Deal Now Complete: Amazon Acquires Twitch for $970 Million

According to a new SEC filing, Amazon’s buyout of online video game streaming company Twitch is now complete. The acquisition, worth $970 million and first revealed in late August, marks Amazon’s largest and most expensive deal to date. This follows earlier reports that suggested a similar deal was in the works with Google subsidiary YouTube. Twitch touts more than 55 million active monthly users, and is currently the largest live-streaming website in the U.S. by a significant margin. Continue reading Deal Now Complete: Amazon Acquires Twitch for $970 Million

IBC 2014: NextVR Unveils 360-Degree 3D VR Camera System

NextVR, a virtual reality technology and content company, introduced a 360-degree 3D virtual reality rig outfitted with six RED Epic Dragon cameras at IBC in Amsterdam last week. The “NextVR Virtual Reality Digital Cinema Camera System” supports the recording and live streaming of immersive, ultra high definition, stereoscopic content at 60fps and includes spatial audio capture. NextVR also unveiled VR content acquired with the equipment, displaying it on the new Samsung Gear VR headset. Continue reading IBC 2014: NextVR Unveils 360-Degree 3D VR Camera System

IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

SanDisk unveiled its new 512GB memory card at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam last week. The $800 Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card — which SanDisk touts as “the highest capacity SD card on the market” — is designed for professionals that shoot 4K video, Full HD video and high-speed burst mode photography. The new offering marks an increase in SD card capacity by 1,000 times in just over a decade. It was only 2003 when consumers were scrambling for SanDisk’s 512MB cards. Continue reading IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

VideoDubber Automatically Dubs Video into 30+ Languages

Foreign film fans may have a new reason to get excited. Israeli startup VideoDubber is introducing a new technology that could address complaints of subtitles in media content. The company claims that its TruDub technology can automatically dub films, TV shows and video into more than 30 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and four dialects of English. The service uses synthetic voices that it says sound natural since they are based on professional voice talent. Continue reading VideoDubber Automatically Dubs Video into 30+ Languages

Fox Film is First to Screen in Barco’s Escape Theater Format

New panoramic screening technology from digital cinema projector company Barco will debut this month with screenings of the 20th Century Fox film, “The Maze Runner.” To create a panoramic image, Barco’s “Escape” theater configuration uses three projectors and three screens — a primary screen front and center, with two angled screens on either side. While the side screens will initially feature footage created using visual effects, Fox is experimenting with camera setups to produce future movies for Escape. Continue reading Fox Film is First to Screen in Barco’s Escape Theater Format

Apple Plans to Target New Customers with Larger iPad Screen

Following reports that the upcoming new iPhone will have a bigger screen, Apple may also have an even larger iPad in the works. The new iPad with a 12.9-inch display would dwarf the current models of iPads, which measure 9.7 inches and 7.9 inches diagonally. Tablet sales have been on the decline for the past two quarters, but the iPad remains Apple’s second-biggest product. The larger screen could give the iPad more functionality and appeal for businesses, schools and government customers. Continue reading Apple Plans to Target New Customers with Larger iPad Screen

Google Acquires Effects Startup Zync, Takes on Amazon Cloud

Google plans to make special effects more affordable and accessible. Yesterday, the company announced that it has purchased Boston-based Zync, the maker of cloud-based rendering software Zync Render, which has been used in movies such as “Flight,” “Looper,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and the “Transformers” series. While terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, Google is expected to integrate Zync’s data and tech into its Google Cloud Platform, and move Zync off Amazon Web Services. Continue reading Google Acquires Effects Startup Zync, Takes on Amazon Cloud

New California Law to Require ‘Kill Switch’ on Smartphones

Starting in July of next year, all smartphones sold in California must have a “kill switch,” a software feature that allows smartphone owners to disable a phone after it has been stolen. The “kill switch” will make it more difficult for thieves to resell stolen phones because the phone can only be reactivated with the owner’s correct password. Smartphone manufacturers will be required to ship these phones with the anti-theft technology activated as part of the default settings. Continue reading New California Law to Require ‘Kill Switch’ on Smartphones

SIGGRAPH 2014: Lenovo Powers Up its ThinkStation P Series

Lenovo demonstrated its vision for the ultimate in desktop workstation performance, reliability and usability with the introduction of the Lenovo P900, P700 and P500 workstations. The new ThinkStation P Series models unveiled at SIGGRAPH last week in Vancouver are designed to be the most powerful professional-grade desktop workstations available and reflect a focus by Lenovo on customer needs, especially in graphics intensive industries such as visual effects and animation. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2014: Lenovo Powers Up its ThinkStation P Series

Bendable Displays Are Closer Than Ever to Hitting the Market

Samsung was one of the first companies to tempt consumers with the prototype of a bendable display at CES, but so far, Samsung and others have faced manufacturing challenges in bringing these displays to market. However, a California-based startup, Kateeva, has developed a new manufacturing process that it claims will save time, cut costs, and make bendable screens more durable. Another company, Canatu, has also developed technology to make bendable touch screens. Continue reading Bendable Displays Are Closer Than Ever to Hitting the Market

New iPhone May Feature Scratch-Resistant Sapphire Screen

Apple has invested $700 million in producing synthetic sapphire, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, for the newest iPhone’s display screens. Sapphire is expensive to produce, but the material does not crack or scratch as easily as the glass currently used in iPhones. Apple and GT Advanced Technologies have opened a facility in Arizona to produce the new material. The facility’s ability to meet the demand will determine whether Apple rolls out an iPhone with a sapphire screen. Continue reading New iPhone May Feature Scratch-Resistant Sapphire Screen

Intel Targets Tablets with its New 14-Nanometer Core M Chip

Intel released information about Intel Core M, a new chip production process based on the Broadwell design. These chips will be just 14-nanometers thin and will will target devices without a cooling fan (such as tablets) that are nine millimeters or less. Before the holiday selling season, Intel expects the first devices using the new chips will be available to the public. Intel Core M should combat struggles the company has had recently with placing their chips into tablets and smartphones. Continue reading Intel Targets Tablets with its New 14-Nanometer Core M Chip

New HP Pavilion TV Ad Leverages Talent of Vine Celebrities

Hewlett-Packard’s most recent television advertisement, released Monday, is made entirely of Vines. The 30-second spot features the Pavilion x360 notebook, promoted by Vine stars through short video clips. The company worked to identify social media talent with marketing agency Niche, which focuses on Vine stars. HP’s creative agency 180LA also worked on the commercial. Normally, a 30-second ad takes about 10-12 weeks to produce, but HP’s new spot only took 11 days. Continue reading New HP Pavilion TV Ad Leverages Talent of Vine Celebrities

New Form Digital Studio to Launch Program at USC This Fall

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer’s newly launched digital studio, New Form, will team up with students from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts to develop digital content. Two-person teams of students will participate in the year-long program to develop scripted series for the Web and pitch their projects. At the end of the first semester, three of the pitches will be selected for production to take place during the second semester. Continue reading New Form Digital Studio to Launch Program at USC This Fall

SIGGRAPH 2014: Nvidia Unveils Next Generation Quadro GPUs

Visual effects and animation workflows — and the technology to make them more powerful, flexible and cost-efficient — are a focus of attention as SIGGRAPH 2014 opens its exhibit floor this week to computer graphics and tech professionals in Vancouver. Nvidia’s next gen Quadro processors, announced this morning, are indicative of tools and technology designed to handle greater complexity and higher resolution; incorporate cloud services; and access projects remotely, often via mobile devices. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2014: Nvidia Unveils Next Generation Quadro GPUs

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