Tabletop Computer Screens Bring Change to Dining Experience

Tabletop computer screens could improve the restaurant experience for diners and employees. Restaurants such as Chili’s Bar & Grill plan to introduce such technology in the future. The causal dining chain, which has been testing the approach this year, will install tabletop touchscreens in most of its 1,266 restaurants by early next year. Dallas-based Ziosk LLC provides tablet computers mounted to a base that include menu options, a card swipe device and video games. Continue reading Tabletop Computer Screens Bring Change to Dining Experience

New Smart TV App Will Remind Viewers When Shows Will Air

Visible World, a New York specialist in interactive advertising, is testing a smart TV app that alerts viewers when a certain program is about to air, even if they are doing something else such as playing a video game or streaming a movie. TV networks are finding it more difficult to get the word out about their shows, but this app may help to solve that issue. The app may also prove helpful for TV networks in determining how effective their promotions are to TV viewers. Continue reading New Smart TV App Will Remind Viewers When Shows Will Air

Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

Microsoft is developing a personal assistant app called Cortana that will compete directly with Apple’s Siri and Google Now. Cortana derives its name from an artificially intelligent character in Microsoft’s “Halo” series. Essentially, the app will be able to learn and adapt while utilizing machine-learning technology and the Satori knowledge repository powering Bing. The app will likely be released somewhere between 2014 and 2016. Continue reading Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

Facebook: Impact of News Feed Seven Years After its Launch

Facebook’s News Feed feature was introduced in 2006, eventually leading to a significant shift in the Internet experience by impacting media, politics, advertising and communication. News Feed opened new possibilities for information exchange, making it more easily accessible to everyone. While some people may claim issue with making their information so available, it is the public nature of Facebook’s News Feed that has made the social media site so popular. Continue reading Facebook: Impact of News Feed Seven Years After its Launch

Cartoon Network: Are Ratings Suffering Due to Netflix Deal?

An analysis of ratings for Turner’s Cartoon Network suggests that children’s cable programmers may be suffering as a result of Netflix deals. At the beginning of 2013, Turner solidified a deal with Netflix that included shows on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Since Cartoon Network content became available on Netflix at the end of March, data has revealed that ratings in Netflix households have been 10 percent lower than those of non-Netflix households. Continue reading Cartoon Network: Are Ratings Suffering Due to Netflix Deal?

Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Target announced it will enter the Internet video business with a new service that will offer customers the ability to purchase or rent TV shows and movies. The Target Ticket service already has approximately 30,000 movie and TV titles available. Although the retailer is entering the digital video market a bit late in the game, the company is betting that Target Ticket will stand out due to its simplicity, parental controls, and access to next-day TV episodes.   Continue reading Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Newly Launched Yahoo Screen Serves as Mobile Hub for Video

Yahoo’s mobile team in New York City has a developed an app that turns traditional channel surfing into a more intuitive experience with a swipeable interface for browsing and discovery. The iOS app serves as a mobile home for original video content from Yahoo and its content partners, while a side bar allows navigation between other Yahoo apps such as Mail, Flickr and Fantasy Sports. Yahoo Screen already offers more than 1,000 hours of comedy programming, sports, news, movie trailers and more. Continue reading Newly Launched Yahoo Screen Serves as Mobile Hub for Video

Facebook Decides to Push Back Launch for Video Ad Program

Facebook has again decided to postpone the unveiling of its video ad program. The 15-second ad slots, reportedly priced from $1 million to roughly $2.4 million, are expected to target specific demographics of the Facebook userbase. Although the program was initially scheduled to launch in the first half of the year, the unveiling was eventually pushed to the summer, and then October. With the most recent delay, the company has not provided a new launch timeframe. Continue reading Facebook Decides to Push Back Launch for Video Ad Program

Kids Engage in Disney Infinity, Game Generates Big Numbers

Disney sold 400,000 units of its “Infinity” game system in the two weeks since its debut, generating an estimated $30 million. In its first week of availability, sales for the new game matched sales of Activision Blizzard’s “Skylanders Giants” during its debut week. According to Activision, “Skylanders Giants” was the top children’s game of the 2012 holiday season. Like “Skylanders,” “Infinity” allows kids to combine collectible figures with on screen video game play. Continue reading Kids Engage in Disney Infinity, Game Generates Big Numbers

Snapchat Boasts 350 Million Snaps Per Day, Looks to Expand

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel recently announced that the company’s messaging app is processing more than 350 million snaps a day, which is an increase from 200 million in June. The popularity of the app stems from the fact that one can send pictures that are instantly deleted after being opened. Facebook’s Poke app may have been a potential threat to Snapchat, but while the Poke app has lost popularity, Snapchat is number 12 among Apple’s free apps. Continue reading Snapchat Boasts 350 Million Snaps Per Day, Looks to Expand

Build Print and Digital Book Libraries with Kindle MatchBook

We recently reported that Amazon has announced a new program called Kindle Matchbook that allows book enthusiasts to buy electronic versions of books that they have already purchased in print. In many cases, the program will allow customers to pay less than what they typically would for a standalone Kindle book. Customers will pay $2.99, $1.99, $0.99 — or nothing — for an electronic book they have already purchased in print. Continue reading Build Print and Digital Book Libraries with Kindle MatchBook

Pixar Veterans Create Interactive Talk Show App for Kids

Kids who watch shows such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Blue’s Clues” are often asked questions that encourage responses, but the TV of course does not interact beyond that point. This problem is being solved by San Francisco startup ToyTalk, a company launched by former employees of Pixar Animation Studios. Their first iPad app, “The Winston Show,” features Winston and his sidekick Ellington posing questions to their young viewers and then responding intelligently. Continue reading Pixar Veterans Create Interactive Talk Show App for Kids

Buffer Festival in Toronto Will Showcase YouTube Content

Two months from now, the Buffer Festival in Toronto plans to bring some of the more compelling YouTube content to the big screen. The festival will be held November 8-10 at several theaters throughout Toronto, such as TIFF Bell Lightbox, Scotiabank Theatre, Glenn Gould Studio and the Jane Mallett Theatre. While YouTube content has been included in other film festivals before, there has never been a festival solely dedicated to the video site’s content and its creators. Continue reading Buffer Festival in Toronto Will Showcase YouTube Content

IFA 2013: Samsung Smartwatch Targets the Health Conscious

Samsung unveiled a prototype of its new smartwatch at the IFA show in Berlin last week. The Galaxy Gear is expected to rival a new wave of devices from Apple, Microsoft, LG, Sony, Pebble and others. The prototype boasts a high quality AMOLED display, 4-megapixel camera, and tiny speakers in the clasp. For those who are concerned about health and fitness, the watch is able to track health data at the gym, measure heart rate, help devise workouts, and track food intake by taking photos of meals. Continue reading IFA 2013: Samsung Smartwatch Targets the Health Conscious

Kodak Exec Unveils Plans to Keep Film Product in Hollywood

Kodak emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week and has a plan to keep its product in Hollywood, despite a market that favors digital imaging. While more than 75 percent of the world’s cinema screens currently support digital projection, Kodak has commitments to provide film to the major studios for production needs and distribution, deals that run through 2014 or 2015 (depending on the studio). Filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan are using celluloid for their movie projects. Continue reading Kodak Exec Unveils Plans to Keep Film Product in Hollywood

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