OnePlus X Phone Touts Slick Design, Reasonable Price Point

Chinese company OnePlus — quickly building a reputation for affordable but solid handsets — is readying the November release of its $249 5-inch OnePlus X, “its cheapest and most beautiful smartphone yet,” suggests Mashable. The new phone will feature a metal frame, 1080p AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. “The 13-megapixel rear-facing camera has an f/2.2 aperture and shoots 1080p video and has a slow motion mode that shoots at 720p and 120fps. The 8-megapixel front-facing camera has an f/2.4 aperture,” notes Mashable, adding that it’s really the slick design and the price that will be the major selling points.

21 Bitcoin Computer Enables Machine-to-Machine Payments

When Andreessen Horowitz established Bitcoin startup 21 Inc., the goal was to turning Bitcoin into an Internet protocol or common language between connected devices, enabling machine-to-machine payments. The company just unveiled its first product and first step on the path to that end. The 21 Bitcoin Computer, which will go on sale Monday for $400 and ship in November, is aimed at developers, not consumers, and offers the Bitcoin protocol as a feature of its Linux-based operating system. Continue reading 21 Bitcoin Computer Enables Machine-to-Machine Payments

RIAA Confronts BitTorrent Over Its Piracy-Enabling Software

The Recording Industry Association of America, which has long fought piracy, is now taking aim at BitTorrent, the company whose technology enables it. The RIAA sent a letter to BitTorrent demanding that the company pay closer attention to the use of its software in peer-to-peer infringement. This came after the RIAA’s random sample of 500 audio torrents revealed that 82.4 percent of them were commercially available and likely protected by copyright. BitTorrent has stated that it does not endorse or actively engage in piracy. Continue reading RIAA Confronts BitTorrent Over Its Piracy-Enabling Software

Oculus Acquires Technology That Enables Direct VR Interaction

With the acquisition of Pebbles Interfaces, Oculus VR is poised to replace its Touch controller with hand-sensing technology that allows users to interact directly with the virtual world. This is Oculus’ latest acquisition this year of companies offering expertise in tracking and 3D mapping. Pebbles’ technology, based on custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms, tracks hand movement in real space, with detailed mapping of where each hand is in relation to the other. The terms of the purchase were not announced. Continue reading Oculus Acquires Technology That Enables Direct VR Interaction

Vidity to Enable Download of 4K HDR Movies Across Devices

The Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA), the consortium of entertainment and storage companies, announced the final specifications for its new premium content playback technology and gave it a name: Vidity. The solution supports the secure delivery, storage and consumption of movies, including those mastered in 4K and HDR, across multiple devices. Vidity partners include Fox, Warner Bros., Universal, Samsung and Walmart, but neither Disney nor Apple are involved. Compatible products and services are expected to reach market late 2015. Continue reading Vidity to Enable Download of 4K HDR Movies Across Devices

MashMe Enables You to Create Animated Avatars in Real Time

Croatian company MashMe has developed new software that allows users to create animated scenes and avatars of themselves using only a webcam. MashMe tracks even the most minute details of a person’s facial expressions and gestures to create animated avatars that can be used with services like Google Hangouts, Twitch and Skype. The company recently launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $50,000, promising its contributors access to one of the two final software packages it plans to offer.  Continue reading MashMe Enables You to Create Animated Avatars in Real Time

Maker Select Enables the Purchasing of Ad Space on YouTube

During its NewFront presentation in New York this week, Disney-owned Maker Studios announced Maker Select, which will allow advertisers to buy ad space on Maker’s 55,000 YouTube channels in addition to all other YouTube channels. Maker Select will incorporate Maker’s audience data with data from YouTube, Nielsen, social networks and additional sources. Advertisers can target ads based on content type, brand compatibility and audience makeup. The new offering comes from a partnership with Web video analytics firm OpenSlate. Continue reading Maker Select Enables the Purchasing of Ad Space on YouTube

Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Ticketing company Fandango plans to launch one of the Apple Watch’s first entertainment apps this Friday when the wearable starts its initial shipments. Similar to its mobile app, Fandango’s watch app will feature scannable movie tickets. The app also offers movie trivia and helpful screening information such as theater directions, seat details and a countdown clock to showtimes. Fandango, which developed an early iPhone app and was one of the first Passbook app partners, already has more than 36 million monthly online visitors. Continue reading Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

NAB 2015: VideoStitch Demos Solutions for Live VR Production

San Francisco-based VideoStitch is at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week demonstrating its post-production and live streaming software for virtual reality and 360-degree video. The company has algorithms for live streaming and batch multi-camera VR rig stitching. Its software runs on Nvidia cards that work on both Macs and PCs. VideoStitch’s solution is being used by more than 1,000 production teams creating VR experiences for clients including Red Bull, Facebook, BAE Systems, ESPN, and Legendary Pictures. Continue reading NAB 2015: VideoStitch Demos Solutions for Live VR Production

NAB 2015: Industry Leaders Discuss HDR and Wider Color Gamut

High Dynamic Range and wider color gamut were the focus of “The Next Generation of Consumer Experiences is NOW” panel at the NAB Show. Panelists expressed their excitement about the potential of producing and delivering HDR content. Moderated by Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter, the discussion included Bryan Barber of Warner Bros., JoDee Freck of Lionsgate, Jim Mainard of DreamWorks Animation, Michael DeValue of Disney, Hanno Basse of 20th Century Fox Film Corp., and Jim Helman of MovieLabs. Continue reading NAB 2015: Industry Leaders Discuss HDR and Wider Color Gamut

NAB 2015: ETC Conference Sessions Convene Cloud Leadership

The first day of the ETC’s special 2-day track on “Media Management in the Cloud: Advances in Content Reliability & Security” at the NAB Show kicked off with a keynote by Brian Stevens, VP cloud platforms at Google. Stevens highlighted advances in cloud technologies that enabled the great acceleration of work and innovation processes for both large and small media studios. Stevens also participated in the following discussion panel of key leaders from industry cloud tenants representing each phase of the media & entertainment content chain. Continue reading NAB 2015: ETC Conference Sessions Convene Cloud Leadership

NAB 2015: 360Heros and Freedom360 Unveil New GoPro Mounts

GoPro is the go-to camera for shooting low-cost VR experiences. Two vendors at the NAB Show are showing multi-camera GoPro mounts designed for a variety of VR shooting and display situations. There are different mounts for 2D and 3D capture, for 360 circle vision versus dome versus full spherical capture, and for high-resolution close-ups versus wide vista shots. 360Heros and Freedom360 both offer sealed rigs for underwater shooting down to 30 meters — as well as stitching and other post-production software and support with their mounts. Continue reading NAB 2015: 360Heros and Freedom360 Unveil New GoPro Mounts

NAB 2015: Five Startups Win Best of SPROCKIT Awards in Vegas

The winners of the inaugural Best of SPROCKIT Awards have been announced at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Five out of 30 startups showcased by SPROCKIT were chosen through voting by the trade show’s attendees. The winning companies were Fluendo (video analysis and multimedia), Psychability (big data and analytics for TV), Yottio (real-time video streaming and trafficking), ScoreStream (crowd-sourced sports information and chat), and Unruly (video ad distribution in native formats across the Open Web). Continue reading NAB 2015: Five Startups Win Best of SPROCKIT Awards in Vegas

NAB 2015: Quantel Upgrades Pablo Rio System with 8K Support

Quantel took the stage at the NAB Show earlier this week to announce an upcoming upgrade to its Pablo Rio color grading and finishing system. The software improvement will support 8K Ultra HD. “According to Quantel, its software upgrade allows colorists to work and playback their material in real time and at resolutions up to 8K and frame rates up to 60 frame per second, allowing them to complete today’s requirements and, possibly, future requirements,” notes The Hollywood Reporter. Continue reading NAB 2015: Quantel Upgrades Pablo Rio System with 8K Support

NAB 2015: AMPAS Launches Global Standard for Color Encoding

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences used the NAB Show as the launch for the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) — a free, open, device-independent global standard for color management and image interchange that targets digital production, mastering and long-term archiving of motion pictures. The Academy also announced the support of 22 leading companies that will participate in the ACES Logo Program, which was developed to “encourage consistent, high-quality implementations of ACES concepts and technical specifications throughout the industry.” Continue reading NAB 2015: AMPAS Launches Global Standard for Color Encoding

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