Twitter Users Vote in Favor of Musk Stepping Down as CEO

Facing backlash against his executive leadership, Twitter’s new owner and CEO, billionaire Elon Musk, conducted an informal 12-hour poll over the weekend asking users of the popular social media platform whether he should keep his new position. “Should I step down as head of Twitter?” the controversial executive asked. “I will abide by the results of this poll.” After more than 17.5 million responses, the results indicate that a majority of users believe Musk should step down from his post (57.5 percent voted in the affirmative). As of press time, it remains unclear what action Musk may take in light of the poll results. Continue reading Twitter Users Vote in Favor of Musk Stepping Down as CEO

USC Students Have Opportunity to Speak with Media Execs

On December 2, senior media executives gathered on Zoom to answer questions from USC students about industry trends, company strategies and career direction. The students had submitted winning pitches in the ETC@USC Future of Themed Experiences Challenge and their reward was time with the media executives. The questions ranged from “Do you need to learn to code to break into entertainment technology?” to “What are some visionary directions you see your company investing in over the next 4-5 years?” Video of the discussions, along with the lists of questions, students, and executives, is available online. Continue reading USC Students Have Opportunity to Speak with Media Execs

CES 2023: What to Expect When the Show Opens in January

For four days in Las Vegas, CES 2023 becomes the nucleus of global innovation. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), owner of CES, predicts a show significantly larger than CES 2022, emerging from two pandemic restricted years on January 5. The annual confab will open more than two million square feet of exhibit space with more than 2,400 exhibitors and the expectation of as many as 100,000 attendees, more than double the last show. ETC@USC will have its team in place, on the ground and online, to explore the show floor and over 175 sessions and keynotes. We’ll be reporting on the latest in AI, Web3, multiverses, image displays and other emerging CE tech impacting M&E. Continue reading CES 2023: What to Expect When the Show Opens in January

ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

On October 22, ETC@USC began a one-week student challenge on “The Future of Themed Experiences.” Leveraging the tools, techniques and resources of today and those that could emerge in the next few years, students were asked to come up with an original idea for an experience that: 1) has a specific location-based experience, and 2) extends the experience out into the real and virtual worlds before and after the person has the location-based experience. Eighteen 3-minute pitch videos were submitted and an esteemed panel of industry executives chose to reward five of them. All 18 videos with follow-up Q&A discussions are available online. Continue reading ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

Virtual ETC Conference Held During SIGGRAPH in Vancouver

The Entertainment Technology Center at USC announced availability of its latest video series, “vETC | 2022,” recorded September 9-11 at SIGGRAPH 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia. vETC is a virtual conference of significant presentations around emerging technologies and their impact on the M&E industry. The program’s focus included on-set virtual production (OSVP), in-camera visual effects (ICVFX), virtual production, adaptive production, immersive media and virtual beings. Speakers presented concepts, workflows, business models and case studies in showcasing these disruptive and enabling technologies. The videos are now available on ETC’s YouTube channel. Continue reading Virtual ETC Conference Held During SIGGRAPH in Vancouver

Industry Experts to Convene for Virtual Production Workshop

As part of the upcoming Infinity Festival 2022 — “where Hollywood meets Silicon Valley” — production and tech experts will gather for a special one-day workshop covering numerous elements of on-set virtual production. The event, slated for 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on November 5 at Goya Studios in Los Angeles, will showcase an LED volume for hands-on demos related to the virtual art department, on-set operations, and shooting and directing. The workshop is presented by Nvidia and Z by HP in association with ETC@USC. It is produced by Erik Weaver of ETC and co-hosted by Rick Champagne of Nvidia. Visit Infinity Festival for tickets and more info (use code Weaver25 for a 25 percent discount). Continue reading Industry Experts to Convene for Virtual Production Workshop

Samsung Touts New Initiatives and Private Blockchain Security

At the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company introduced new initiatives tied to its latest smartphones, the Galaxy Watch 5 and other connected devices. Samsung also revealed plans for personalization enabled by its One UI 5, the updated user interface that will be made available later this month. Security and privacy were also on the agenda. The company announced it is developing a method to keep IoT smart devices secure by putting them on the blockchain. Samsung Knox Matrix will feature a private blockchain system to help protect Galaxy devices, TV sets and smart home appliances while securely sharing login credentials. Continue reading Samsung Touts New Initiatives and Private Blockchain Security

ETC@USC Announces RoninX Foundation as Board Member

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is pleased to announce the addition of the RoninX Foundation to its executive board. The Japan-based foundation is pursuing a camera metadata interoperability standard and a new 8K streaming protocol for innovative use cases for the open multiverse. The RoninX Foundation is guided by its community of camera manufacturers, storage providers, Internet service providers, infrastructure providers, 5G operators and studios. Continue reading ETC@USC Announces RoninX Foundation as Board Member

Instagram Enables Its Users to Upload Longer Video Stories

Photo- and video-sharing social app Instagram is introducing the option for users to upload longer uninterrupted Stories of up to 60 seconds in duration, without automatically converting the video content into 15-second mini-clips as was previously the norm. The Meta Platforms-owned network began testing the update with select users in December 2021 and just announced that the feature is rolling out to all global users. Allowing content creators to share 60-second Stories in one slide is expected to be a welcome change for both users and viewers. Continue reading Instagram Enables Its Users to Upload Longer Video Stories

Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

Snap Inc. announced plans to cancel ongoing projects such as Snap Originals, in-app multiplayer games, HTML mini-apps built by outside developers, and future development of its Pixy selfie-camera drone — all part of a corporate restructuring that will include laying off about 20 percent of its more than 6,400 employees. The company, which operates the popular social media app Snapchat, is taking cost-cutting measures as it faces growing competition from TikTok and other rivals and challenges to its core digital advertising business. Continue reading Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

Industry Leaders Discuss Virtual Beings at ETC Town Square

Five industry experts were invited to give 25-minute presentations over Zoom to the ETC@USC membership last week on the theme of virtual beings. Discussions addressed creating a more emotive and relatable personality and improving the image, sound and body language of virtual characters. The presenters were chosen because of their efforts to bring a new dimension to related discussions taking place within ETC’s member companies. The talks were recorded and posted on ETCentric in support of ETC’s mission of sharing information and educating the industry. Continue reading Industry Leaders Discuss Virtual Beings at ETC Town Square

Biden Signs Bill to Boost Chip Production and Supply Chains

President Biden signed the expansive $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act into law yesterday. The legislation includes $52.7 billion in subsidies and tax credits to help strengthen U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and workforce development. In addition to revitalizing domestic manufacturing efforts, the package intends to “create good-paying American jobs, strengthen American supply chains, and accelerate the industries of the future,” explains the White House. The measure is also part of larger effort by the federal government to combat the growing influence of China, especially involving tech sectors and the potential impact to security and privacy. Continue reading Biden Signs Bill to Boost Chip Production and Supply Chains