From day one of the launch of Kinect, Microsoft has not only accepted hackers and academics, they have encouraged them to go beyond the bounds of traditional Microsoft thinking and push the limits of Kinect. In fact Microsoft highlighted the possibilities of Kinect by such hackers and academics at MIX 2011 as you can see in the live demonstration video below!
The program that both Microsoft and TechStars are announcing now is called Accelerator. The Accelerator program will take applications for a class of ten startups through January 25, 2012. They will then take part in a three-month program at Microsoft and get $20,000 in seed funding. The program recognizes that there is a lot of usable technology in Kinect, from its microphone for voice recognition to its 3D depth camera for recognizing human gestures in real-time.