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Deloitte: Consumer Views of Connected Devices Are Changing

U.S. consumers are consolidating their devices, eliminating outdated ones to make room for new ones that better serve their needs, according to the fourth annual Deloitte Connected Consumer survey. The study found that while 48 percent of consumers purchased a minimum of one new connected device this year, the average number of devices per household fell to 21 in 2023 from 25 in 2021, “when many loaded up on technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Although many consumers may be attempting to streamline their digital lives, they remain very interested in virtual experiences and tech innovation. Read more

Google Is Replacing Cookies with Privacy Sandbox in Chrome

Marching toward its goal of eliminating third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by the close of December 2024, Google has generally released its APIs for Privacy Sandbox, its privacy-oriented solution to cross-site consumer tracking cookies. The new system has begun shipping with the latest version of Chrome. The Privacy Sandbox tracks topics of interest based on browsing patterns and lets advertisers use that data to serve relevant ads. While clicking “got it” to close your first Sandbox pop-up activates the new system by default, it can be turned off by visiting the privacy settings. Read more

Roblox Adds Facial-Tracking Vid Chat, Expands to PlayStation

Roblox is adding an expressive, avatar-based video chat called Roblox Connect to its virtual world in an effort to keep its young user base engaged as it grows up while also potentially expanding its audience. “We’re essentially packaging a Hollywood-style motion capture studio into something that runs on a mobile phone or laptop — without the need for equipment or motion-tracking dots,” Roblox explains, pointing out that the device’s on-board camera is all that’s needed to capture facial motion and convey it in real time. Also, Roblox is is coming to PS4 and PS5 next month, while the company will allow game creators to sell 3D virtual goods. Read more

YouTube Connected TV Popularity Prompts Ad Break Testing

YouTube is increasingly popular among connected TV (CTV) viewers who no longer turn to the social video service only for music videos or one-off skits. YouTube says that in the U.S., 65 percent of CTV watch time is on content that is 21 minutes or longer. The shift has prompted the Google-owned platform to change its approach to display advertising. The company is experimenting with longer but fewer ad breaks and limiting creator control with regard to ad placement on new videos. A new countdown timer more prominently displays the time until an ad ends or can be skipped. Read more

Microsoft Copilot AI Customers Shielded from Legal Exposure

Microsoft says it will assume legal responsibility for commercial customers who get sued for copyright infringement as a result of the company’s AI Copilot product services. A new initiative called the Copilot Copyright Commitment is designed to provide peace of mind to Microsoft business users as more copyright holders challenge the handling of protected works by the companies building AI models. “If a third party sues a commercial customer for copyright infringement for using Microsoft’s Copilots or the output they generate, we will defend the customer” and pay any resulting fees, including settlements, Microsoft says. Read more

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