Observer Analytics Debuts Tool to Evaluate VR, AR Content

Observer Analytics unveiled its platform for quantifying virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, to create key performance indicators (KPIs) for the industry. The platform was built from scratch to analyze the new and complex forms of engagement found in this immersive content, with the end goal of making it easier for developers to understand how users interact with their content. To create the platform, the company has raised $685,000, including a pre-seed round from Boost VC and Precursor Ventures. Continue reading Observer Analytics Debuts Tool to Evaluate VR, AR Content

OWNZONES Demos its Cloud-Based IMF Transcoder at CES

OTT video distribution startup OWNZONES Media Network claims it can transcode Interoperable Master Format (IMF) assets 40+ times faster than conventional methods via its Connect solution. “Using a parallel architecture with cloud transcoding, the company says OWNZONES Connect can process a film with a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes in just 6 minutes,” reports Variety. “In addition, the company has introduced a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model to let content owners distribute assets in the new SMPTE IMF format standard without any upfront investment.” Continue reading OWNZONES Demos its Cloud-Based IMF Transcoder at CES

Enterprise Security Provider CrowdStrike Raises $100 Million

Digital security provider CrowdStrike, which recently helped the Democratic National Committee respond to its hacking, has raised $100 million in new capital, bringing its total fundraising to $256 million and value close to $1 billion. The Irvine, California-based tech company, founded by two former McAfee execs in 2011, provides SaaS endpoint protection, threat intelligence and incident response through its cloud-based Falcon platform. CrowdStrike now has more than 650 employees worldwide. The company’s subscriptions have grown 476 percent in the last year as cybersecurity becomes a growing concern. Continue reading Enterprise Security Provider CrowdStrike Raises $100 Million

Microsoft Encourages Testing of New IoT Security Paradigm

Security is a top concern for the Internet of Things, in particular when large numbers of IoT devices are deployed in an organization. There’s been a rise in attacks on such devices, via botnets, and a search engine, Shodan, is dedicated to finding unsecured IoT hardware endpoints. In that context, Microsoft, which is updating its Azure IoT toolset, is also testing a new approach to securing and managing such devices. Dubbed Project Sopris, Microsoft Research hopes to mix secure hardware and a secure communications channel. Continue reading Microsoft Encourages Testing of New IoT Security Paradigm

Amazon, Google, Microsoft Democratize AI Tools in the Cloud

Recently, Microsoft software that integrates machine learning spotted a temperature problem in a massive beer vat at Deschutes Brewery, and automatically fixed it, saving the company from a big loss. Deschutes Brewery accesses the software via Microsoft’s cloud computing service, a growing trend among all kinds of businesses relying on such tools from Amazon and Google as well as Microsoft. Use of AI is becoming more widespread as it becomes available as software in the cloud, rather than a huge hardware expenditure. Continue reading Amazon, Google, Microsoft Democratize AI Tools in the Cloud

Vimeo Plans to Become Next Major Subscription VOD Player

According to Variety, “Barry Diller’s IAC has outlined a new strategy for Vimeo to become a major new Netflix-style subscription video-on-demand player — but without spending the kind of dough that Netflix does on original content.” Joey Levin, IAC CEO and interim chief exec of Vimeo, introduced the new strategy during IAC’s Q3 earnings announcement, noting that the company plans to experiment with proprietary subscription services. He did not discuss launch dates or pricing. “Ultimately, our goal is for Vimeo to drive millions of subscriptions and transactions for our creators while also growing a proprietary subscriber base with millions of consumers directly,” wrote Levin. Continue reading Vimeo Plans to Become Next Major Subscription VOD Player

Cloud Services Spending to Reach $195 Billion in Four Years

International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that global revenue from public cloud services will surpass $195 billion by 2020, more than doubling this year’s forecast of $96.5 billion. The new figures, part of IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, represent a compound annual growth rate of 20.4 percent over 2015-2020. Also, IDC expects that revenue from Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service will increase at a faster rate than revenue from Software as a Service. Media, telecom and retail will experience the fastest revenue growth. Continue reading Cloud Services Spending to Reach $195 Billion in Four Years

Verizon to Ramp Up Telematics with Purchase of Fleetmatics

Following its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo, Verizon announced it is purchasing Dublin-based telematics company Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion in cash. Fleetmatics will become part of the subsidiary Verizon Telematics, which primarily handles fleet management, mobile enterprise solutions and Internet of Things initiatives. Verizon’s AOL and Yahoo purchases will help build its media and advertising businesses, while the Fleetmatics acquisition points to the company’s enterprise mobility ambitions. The deal is expected to close by Q4 2016. Continue reading Verizon to Ramp Up Telematics with Purchase of Fleetmatics

HP Offers PCs and Software as a Service to Corporate Clients

HP says it will offer computers to corporate clients for a fixed monthly fee, freeing them from having to make huge upfront outlays for hardware. Unlike standard computer rentals, however, HP will also offer software to manage the hardware, to make sure users have enough processing power and storage and to keep an eye on whether the devices are deployed as efficiently as possible. That includes making sure users do not have more sophisticated hardware or software than necessary for the task at hand. Continue reading HP Offers PCs and Software as a Service to Corporate Clients

The Public Cloud is Inevitable, and Amazon Stands to Win Big

The public cloud for software-as-a-service offerings, including back-end business services is catching fire, and Amazon and Google, which already run extensive public clouds, are well positioned to dominate in the arena. That’s despite Dell’s recent purchase of EMC, say the experts, because the two companies under EMC — VMware and Pivotal — although they are cloud computing companies, are not big players in the public cloud. Cloud platform services are expected to become a $44 billion market by 2020. Continue reading The Public Cloud is Inevitable, and Amazon Stands to Win Big

HPA Tech Retreat: Next-Gen Cloud and Production Workflows

Erik Weaver of the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC@USC) moderated an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Cloud Demystified: Understanding the Coming Transformation from File- to Network-Based Workflow.” Panelists included DigitalFilm Tree’s Guillaume Aubuchon and Dolby Laboratories’ Christine Thomas. Weaver described ETC’s Project Cloud, which brings together media and cloud-resource leaders to develop guidelines and accelerate innovation and adoption of next-gen cloud-based content creation and production tools and processes. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Next-Gen Cloud and Production Workflows

QuickFire.TV Transcodes Broadcast Quality Video in Seconds

Startup QuickFire.TV helps news and sports broadcasters encode their videos for playback on 20 different platforms at lightning fast speeds, making it faster to distribute video content online. QuickFire claims its cloud-based solution transcodes video ten times faster than real-time, thanks to its complete stack infrastructure with Intel Core i7 processors. QuickFire also offers a set of APIs that allows video producers to create custom workflows and tools for uploading videos. Continue reading QuickFire.TV Transcodes Broadcast Quality Video in Seconds

Dropbox Datastore Could Rival iCloud in True Cloud Storage

Hosting and sharing service Dropbox currently has 175 million global users, and is becoming increasingly popular on smartphones. The service is about to undergo significant change in the beta version launch of Datastore, which can sync all app data and information from one device to another. When fully released, if its reliability of service and ease of use are proven, as well as third party integration, Datastore may surpass its competitors in data cloud storage. Continue reading Dropbox Datastore Could Rival iCloud in True Cloud Storage

Microsoft Impacted by Shift to Mobile and Declining PC Sales

Microsoft announced missing financial forecasts on Thursday, putting the blame on the decline of the PC market. The company also acknowledged disappointing sales of its tablet computer, the Surface RT. Mobile devices are affecting PC sales as more consumers are buying tablets instead of PCs for movie watching and basic computing. Microsoft is still gaining slowly in sales to business customers, and has hopes for cloud services. Continue reading Microsoft Impacted by Shift to Mobile and Declining PC Sales

Adobe Intros Subscription-Only Model with Creative Cloud

Adobe’s flagship Creative Suite has evolved into Adobe Creative Cloud, with new features and a switch to a subscription-only model. Instead of individual Adobe apps being available for a flat rate, users will pay a monthly subscription to access all the products. Last year, the company introduced its Creative Cloud subscription service, through which users could access one product each month for $29.99 or all the products within Creative Suite 6 for $49.99. More than 500,000 premium members signed up in the first nine months, on top of 2 million free members. Continue reading Adobe Intros Subscription-Only Model with Creative Cloud