Uber Adjusts its Employment Policies and Calls for New Apps

Uber Technologies is tweaking how it does business. In California, the ride-sharing company will no longer reject potential drivers due to a nonviolent or nonsexual offense, such as petty theft or check fraud. It will also tell those rejected why and describe steps they can take to reduce their felony conviction to a misdemeanor. Uber is also now promising drivers more money to work during heavy demand periods, and is inviting smartphone app developers to create customized “trip experiences” for riders. Continue reading Uber Adjusts its Employment Policies and Calls for New Apps

Periscope Now Broadcasts Live Video Directly Within Twitter

Twitter now allows some mobile users to watch live video feeds on its sister app Periscope within the Twitter timeline. Previously, Twitter users linked to Periscope broadcasts via the discrete app. Acquired by Twitter in 2015, Periscope has taken off among users who use it to broadcast their whereabouts from smartphones. Users have posted an estimated 100 million live feeds on Periscope in the 10 months since its purchase. By linking the two apps, Twitter will introduce Periscope to new users and become home to more content. Continue reading Periscope Now Broadcasts Live Video Directly Within Twitter

AT&T Revives Unlimited Data Plan, Despite Surge in Video

AT&T is bringing back its unlimited wireless data plan, but only for those customers who subscribe to its U-verse home television service or to DirecTV, the satellite TV service it recently acquired. For the past five years, AT&T has been moving customers into plans that charge for data use. The recent switch, most likely in response to competition among carriers eager to sign up new customers and retain existing ones, comes at a time when customers are gobbling up data watching YouTube and Netflix videos on mobile devices. Continue reading AT&T Revives Unlimited Data Plan, Despite Surge in Video

Motorola Provides New Context to Comments Made at CES

During CES in Las Vegas, Motorola Mobility chief operating officer Rick Osterloh suggested that Lenovo has plans to phase out the Motorola brand. In the wake of news media and analyst confusion resulting from Osterloh’s comments, the company issued a statement to provide clarification, noting that the Motorola name or organization is not being dismantled, but is instead looking to “evolve” under parent company Lenovo. As part of that initiative, the company is looking to “streamline” its products under two brands — Moto and Vibe. Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014. Continue reading Motorola Provides New Context to Comments Made at CES

CES 2016: Google and Lenovo to Bring 3D Mapping to Mobile

On Thursday during CES, Google and Lenovo announced their plans to bring 3D mapping to smartphones. Lenovo will manufacture and sell the first phone designed to implement the ambitious goals of Google’s Project Tango, which aims “to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.” Qualcomm will provide the Snapdragon processor chips. Google and its partners have been busy developing cameras, sensors and software specifically designed for real-time 3D mapping. The currently unnamed handset is slated to launch this summer for under $500. Continue reading CES 2016: Google and Lenovo to Bring 3D Mapping to Mobile

Kodak Shoots for Filmmakers, Students with Super 8 Camera

Eastman Kodak went retro this week at CES with a film camera based on the Super 8 design from 50 years ago. Kodak ceased production of Super 8 cameras in 1982, once video had become more popular for recording home movies. Today, most consumers use their mobile phones or small action cams for shooting personal video. Citing the preference of some Hollywood directors to produce their movies in 35mm or 70mm, Kodak chief exec Jeff Clarke believes there are professional as well as amateur filmmakers who would appreciate the opportunity to work with film rather than video. Continue reading Kodak Shoots for Filmmakers, Students with Super 8 Camera

Virtual Reality, Mobile and HDR Are the Future of Storytelling

Virtual reality is inevitably part of the conversation when talking about storytelling of the future, the topic of a CES panel moderated by Variety’s Janko Roettgers. “We’re in the first inning,” suggested Condé Nast executive Joy Marcus, about VR. “We’re looking at it as a game that might go into extra innings. But we have an issue with devices and price points.” Google and Samsung have come out with options that work with smartphones, added Marcus. “But the other devices are pretty damn expensive.” Continue reading Virtual Reality, Mobile and HDR Are the Future of Storytelling

Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors Power Connected Devices

At Qualcomm’s CES press conference, CEO Steve Mollenkopf noted that the company has dedicated more than $38 billion to R&D with emphasis on areas such as automotive, smart cities, wearables, networking, smart homes, data centers, healthcare and smartphones. The company announced partnerships with German automaker Audi and pharmaceutical company Novartis. The chipmaker also launched an entire smart home reference platform to make it easy to integrate their Snapdragon chips into smart home devices. Continue reading Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors Power Connected Devices

CTA Research on Displays with Focus on OLED, 4K and HDR

In a CTA Research Summit data-centric presentation at CES, the organization’s senior director of market research Steve Koenig summed up the recent trends in TV displays and predicted future directions. Although the TV display is besieged by competition from smartphones and tablets, interest in purchasing a TV is still strong. A recent CTA poll showed that, in the next 12 months, 33 percent plan to buy a smartphone and 29 percent want a TV, followed by smaller percentages for laptops, tablets and video game consoles. Continue reading CTA Research on Displays with Focus on OLED, 4K and HDR

Hollywood & Media: No One Owns Customers, Metadata Rules

The argument over who owns customers is over. “The customer will own himself more than ever,” says Ipsos executive Jake Dorn. “Who will own the data/metadata and who will make it actual? That’ll have a huge impact on the experience we see in the future.” TiVo executive Evan Young agrees. “We see people rebelling,” he says. “They’re shifting their habits to the media that suits their need, dropping on and off [outlets].” ICM’s Jonathan Perelman adds, “the consumer doesn’t care where it is or how it’s been made.” Continue reading Hollywood & Media: No One Owns Customers, Metadata Rules

CES: Merging Content with New Tech in a Fragmented World

Americans look at their cell phones 8 billion times a day, says Deloitte & Touche’s Craig Wigginton, who moderated a panel on “Merging Content With New Technologies.” Wigginton recited a flurry of statistics that underline today’s extreme fragmentation, a reality that challenges all content companies: Millennials check their smartphones 74 times a day, and 87 percent of them use it while watching TV. Meanwhile, 42 percent of Americans now use streaming services and over 50 percent of millennials watch on a small screen. Continue reading CES: Merging Content with New Tech in a Fragmented World

Kapture Audio Debuts Sensor-Based Recording Tech at CES

In discussing CES 2016 trends, Consumer Technology Association CTO Shawn DuBravac identified “ambient sensing,” or the ability of sensors to monitor and measure data in continuous time. On the stage at CES, he showcased a product that exemplifies some of the innovation possible with ambient sensing. Kapture Audio, a wearable platform and app, enables users to capture 60-seconds of audio and share it with others. DuBravac interviewed co-founder Mike Sarow about the device and its capabilities. Continue reading Kapture Audio Debuts Sensor-Based Recording Tech at CES

CES 2016: Exhibits Spread Out Across 2.4 Million Square Feet

Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water, reads the advice on the CES media advisory. Navigating the record 2.4 million square feet, the equivalent of 50 football fields, is an endurance event. Much like a marathon, CES is best managed with a plan and a pace. The first 36 hours of the conference are filled with media briefings and product announcements that will add important detail to the geographic layout. Today, ETCentric provides you with a general guide of where to find key exhibits. Continue reading CES 2016: Exhibits Spread Out Across 2.4 Million Square Feet

CES to Break Records, Showcase Key Tech Trends for 2016

CES 2016 will be the largest in the organization’s 49-year history, says chief economist Shawn DuBravac. With 2.4 million square feet of exhibit space — equal to 50 football fields — the show is expected to welcome 150,000 attendees, including 45,000 international visitors from 150 countries. DuBravac reported that the name of CES producer the Consumer Electronics Association has changed to the Consumer Technology Association, to better reflect its current mix of members including Uber, Lyft, Snapchat and Airbnb. Continue reading CES to Break Records, Showcase Key Tech Trends for 2016

Clarion to Demo its New Full Digital Car Sound System at CES

Clarion is bringing what it claims to be the first fully digital, in-car audio system to CES this week. The company’s Full Digital Sound (FDS) system also plays high-resolution audio. “This all-digital approach operates on a purely digital audio signal from the source to the speaker voice coils, resulting in pristine sounding audio with zero loss in quality and no added noise from DACs or analog connections,” explained the company. The digital signal travels from the head unit to a processor and then to the speakers; at no point is it converted from digital to analog or passed through an amplifier. Continue reading Clarion to Demo its New Full Digital Car Sound System at CES

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