Google Play Adds Songza Playlists for its Music Subscribers

Subscribers to Google Play Music All Access will now be able to pick from activity-based Internet radio stations powered by Songza. Songza curates Internet radio offerings based on time of day and activities. Google acquired Songza back in July, but this is the first time it has integrated Songza’s offerings. The tech giant is playing catch-up in the Internet radio business to iHeartRadio, Slacker, Beats Music and Spotify, which already offer activity-based music playlists. Continue reading Google Play Adds Songza Playlists for its Music Subscribers

Instagram’s Audience Engagement is Triple That of Facebook

Social media shop Shareablee discovered that marketers are very active on Instagram, despite the fact that most cannot run ads on the photo- and video-sharing service yet. During the second quarter, Instagram had 56 percent more total actions than Facebook. While Instagram is four years old, and Facebook went live in 2004, it is not surprising that the brand activity is growing much faster on the mobile app. However, Instagram is also bringing in three times the engagement per post. Continue reading Instagram’s Audience Engagement is Triple That of Facebook

Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

Google Fit, a health data aggregation service, is expected to launch at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco next week. The service will compete with Apple’s new HealthKit app framework, which launched last week. It will also compete with Samsung’s Sami, a similar biometric data platform. Google Fit aims to store data from wearable activity tracking devices — including Fitbit, Jawbone UP and Nike FuelBand — along with the related smartphone apps.

Continue reading Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

Nielsen Breaks Down Rankings of TV-Related Twitter Activity

In the 2013-2014 television season, CBS had five of the top ten broadcast shows, but none of them were among the top ten most-tweeted, possibly because it has the oldest median viewer age. In a report released by Nielsen Social, “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” were the two top series on Twitter over the last year, with “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Bachelor” and “Game of Thrones” following close behind. The ranking includes specials and moments that engaged the most fans. Continue reading Nielsen Breaks Down Rankings of TV-Related Twitter Activity

Facebook Acquires Fitness App, Could Develop Wearable Tech

Facebook recently purchased ProtoGeo Oy, the maker of a fitness-tracking smartphone app called Moves. The app, which already has been downloaded more than 4 four million times on iPhone and Android, uses data from the phone’s accelerometer to automatically record the user’s walking, cycling, and running activity, and displays statistics on distance and calories burned. The acquisition could be Facebook’s first step into eventually developing wearable smartwatches. Continue reading Facebook Acquires Fitness App, Could Develop Wearable Tech

Nielsen and comScore Initiatives Highlight Focus on Mobile

Marketers are still seeking better tools for tracking advertising data as they continue to experiment with approaches to mobile. Measurement firms Nielsen and comScore both made recent announcements regarding related initiatives. Nielsen is partnering with digital ad-sales firms BrightRoll and TubeMogul for a tech trial before expanding its Online Campaign Ratings to mobile, while comScore is expanding its Validated Campaign Essentials measurement product to track ads that appear on phones and tablets. Continue reading Nielsen and comScore Initiatives Highlight Focus on Mobile

Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Stanford engineers have created the next step in interactive gaming — a video game controller that can sense a player’s emotions. The handheld game controller can monitor a player’s brain activity to decipher when a user is extremely engaged or bored, which could trigger zombies or another element of the game to be thrown at them to catch their attention. Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, created a prototype controller in his lab in collaboration with Texas Instruments. Continue reading Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

According to a new survey from Harris Interactive, a significant number of consumers are being more careful with online activities in the year since Edward Snowden revealed information about NSA phone and Internet surveillance. Among the poll’s findings, Harris learned that 33 percent of those 18 to 34 said they were doing less online shopping, 29 percent of people in the same age group said they had reduced online banking activity, and 24 percent of overall respondents explained they were “less inclined to use email.”

Continue reading Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science

Intel confirmed yesterday that it has acquired Basis Science, a San Francisco-based startup that makes a $199 health-tracking wristband known as the Basis Band. The device — which tracks sleep, heart rate, calories and steps — syncs with iOS and some Android devices via Bluetooth. Up to this point, the Basis Band device has used Texas Instruments chips. Intel has bigger plans than merely supplying processors, and the acquisition could be the first step toward entering the wearables market more directly. Continue reading Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science

Viewers Pick Up New Shows After Seeing TV-Related Tweets

Fox, Twitter, and the Advertising Research Foundation recently released a study that suggests people are likely to pick up a new series or start watching a show they previously stopped following after seeing related tweets. The study found that when people remember seeing a TV-related tweet, they are likely to take immediate action. The study included 12,577 people who were recruited on Twitter, and were surveyed within 24 hours of primetime Twitter activity. Continue reading Viewers Pick Up New Shows After Seeing TV-Related Tweets

Rovi Team Experiments with Brainwaves Project to Control TV

Through its cloud-based platform, Rovi powers digital entertainment solutions in discovery and personalization for leading brands. A small band of dreamers at Rovi demonstrated an experimental project at the guide makers exhibit at Caesar’s Palace during CES. Using a headset that monitors both brainwaves and nearby nerve activity, after a short training period it was possible to go from watching TV to the guide with a literal blink of the eyes, and then select a new program with a bit of concentration on the guide. Continue reading Rovi Team Experiments with Brainwaves Project to Control TV

Wearables Waiting For a Killer App to Take Them Mainstream

Considering a mere five percent of U.S. consumers wear activity trackers, will wearables ever cross-over to the mainstream? Even the experts in this field have trouble agreeing. Steven Pierce, of IBM’s global business development, said we’ll have ten devices on our bodies very soon. “Wearables will be the key source of information in five years,” he said, listing implantables and injectables as future wearables. But Sonny Vu, founder of Misfit Wearables, disagreed. “Five years isn’t that far away,” he said. “I don’t think science will advance that fast.” Continue reading Wearables Waiting For a Killer App to Take Them Mainstream

Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

A new version of the DryCASE for smartphones and larger sizes for tablets was introduced at CES by Dry Corp. If you grew up by the sand and water you’ll appreciate how this crystal clear vacuum bag can both protect your phone from the elements and save it from a watery grave. Learning the hard way that anything in a pocket seems destined to end up 100 feet below the surface, this case and it’s armband supply both protection and flotation. So even if it’s not stowed on your arm it will bob to the surface. Continue reading Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

Nabu: Razer’s First Wearable Wins CES People’s Choice Award

How would you like to exchange LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter connections with a simple handshake? You can do that now with Razer’s Nabu, the company’s first wearable device. CES attendees responded enthusiastically, giving it the People’s Choice Award. The win was among finalists in 13 categories, including Best Startup, Best Automotive Electronic Device, Best Video and Best Software, and accounted for nearly 50 percent of the total 54,511 Engadget reader votes. Continue reading Nabu: Razer’s First Wearable Wins CES People’s Choice Award

CEA: Fitness Wearables to Become $1 Billion Industry in 2014

The fitness wearables market is booming. “We see this becoming a $1 billion industry in 2014,” said CEA Senior Research Analyst Kevin Tillmann during a CE Research Summit session. 2013 numbers were up 32 percent over 2012’s market, which was valued at $648 million. The 2012 market showed significant growth of 170 percent from 2011. The wrist is the ideal place for a fitness wearable, according to the vast majority of consumers polled by the Consumer Electronics Association. Continue reading CEA: Fitness Wearables to Become $1 Billion Industry in 2014