Time is Up for Yahoo’s Turnaround, Sale Now On the Table

Since the 2012 hiring of former Google executive Marissa Mayer to improve Yahoo’s fortunes, the company has failed to turn around and is now facing difficult choices. Among many plans devised, the latest occurred last month when executives favored spinning off the company’s main Internet business. That strategy may be abandoned as Yahoo considers a sale of its business, while an activist — and anonymous — investor mounts a proxy fight. Employee morale is said to be low in light of 1,100 layoffs since August 2014. Continue reading Time is Up for Yahoo’s Turnaround, Sale Now On the Table

Oculus Aims for High-End Virtual Reality with $600 Headset

Despite a sticker price of $599 for its new Rift VR headset, Oculus VR has already sold out its preorders, resulting in an extension of its shipping date. The headset, over $100 more expensive than originally predicted, also requires the processing power of a PC that costs in the vicinity of $1,000. Starting in February, Oculus will sell a bundled headset/PC for $1,499. The expense of the Rift is justified, say observers, since its quality needs to sell VR to a public that has, in the main, never experienced virtual reality. Continue reading Oculus Aims for High-End Virtual Reality with $600 Headset

New TV Technology: More Pixels, Faster Pixels, Better Pixels

In a conversation on new TV technology, Dolby Laboratories executive Pat Griffis described the three major ways that new technologies are improving the television image. “The more pixels we have, we get to the point where our eyes can’t see anymore — and we’re almost there,” he said. “Once we have motion, you get motion blur. We fix that by creating faster pixels with higher temporal resolution. The last and most important is how about making every pixel better?” The answer — no surprise to any CES 2016 attendee — is HDR. Continue reading New TV Technology: More Pixels, Faster Pixels, Better Pixels

IEEE Picks Most Interesting Emerging Technologies at CES

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), with more than 430,000 members in over 160 countries, has a pedigree in publishing technical literature and developing international standards. At CES 2016, its members are actively involved in the development and advancement of some of the hottest trends on the show floor. At an end-of-conference session, a group of IEEE members revealed what they found to be the most interesting technologies on display and how they’re working to improve them. Continue reading IEEE Picks Most Interesting Emerging Technologies at CES

Risks and Rewards Grow with the Booming Internet of Things

In case you think the Internet of Things is not yet real, Deloitte & Touche’s Craig Wigginton will set you right. “Ten to 20 billion things are connected today and that will grow to 40 to 50 billion things by 2020,” he said during a CES session. IoT is however, still growing. “Over 90 percent of things that could be connected are still not connected,” he noted. “There’s tremendous potential, with trillions of dollars at stake.” Risks are also at stake, including physical injuries and cyber crime, which costs companies $400 billion a year. Continue reading Risks and Rewards Grow with the Booming Internet of Things

Internet of Things: Five Years of Chaos as Verticals Emerge

When SIGFOX executive Thomas Nicholls thinks about the Internet of Things, he sees its greatest strength as being similar to one of Superman’s powers. “Superman could hear a call for help through walls and at a far distance,” he said. “That’s what IoT is. It’s about enabling us to know what’s happening in the physical world and respond. And it will change and disrupt all industries.” In a CES discussion moderated by Mobile Ecosystem Forum executive Rick Fant, participants predicted that IoT is about to shift into high gear. Continue reading Internet of Things: Five Years of Chaos as Verticals Emerge

4K UHD with High Dynamic Range Most Likely to Be Adopted

A conversation during CES about the future of 4K UHD TV quickly settled on a single point: 4K without HDR is not a winning proposition. “4K married with HDR will be adopted a lot faster than just plain 4K,” said Technicolor executive Mark Turner. “4K is a binary function: you either have 4K or you’re at 1080p. 4K hasn’t really fired passions in the creative community. HDR does, because then you have a wider color palette and have more detail in the shadows and more highlights.” But both 4K and HDR present challenges. Continue reading 4K UHD with High Dynamic Range Most Likely to Be Adopted

Virtual Reality, Mobile and HDR Are the Future of Storytelling

Virtual reality is inevitably part of the conversation when talking about storytelling of the future, the topic of a CES panel moderated by Variety’s Janko Roettgers. “We’re in the first inning,” suggested Condé Nast executive Joy Marcus, about VR. “We’re looking at it as a game that might go into extra innings. But we have an issue with devices and price points.” Google and Samsung have come out with options that work with smartphones, added Marcus. “But the other devices are pretty damn expensive.” Continue reading Virtual Reality, Mobile and HDR Are the Future of Storytelling

Sensors Industry Group Sets the Bar, Sees the Future for IoT

At CES 2016, the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group held its fifth conference to focus on the technologies that quite literally enable the Internet of Things. The group’s executive director Karen Lightman notes that MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) are both sensors and actuators, the latter being the key differentiating factor. “Not all MEMS are sensors and not all sensors are MEMS,” she said. “What’s exciting is that MEMS and sensors still offer new science and new ways of addressing challenging issues.” Continue reading Sensors Industry Group Sets the Bar, Sees the Future for IoT

Mics, Sensors, Natural Language Combine for New ‘Earables’

Audio is finally getting attention as an important component of wearables. Microphone companies are integrating MEMS and sensors to create a new category of “earables.” “Fitness bands and smartwatches have dominated thus far, as a source for sensor data,” says TechKnowledge Strategies principal analyst Mike Feibus, who moderated a panel on the topic at the MEMS and Sensors conference at CES. He identified the user interface — in this case, voice — as having the effectiveness to make earables marketable and profitable. Continue reading Mics, Sensors, Natural Language Combine for New ‘Earables’

How Virtuix Used MEMS and Sensors for Omni-Directional VR

Put on a headset and enter a virtual world for a first person shooter game. Now connect yourself to an omni-directional treadmill and make that VR game fully physical, as you walk forward, backward, crouch and shoot in every direction. That’s what Virtuix president David Allan showed at the MEMS & Sensors conference during CES, detailing how he created a system that allows a user to jump, strafe and generally have fun… without falling over. “The system needs to hold you in place and understand your movements and gestures,” he said. Continue reading How Virtuix Used MEMS and Sensors for Omni-Directional VR

Wearable Form Factors Get Stretchable, Bendable, Lightweight

If MC10 has its way, your next wearable device will be a sticky bandage or temporary tattoo that adheres to your skin and stretches with your every movement. If you’re wearing several on different parts of your body, they’ll synchronize their data. “You achieve stretchability and bendability, which is important when you consider the human body,” said MC10 co-founder/technology vice president Roozbeh Ghaffari. “This allows you to wear systems on your body with minimal discomfort.” Continue reading Wearable Form Factors Get Stretchable, Bendable, Lightweight

Experts Name ‘Five Innovations to Watch’ for the Near Future

What happens when devices, bandwidth and content interplay, asked CES panel moderator Wilson Rothman, personal tech editor of The Wall Street Journal. “We want to talk about the technologies driving the near future of the industry, especially where consumers are involved,” he added. “The next 12 months are an exciting mystery in that area.” The five areas driving the conversation, says Rothman are sensing and processing; natural interfaces; cloud services; wireless bandwidth and over-the-top content. Continue reading Experts Name ‘Five Innovations to Watch’ for the Near Future

Drones Grow Up: More Use Cases, Capabilities, Regulations

With FAA drone regulations newly in place, industry pioneers gathered at CES to describe the issues roiling this growing category. Drones allow people to fulfill the fantasy of flying and thus in our DNA, says 3D Robotics CRO Colin Guinn. The use cases, however, from agriculture to movie making, are very real, generating more attention. That’s why Flytrex Aviation chief exec Yariv Bash predicts we’ll see many more consumer and pro versions, and Parrot chief exec Henri Seydoux notes the drone’s data collection as its key feature. Continue reading Drones Grow Up: More Use Cases, Capabilities, Regulations

Assessing the Impact of VOD, Broadband, Apps and 4K on TV

The consumer is besieged by content ad platform choices and options. A group of broadcast, cable and social media executives gathered during CES to describe how it’s changing their business. “It is crazy competitive,” said Starz CRO Michael Thornton. “You have to make that show not just the best of the season but the best of all time.” Needham & Co.’s Laura Martin put digital in its place, succinctly. “There is no money in digital,” she noted. “Unless you have the powerful economic engine of TV to fund it, you’re losing money.” Continue reading Assessing the Impact of VOD, Broadband, Apps and 4K on TV

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