CES 2017: The Need for a “Connective Architecture” for Data

Data about your heart. Data about your workout. Data about your sleep. Data about your posture, your focus, your shoes, your pictures, your wallet, your fridge, your front door, your light bulb, your bike, your neighbor, your chair, your car, your desk, your tea, your bikini (?!)… Walking the aisles of CES 2017 last week was a bit like peering into a dystopian feedback loop hell where every single physical object we touch is touching us back — with petabytes of fragmented data and exactly zero intelligence. Here lies the dilemma: While everyone is invested in building the sensor network, nobody is building the brain. Continue reading CES 2017: The Need for a “Connective Architecture” for Data

Major Growth Predicted for App Store in the Next Four Years

App intelligence firm Sensor Tower projects that Apple’s App Store will reach 5.06 million apps by 2020, making its catalog 73 percent larger than figures expected this year. The App Store debuted in 2008, reached 5,000 apps by the end of the year, and totaled 1.75 million apps by 2015. “New games fuel the App Store’s growth, because of both their popularity and because game makers have to release new titles often to keep users engaged,” reports TechCrunch. “48,231 new apps were released this May, with 43 percent of those being games.” Those were followed by apps for Education, Entertainment, Business and Lifestyle. Interface upgrades and search ads are expected to help with app discovery moving forward. Continue reading Major Growth Predicted for App Store in the Next Four Years

Magic Leap Still Mum on Release Date, Describes Production

Magic Leap has not yet set a date to unveil its mixed reality technology, and didn’t do so at a recent Fortune conference in Aspen. There, Magic Leap founder/chief executive Rony Abovitz and chief marketing officer Brian Wallace said the technology is “very real” and “not a research project anymore.” Some listeners detected a hint that a product might be released this fall, but Abovitz and Wallace never made an overt statement. The most they would say is that the public would see its products “soonish.” Continue reading Magic Leap Still Mum on Release Date, Describes Production

Amazon Expands Its Audible Programming to Include Podcasts

Amazon is recruiting comedians, radio producers, engineers, marketers and lawyers for almost 100 positions in the company’s growing Audible division. Audible currently offers more than 250,000 audiobooks and plays, but the new hires suggest that Amazon is investing in more original programming. Prominent comedians like Maria Bamford and Jonathan Katz, as well as producers from NPR, WNYC and the radio show “Fresh Air,” have already joined the Audible team. Continue reading Amazon Expands Its Audible Programming to Include Podcasts

Magic Leap Demonstrates Its Augmented Reality Technology

Magic Leap, the Florida-based company that raised $542 million from Google, Qualcomm and others last year, demonstrated how it plans to marry the real world with virtual, computer-generated content. Magic Leap demonstrated its technology at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive conference in Laguna Beach, California with a concept video that shows the user interacting with a tiny robot gimbal hiding and ducking behind the legs of a real table. The user also brought up a virtual solar system in the real office environment. Continue reading Magic Leap Demonstrates Its Augmented Reality Technology

Reddit Chief Promises Better Communication with Community

In the wake of the abrupt dismissal of Reddit employee Victoria Taylor, CEO Ellen Pao apologized to the site’s disgruntled users, acknowledging a history that goes back several years of broken promises and poor communication. But apologies by Pao and co-founder/executive chairman Alexis Ohanian haven’t yet mollified users, who are circulating an online petition demanding Pao’s termination. The 10-year old San Francisco-based company has 70 to 80 employees but relies on its power users to govern the site. Continue reading Reddit Chief Promises Better Communication with Community

Silicon Beach Now the Main Tech Hub of Southern California

Silicon Beach has become home to a number of tech startups, publicly traded companies and business incubators. Recent years have seen a wave of talent, innovation and investors that have fostered compelling new companies and, in some cases, acquisitions by larger Silicon Valley tech leaders. However, a number of startups have opted to stay in Los Angeles, while larger companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are building a presence. While still early in its development, the LA tech scene now has the core ingredients that helped launch Silicon Valley. Continue reading Silicon Beach Now the Main Tech Hub of Southern California

Microsoft: Mixed Reality is Future of Immersive Entertainment

Microsoft used its E3 media event last week in Los Angeles to present its vision of the future of immersive entertainment with a “mixed reality” demonstration of the popular video game “Minecraft” seen through its HoloLens headset. The demonstration at the Shrine Auditorium exhibition hall lasted only a few minutes but its impact continues to resonate. Although Microsoft has provided few detailed plans, its early demos and comments made at E3 and other conferences suggest a future that is something more than a virtual or augmented reality. Continue reading Microsoft: Mixed Reality is Future of Immersive Entertainment

Instagram Updates Put Users in the Middle of Current Events

About 70 million photos and videos are posted daily to Instagram. This week the Facebook-owned service began tapping into that content to provide its 300 million users with the feeling of being part of current events as they unfold live. An updated Explore button, working with the service’s algorithms, will take Instagram users to the most important and timely imagery in their regions and across the nation — from live sports and concerts to breaking news. Instagram has also made it easier to find images via its search function and will feature hand-selected collections for content discovery. Continue reading Instagram Updates Put Users in the Middle of Current Events

Nielsen: Consumers Spending More Time Engaged with Apps

Consumers typically use only a small percentage of available apps each month, but their time spent with these apps is dramatically increasing. According to Nielsen, the time spent engaged with these apps has increased 63 percent over the past two years. In Q4 2012, consumers spent a little more than 23 hours per month with apps, while that figure jumped to 37 hours and 28 minutes in Q4 2014. Meanwhile, the number of apps used has only marginally increased: 23.3 apps per month in 2011, 26.5 apps in 2012 and 26.8 apps in 2013. Continue reading Nielsen: Consumers Spending More Time Engaged with Apps

Microsoft’s HoloLens AR Technology Designed for Productivity

Microsoft demonstrated the practicality of its HoloLens augmented reality technology at last week’s Microsoft BUILD developers conference. While it may not be as exciting as stepping into an immersive experience with virtual reality, the technology opens the door for some compelling practical applications, whether that involves educating medical students or building virtual models of rocket ships. Possibilities for business and the home is what may help augmented reality catch on and improve people’s lives. Continue reading Microsoft’s HoloLens AR Technology Designed for Productivity

vNab: Workflow in the Cloud for Visual Effects, Sports and 4K

Videos from the third session of The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC “Virtual NAB Cloud Conference” are now live for viewing on the ETCenterVideo YouTube channel. The videos include a presentation on visual effects workflows in the cloud by Jeff Kember of Google and a description of a popup render farm for VFX by Thinkbox Software’s Chris Bond. Martin Wahl of Microsoft Azure Media Services presented a scalable workflow for live sports and Michelle Munson of IBM/Aspera showcased streaming sports to second screens through the cloud. Usman Shakeel of Amazon Web Services discussed the demands of and solutions for 4K workflows. Continue reading vNab: Workflow in the Cloud for Visual Effects, Sports and 4K

Wendy Aylsworth of Warner Bros. to Receive Ken Mason Award

Warner Bros. exec Wendy Aylsworth has been selected by the Inter-Society for the Enhancement of Cinema Presentation to receive the prestigious Ken Mason Award, which recognizes those who have “made outstanding long-term contributions leading to the overall improvement of the motion picture experience.” Aylsworth, SVP of Technology for Warner Bros. Technical Operations, has been instrumental in steering industry standards for Digital Cinema. She will receive the award at an April 21st ceremony during CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Continue reading Wendy Aylsworth of Warner Bros. to Receive Ken Mason Award

Improbable Worlds Raises $20 Million for Simulation Platform

Improbable Worlds has created a distributed computing platform that allows developers to build large-scale, 3D, real-time models, and now the London-based startup has $20 million to bring this tech to gaming, urban planning, biology, and numerous other industries. The modeling system is unique because it draws upon the computing power of its users and redistributes the computing, while enabling collaboration. Prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is the investor. Continue reading Improbable Worlds Raises $20 Million for Simulation Platform

vNab: Conference Videos Focus on Transport and Security

Videos from the second session of The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC “Virtual NAB Cloud Conference,” a 3-day extension of the Media Management in the Cloud track that ETC leads at the NAB Show, are now live for viewing on the ETCenterVideo YouTube channel. The 4 new videos focus on media transport and security with presentations by Equinix on Just in Time On Demand Production Infrastructure; Dolby on Global Media Exchange and the Work of the ETC; Sohonet on Rapid, Secure Workflows; and Independent Security Evaluators on Hackers, Attack Anatomy & Security Trends. Continue reading vNab: Conference Videos Focus on Transport and Security

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