Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Input Devices Microsoft Games

Microsoft To Back Kinect-Based Startups 200

Posted by timothy
from the cheaper-than-going-through-hr-dept dept.
angry tapir writes "Microsoft has announced a program designed to help 10 developers or startups launch businesses around products for Kinect, the controller that senses motion and voice. Developers with Kinect applications for the Xbox or Windows are invited to apply to the Kinect Accelerator program, even though Microsoft does not yet allow the sale of products based on Kinect for Windows."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft To Back Kinect-Based Startups

Comments Filter:
  • Yay (Score:2, Insightful)

    Oh goodie, more motion control games. A good control scheme should minimize the amount of movement required for me to interface with the game.
    • Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, 2011 @07:54PM (#38119836)

      A good control scheme allows the player to have fun playing the game. Go back to your cave.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dahamma (304068)

        You clearly haven't tried the Kinect. Currently it satisfies neither of those.

        • by Teeroy32 (2512400)
          what, my gf, my daughter and I have lots of fun playing kinect, shits all over wii, least we don't have a problem with controllers flying across the room
          • by Dahamma (304068)

            Ok, my comment was slightly harsh :) What games have you liked? I have tried a couple and they are awful. Two examples:

            Kinect Adventures: brain dead version of dodgeball (but where you try to get hit). Fun for about 3 minutes. And a whitewater rafting game where you control a raft by leaning and *jumping*? Seriously?

            Forza 4: basically you sit in front of the TV holding your arms out to steer. The missing part? Pedals! it can't detect that, so it just decides to accelerate & brake for you. Eve

    • Re:Yay (Score:5, Interesting)

      by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @08:17PM (#38119966) Journal
      What about utilities? Consider an image viewer program. Displaying porn, naturally. Your hands are probably not free (or covered with lube). What if it did motion detection on your cock? Slowing down (or softening up) means you're bored with the current image so it will show something else.
      • Re:Yay (Score:5, Funny)

        by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @09:07PM (#38120200) Homepage Journal
        Microsoft are already aware [latimes.com] of sex-themed software for Kinect, and have rejected licensing and support for that purpose. As others have pointed out ad-nauseum, it's very hypocritical - You can massacre a whole room full of innocent bystanders in Modern Warfare 2, but you can't pinch a virtual tittie?

        It's a shame, because Microsoft and its licensees are missing out on so much potential revenue. Your idea would be well-suited to those minigames between stages where both players have to hammer both buttons as fast as they can, and the first one to inflate the balloon or destroy the car won. Except, instead of pressing the buttons, you're jacking off. Against another man, who is standing right next to you. That would be a cool arcade.
        • by rachit (163465)

          It's a shame, because Microsoft and its licensees are missing out on so much potential revenue. Your idea would be well-suited to those minigames between stages where both players have to hammer both buttons as fast as they can, and the first one to inflate the balloon or destroy the car won. Except, instead of pressing the buttons, you're jacking off. Against another man, who is standing right next to you. That would be a cool arcade.

          There is an SNL episode [hulu.com] about that (Wii, not Kinect, though)

    • Re:Yay (Score:5, Informative)

      by CmdrPony (2505686) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @08:18PM (#38119970)
      Where does it say they need to be games? Besides, motion controls make a lot of sense for certain things. Note that Microsoft is especially looking for innovators here, and helping get them going by offering $20,000, training and offices. Lots of startups don't have access to such, but have good ideas.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yeah, if I made it a point to steal other people's obvious ideas and patent them, i'd be "looking for innovators" too. Especially the broke and defenseless kind. Fucking sickening what a once great company has become.
    • by arielCo (995647)
      Hi, Dr. Hawkings; I didn't know you posted on /. :)
    • So your ideal interface would be a movie?

  • Rip-off central (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Sunday November 20, 2011 @07:53PM (#38119830) Journal
    You get $20,000, but you have to relocate your team to Seattle for 3 months, AND give up 6% of your business.

    Forget it charlie brown.

    • Re:Rip-off central (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fluffeh (1273756) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @08:00PM (#38119874)

      While I also think that this is a bit rough, it may be within the bounds of acceptable for some start-ups. I can imagine that normally VC companies would take a bigger slice of the pie then 6%, but I am also thinking that the 6% is really just the ticket inside the door. If in order to get more money you have to sacrifice more of your stock, then this becomes less and less appealing - even to a one or two man startup with an idea for a cool use.

      The article does come up with a few very interesting apps that are out there - such as giving a doctor the ability to view different x-ray images without having to touch anything. I can imagine that this sort of thing would be VERY useful to an operating room where the doctors aren't supposed to touch anything after they have scrubbed down.

      • Re:Rip-off central (Score:5, Interesting)

        by The Askylist (2488908) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @08:07PM (#38119924)
        How about sign language input? Surely MS could find it in them to develop an interface to turn signing into text? Not sure how good this Kinect thing is (don't game or use Windows), but that's one useful project they could support.
        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          You mean for all those deaf people out there who can't use a keyboard but still have the physical dexterity to sign?

          I'm honestly wondering what the point to that would be. Seems like any use case would be far better suited by some other method.

      • Re:Rip-off central (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday November 20, 2011 @08:08PM (#38119932) Homepage Journal

        The article does come up with a few very interesting apps that are out there - such as giving a doctor the ability to view different x-ray images without having to touch anything. I can imagine that this sort of thing would be VERY useful to an operating room where the doctors aren't supposed to touch anything after they have scrubbed down.

        Wow, that's the first time I've heard of anything a gesture-based (i.e. Minority Report) interface would be good for. Allowing a surgeon to manipulate an image display without touching anything is just cool.

        As to the costs of joining the program (moving to Seattle, 6% cut, etc), it might be worth it if you get to have face-to-face contact with the engineers and developers of the Kinect SDK. Having the engineering team right there listening to comments, complaints, and suggestions to improve and modify the SDK would be very helpful.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Uhh, surgeons already have highly-trained operating room nurses to help with stuff like that. And unlike some motion-sensing device, these nurses are damn good at their job and function all of the time, especially when a patient's life is on the line. If the doctor needs the fucking x-ray to be moved, the nurse just does it. He doesn't have to stand there motioning repeatedly like an idiot while the device fails to properly detect and act on these motions.

          • doctors? the eula for windows says not for use at nuke plant's. I think some things don't need stuff like this and are better off doing them with more of a hard button or at least a RF remote.

            Now even banking is a little to far.

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            Watch the Youtube link below. X-rays for surgery were useful in about 1985. Clearly it's much easier for a doctor to rotate and scan through the layers of a CT or MRI on their own rather than have to explain every little way the want it manipulated.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          yeah, surgeons took a really long time to figure out how useful kinect would be to them in the OR.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5Ep3oqicVU

        • by CmdrPony (2505686)
          Besides, 6% really isn't that much for getting $20,000, good training and working with the engineers. Licensing usually costs a lot more and is often out of reach from startups because they just don't have that kind of money. Hell, Apple and Google take 30% just to sell your products on their markets.
          • by oakgrove (845019)
            Er, how much does Microsoft take to sell your product on their market? Bias much?
            • by tomhudson (43916)

              Er, how much does Microsoft take to sell your product on their market? Bias much?

              How much does Microsoft give YOU when they sell a kinect and xbox thanks to your new app?

              Also, wrt Microsoft's app market (since the 30% cut is wrt online app markets) - 100% of zero (to within a rounding error) is a lot less than 70% of Androids' or Apples' markets. No bias at all, just simple math.

              • by oakgrove (845019)
                Exactly my point. I was responding to the ludicrous implication by the ggp that somehow Microsoft is giving some better deal than Google and Apple in their app market. Not sure what bizzaro world he was getting his idea from.
                • by tomhudson (43916)

                  Sorry, my mistake :-)

                  I can't believe how naive everyone is thinking this is such a great deal. You're giving up 6% initially, and since you're going to need more $$$ after the first 3 months, you're going to end up owning less than 6% at the end. After all, it costs a lot more than $20k to get something from prototype to being an SKU sitting in a warehouse somewhere, with proper support in place (technical, sales/marketing, accounting, legal).

                  It reminds me of one place I interviewed at this summer. T

          • by tomhudson (43916)

            The $20k will be eaten up and then some in travel expenses + 3 months of motel rooms, rental cars, meals, etc. This is a raw deal.

            Yes, Apple and Google take 30% to sell your products, but they don't OWN 6% of your business (and any future products you come up with). And when you sell an item on one, you're not paying a cut to the other on that sale.

            • by CmdrPony (2505686)
              Nothing is stopping you from starting new business though. Yes, you will not get the trademarks etc. along, but it's not like they will own you for life.

              I'm also sure you can start developing for Kinect without Microsoft's help too, but that needs your own money. Or venture capital, which usually take a much larger share on the company. It's choices, and many startups don't always have that many. Microsoft is kind of acting as VC here, but offers training and support too.
              • by tomhudson (43916)

                Nothing is stopping you from starting new business though. Yes, you will not get the trademarks etc. along, but it's not like they will own you for life.

                The contract you sign prevents that. You leave, they sue, and get an injunction against you.

                • by CmdrPony (2505686)
                  Got any source for such contract or are you just talking out of your ass?
                  • by tomhudson (43916)

                    Got any source for such contract or are you just talking out of your ass?

                    You've never read a non-compete, have you? Or are you just asking that question out of your a** just to argue for arguments' sake?

                    • by CmdrPony (2505686)
                      So you don't actually have any contract that says "you cannot start your own company after us" for proof.
                    • by Dahamma (304068)

                      Clearly neither you or the other poster you are arguing with even RTFA, so really you are both talking out of your collective asses...

                      This isn't even Microsoft taking a share or paying out money, it's TechStars, a seed-stage VC company. They have been following this $20k for 6% model for the last 5 years (though I do agree with you that it's an absolutely HORRIBLE deal). Apparently they just convinced Microsoft to support them in this program in exchange for getting people working on interesting ideas for

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            You're confusing a percentage of your business being signed over to Microsoft to work with them, with a percentage of each sale being paid to Apple/Google (in return for hosting and handling of payments).

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            Maybe they would recruit a few young, naive new college grads with this, but IMO 6% is huge for a silly $20,000.

            At the last startup I worked at, I think the first round VCs got about 25% for $10M. Second round was even lower percentage. I guess it's just a matter of how big you want to take it, but with $20k for 6% you are valuing your entire company at about $330,000 - an amount so low they are making you take almost all of the risk (assuming you are a decent engineer, you are sacrificing ~$125-150k or m

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        $20,000 for 6% of your business?!

        Sure, VCs would take more than 6%, but in doing so they usually fund your entire company's operations for a couple of years. $20,000 won't cover 2 months of salary for one good engineer.

      • by AuMatar (183847)

        6% for 20K acceptable? 20K will pay for 2 developer months- 3 if your devs are cheap. You're going to pretty much immediately need a new source of funding, which will cost more dilution. This isn't a good deal, it's a complete ripoff. If you're in a state where such a small amount of money is worth giving up equity, keep your day job and run it as a side project.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      You get $20,000, but you have to relocate your team to Seattle for 3 months, AND give up 6% of your business.

      Exactly what do you think you give up in return for VC normally?

      • Re:Rip-off central (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Sunday November 20, 2011 @09:02PM (#38120184) Journal

        The relocating for 3 months is a deal-breaker for ANY small team. They'll be losing money b the time they pay for air fare there and back, meals, rooms, car rental, cost or moving all your equipment (computers, screens, big-screen TVs, consoles) both ways, rental of a secure site, work tables, chairs, (what - you were going to just let them "offer" you a convenient place to work out of that they have the keys to? Are you retarded????) etc.

        So - they're out of pocket AND give up 6% for the "privilege" of doing what they can do w/o relocating and being out of pocket.

        • by bloodhawk (813939)
          Actually if anything the relocation to work with the engineers and receive training is the deal maker here not the breaker. startups are risky at the best of times and good guidence and training is invaluable.
          • Re:Rip-off central (Score:4, Insightful)

            by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @09:25PM (#38120286)

            startups are risky at the best of times and good guidence and training is invaluable.

            Here's two useful pieces of guidance which have been well proven through the years:

            1. Never start a land war in Asia.
            2. Never get into a 'partnership' with Microsoft.

          • by tomhudson (43916)

            I guess you didn't read the actual article. You'll be competing against the rest of the world - this is not a "every contestant is a winner" - so, if you don't have a product already mostly running, you won't get in the door.

            If you do have a worthwhile product, you already have the engineering mostly licked, right? And do you really want to trade the "opportunity" to share your work and ideas with them and lose money at the same time?

        • Re:Rip-off central (Score:4, Informative)

          by Baloroth (2370816) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @09:24PM (#38120278)

          (what - you were going to just let them "offer" you a convenient place to work out of that they have the keys to? Are you retarded????)

          From TFA:

          The 10 people or startups accepted into the Kinect Accelerator program will spend three months in Seattle working out of the Kinect Accelerator office,where they will receive technical training and support and be mentored by entrepreneurs, investors and Microsoft executives.

          So, does reading TFA mean I'm retarded? Yeah, I kinda did think they were going to offer a convenient place to work out of, since working with Microsoft people is kind of the point. What, did you think MS wants them to move there just for shits and giggles?

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          They'll be losing money b the time they pay for air fare there and back, meals, rooms, car rental

          Ok you're obviously on some tirade where you've typed before thinking since they give you 20k to cover such things.

          cost or moving all your equipment (computers, screens, big-screen TVs, consoles) both ways, rental of a secure site, work tables, chairs, (what - you were going to just let them "offer" you a convenient place to work out of that they have the keys to? Are you retarded????) etc.

          Why the hell would you be renting an office when the program clearly provides one? And if your paranoid delusions had you not wanting to utilize the provided spaces (which is clearly a method of funding the startup) then you wouldn't even apply for the program would you dumbass?

          But i suppose it's obvious you lack any knowledge of startups and VC in general since instead of answering my questio

          • by tomhudson (43916)

            Why would I rent a separate office? Because the space they are going to be offering is also going to be used by 9 other sets of strangers, all looking for an edge, all looking for other great ideas to "borrow" if they strike out after the original 3-month period. And with dozens of new faces in one space (even if it's separate offices), that's a great way for equipment to develop feet. After all, it's not like they're going to be keeping "office hours".

            And no, I wouldn't apply considering:

            1. Since th

            • by CmdrPony (2505686)
              You know what, don't fucking apply then if it's such a problem and stop crying. I'm sure there are lots of people who are interested to take on the offer and won't post walls of text about how, gasp, you will have complete strangers working around you. Oh the humanity!
              • by tomhudson (43916)

                You know what, if it's such a great deal, stop b*tching about MY pointing out the potential downsides and go apply for it yourself.

                $20k is not even semi-serious money for a start-up - especially considering that, with the competition, you're going to be at least at the working prototype stage, in which case you should be looking for first-round investors, not seed money.

                • by CmdrPony (2505686)
                  If you read the article it says the can get more funding after the three month period if VC's like the idea. That's how it works.

                  Now, you could instead go directly to VC and ask for funding. But I would think it looks a lot better if you have worked on the product with Microsoft and already have something to show.. and that people already are thinking the idea is great.
                  • by oakgrove (845019)

                    If you read the article it says the can get more funding after the three month period if VC's like the idea. That's how it works.

                    How does this help for the practical expenses the first three months which is what is being discussed anyway? Not only that but if the vc's don't like your idea, you get to go home and hope nobody steals your idea which is almost laughable considering you're dealing with a company Microsoft that is known to steal other companies ideas then patenting them and using the patents to extort other companies years later. How much koolaid have you had today?

                  • by AuMatar (183847)

                    Yes, they can get more funding- for an additional chunk of the company. The VCs won't give them that money just because the idea is cool. They'll want a return on it. So you're selling them 6% of the company for 20K and the chance to sell more of the company to them later.

                    Have you ever worked for a startup or studied the process of starting a company before at all?

                    • by CmdrPony (2505686)
                      It's kind of obvious that VC's want return for their investments. I don't think that's new to anyone, so what are you arguing about? That whole venture capital thing is a scam now?
                • Re:Rip-off central (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by exomondo (1725132) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @10:46PM (#38120660)

                  $20k is not even semi-serious money for a start-up - especially considering that, with the competition, you're going to be at least at the working prototype stage, in which case you should be looking for first-round investors, not seed money.

                  This program is seed money (as well as equipment, office space and mentoring) to develop a prototype to present to investors, and if you'd bothered to actually read the page detailing the program you would know this and wouldn't be posting rubbish like this, it's really not that hard to find out.

                  • by tomhudson (43916)

                    I read it while it was in the submission queue a few days ago. AND I went to the website to check it out. It stunk then and it stinks now.

                    Do you really believe that given a choice between 100 groups that have a prototype, and 1000 that don't they won't pick all 10 from the 100? Doesn't it show which teams are more likely to succeed, and which ones are just blue sky with no ability to execute?

                    It's not THAT hard to get a prototype up and running. You know, something more than screen shots and photoshopp

                    • by CmdrPony (2505686)
                      So then apply and if you aren't picked, finish it anyway. What is your problem? Now you went ranting how Microsoft won't provide their services for everyone that applies, but only to the projects they like best.
                    • by exomondo (1725132)

                      Do you really believe that given a choice between 100 groups that have a prototype, and 1000 that don't they won't pick all 10 from the 100? Doesn't it show which teams are more likely to succeed, and which ones are just blue sky with no ability to execute?

                      No, it doesn't show that at all, having a prototype for an idea is not necessarily better than just having a good business case, if you can't show a proper business application for your prototype then what good is it. Not to mention this program explicitly states that the goal of the program is to develop the prototype and that if you have a prototype already then this program is probably of little use to you. It's common sense and basic reading comprehension, why are you having so much difficulty with it?

                    • by oakgrove (845019)

                      So then apply and if you aren't picked, finish it anyway. What is your problem? Now you went ranting how Microsoft won't provide their services for everyone that applies, but only to the projects they like best.

                      Are you really that dense? 20,000 dollars is not even close to enough money for it to make any sense whatsoever to pick your team up, go to Seattle and shack up with a bunch of other rubes like some nerd version of the apprentice for 3 months for the off chance that you might be the lucky schlub that doesn't get voted off the island. This is a stupid idea for anybody through and through. It reminds me of the lottery. A game where a whole bunch of stupid people make one stupid person look really smart.

                  • by AuMatar (183847)

                    So they're a crappy angel investor instead of a VC. It's still a miniscule amount of money for a large chunk of the company. It's a bad deal.

                    • by exomondo (1725132)
                      Did you actually read what the program is about? It's not 20k for 6%, there's a lot more to it than that.
                    • by AuMatar (183847)

                      It's 20K, some software, and access to talk to the VCs. So basically 20K, 25K tops with the software. Still one of the biggest ripoffs I've ever heard of. Any reputable angel investor will sponsor at least 6 months of development at a decent salary, if not a full year. The amount of money they're offering is laughable, especially with the chunk of the company they're taking.

              • by oakgrove (845019)
                So prosaically debating the efficacy of whether this program makes sense to the people it is aimed at is "crying" now? And you're aiming your complaint at someone that actually has experience dealing with small startups and venture capitalists? Maybe you should "stop crying" and start listening.
              • You know, people have speculated about the existence of a Microsoft tool to post pro-Microsoft blog spam to forums and blogs. I was skeptical that any company would be that stupid, but I guess I was wrong.
            • by exomondo (1725132)

              Why would I rent a separate office? Because the space they are going to be offering is also going to be used by 9 other sets of strangers, all looking for an edge, all looking for other great ideas to "borrow" if they strike out after the original 3-month period.

              So use a little discretion, it's really not that difficult.

              And with dozens of new faces in one space (even if it's separate offices), that's a great way for equipment to develop feet. After all, it's not like they're going to be keeping "office hours".

              Oh yeah, like there's no security, and you certainly wouldn't want to be taking your laptop or hard-drives home with you or anything like that, that's too hard.

              1. Since they're going to be flooded with applications, you'd better have a working prototype already running.

              No, you clearly don't need that at all, you're just speculating now that you have no facts to support that.
              Your company does not necessarily need experience developing with Kinect, but the business concept does need to leverage Kinect capabilities as part of the final offering. Your team mus

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Last startup I was at, it was 25% for $10M initially. Do the math - 100/6 * 20k = $330k. If you think that's the potential total value of your idea, it's really not worth pursuing.

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          Last startup I was at, it was 25% for $10M initially. Do the math - 100/6 * 20k = $330k. If you think that's the potential total value of your idea, it's really not worth pursuing.

          If you've given up 25% then that $10M is not seed funding like the 20k + office + mentoring that this program is offering, that's first round investment which is the end goal of the program.

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            You still don't give up 6% of your company for $20k if you ever hope to have anything left for yourself after a first round of VC funding. $20k won't cover 2 months of salary for one person in a decent engineering job. And your question was "what do you think you give up in return for VC normally", not "what would you give up for a really small angel investment".

            • by exomondo (1725132)

              You still don't give up 6% of your company for $20k if you ever hope to have anything left for yourself after a first round of VC funding. $20k won't cover 2 months of salary for one person in a decent engineering job.

              So what exactly do you expect to give up for your seed funding then? This is pretty much the identical system as used by YCombinator.

              And your question was "what do you think you give up in return for VC normally", not "what would you give up for a really small angel investment".

              Seed funding is a component of VC.

              • by AuMatar (183847)

                You act like YCombinator isn't widely thought of as a horrible rip off. It is. You're always going to give up too much to your first angel investor, but if they aren't going to fund at least a couple of devs for a year, you're best off looking for a better deal or shelving the idea.

              • by Dahamma (304068)

                So what exactly do you expect to give up for your seed funding then? This is pretty much the identical system as used by YCombinator.

                Seriously... $20k ISN'T seed funding, it's petty cash. Joining a startup often means taking a pay cut in return for equity, but if you are working for nothing and giving away significant equity you aren't doing it right. And YCombinator? Yeah...

                Clearly this is all rhetorical for you. I have worked at 3 startups, one that failed two that were acquired. Just trying to give

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      If everything comes out of the 20 large, it might could be tight, especially given the size of one's team, but...

      In the old days we'd conspire together on a large house (cities used to be chock-a-block with family housing), 3+ bedroom houses rent for around two grand, general cost of living is not too bad, and the climate is congenial albeit a bit cloudy and drizzly parts of the year. Seems to me offhand that one oughta be able to cover expenses and have enough left over for a few kegs and shrimp for the b

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        Sure, 2 grand a month - on a 12 month lease. So, you're already at MINUS $4k over the initial $20k allotment and you haven't even bought tickets to get there yet. Plus the non-refundable carpet cleaning deposit, the security deposit and whatever else ... plus utilities (what, you actually want electricity???!!!).

        Furniture? Oops ... Desks, work tables, etc?

        Got any pets? Screwed!

        Got a significant other (I know, this is /., but still ... ) or a kid in school? Double screwed.

        And you've still got to

        • by CmdrPony (2505686)
          Hey, not all of us have so many problems as you seem to have. I can go and work as I please. In fact, I do. I mostly travel and work in Asia though, but if this offer interested me more and I had a viable idea or product, I could easily take it. It's your own damn fault for giving up and setting down at one place and never wanting to move and live again. Not all of us live like that, though.
        • by kermidge (2221646)

          Thank you. Leases, yeah, crap, I'd forgotten about them. I've signed enough, dealt with more, found them sometimes annoying but a little creativity helped get around most of their impediment. Helps to rewrite them before signing, at least it used to. Ditto utilities. I've never signed a lease with a non-refundable clause, so have no knowledge about that. But back in an earlier life I sold real estate and was involved in writing a rent-control ordinance. I guess things have gotten even crappier in the

  • by Anonymous Coward
    They just want to steal your ideas and patent them so they can keep the shakedown gravy train rolling. I read the list you gave barnes and noble. Practically every patent on it was a stolen idea that had been done elsewhere first. And you think I'm going to give you front row seats for my ideas? Fat chance.
    • It seems unlikely that there wouldn't be NDA's involved with this program, despite your apparent inclination toward paranoia.
  • by goruka (1721094) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @08:19PM (#38119974)
    My experience programming Kinect is not very good..
    It fails to detect a very large range of scenarios and poses and goes crazy with objects around the studio thinking it's persons. Put your arms together, show your side or move fast enough and it will get confused.
    It's really easy to make it show broken poses and seems only designed for tracking people front-facing it directly with arms stretched outwards..
    Even the unofficial opensource SDK does much better at keeping track of you than the real thing. Not to mention the enormous input lag.
    So, is it me or has Kinect been hyped enormously for its rather lacking technical capabilities?
  • I misread the headline and thought Microsoft was starting Kinect-based backups.
    • by Andy_R (114137)

      I misread it as K'nex based start-ups, which would be a lot more fun, if not as profitable.

  • Am I the only one (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WiiVault (1039946) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @08:33PM (#38120040)
    who is not that impressed by Kinect? Its a great concept, but between the noticeable lag and issues it has with movement recognition I find most of my Kinect games don't see much playtime when my friends come over and try it for the first time. Kudos to MS for trying something fresh and new, but I just don't think it makes games more fun, or control "better" and instead tends to make me wish for a controller or keyboard. Perhaps its just that programmers haven't figured out how to get good results, but after a year on the shelf I think it might just be not quite up to the task of being a primary interface peripheral.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @09:29PM (#38120306) Journal
    Well, back in 1990s developers fell over themselves to develop applications for the new fangled thingie called MS-DOS. They had a slew of killer products. Lotus-123! Harvard Business Graphics. Word Perfect. dBase III. One by one Microsoft also entered into the same market segment and used its control over the platform to screw the developers and bankrupted them. They were fooled once.

    Then came Mark Andreeson. He thought, "may be if I give my product, the browser, away for free and try to make money by selling tools to create the web browser, may be I can survive". But Microsoft priced its browser below zero and killed his company. The developers were aghast. But they were fretting and fuming but could not do anything about it. Microsoft can just issue a press release saying, "We are thinking of doing XYZ" and the venture capital for startups trying to develop apps that do XYZ vanish like a curl of smoke. They were fooled many times more than once.

    Now, with a plethora of systems available, from Android to iOS to linux to simple plain HTML you think developers would trust Microsoft as far as Ballmer can throw a chair? No way buddy. No way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nickmalthus (972450)
      Yes, the company Micro$oft licensed the Kinect technology from Open Sourced the platform at openni.org and Asus has already has released a Kinect competitor called the Xtion Pro. If someone has a good motion capture product idea they can develop it independently of M$. This is just a ploy by Micro$oft to the troll the community for promising future product ideas so that they can patent the most promising ones for themselves.
      • by rsborg (111459)

        Yes, the company Micro$oft licensed the Kinect technology from Open Sourced the platform at openni.org and Asus has already has released a Kinect competitor called the Xtion Pro. If someone has a good motion capture product idea they can develop it independently of M$. This is just a ploy by Micro$oft to the troll the community for promising future product ideas so that they can patent the most promising ones for themselves.

        Facts are one thing, a proven history of backstabbing and bad faith negotiations is quite another. Microsoft could be making strides in solving world hunger or brokering peace in the middle east, and I'll be wondering who they're screwing over and why. No, it's not reasonable, but they have a *lot* of bad karma to cleanse.

  • Sounds and Feels like the last gasp attempt of the great salesman (Developers, Developers, Developers).

    Dedicated gaming consoles seem like they don't have inertia anymore given the evolution of devices over the last 3 years.

    Sad...They will spend another couple billion dollars before Balmer is ousted.

    Why is it hard for the Board of Directors at Microsoft to see this? Maybe because not hardly one of them uses games?

Cobol programmers are down in the dumps.

Working...