CES: Immersive Virtual Monitor Does Not Require a Headset

MIT Media Lab spin-off Brelyon, founded in 2018, is demonstrating its Ultra Reality screen technology this week at CES 2022. The display tech uses computational optics to essentially offer a curved 120-inch 3D “theater-like experience” via a 32-inch desktop monitor, which the company suggests is ideal for entertainment, gaming and enterprise applications “beyond screens, into the metaverse.” The concept relies on realistic depth effects and image composition techniques to provide users with a plug-and-play, high-fidelity, virtual experience that does not rely on VR headsets. Continue reading CES: Immersive Virtual Monitor Does Not Require a Headset

CES: Top Concepts from the 2022 Eureka Park Startup Zone

ETC’s George Gerba and Don Levy spent Wednesday perusing the CES 2022 Eureka Park startup zone looking for new companies and unique products that would be of particular interest to the entertainment industry. Among this year’s most compelling concepts were an AI-assisted content creation tool, COVID-compliant tech ideal for workspaces and productions, AI-based audio tech, a response tracking system for dynamic displays, emerging NFT approaches for artists, new tech investing models, light-based networking solutions, paper-based biofuel cells and haptic wearables. Continue reading CES: Top Concepts from the 2022 Eureka Park Startup Zone

CES: Highlights from the 2022 CES Unveiled Pre-Show Event

ETC’s George Gerba visited the CES Unveiled show floor in Las Vegas Monday evening looking for companies and products that would be of interest to our members, illustrate emerging trends, or are simply unusual. Gerba discovered a range of compelling technologies across areas such as blockchain, non-fungible tokens, Li-Fi, wearables, large-scale video screens, the metaverse, remote work, cell signal boosters, health, batteries and more. Among the more interesting companies at CES Unveiled this year were Icecap, Oledcomm, Somalytics, VideowindoW, Toraru, SureCall, Biospectal, Prinker, Airxom and Nanotech Energy.  Continue reading CES: Highlights from the 2022 CES Unveiled Pre-Show Event

CES: Hyundai Envisions ‘Unlimited Mobility of Things’ Future

During CES 2022, Hyundai Motor Company presented a compelling vision of the future that blends the metaverse, the Internet and robotics to make time, distance and the distinction between the physical and virtual worlds irrelevant. The company’s media event started with videos of a robotic platform concept that could be built into furniture for dynamically reconfigurable rooms. The platform technology could also carry people in personal mobility pods and power autonomous vehicles. Hyundai describes its vision as the “unlimited mobility of things.” Continue reading CES: Hyundai Envisions ‘Unlimited Mobility of Things’ Future

CES: Fittingbox Demonstrates Unexpectedly Useful AR App

Sometimes you see a product idea that is so obvious you wonder why no one created it sooner. French company Fittingbox has developed an augmented reality app and a 3D model database that lets you try on new frames for eyewear without taking off your old glasses, so you can actually see what you look like as you try them on. Diminished reality is a subset of augmented reality focused on removing, rather than adding, elements of what you see and hear. The Fittingbox app uses the selfie camera on a smartphone to scan the face of the customer. It then recognizes and removes the wearer’s glasses from the 3D modeled image. Continue reading CES: Fittingbox Demonstrates Unexpectedly Useful AR App

Adobe Analytics Reports a First Time Drop for Cyber Monday

Consumers spent $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, representing a 1.4 percent decrease compared to last year. The sales drop marks the first time that Adobe Analytics reported a decrease in spending on a major shopping day (the firm has been tracking e-commerce since 2012). Adobe still anticipates record-breaking online shopping activity through the overall holiday season. According to the web analytics firm, U.S. consumers spent $109.8 billion online from November 1 through Cyber Monday, marking an 11.9 percent jump over 2020 for the same period. Continue reading Adobe Analytics Reports a First Time Drop for Cyber Monday

USC Students Compete in Second ETC Metaverse Challenge

University of Southern California students were invited to participate in the second of two scheduled Metaverse Experience Challenges, hosted by ETC@USC. Making use of current and emerging tools, students were tasked with developing original ideas for compelling metaverse experiences. Ten teams started work at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 8 and presented their ideas to judges from Epic Games, Universal Pictures, Disney Studios, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 9. Each member of the winning teams — MetaversEdu and MetaMall — received a Nintendo Switch “Fortnite” Edition, courtesy of Epic Games. Continue reading USC Students Compete in Second ETC Metaverse Challenge

ETC Launches First of Two Metaverse Experience Challenges

University of Southern California students were invited to participate in the first of two scheduled Metaverse Experience Challenges, hosted by ETC@USC. Making use of current and emerging tools, students were tasked with developing original ideas for compelling metaverse experiences. Six teams of randomly-grouped students started work at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 1 and presented their ideas to judges from Epic Games, Universal Pictures and Disney Research at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 2. Each member of the winning teams — Meetaverse and Virtual Vinyl — received a Nintendo Switch “Fortnite” Edition, courtesy of Epic Games. Continue reading ETC Launches First of Two Metaverse Experience Challenges

Thinking About CES: Increasing Computational Sophistication

The entertainment industry has traditionally piggybacked on primary development in other sectors to fuel our own innovative adoption of practical and compelling technologies. History shows that we consistently benefit from numerous advances across industries for reuse or adaption in our key areas ranging from internal communication all the way to distribution of content. As we start compiling our wish lists for emerging standout technologies to be featured at CES 2022 (returning to Las Vegas January 5-8), we anticipate that an expanded computational sophistication of consumer devices will be in the cards. Continue reading Thinking About CES: Increasing Computational Sophistication

U.S. and EU Conduct Their First Trade Tech Council Meeting

The European Union and United States agreed yesterday on strengthening cooperation regarding several major global concerns, including a “rebalancing” of supply chains for semiconductors, new approaches to regulating international tech companies, and practical models for contending with “non-market, trade-distortive policies and practices” (although China was not singled out in the group’s statement). During their first meeting in Pittsburgh yesterday, officials from the newly formed U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) promised to work together on the development of artificial intelligence and screening interests in sensitive dual-use technologies. Continue reading U.S. and EU Conduct Their First Trade Tech Council Meeting

FTC Is Considering the Need for Stricter Online Privacy Rules

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into establishing stronger online privacy protections that would hold businesses such as Facebook, Google and Twitter more responsible for how they handle consumer data. The early discussions, under the leadership of new chair and vocal Big Tech critic Lina Khan, are addressing the possibility of introducing FTC regulation due to what is perceived as gridlock in Congress in creating a federal law. Privacy and civil rights groups have advocated for a single federal law — similar to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — rather than state laws (or no regulation at all). Continue reading FTC Is Considering the Need for Stricter Online Privacy Rules

Google to Update Its Product Searches to Attract Advertisers

In its latest effort to take on Amazon in e-commerce advertising, Alphabet announced that Google will update its product search pages to include more images of items such as accessories and apparel. Rather than Google’s traditional scroll of links with accompanying text, the results will feature a look more similar to a digital store. The move is part of the search giant’s larger strategy to fend off Amazon, Target, Walmart and others that have been ramping up their digital ad businesses to complement retail and e-commerce operations. While Google still enjoys the lead in online search, it does not join these competitors in directly selling products. Continue reading Google to Update Its Product Searches to Attract Advertisers

Equinix and ETC Present ‘Virtual Production at Cloud Speed’

Global data center leader Equinix and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC will present a series of discussions that address virtual production and cloud workflows across various media and broadcast industries. The free webinar is slated for September 23 and will feature thought leaders from AWS, Epic Games, Equinix, ETC@USC, Google, Lux Machina, Mo-Sys Engineering, Paramount Pictures, PGA Tour Productions, Quintar, Silverdraft, and T&P Productions. Visit the webinar page online for more information and to register for what promises to be a compelling event. Continue reading Equinix and ETC Present ‘Virtual Production at Cloud Speed’