Mobile and Video Growth Leads to Revenue Jump for Facebook

Facebook reported strong earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014 with revenue increasing by 49 percent to $3.85 billion. Much of that growth is due to a strong mobile showing. Notably, mobile advertising accounts for 69 percent of the company’s advertising revenue and more than 520 million people now access Facebook solely from their mobile devices. Many of those mobile visitors are watching videos. Facebook says the videos on the social network are now racking up 3 billion views per day. Continue reading Mobile and Video Growth Leads to Revenue Jump for Facebook

VR Reigns in New Frontier Category at Sundance Film Festival

In the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier exhibition, virtual reality is making a strong showing with 11 VR installations at this year’s festival. The projects range from a high-flying experience through the skies of San Francisco to a first-person perspective of a college assault as well as a number of compelling examples regarding how news gathering and documentary storytelling is evolving. The technology is advancing so rapidly that creators already have new ideas about how to produce the content. Continue reading VR Reigns in New Frontier Category at Sundance Film Festival

Oculus Launches Movie Studio to Make Content for its Headset

Oculus VR is expanding its focus from video games to virtual reality films. The Facebook-owned Oculus has created a new in-house movie studio called Story Studio to create films and find the best practices for VR storytelling. The new content created by Story Studio intends to help attract more users to the Oculus Rift headset, while also encouraging other filmmakers to make similar VR films. Story Studio’s first work is a short film called “Lost,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Continue reading Oculus Launches Movie Studio to Make Content for its Headset

New VR Content Shows the Future of News and Documentaries

Virtual reality is poised as the next revolution in storytelling, and the creators of VR content are not picking the easy stories. For example, Vice News is using VR to cover the New York Million March, a demonstration in which 25,000 people protested police violence. The United Nations’ campaign to raise awareness of vulnerable communities includes a VR film that follows the plight of 12-year-old Syrian refugee. Both the news report and the film are available on the VRSE platform, which makes such stories readily accessible.  Continue reading New VR Content Shows the Future of News and Documentaries

Museums Bridging the Gap Between the Digital and Physical

The Smithsonian Institution has developed an iOS app called “Skin & Bones” that uses 3D animation and augmented reality to help bring fossils to life for children visiting Bone Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. In addition to the 3D animations and related information, the free app offers detailed maps of the museum. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on-site so visitors can easily download the app. The approach is another example of how organizations are exploring compelling use of immersive technologies. Continue reading Museums Bridging the Gap Between the Digital and Physical

Gannett’s Oculus Rift Experiment Covers Skiing Championships

Gannett is once again experimenting with ways to approach journalism through virtual reality technology. This time, the company created the “World Championships Skiing Virtual Reality Experience.” Viewers can be transported to Vail, Colorado where they can watch the skiers train and hang out — or even ski down the mountain themselves. The experience features 360-degree footage of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and there is a 2D version for people who do not have access to an Oculus Rift. Continue reading Gannett’s Oculus Rift Experiment Covers Skiing Championships

CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 1)

The Consumer Electronics Association’s Director of Business Intelligence Jack Cutts is the organization’s lead analyst on smart eyewear, watches, glasses and phones. He released his forecast figures for the category of wearables — here defined as fitness trackers, smartwatches and smart eyewear (plus any device worn in, on or around the eyes). When will wearables go mainstream? This is one of the issues that Cutts’ data revealed, starting with the current market and out to 2018 and beyond. Continue reading CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 1)

CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 2)

In History and Direction of Wearables Part 1, we looked at the Consumer Electronics Association’s numbers for wearables, from 2014 through the end of 2015. CEA’s Director of Business Intelligence Jack Cutts released his forecast figures for the wearables category, specifically in terms of fitness trackers, smartwatches and smart eyewear. In Part 2 of our report, we look at CEA’s projected numbers regarding wearables from 2016 through 2018 and beyond. “This time next year will be the beginning of the wearables mania,” said Cutts. Continue reading CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 2)

Startup Demos New Eye Tracking Virtual Reality HMD at CES

Japanese startup FOVE has developed a virtual reality head-mounted display with built-in eye tracking. The eye tracking enables the software to render the areas where the viewer is not looking with less precision than the area where the viewer is staring, allowing for more efficient CPU/GPU resource utilization. The rendered image was very clear, and the eye tracking worked well. When the headset goes to market, a FOVE rep expects the HMD with headtracking to sell for $400-$450. Continue reading Startup Demos New Eye Tracking Virtual Reality HMD at CES

ARKAMYS Demonstrates 360-Degree Audio-Visual Experience

With the rise of new headsets promising unique augmented and virtual reality experiences, many are anxiously awaiting the first killer product, while others are wondering how we will produce the compelling content — movies, games and other experiences — that will make the technology worthwhile to the public. ARKAMYS is a company that specializes in automotive audio, but at CES this year it is demonstrating how its tech can be used to create a 360-degree experience in which the user steps inside another’s perspective. Continue reading ARKAMYS Demonstrates 360-Degree Audio-Visual Experience

Tech Session: Developing MEMS and Sensors for a Smart IoT

A group of movers and shakers in the MEMS/sensors industry gathered during a day-long conference at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas yesterday to discuss how their technologies need to evolve in order to enable a smart Internet of Things. Panelists addressed the need for improved sensing technologies, smaller form factors and better integration. Companies represented during the early afternoon session included SunEdison Semiconductor, IBM, Evernote, ARM and virtual reality startup Virtuix. Continue reading Tech Session: Developing MEMS and Sensors for a Smart IoT

Startup Demos Virtual Reality Audio with Neoh Headphones

3D Sound Labs, a French company exhibiting in the Eureka Park startup area at the 2015 International CES, demonstrated new headphones that combine head tracking and software to dynamically tune sound that creates what the company describes as “the most immersive, wearable sound experience.” According to CEO and co-founder Xavier Bonjour, a former Technicolor executive, the Neoh headphones produce an experience that does for sound what virtual reality technology is producing visually. Continue reading Startup Demos Virtual Reality Audio with Neoh Headphones

2015 CES: Razer Unveils its $199 Open-Source VR Headset

PC game hardware manufacturer Razer may be looking to compete with virtual headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. At CES, the company unveiled its own VR headset, the open-source OSVR Hacker Dev Kit. According to Razer, the $199 kit is compatible with Oculus DK2 software and experimental Linux and Android VR software. Slated for June availability, the kit is tied to a new consortium that plans to offer an alternative test bed for developers interested in VR. Continue reading 2015 CES: Razer Unveils its $199 Open-Source VR Headset

YouTube to Support 360-Degree Videos from Giroptic 360cam

Google confirmed that it plans to add native support for 360-degree videos for its YouTube streaming video service “in the coming weeks.” At the 2015 CES, French company Giroptic revealed that its soon-to-be-released $499 360cam — a rugged, lightweight, waterproof camera looking to take on the GoPro — would be the first 360-degree camera that YouTube plans to support. The announcement could also be good news for users of new cameras such as the Bublcam, Kodak SP360, Ricoh Theta, VSN Mobil V.360 and others. Continue reading YouTube to Support 360-Degree Videos from Giroptic 360cam

Allie Cameras Can Live Stream 720-Degree Virtual Reality Video

IC Real Tech is showcasing a consumer-friendly and affordable VR camera solution at CES this week. Using new video stitching technology, the Allie camera line (pronounced “All-ee,” like a “selfie” in all directions) can create a 720-degree view by combining two 360-degree camera feeds into an “all-D” image. Users have the ability to control perspectives in recorded videos and can stream live footage. IC Real Tech debuted its Allie Play, Home and Pro video cameras at CES, which will range from under $500 to $3,000. Continue reading Allie Cameras Can Live Stream 720-Degree Virtual Reality Video

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