OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Israel-based technology company OrCam is introducing its compelling take on augmented reality at this year’s CES. The company’s device is similar to Google Glass, but the hardware is more discrete and does not save images or audio, which could help alleviate privacy concerns. The MyMe digital assistant is designed to give the user advice based on the world around them. The assistant speaks through a Bluetooth earpiece and the tiny camera clips to a shirt. All of the data processing is done in real time. Continue reading OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Roku Introducing New Line of Smart TVs with 4K Streaming

Video streaming company and CES exhibitor Roku has partnered with TV manufacturer TCL to make 4K televisions with Roku’s streaming service already built-in. Users will be able to start streaming the UHD video content from apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube when the first 4K UHD Roku TVs start shipping this spring. Roku also announced that it is working on a reference design for a high dynamic range (HDR) system for its smart TVs. Continue reading Roku Introducing New Line of Smart TVs with 4K Streaming

Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Royole is demonstrating a new foldable headset at CES in las Vegas this week that is designed to make movie-watching and gaming an immersive experience. The AMOLED display in the visor is only .01mm thick, so it is flexible enough to make this headset less clunky. The $699 Royole-X headset does not feature a field of view as wide as most VR headsets, but the 3,300 PPI display reportedly makes the image crisp enough to feel like a movie theater. It also comes with noise-canceling headphones. Continue reading Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Video Game Downloads Becoming More Popular This Year

This holiday shopping season comes at an opportune time for the gaming industry — the latest “Fallout” and “Call of Duty” games have hit the shelves and the newest consoles have hit their stride in terms of price and availability. However, video game sales are down and GameStop and Electronic Arts recently reported disappointing earnings. The dismal numbers may be due to an increased number of game downloads, which are not usually counted in these reports. Continue reading Video Game Downloads Becoming More Popular This Year

Facebook, YouTube and Messenger the Top Apps for 2015

Facebook was the top app this year based on the average number of unique users, according to Nielsen. Facebook has more than 126 million unique users each month. Video powerhouse YouTube followed with 97 million unique users. Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger is the fastest growing app with a 31 percent increase in users since last year. More than 96 million unique users are using the Facebook Messenger app to chat each month; it is the third most popular app of the year. Continue reading Facebook, YouTube and Messenger the Top Apps for 2015

Picking Up Online Orders at Stores a Hassle for Customers

The “click-and-collect” method of shopping is not as easy as it sounds. This type of shopping allows customers to place orders online and pick up their purchases at a physical store just a few hours later. However, one study found that 60 percent of these orders were not completed correctly on Cyber Monday. Some stores made customers wait for more than an hour, gave customers the wrong item, or simply had to cancel orders because the store ran out of stock. Continue reading Picking Up Online Orders at Stores a Hassle for Customers

There Was a Record Number of Scripted TV Series in 2015

The number of scripted television shows is growing with a total of 409 different shows this year available on broadcast, cable and online services. By comparison, there were 376 scripted shows in 2014. This was the third consecutive year that scripted TV has grown across all three platforms, according to FX Networks’ research department. Basic cable had the biggest gain, with 174 percent more scripted shows since 2009. Some executives debate whether scripted TV has grown too much.

Continue reading There Was a Record Number of Scripted TV Series in 2015

Facebook Adds Uber Ride-Hailing Service to Messenger App

Facebook users will soon be able to start hailing an Uber ride without leaving the Messenger app. The new partnership will also allow the Uber service to capitalize on Facebook Messenger’s millions of users. Facebook plans to add other ride-sharing companies in the coming months. The new service is part of Facebook’s strategy to emulate rival Asian apps such as WeChat, which already allows users to message each other, hail rides, and shop for goods and games. Continue reading Facebook Adds Uber Ride-Hailing Service to Messenger App

New NFL Deal with Live Sports Data Firm Draws Concerns

The National Football League has had a longstanding anti-gambling policy, but its new deal with Switzerland-based Sportradar suggests the league may be changing its tune. According to terms of the deal, Sportradar distributes live data from professional football games, which include everything from scores to a running back’s acceleration rate. Sportradar is already well known in the sports gambling business, and it currently sells its data to fantasy sports sites. Continue reading New NFL Deal with Live Sports Data Firm Draws Concerns

SeatGeek Turns Reselling Tickets Into a Mobile Experience

SeatGeek, a ticket aggregator that allows people to compare listings for concerts and sports tickets, has revamped its app and shifted its business toward resale. Their mobile app now lets people transfer tickets to their friends for free. SeatGeek takes a 15 percent cut when users list and sell their tickets. Users can both buy and transfer tickets on SeatGeek’s mobile app, unlike competitors StubHub and LiveNation, which do not offer transferring services on mobile. Continue reading SeatGeek Turns Reselling Tickets Into a Mobile Experience

Netflix Earns Spot in the Top 10 Grossing Apps Worldwide

Netflix has become one of the world’s top grossing apps after the streaming company introduced an in-app subscription option. Netflix placed ninth in App Annie’s Top Grossing Apps chart for November 2015. This marks the first time that Netflix has made the list, joining the ranks of other streaming services including Spotify, Pandora, HBO Now and Hulu. Netflix’s reluctance to sell subscriptions through its app in the past may have been due to Apple’s steep cut of in-app purchase revenue. Continue reading Netflix Earns Spot in the Top 10 Grossing Apps Worldwide

SoundHound Offers Digital Assistant Platform to Developers

SoundHound’s Hound app, which is designed to rival digital assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Now, will be available to third-party developers for the first time. The company best known for its music recognition app released the Houndify platform so that developers can add the Hound digital assistant to their own products. According to the company, Hound can answer complex queries with data from partners like Expedia, AccuWeather, Sportradar and Xignite. Continue reading SoundHound Offers Digital Assistant Platform to Developers

Splice Fosters Music Collaboration with its New Cloud Service

More than 100,000 music producers and artists are reportedly now using a cloud-based service called Splice to produce music tracks on-the-go. Users store their tracks in the cloud and provide collaborators with access to edit the tracks with compatible music editing software such as GarageBand or Ableton Live. Splice’s technology helps manage how each user has tweaked the tracks. The startup, which officially launched in September, makes money by selling add-ons for music editing software. Continue reading Splice Fosters Music Collaboration with its New Cloud Service

Google Claims Data and Larger Phones Will Boost Mobile Ads

Some marketers believe fewer customers complete purchases on their small-screen smartphones, but Google says its data on mobile advertising shows otherwise. According to Google’s store-measurement data, one-third of mobile ads for Target led to a customer visit to a Target store during the 2014 holiday season. The rising popularity of larger smartphones, like the Nexus 6, and tablets also helps mobile sales because the screens are bigger and therefore the sites are easier to use. Continue reading Google Claims Data and Larger Phones Will Boost Mobile Ads

E-Commerce Giant eBay Starts Shipping Program in Germany

Another Amazon Prime competitor has entered the mix. San Jose-based eBay is experimenting with a program that offers its customers free, fast shipping and returns for about $20 per year. The e-commerce company does not control shipping, so it has to work with sellers that agree to send items the same day they are ordered. In return, eBay gives those sellers discounts on selling fees and subsidies to help with the cost of shipping. The shipping program, eBay+, is only available in Germany for now. Continue reading E-Commerce Giant eBay Starts Shipping Program in Germany

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