Facebook Testing Mobile Payment Service, Rival To PayPal

Facebook is conducting tests with selected partners regarding a new payment product for online purchases on mobile apps. The service would allow any Facebook user that has provided their credit card to make purchases on partnering e-commerce mobile apps without having to enter billing information. The payment system could provide valuable data for itself and advertisers on shopper behavior and preferences in and out of Facebook. Continue reading Facebook Testing Mobile Payment Service, Rival To PayPal

Pono Music Player Takes on Problems of Compressed Audio

New details have emerged on the Pono music player, musician Neil Young’s music device that intends to play music closest to its original recording quality. The device is expected to be available later this year, and will play all music formats. To play the maximum quality, music must be played on the device itself that will be offered from an online music store. Thousands of albums have been processed to offer the highest quality for Pono. Continue reading Pono Music Player Takes on Problems of Compressed Audio

Disney to Release Infinity Video Game and Related Free Apps

Disney will be releasing its “Disney Infinity” video game that will include two other apps in the pan-Disney character multi-platform game, similar to Activision’s “Skylanders.” The game uses NFC to provide toy interaction with the game. The free game apps are an ideal incentive for players to move to the paid version, where users can purchase additional toy accessories and add-ons that can be used for enhanced game play. Continue reading Disney to Release Infinity Video Game and Related Free Apps

MakerBot Merges with Stratasys and Plans 3D Scanner Launch

The 3D printer manufacturer, MakerBot, will begin selling its Digitizer 3D scanner next week for a yet-to-be-announced price. The company first revealed an early prototype of the scanner at the South by Southwest conference. Users will be able to easily scan and distribute scanned image designs that are compatible with most 3D modeling software. In addition, MakerBot officially announced its merger with Israeli 3D printer and manufacturer Stratasys. Continue reading MakerBot Merges with Stratasys and Plans 3D Scanner Launch

Gates and Myhrvold File Patent: Generating Video From Text

Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold have unveiled another compelling idea — a device or app that can automatically create custom video clips from any selection of text. For Gates and Myhrvold, creating videos from text or images would be a major feat. But the pair have also patented other technologies with major potential, such as a Hurricane Suppression System for the Gulf of Mexico. If the video technology is made, it can have an impact on how students view reading. Continue reading Gates and Myhrvold File Patent: Generating Video From Text

Apple Acquires Video Aggregator Matcha.tv, Fuels Speculation

Apple has acquired Matcha.tv, a Web service that provides users access to videos from various sources. Video aggregation technology has also been appearing in new and upcoming video game consoles. The Matcha.tv site has been shut down and customer data deleted, a move that has created speculation on the reason. Some question if Apple will attempt to change the TV experience with the development of a recommendation system or a cloud-based DVR. Continue reading Apple Acquires Video Aggregator Matcha.tv, Fuels Speculation

Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

The new OmniCam360 camera system uses a collection of cameras to create multiple angles for live televised events such as soccer matches and music concerts. The system provides viewers with the option to choose their viewing angle, including a 360-degree view of the event. The camera was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin, Germany. Viewers can use a computer, tablet or smart TV in order to select views via their virtual cameras in real-time. Continue reading Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

Record Ratings and Illegal Download Spike for ‘Breaking Bad’

The final season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” debuted with its best ever rating of 5.9 million viewers. Part of the high ratings can be attributed to Netflix, where subscribers can watch all previous episodes of the series, providing new viewers with a way to catch up prior to the new season. Along with the high ratings, there was a spike in illegal downloads of “Breaking Bad” episodes. This occurred despite the show being made available within hours across global regions. Continue reading Record Ratings and Illegal Download Spike for ‘Breaking Bad’

Startups Use Spy Cameras and Audio Tech to Stop Film Piracy

Two San Diego startups, Verance Corporation and PirateEye, have developed technologies to prevent and reduce media piracy. PirateEye uses cameras in theaters to scan for illegal recording, while Verance uses an audio watermark to determine if a video on a Blu-ray player is legitimate, and gives purchase options if the disc being played is a pirated version. Both Verance and PirateEye have received funding from film studios for their projects. Continue reading Startups Use Spy Cameras and Audio Tech to Stop Film Piracy

Compact and High End Cameras Suffer Due To Smartphones

Impacted by the growing popularity of camera phones, compact digital camera sales continue to decline, especially for Canon and Nikon. Sales have also suffered among high-end cameras. Combined, Canon and Nikon had 44 percent of all global sales, according to IDC. Camera manufacturers are hoping that high-end models with interchangeable lenses will improve sales. These cameras have higher margins compared to compact cameras, approximately 15 to 25 percent, according to analysts.

Continue reading Compact and High End Cameras Suffer Due To Smartphones

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Invite Resellers to New System

Live Nation Entertainment and its Ticketmaster subsidiary will now offer tickets to be sold by resellers via its new TM+ feature. In order for the new platform to succeed, Live Nation and Ticketmaster must convince resellers, rather than competitors, to use it. The two companies have been looking to boost their role in the $4 billion per year concert ticket reselling market, currently dominated by scalpers and brokers that buy tickets at face value, then resell them for a profit on sites such as eBay’s StubHub.com. Continue reading Live Nation and Ticketmaster Invite Resellers to New System

Augmented Reality App Offers Custom Views of IKEA Catalog

IKEA is launching an augmented reality app that works in conjunction with its AR-capable catalog. Consumers can visualize virtual furniture layouts by essentially superimposing furniture on top of the live view of a smartphone or tablet camera. Consumers select a piece of furniture from the catalog, and point their mobile device toward the physical catalog as a reference point for angle, light, position and size. A virtual version of the furniture will then appear on the device. Continue reading Augmented Reality App Offers Custom Views of IKEA Catalog

MixBit Takes On Vine and Instagram with Video Sharing App

Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, the founders of YouTube, have released a new video creation and sharing app called MixBit. It is similar to other video apps such as Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s Instagram. The app will allow users to capture 16 seconds of video, while Vine’s maximum is six seconds and Instagram’s limit is 15 seconds. MixBit is different from its competitors in that it allows video editing, but others may soon introduce this feature as well. Continue reading MixBit Takes On Vine and Instagram with Video Sharing App

Facebook Expected to Unveil Video Ads for Web and Mobile

Facebook video ads are likely to debut this fall, instead of this summer. The debut has fueled much speculation regarding the amount of revenue that this will generate for the company. The video ads are expected to offer a new way to target advertising to non-broadcast TV watchers. It will be determined what form the much debated videos will take, and if the $2 million price tag will attract businesses and audiences on the Web and mobile devices. Continue reading Facebook Expected to Unveil Video Ads for Web and Mobile

Twitter and Datalogix to Measure Impact of Tweets on Sales

Twitter announced on Thursday a partnership with Datalogix, a marketing company that measures the impact of online advertisements, to develop an “offline sales impact” program. The new program intends to help quantify the effect of promoted and organic (non-advertising) tweets on offline sales for consumer packaged goods (CPG) businesses in the U.S. Twitter plans to offer this program to more verticals and outside the U.S. in the future. Continue reading Twitter and Datalogix to Measure Impact of Tweets on Sales

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