‘Mind-Blowing Wearables’ for Health, Meditation, Doing Good

At CES in Las Vegas, CTA chief economist Shawn DuBravac gathered three wearable creators that demonstrate the diversity current in the field and hint at the future of this sector. InteraXon showed off Muse, a headband that monitors brainwaves, with an initial use case of helping people learn to meditate. UNICEF Ventures creates a fitness band that motivates kids to “unlock” food for malnourished children via exercise. And MC10 aims to make wearables invisible to the user, with a range of products that fit on the body in unobtrusive ways. Continue reading ‘Mind-Blowing Wearables’ for Health, Meditation, Doing Good

CTA Research on Displays with Focus on OLED, 4K and HDR

In a CTA Research Summit data-centric presentation at CES, the organization’s senior director of market research Steve Koenig summed up the recent trends in TV displays and predicted future directions. Although the TV display is besieged by competition from smartphones and tablets, interest in purchasing a TV is still strong. A recent CTA poll showed that, in the next 12 months, 33 percent plan to buy a smartphone and 29 percent want a TV, followed by smaller percentages for laptops, tablets and video game consoles. Continue reading CTA Research on Displays with Focus on OLED, 4K and HDR

Future of Artificial Intelligence for Enterprise and Consumers

Proponents of artificial intelligence are quick to point out that, as Google searches and Siri exemplify, it’s nothing new. In fact, panelists talking about “The Future of Artificial Intelligence” at CES described their own and others’ efforts in the field dating back to 2007. But a combination of a new trend in collecting and curating massive amounts of data, along with widespread cloud usage, is opening to the doors to more platforms and applications for artificial intelligence in enterprise and consumer markets. Continue reading Future of Artificial Intelligence for Enterprise and Consumers

Hollywood & Media: No One Owns Customers, Metadata Rules

The argument over who owns customers is over. “The customer will own himself more than ever,” says Ipsos executive Jake Dorn. “Who will own the data/metadata and who will make it actual? That’ll have a huge impact on the experience we see in the future.” TiVo executive Evan Young agrees. “We see people rebelling,” he says. “They’re shifting their habits to the media that suits their need, dropping on and off [outlets].” ICM’s Jonathan Perelman adds, “the consumer doesn’t care where it is or how it’s been made.” Continue reading Hollywood & Media: No One Owns Customers, Metadata Rules

CES: Merging Content with New Tech in a Fragmented World

Americans look at their cell phones 8 billion times a day, says Deloitte & Touche’s Craig Wigginton, who moderated a panel on “Merging Content With New Technologies.” Wigginton recited a flurry of statistics that underline today’s extreme fragmentation, a reality that challenges all content companies: Millennials check their smartphones 74 times a day, and 87 percent of them use it while watching TV. Meanwhile, 42 percent of Americans now use streaming services and over 50 percent of millennials watch on a small screen. Continue reading CES: Merging Content with New Tech in a Fragmented World

Media Networks Look at Platforms, Brands, Game-Changers

In a multi-channel, multi-device and multi-platform world, any given network finds it increasingly difficult to differentiate itself from the others. Good programming isn’t enough when so many outlets are producing so many quality shows. This was the dilemma that panelists wrestled with in a conversation on “Hollywood Media: Platforms and Brands.” One clear message was that a younger generation doesn’t make distinctions among screens, as long as they are getting the content they want. Continue reading Media Networks Look at Platforms, Brands, Game-Changers

Kapture Audio Debuts Sensor-Based Recording Tech at CES

In discussing CES 2016 trends, Consumer Technology Association CTO Shawn DuBravac identified “ambient sensing,” or the ability of sensors to monitor and measure data in continuous time. On the stage at CES, he showcased a product that exemplifies some of the innovation possible with ambient sensing. Kapture Audio, a wearable platform and app, enables users to capture 60-seconds of audio and share it with others. DuBravac interviewed co-founder Mike Sarow about the device and its capabilities. Continue reading Kapture Audio Debuts Sensor-Based Recording Tech at CES

CES to Break Records, Showcase Key Tech Trends for 2016

CES 2016 will be the largest in the organization’s 49-year history, says chief economist Shawn DuBravac. With 2.4 million square feet of exhibit space — equal to 50 football fields — the show is expected to welcome 150,000 attendees, including 45,000 international visitors from 150 countries. DuBravac reported that the name of CES producer the Consumer Electronics Association has changed to the Consumer Technology Association, to better reflect its current mix of members including Uber, Lyft, Snapchat and Airbnb. Continue reading CES to Break Records, Showcase Key Tech Trends for 2016

Global CE Industry Impacted by Strong Dollar, China Slowdown

The global economy is getting back on track, says CTA senior director of market research Steve Koenig, but tech spending is down, with growth moderate or negative in key sectors including TV, smartphones, laptops and tablets. The strongest U.S. dollar in 13 years makes it “unfavorable to conversion of global currencies.” “GDP growth is moderate and uneven,” he said. “We see disparate fortunes between advanced markets and developing economies. And everyone is dealing with the slowdown in China. It’s a very, very mixed bag.” Continue reading Global CE Industry Impacted by Strong Dollar, China Slowdown

Pandora Ends Long Fight with ASCAP, BMI Over Royalty Rates

Pandora Media has ended its ongoing legal battles with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) over royalty rights, without disclosing the details of their new licensing agreement. Pandora previously licensed both performing-rights group’s catalogs based on rates that had been determined by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan that sets music royalty fees when the parties can’t agree. ASCAP and BMI currently represent a combined collection of 20 million songs. Continue reading Pandora Ends Long Fight with ASCAP, BMI Over Royalty Rates

SpaceX Closer to Space Travel with Successful Rocket Mission

In a first, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) successfully sent a rocket into space and then back to earth, where it landed, standing and in one piece, near the launch site in Florida. For SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk, the success marks another major step towards the ultimate goal of sending people to Mars. This is the company’s first flight in half a year; its last rocket launch, carrying supplies to the International Space Station, ended in the rocket’s complete destruction. Continue reading SpaceX Closer to Space Travel with Successful Rocket Mission

CES: Ford/Google Partnership Highlights Autonomous Cars

At CES 2016, a record-breaking 464 automotive electronics companies will exhibit a broad range of new developments, with trends from VR/AR interfaces to modular infotainment systems. Going head-to-head with Tier 1 auto suppliers are Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, which are targeted for adoption as native interfaces. From automakers, Ford is expected to announce a partnership with Google to create self-driving vehicles, a synergistic pairing that boosts both companies’ fortunes. Continue reading CES: Ford/Google Partnership Highlights Autonomous Cars

Holiday Season Top Movies Heavily Pirated Before Releases

Shortly after screeners were sent to voters for awards consideration, some of Hollywood’s top movies of the current holiday season — most notably “The Revenant” and “The Hateful Eight” — have been pirated. Within a 24-hour period after being posted by Hive-CM8 and other piracy groups, “The Revenant” was downloaded to over 739,580 unique IP addresses, and “The Hateful Eight,” to 569,153 IP addresses. Both are slated to premiere on Christmas Day. “Creed,” although already released, logged 499,082 illegal downloads. Continue reading Holiday Season Top Movies Heavily Pirated Before Releases

Apple Plans to Leverage Hi-Res Audio Format for Streaming

Apple Music subscribers are poised to enjoy the results of recent Apple development of the new Hi-Res Audio format with an expanded 96kHz, 24-bit sampling rate. The Hi-Res Audio format leverages the high fidelity audio output capability of Apple’s new Lightning ports, which were introduced last year and utilized by Philips, JBL and others for Lightning-equipped headphones. Japanese site Macotakara, with input from inside sources, says Apple Music will debut Hi-Res music streaming next year. Continue reading Apple Plans to Leverage Hi-Res Audio Format for Streaming

‘Star Wars’ Smashes Box Office, Rallies Blockbuster Strategy

On its opening weekend, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” demolished box office records — as well as the trope that crowds no longer throng to movie theaters, even in the first days. The Walt Disney Company’s latest “Star Wars” movie brought in about $517 million globally, a success that is stunning in its size and scope, and that underscores Hollywood studios’ efforts to focus on repurposing the blockbuster, from “Avatar” to “Frozen.” According to Disney, 3D screenings account for 47 percent of the gross. Continue reading ‘Star Wars’ Smashes Box Office, Rallies Blockbuster Strategy