RLV News has found out much more about the nature of the new prize that will be announced at the Wired NextFest. Check out the teaser video from the X PRIZE Foundation to learn more. Space.com also has an article about it, and the Wired blog has an article titled "Largest Space Prize Ever to Be Announced at Wired's NextFest September 13th" by Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides.
I thought for several reasons that the announcement would be for the opening of the Automotive X PRIZE. However, I also thought it could be for a space prize, since the X PRIZE Foundation is the "Official Space Sponsor" of the Wired NextFest, and it would make sense, after all, for the official space sponsor to announce a space prize. Happily, my first guess was wrong, and we seem to have 2 major prizes (automotive and space) on the way!
I also imagined one particular organization (you all know its name) as a likely sponsor of the new space prize. I won't even say which one I suspect it is, since it would just be speculation. I don't know anyone in the X PRIZE Foundation or this organization - but I wrote a paper on one of this organization's activities in grad school before I even got interested in space prizes. Since then many of my speculations in that paper have come true, so I'll indulge in one more speculation. If I'm right, that part of the announcement will be almost as interesting as the details of the new prize itself.
Hmmmm ... the largest space prize ever ... does that include Bigelow's America's Space Prize?