Gadgets
Microsoft Offers $10K for Unique Kinect Uses
Microsoft wants users to take the Kinect to task in the Gesture Recognition Challenge.
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December 09, 2011 by Rachel Cericola

Forget world domination. Microsoft’s Kinect could soon run your entire home.

Just days ago, Microsoft announced the launch of new voice- and gesture-based controls using the Xbox 360 and the Kinect accessory. Now, they’re looking to add even more functionality—and they’re hoping that users will lead them to those innovations.

Microsoft is sponsoring the CHALEARN Gesture Challenge, via the Australian site Kaggle. The site bills itself as a “crowd-sourcing for geniuses.” We shall soon see, since the contest is calling for users to create new and exciting ways to incorporate the Kinect into daily life both in and outside of the home.

“The goal of this competition is to allow the Kinect to quickly and easily learn entirely new gestures,” says Kaggle’s Jeremy Howard. “A successful solution would mean that a computer or game console user could ‘teach’ his or her system entirely new gestures just by having Kinect watch them. After that, this new gesture would be added to Kinect’s ‘vocabulary.’”

The winning team will score a $10,000 prize, but Microsoft also has $100,000 on hand to license the best solution.

Donnybrook Mail says that Kaggle already has a track record of impressive innovations. Created by Australian Anthony Goldbloom, the site has served as a springboard for solutions for NASA as well as the healthcare field.

The site has also received a huge push from Silicon Valley—as well as a huge investment. Last month, a few unnamed investors put $11 million into the website, which will also bring Kaggle to U.S. audiences.

The CHALEARN Gesture Challenge will run through April 10, 2012. Check out the rules, submission instructions, and other contest info on Kaggle’s official contest page.

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.

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