apps1

News Affiliate Surprised by Top-Selling Murder Trial App

  • WESH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Orlando, launched a 99-cent iPhone app for updates in the Casey Anthony trial (involving the Florida mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter).
  • The app recently reached the #1 spot in paid iPhone news apps, and is currently holding the #2 position.
  • The app features liveblog, breaking updates, court documents, photos, video recaps, courtroom footage and packages produced by the station.
  • A major surprise has been the public interest in more than 20,000 pages of court documents.
  • Since the app is targeting national and international audiences, the branding focuses on Hearst Television (not the local TV station).

mobile2

Hauppauge Broadway Box Delivers Live TV to iPhone and iPad

  • Hauppauge Digital is expected to release its $199 “Broadway” box by late July or early August.
  • The device enables viewers to use Wi-Fi signals to watch TV on mobile devices or via a Web browser.
  • It features a multi-format TV receiver that can tune QAM digital and ATSC over-the-air SD and HD channels.
  • Broadway operates much like the Slingbox device, but without an extra fee for mobile viewing.
  • The box currently works only with Apple’s mobile devices (iOS 3 or higher), but can be used with both Mac and Windows PCs.

research

Microsoft and Nielsen Measure Cross-Platform Engagement

  • Microsoft’s ad division has created a research partnership with Nielsen dubbed the Television Online Effect program.
  • The project’s primary goal is to better learn how consumers are influenced by TV and the Web in terms of engagement with marketing messages.
  • The research, which begins in August, will use Nielsen’s TV/Internet Fusion panel and customized research Microsoft will develop.
  • The pilot will initially launch with entertainment advertisers, but will most likely expand in the future.
  • “If advertisers are looking to capture food enthusiasts for the launch of a new cooking show or networks are looking to drive Moms to primetime programming, they can leverage our exciting new service,” commented Microsoft’s Joslyn Moore in a blog post.

Topcon IP-S2 Lite System Creates Panoramic Maps in 3D

  • Topcon’s IP-S2 Lite system — unveiled at Tokyo’s recent 3D & Virtual Reality Expo — creates 3D video footage that can be analyzed and augmented with virtual objects.
  • Topcon’s road condition evaluation system features a 360-degree camera, GPS and inclinometer.
  • The system also measures height, distance and surface area within individual frames in order to insert computer-generated images and to construct maps of disaster-stricken regions.
  • Japan’s Geospatial Information Authority used the technology after this year’s earthquakes to map coastal areas, providing helpful visuals of the damage.
  • The report includes a 2-minute video demo.

facebook

Companies use Facebook Credits as Incentives with ifeelgoods Help

  • Facebook “Credits” began as a means of purchasing virtual goods for social games, and then were used as a tool for other digital goods such as movies.
  • Companies are now leveraging Credits in a new way — to attract consumers to their brands via the social network.
  • The ifeelgoods platform helps retailers provide consumers with Facebook Credits, which can then be used for tasks including: “liking the retailer on Facebook, signing up for an email distribution list, making a purchase, checking into a location or answering a survey.”
  • The company suggests that Credits may be more effective than offering a coupon or discount code, “because consumers like to believe they are receiving something, especially if they know they don’t have to make a purchase.”
  • Facebook users can then post related information to their wall (ifeelgoods claims consumers are willing to share this information 60 to 70 percent of the time).
  • Ifeelgoods has raised $6.5 million in capital.

innovators

DIY Revolution: Beginner’s Guide to 3D Printing

  • Digital Trends offers this thorough introduction/overview to 3D printing for those interested in bringing “rapid prototyping from the factory floor to your desktop.”
  • Whether you are a hobbyist or professional designer, learn the various cost-effective approaches to producing physical models with today’s 3D printers.
  • The article includes details regarding an array of recommended software and hardware choices, coverage of the latest trends, a quick video demo, helpful links and more.
  • “In 20-30 years, it may even be possible to print just about any custom object – your own toothbrush, a new faucet for the kitchen sink, or a new dashboard for your Buick. We’re in the same phase with 3D printing that Steve Jobs was in when he designed the basic components of the Apple computer in his garage.”

cinema1

New MoviePass App Brings Netflix Model to Theaters

  • A new service called MoviePass is offering unlimited movie viewing in participating theaters for a fee of $50/month.
  • Access to 3D and IMAX movies will involve a $3 surcharge.
  • Using an HTML5 app, subscribers will be able to search for a film, check show times and purchase digital tickets.
  • A $30 “limited pass” offering is reportedly also being planned.
  • The service will launch its beta test in San Francisco this weekend.

connections

American Express and Foursquare Offer Special Deals

  • American Express and Foursquare have announced their new national partnership that will offer special deals to cardholders when they “check in” via their cellphone at participating stores and restaurants.
  • Early participants will include Sports Authority, clothing retailer H&M, along with New York restaurants such as Union Square Cafe and Blue Smoke.
  • A test run in March at the South By Southwest festival indicated those with access to special deals spent 20 percent more than those without access.
  • Amex hopes the partnership will attract a younger tech-savvy demographic: “We don’t tend to skew under 35. We hope this will help us stay relevant to younger customers.”

mobile

PayPal Will Process $3 Billion in Mobile Payments for 2011

  • PayPal’s new 2011 estimate for mobile payment processing of $3 billion is twice what the company estimated last year.
  • The $3 billion is divided into two categories: 1) individuals using Paypal’s mobile app to transfer money to each other, and 2) people completing purchases on mobile online commerce sites.
  • The PayPal online payments service (owned by eBay) has 8 million users and is processing up to $10 million/day in mobile total payment volume.
  • PayPal’s competitors include Google Wallet, Square and credit card companies.

microsoft

Microsoft Launches New Cloud Version of Office

  • Steve Ballmer will launch Office 365 this week: “a combination of communication, collaboration and productivity software delivered via the Internet” that Microsoft refers to as the “next generation cloud service.”
  • The company is hosting a launch event in New York to celebrate the suite’s debut.
  • Office 365 joins a crowded field including Google Docs and VMware’s Zimbra email, but WSJ suggests its biggest competitor might be itself: “The company now needs to convince those computer users, estimated at about one billion, to switch to Office in the cloud without disrupting the legacy version that is financing the transition.”
  • Businesses will be able to buy only the cloud services they need such as email for $2/month or Office for $27/month.
  • Large corporate clients will be allowed to use the service for free until license agreements are renewed.

samsung

New App from Samsung Offers Streaming 3D Content

  • Samsung announced that the Explore 3D app on its SmartHub-connected TV interface is now offering free streaming 3D content.
  • The app is streaming 3D movie trailers, music videos, educational content and full programs from Wealth TV.
  • The company says Explore 3D will provide access to paid 3D content later this year, including feature films, shorts, and documentaries.
  • The app is powered by Rovi and includes its Cloud-based metadata and RoxioNow platform.

gaming

Will Video Games Drive 3D Mobile Phone Sales?

  • Nintendo introduced autostereoscopic 3D gaming with its 3DS system earlier this year, but it failed to gain significant traction.
  • In his Forbes Tech column, John Gaudiosi suggests the availability of new top-tier 3D games and a drop in price may help turn that around.
  • The drop in price may come sooner than expected, now that Sprint’s $200 Evo 3D (from HTC) – the first glasses-free 3D phone for the U.S. – is available. Plus, later this summer AT&T will enter the 3D market with its LG Thrill 4G.
  • “While some have called 3D phones gimmicky, these devices are already commonplace in Asia. And with an influx of new 3D phones entering the market this year, coupled with the Nintendo 3DS, Jim Cameron recently told me that he sees these glasses free devices as being key for the adoption of 3D TVs in the homes.”
  • Gaudiosi’s column features several interesting video reports and interviews about the direction of 3D.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Takes on the Apple iPad 2

  • International Business Times provides an interesting side-by-side comparison of tablet market leader Apple iPad 2 and the newly available Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
  • For the Galaxy Tab: higher display resolution (1280×800 vs. iPad’s 1024×768); more RAM; 9 ounces lighter and 0.01 inch thinner than the iPad; Adobe Flash playback capability; features new Plane to Line Switching (PLS) panel technology that enhances brightness, clarity and viewing angles; higher megapixel cameras and 1080p video capability.
  • However, Galaxy Tab’s thinness was achieved by excluding USB, HDMI and SD card slot.
  • For the iPad 2: better battery life than the Galaxy Tab (10 hours vs. 6 hours under similar conditions); better speaker sound, particularly at a higher volume; and perhaps most importantly, more than double the number of available apps (425,000 and growing).
  • The Galaxy Tab is powered by Honeycomb 3.1 OS: “And, no matter whichever way you look at it – slice it or dice it – Honeycomb lacks the finesse and elegance of iOS.”
  • Conclusion: “Galaxy Tab is the best Android tablet to be ever released. No doubt about that. But if you’ve made up your mind about getting iPad 2, don’t give it a second thought. The UI of iOS will not make you want to regret your decision.”

Toshiba Releases its Thrive Tablet with Honeycomb

  • Add another new tablet to the growing list of available devices… Toshiba began taking pre-orders last week for its 10.1-inch Thrive Tablet, expected to hit retail shelves in early July.
  • The $430 Wi-Fi-only 8GB tablet runs on Android 3.1 Honeycomb and is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip.
  • PC Magazine reports there will also be 16GB ($480) and 32GB ($580) models available.
  • Inputs include: USB 2.0, Mini USB, HDMI and SD Card.
  • Features include: Multitouch 1280×800 LED display, front and rear cameras and a replaceable battery.
  • According to a PC World review this week, interoperability may be what makes the Thrive stand out from the pack: “The Thrive is the first Honeycomb tablet to include a full-size SD Card slot. None of this microSD card nonsense for Toshiba; ditto for only having a micro- or mini-USB port. By including the SD Card slot and USB port, the company recognizes the need for interoperability among devices. And only with interoperability can a tablet begin to replace a laptop in your arsenal.”
  • In related news, Hewlett-Packard also recently announced its first media tablet, the 9.7-inch webOS-powered TouchPad. The Wi-Fi-only TouchPad is priced at $500 (16GB) and $600 (32GB).

TV Execs Predict Significant Changes in Content Delivery

  • At the Elevate Video Advertising Summit in New York earlier this month, executives from Comcast Interactive Media, Turner, Disney and ESPN agreed that in two years 75 percent of television content will be available online and on mobile devices.
  • For an increasing number of consumers, the line between traditional TV content and Web video is blurring.
  • The immediate hurdles involve negotiating broadcast rights across platforms and addressing the threat of broadband usage caps and fees.
  • Regardless, it seems the concept of “TV Everywhere” is inevitable.
  • “It’s interesting to think of what the definition of a TV is,” said Comcast’s Matt Strauss. “My kids think an iPad is a TV. People don’t think of TV anymore, they just think of video. For us, in the broader context of what we’re doing, we’re beginning to migrate everything to Internet video.”

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