MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

Joichi “Joi” Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, explored how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in his SIGGRAPH 2015 keynote presentation. Ito’s remarks addressed what he and his colleagues at the Media Lab view as a fundamental shift in the way we need to work, collaborate, think, imagine and create. He calls it the “Creativity Compass” and unites science, art, design and engineering. Several of the Media Lab’s futuristic projects were also featured. Continue reading MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Greenlight VR, a San Francisco-based business intelligence startup specializing in the virtual reality industry, has created a business map of significant VR players. The rising prospects for virtual reality as a mainstream medium has seen new demand for ways of better grasping the scope and nuances of the industry’s emerging and rapidly evolving landscape. The database profiles hundreds of VR businesses from around the world — from fledgling startups to the established companies entering this space — organized by 22 categories across 11 sectors. Continue reading Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

Oculus Story Studio, a lab program within Oculus VR dedicated to experimentation with the goal of helping virtual reality grow as a platform, is using “Lost Director’s Cut,” a new version of the studio’s short VR film as the basis for a new social experience that promises to change the paradigm of VR experiences from solitary to shared. The purpose of the new demonstration is to show filmmakers and other creatives how far they can push virtual reality beyond current single-person, isolated experiences. Continue reading Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

GOG Galaxy: New DRM-Free Online Gaming Service Goes Live

After a yearlong wait, game publisher Good Old Games (GOG) has finally launched online gaming platform GOG Galaxy, that much like Steam, updates games automatically. However, with GOG Galaxy the games can be downloaded without DRM restrictions for offline gameplay as well. Galaxy’s online social features and automatic updates are said to be optional and can be turned on and off as desired. A beta version of GOG Galaxy is now available for Mac and Windows users. Continue reading GOG Galaxy: New DRM-Free Online Gaming Service Goes Live

Google Leverages NFL Content Deal to Push YouTube Ad Sales

Back in January, YouTube closed a deal with the National Football League to set up an NFL channel on its video platform, offering viewers game previews, highlights and more. In anticipation of the next season, YouTube is looking to capitalize on its NFL programming to secure lucrative advertising deals. The tech giant has set its NFL ad package at $5.2 million for the entire season, on the condition that marketers also commit to paying that same amount to enlist in its Google Preferred program. Continue reading Google Leverages NFL Content Deal to Push YouTube Ad Sales

‘Silicon Valley’ Season 2 Premiere to Stream for Free on Twitch

HBO recently announced it plans to stream the second season premiere of “Silicon Valley” on Twitch, Amazon’s streaming service for game enthusiasts. The episode will stream free of charge starting next Wednesday, April 8. Cast members are expected to participate in a live stream discussion, which will be made available on Twitch before the episode begins streaming. The partnership not only helps Twitch expand its content offerings, but also allows HBO to reach a wider, younger audience.  Continue reading ‘Silicon Valley’ Season 2 Premiere to Stream for Free on Twitch

Oculus Rift VR Headset Expected to Hit the Market This Year

After acquiring virtual reality startup Oculus for $2 billion last year, Facebook will finally release the much anticipated Oculus Rift VR headset. Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering for Facebook announced that the company would start shipping the device this year. The consumer release of the Gear VR, also by Oculus, is also scheduled for this fall. Facebook’s next challenge is to make VR more social. It recently introduced 360-degree spherical videos for its social network’s News Feeds. Continue reading Oculus Rift VR Headset Expected to Hit the Market This Year

Online Video Ad Sales Are Expected to Take Bite Out of TV

Facebook is expected to generate about $3.8 billion in revenue from video advertising by 2017. That figure represents triple what the company is projected to take in this year. Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente wrote that Facebook has the potential to boost video ad sales “with only modest cannibalization of other ad revenue sources.” Nomura also projects that Google-owned YouTube will more than double its 2014 revenue to $8.5 billion by 2017. Increased spending for online video ads could impact traditional spending areas such as TV. Continue reading Online Video Ad Sales Are Expected to Take Bite Out of TV

Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

We recently reported that HTC partnered with Seattle-based gaming company Valve to develop Vive, a new VR headset with plans to compete with the Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus. Valve is the developer behind Steam, the social platform for distributing and managing games. The Vive headset was unveiled at last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and is already generating positive reviews for its tech advances, including low latency and a fast refresh rate that reduces the incidence of “Sim Sickness.” Continue reading Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

Meerkat Planning New Features After Restrictions by Twitter

We recently reported that Life on Air’s new iOS app Meerkat was attracting a large number of Twitter users interested in broadcasting live, temporary video. Twitter has since restricted Meerkat from using some of its tools, including the ability to pull info about a user’s follower base (important to Meerkat users for locating their existing friends). Speaking at South By Southwest in Austin over the weekend, Life on Air CEO Ben Rubin said Twitter’s move has motivated him to speed up the development of new features for Meerkat. Continue reading Meerkat Planning New Features After Restrictions by Twitter

YouTube Fends Off New Competition for Premium Video Deals

YouTube is facing growing competition from companies such as Snapchat, Facebook and streaming newcomer Vessel for television programming provided by media giants such as Viacom, NBCUniversal and Time Warner. The competition wants to undercut YouTube’s share of big media programming by offering content suppliers more lucrative returns of ad revenue. Despite the offers, some media companies remain hesitant due to the demands of YouTube’s competitors.   Continue reading YouTube Fends Off New Competition for Premium Video Deals

Immersis Projector Aims to Make VR Experience Less Solitary

A team of French and American designers at Catopsys has developed a projector for immersive gaming and video experiences that can be shared by a room full of people. The Immersis is designed to display a 180-degree view of a virtual reality experience. Instead of everyone shutting out the world (and each other) when they put on a VR headset like the Oculus Rift, people can share in a VR experience. The LED projector could encourage developers to make more party games and turn VR into more of a social experience. Continue reading Immersis Projector Aims to Make VR Experience Less Solitary

Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Facebook is launching a new service designed to be appropriate for the workplace called Facebook at Work. The service is almost identical to the regular social network, except for a white color scheme that replaces the iconic blue layout. The difference in colors is to help employer’s distinguish when someone is using a work account as opposed to a personal one. Facebook at Work will allow users to connect with colleagues to become more efficient around the office. Continue reading Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

With nearly 70 million visitors per month, Pinterest is becoming a popular destination for advertisers to reach new audiences, except not in the way that Pinterest intended. Instead of advertising directly through Pinterest via “Promoted Pins,” advertisers have found success in partnering with an array of “Pinfluencers,” individuals that have accrued millions of followers. Advertisers see the influence these individuals have over followers, and are discovering new ways to leverage them as effective marketing tools.  Continue reading Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

Ellen DeGeneres is launching Ellentube, a website and app that will screen exclusive content from her popular daytime television program. The TV personality already runs one of the largest YouTube channels focused on television content. Now, along with executive producers Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, DeGeneres has created Ellentube for interactive use. Fans will be able to upload videos, the best of which will be deemed suitable for a showcase on her daily program. Continue reading Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

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