Ubisoft CEO Envisions New Wave of Interactive Entertainment

French video game developer Ubisoft is pushing for a more interactive television experience, one in which viewers have more control over what happens, similar to the control players have with games. As a new generation of game consoles get ready to hit the market, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot hopes to join forces with Hollywood to help make this happen. Game developers say consumers have a growing appetite for new entertainment experiences. Continue reading Ubisoft CEO Envisions New Wave of Interactive Entertainment

Gamescom 2013: Twitch Live Streaming on Xbox One and PS4

During the Gamescom conference in Germany this week, Sony announced that the Twitch videogame broadcasting community will be integrated into its PlayStation 4 game console when it launches this fall. In June, Microsoft announced that the live streaming venture for gamers would be available on its Xbox One, leading many to speculate that Twitch would not end up on the PS4. Twitch allows gamers to live stream, share and chat about their playing experiences. Continue reading Gamescom 2013: Twitch Live Streaming on Xbox One and PS4

Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

The new OmniCam360 camera system uses a collection of cameras to create multiple angles for live televised events such as soccer matches and music concerts. The system provides viewers with the option to choose their viewing angle, including a 360-degree view of the event. The camera was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin, Germany. Viewers can use a computer, tablet or smart TV in order to select views via their virtual cameras in real-time. Continue reading Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

Twitter promotes itself as a protector of over 200 million people who publicly share their lives online. But increasingly, carefree tweets are conflicting with differing global laws and standards in new markets for the microblogger. The company’s hands-off approach is being tested as it enters markets in France, Germany, China and Brazil. As it is increasingly subject to local laws, Twitter is facing challenges regarding free speech and censorship. Continue reading Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

Soccer Goes High Tech So Referees Can Make Better Calls

A kicked soccer ball can travel more than ten times faster than what the naked eye can perceive. Soccer referees are human and suffer from this limitation, with soccer fans often enduring the pain. GoalControl, a German company, is looking to fix this problem. It will provide high-tech monitoring of goal lines and reporting systems that help maintain absolute accuracy. This new instant-replay tool will ensure that referees make the right calls. Continue reading Soccer Goes High Tech So Referees Can Make Better Calls

Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute are working on a new ebook DRM system called SiDiM that would change individual words of a story in an effort to combat piracy. The system would swap out text to essentially create individualized copies of an ebook that could then be tracked by the original owner. A subsidiary of the German book publisher’s association, interested in possible alternatives to the traditional lock-down approach of DRM, has joined Fraunhofer in its testing. Continue reading Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Technicolor Certified Program Ensures Hues Across Devices

Technicolor, working with Portrait Displays, has developed a new standard for guaranteeing the hue quality across computer and mobile device panels. The Technicolor Color Certified Program will provide displays that meet the standard with a seal of approval. “For the end user, the result should be consistent tones across all certified devices either automatically or when the Technicolor color setting is enabled for specific programs or apps,” explains Engadget. Continue reading Technicolor Certified Program Ensures Hues Across Devices

German Firm has Plans to Market Direct Eye Contact Video Conferencing

  • Technology R&D firm Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin has announced a major breakthrough in direct eye-to-eye contact for video conferencing. Fraunhofer HHI hopes to implement the new technology in consumer laptops and office desktop systems.
  • “Called the Virtual Eye Contact Engine, the software module analyses the scene in real-time 3D from three cameras mounted around the display,” reports 3D Focus. “It computes the depth structure information of the person’s head which is used to generate a 3D model. The 3D model is then used to compute the view of the virtual camera for both parties and the rendered output appears to show each person looking directly at each other.”
  • Fraunhofer HHI believes the technology will help resolve the problem experienced with eye contact during video conferencing. “Eye contact is one of the most important elements of non-verbal communication and without this, each person can feel slightly disconnected from the conversation,” suggests the article.
  • “We are working on a product release for our system,” says Ingo Feldman, scientific project manager 3D Video & Immersive Media Group. “We expect the first version on the market in about one year’s time…On one hand we plan to provide an office desktop system with high quality virtual eye contact correction. On the other hand, we plan a consumer market solution which is capable to run on laptop environments. As we are a research institution, we are always interested in industry partners which will finance our product development.”

HDTV Prototype Unveiled by Vestel: Would You Buy a BitTorrent TV?

  • The first BitTorrent certified HDTV was demonstrated at the IFA trade show in Berlin last week, although ZDNet points out that torrent fans will be “hard-pressed to get their hands on one (especially in the U.S.).”
  • The Vestel prototype uses BitTorrent’s Chrysalis platform to simplify the process of downloading and converting torrents to view.
  • Although the idea may be exciting to many, it’s a bit early to celebrate. “Not surprisingly, there’s no information about any kind of release dates or distribution model for the TV (or even basic specs like screen sizes, etc.),” reports ZDNet. “Vestel is obviously not a household name, and past BitTorrent-based networking products from the likes of Netgear haven’t been runaway successes.”
  • “Major retailers might not want to stock a BitTorrent TV for fear of offending their digital content partners,” adds the post, “so this might be a niche product that you’d have to track down online. Or it could wind up being vaporware altogether.”
  • ZDNet asks its readers if they would consider buying a BitTorrent TV — a good question for our ETCentric crowd. What are your thoughts?

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