E-Commerce: Walmart Reports Major Growth in Online Sales

Walmart gained momentum in its fight against Amazon, with its online sales growing at its fastest clip in at least five years. Walmart reported a 69 percent increase in its e-commerce business in the first quarter of 2017. The growth seems to reflect concerted investment in online expertise and acquisitions. “All of a sudden, Walmart is the primary competitor to Amazon, as opposed to a fragmented cluster of people,” said Greg Portell, a partner at consulting firm A.T. Kearney. Continue reading E-Commerce: Walmart Reports Major Growth in Online Sales

Sea Change in Guest Experience Announced by Carnival CEO

When CTA announced Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, as the opening keynote of CES 2017, it was reasonable to anticipate a major announcement and speculate that the defined characteristics of cruise ships and travelers could be a proving ground for smart tech and the promise of IoT technologies. This morning, Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, introduced the development of Ocean Medallion, what he described as “the world’s first interactive guest experience platform capable of transforming vacation travel into a highly personalized and elevated level of customized service.” Continue reading Sea Change in Guest Experience Announced by Carnival CEO

How to Navigate 2.5 Million Square Feet of CES Exhibit Space

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, CES opens in Las Vegas this week with 3,800 companies showcasing their latest products across almost 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space. Broad but logical thematic lines distribute the exhibits across three venues: Tech East at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Tech West at the Sands and Venetian Complex, and Tech South at the Aria. Fifty years after 117 exhibitors dazzled 17,000 visitors with transistor radios and small-screen televisions, CES presents itself as the place “where tomorrow is on display.”  Continue reading How to Navigate 2.5 Million Square Feet of CES Exhibit Space

CES: Future of Transportation Drives Innovation, Investments

The decision by automakers such as General Motors in 2016, Fiat Chrysler and the conceptualist Faraday Future this year to debut new cars at CES instead of the traditional Detroit Auto Show the following week is about more than making headlines. Rather, it is indicative of how much the future of transportation is connected to so many other moving parts and innovations across the massive consumer electronics landscape. Driverless cars won’t widen eyes this year as much as it will be what we can do in and with this massive shift. Continue reading CES: Future of Transportation Drives Innovation, Investments

ETC Organizes NAB Cloud Innovation and VR Conferences

NAB and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC are coproducing two major conference programs at the NAB Show next week in Las Vegas: a Virtual Reality Summit on Wednesday, April 20, from 1:00-5:00 pm and the Cloud Innovation Conference, a 2-day gathering of industry leaders on Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20. Both events are at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Cloud Innovation Conference (CIC) covers the current status and future direction of the media cloud, providing professionals with essential knowledge. The half-day Virtual Reality Summit features hands-on practitioners who will discuss the technical and business aspects of producing content in this emerging marketplace. For more information about this year’s conference, visit the links above or the NAB Show website. Continue reading ETC Organizes NAB Cloud Innovation and VR Conferences

ETC Video: Student Panel Reveals Entertainment Media Habits

USC students discussed their media interests and habits during an ETC@USC member session moderated by program manager Phil Lelyveld. A selection of their answers is now available for viewing in a 15-minute video that can be found on the ETCenterVideos YouTube channel. Topics cover television viewing, games, social media, theatrical moviegoing, OTT and cable viewing, consumer products purchases, and the emerging areas of virtual and augmented reality. ETC convenes these panels periodically to provide a glimpse of the rising audience. Continue reading ETC Video: Student Panel Reveals Entertainment Media Habits

Snapshots of CES 2016 Reveal Leading Trends and Stories

CES 2016 had its share of attention-getting products, but some of the most interesting aspects of the show were under the horizon. Companies are beginning to recognize, understand, and explore new opportunities, implications and alliances. Among emerging trends: in VR, there will be real competition. Content on televisions — more than television hardware — drives the market, but demand for UHD is also growing. Big data is a big discussion about use, privacy and security. As ETC prepares its complete report on CES, we’ve compiled a slide show with some highlights. Continue reading Snapshots of CES 2016 Reveal Leading Trends and Stories

CES: Intel Reimagines Experiences with Sensified Computing

Under the theme “Experiences Reimagined,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich kicked off CES 2016 with a keynote presentation packed with product announcements, collaborations and live demonstrations. Today’s products are designed and defined by experiences, said Krzanich, experiences enabled by technology. With a flair of showmanship, the keynote opened with fireworks, presented not with explosives but a record-setting fleet of illuminated drones, and closed with music played with motion sensors, all of which served to illustrate what Krzanich called “the sensification of computing.” Continue reading CES: Intel Reimagines Experiences with Sensified Computing

CES 2016: Exhibits Spread Out Across 2.4 Million Square Feet

Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water, reads the advice on the CES media advisory. Navigating the record 2.4 million square feet, the equivalent of 50 football fields, is an endurance event. Much like a marathon, CES is best managed with a plan and a pace. The first 36 hours of the conference are filled with media briefings and product announcements that will add important detail to the geographic layout. Today, ETCentric provides you with a general guide of where to find key exhibits. Continue reading CES 2016: Exhibits Spread Out Across 2.4 Million Square Feet

CES: Keynotes by Netflix, Intel, IBM, YouTube, and Others

CES keynote presentations by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl highlight the increasing importance of entertainment to the vast consumer technology market. The scheduling of Netflix as the opening session, a time slot usually occupied by hardware companies, helps to underscore the Consumer Technology Association’s expanding universe of products and services. So, too, does the presence of two auto manufacturers, GM and VW, and tech giants Intel and IBM. Samsung is the lone hardware keynote. Continue reading CES: Keynotes by Netflix, Intel, IBM, YouTube, and Others

CES: Mobility, Connection and Intelligence Drive Automotive

Nowhere at CES does more applied innovation come together than in the North Hall automotive exhibits. That is not something that could have been said just a few years ago when the hall was more about sound systems and aftermarket gizmos. The car is now a rolling precursor of the connected/IoT future, redefined mobility, and even the development of smart cities. GM and VW keynotes will showcase new electric cars and two companies, Faraday Future and Rinspeed, promise dazzling concepts, including one with a drone landing pad.

Continue reading CES: Mobility, Connection and Intelligence Drive Automotive

ETC Publishes White Paper on C4 Cloud Production Framework

The Cinema Content Creation Cloud, or C4, an open-source framework for media production using globally distributed resources, is detailed in a new white paper published today by the Entertainment Technology Center@USC. C4 enables interoperability between humans, organizations, databases, software applications, and networks, and is essential to the globally distributed workflows of media production. The framework, written by Joshua Kolden, is a product of ETC’s Project Cloud, a collaboration between studios and technology companies to address key issues as the entertainment industry migrates production into The Cloud. Continue reading ETC Publishes White Paper on C4 Cloud Production Framework

SIGGRAPH 2015: Talking About VR, 360 Degrees of Experience

Beneath the aura of excitement generated this year at SIGGRAPH 2015 by the prevalence of virtual reality, a number of panels drilled into the nuts and bolts of creating VR experiences, including managing the workflow and assets. From a Birds of a Feather interest group discussion to panels of senior artists from the major studios and visual effects companies, almost everyone agreed that VR represents creativity on the edge. SIGGRAPH offered a 360 degree look at the issues and lessons learned thus far. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: Talking About VR, 360 Degrees of Experience

MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

Joichi “Joi” Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, explored how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in his SIGGRAPH 2015 keynote presentation. Ito’s remarks addressed what he and his colleagues at the Media Lab view as a fundamental shift in the way we need to work, collaborate, think, imagine and create. He calls it the “Creativity Compass” and unites science, art, design and engineering. Several of the Media Lab’s futuristic projects were also featured. Continue reading MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

Nvidia Launches DesignWorks Software Suite for Designers

DesignWorks, Nvidia’s newly announced suite of software tools, technologies, and libraries for designers enables “photoreal rendering for unparalleled accuracy, easy transfer of materials and digital models between applications, and the ability to incorporate virtual reality into design software,” the company said in a press announcement. Alongside the launch of DesignWorks, Nvidia also announced two new professional GPUs: the Quadro M5000 and Quadro M4000, based on Nvidia’s Maxwell GPU architecture. Continue reading Nvidia Launches DesignWorks Software Suite for Designers

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