in digital imaging, Sareen set out to make an inexpensive body scanner that could utilize Tukatech's technology to better serve the clothes-buying public. His proof-of-concept was crafted from 22 webcams and some custom code, but when Kinect came out, he realized that he could use the sensor bar instead.

In retail guise, the virtual fitting room works using a couple of Kinects to scan your body in about three seconds to glean your measurements and create your digital doppelgänger. (Those at home with only one Kinect can do the same by doing a slow twirl in front of the sensor bar.) Measurements in hand, the system can then find clothes in your size from a retailer -- or facilitate the creation of custom threads, depending on the use case -- and virtually try them on via the avatar.


Now, the big difference between Styku and other, similar Kinet-based clothing solutions, is the fact that it provides more accurate fitting by using Tukatech's 3D cloth physics simulation software. That technology not only lets you see how the clothes will look on your body, but also provides a tension heat map to see precisely where an item fits too loosely or too tightly. The best part is, once you've made your avatar, its measurements are a part of your Styku account that's accessible on the web and at participating online and brick and mortar merchants.

All four of these start-ups are still in the midst of being mentored by Microsoft's finest business and technical minds, but they're currently on schedule to pitch their ideas to a room full of deep pockets come June 28th. That's when the Accelerator program finishes up, and each will take the next step towards turning their Kinect-minded creativity into successful (and presumably profitable) businesses.


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05-24-2012, 01:41 AM
Post: #2
Lightbulb RE: chat with companies in Microsoft's Kinect Accelerator program
If Freak'n Genius is released on the Xbox 360 then they should see if they can do a deal with South Park Studios for a South Park DLC pack! Big Grin It's a shame Microsoft's South Park exclusivity deal has just ended otherwise they probably would have been able to just let Freak'n Genius have a South Park DLC pack via that deal.
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07-01-2012, 10:11 PM
Post: #3
more details on Kinect programs coming soon
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/07/01/micros...#continued

If you have an idea and want to submit directly to Microsoft, here's your chance!


the following are excerpts:

Microsoft's Kinect accelerator program, furnished by entrepreneurship incubator TechStars, recently gave 11 teams 13 weeks and $20,000 each to polish their motion-sensing ideas and present them to a team of investors this Thursday in Seattle. The startups range from a system that allows surgeons to navigate MRI and CT scans in the operating room, to an in-store camera system that tracks shoppers' behavior.

Of the final creations, three are made for the medical field, four are based in tracking or innovating consumer behavior, two are animation-based, one can help athletes train and one is that awesome 3D surface app.

Microsoft is accepting applications for its fall 2012 accelerator class, Windows Azure and cloud-based startups, right here.

Below check out the full descriptions of all 11 entrants, as provided by Microsoft.
  • 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.


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