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Virtual and Augmented Reality to Have Major Presence at CES

Virtual and augmented reality tools have been around for at least 40 years. In 2014 the next generation of VR and AR hardware was being energetically developed, beta tested, and discussed by the niche VR community. It was also used to create small-scale experiences as part of the marketing campaigns for other entertainment assets. Expect 2015 to be the year when hardware, software, and content companies work towards consumer adoption of VR and AR resources and experiences. Read more

Google Releases Cardboard VR App Update and Android SDK

Google is encouraging more people to check out Google Cardboard, the virtual reality platform and headset that connects to a smartphone. Over 500,000 of the devices shipped this year and now VR apps have their own section on the Google Play Store, featuring apps that include musical performances and exotic locations. Now, the tech giant has released an SDK for Android and Unity, so that developers can continue making apps and crafting their own custom headsets. Read more

Oculus Acquires Nimble VR for its Hand-Tracking Technology

Oculus, the virtual reality company picked up by Facebook in March, has acquired two startups that may bring hand-tracking and better mapping of 3D interiors to the Oculus Rift headset. Nimble VR (formerly 3Gear Systems) is the startup behind Nimble Sense, a camera that connects to the headset and uses Kinect-like technology to track a user’s hands and sync movements to the user’s VR experience. Oculus also bought 13th Lab, a computer vision and augmented reality firm focused on 3D reconstruction. Read more

NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

NBC launched a free 24-hour live broadcast feed over the Internet, which viewers can access if they have a pay TV subscription with certain providers and they live in one of 10 markets across the U.S. Currently, the live feeds can only be viewed on desktop PCs, but NBC plans to add mobile support in early 2015. Other networks, such as ABC and CBS, have launched similar live TV streaming services. NBCUniversal also launched a new campaign to drive viewers to its apps. Read more

AMC Teams with MoviePass to Get Millennials Back in Theaters

Theater chain AMC has partnered with MoviePass, a company that charges moviegoers a subscription fee to attend movie screenings at participating theaters (up to one film per day for a monthly fee). Subscribers will have the option to pay $35 for standard screenings or a $45 premium fee for access to IMAX and 3D features. AMC announced the partnership with MoviePass shortly after reports from Nielsen showed that attendance for young moviegoers continued to drop this year.  Read more

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