Tech Firms Launch New Foundation to Create IoT Standards

Tech companies including Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Samsung have formed a new group with plans to develop standards for the burgeoning Internet of Things industry. The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) is charged with creating “IoT solutions and devices that work seamlessly together.” (OCF will replace the Open Interconnect Consortium that was formed in 2014.) “We believe that fragmentation is the enemy of IoT,” said Qualcomm exec Michael Wallace. Other founding members include ARRIS, CableLabs, Electrolux and GE Digital. Continue reading Tech Firms Launch New Foundation to Create IoT Standards

Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

Nielsen has served as the leading name in measuring TV ratings, but now the 93-year old company faces new competition. That’s because media measurement companies comScore and Rentrak have merged in a $768 million deal. ComScore, founded in 1999, specializes in measuring use of digital media, and Rentrak relies on data from set-top boxes to formulate TV ratings. Nielsen has launched new products in an attempt to evolve beyond its paper diary beginnings, but numerous critics in the TV industry are eager for an alternative. Continue reading Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

CES: Virtual Reality Has Young Adults Cautiously Optimistic

The second wave of virtual reality is here, and with it comes a burst of awareness and interest from young adults. The edgy and experimental virtual reality projects of the mid-90’s have given way to the consumer, with many news outlets billing 2016 as the “year of virtual reality.” I call out the two waves of virtual reality because many people in their early to mid twenties have no idea that the first wave ever happened, though the aesthetics, anxieties, and excitement that it produced seem to have carried into the modern perception of what virtual reality is today. Continue reading CES: Virtual Reality Has Young Adults Cautiously Optimistic

CES 2016: ETC Begins Show Coverage with December Previews

ETC coverage of the upcoming 2016 CES begins on December 7 with a 3-week series of previews on the top trends and technologies expected to be on display. CES, presented by the newly re-named Consumer Technology Association (formerly CEA), runs from January 4-9 in Las Vegas. At CES, ETC will have a team of dedicated reporters and analysts preparing twice daily email briefs and delivering breaking news as it happens. Following the show, ETC publishes a comprehensive report that distills from the massive trade event the key themes most likely to impact the media and entertainment industry. Continue reading CES 2016: ETC Begins Show Coverage with December Previews

CTA Predicts Decline in CE Sales Growth This Holiday Season

During last week’s CES Unveiled event in New York, the newly named Consumer Technology Association (former Consumer Electronics Association) released its annual holiday purchase pattern study. According to Shawn DuBravac, CTA’s chief economist and senior research director, consumer electronics will have a strong showing this holiday season, but spending is expected to shift from high-end TVs to less expensive audio devices, mobile electronics and emerging technologies. The shift is expected to result in a drag on industry sales growth. Continue reading CTA Predicts Decline in CE Sales Growth This Holiday Season

CEA Announces New Name: Consumer Technology Association

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which represents more than 2,200 technology companies, announced yesterday that its new name is the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Replacing “electronics” with “technology” is meant to address an evolving consumer tech industry and more accurately reflect the diverse member companies. The change will take place immediately. The new name and logo were introduced in New York City at CES Unveiled, a “sneak peek” event that provides highlights of what’s to come at January’s CES 2016, which is produced by the CTA. Continue reading CEA Announces New Name: Consumer Technology Association

Besieged Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to Step Down This Month

Twitter announced that CEO Dick Costolo plans to leave the company at the end of the month. Co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey will serve as interim CEO starting July 1 until a successor is found. Twitter shares jumped eight percent following the announcement. Since the company went public in 2013, Twitter has experienced numerous challenges, including an effective means of attracting new users and developing revenue streams based on advertising. Some are speculating that Twitter is ripe for acquisition, with Google listed as one of the interested parties. Continue reading Besieged Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to Step Down This Month

Quanergy to Deliver Low Cost Sensors for Self-Driving Vehicles

Today, the costs associated with implementing a light detection and ranging sensor — or LIDAR — for a self-driving car are rather expensive, ranging anywhere between $8,000 to $80,000. Silicon Valley startup Quanergy Systems however, claims it will soon be able to offer those same sensors at a significantly lower cost. By next year, the company plans to release a LIDAR no bigger than a credit card with a price tag of about $250. Quanergy hopes to release a postage stamp-sized version by 2018 for $100 or less. Continue reading Quanergy to Deliver Low Cost Sensors for Self-Driving Vehicles

DTS:X is a New Immersive Sound System for Movie Theaters

Audio technology company DTS will join Dolby and Barco in bringing object-based immersive sound systems to cinemas. The company already offers its DTS:X system for home theaters, but now DTS is delivering its tech to commercial theaters with a lower entry cost than rival systems. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the DTS:X system is lower in cost since theaters can start with just a few additional speakers and a supported server. About 350 DTS:X system installations are scheduled for this summer in Asia. Continue reading DTS:X is a New Immersive Sound System for Movie Theaters

Dish Goes National with Sling TV Service, Adds AMC Networks

Dish Network’s new Sling TV service is transitioning from its invitation-only beta phase to public availability, starting at $20 per month (various add-ons are available for $5 each per month). Unveiled during CES, the pay TV service features access to channels ranging from ABC Family, CNN and the Disney Channel — to ESPN, TBS and TNT. It also includes access to a VOD library, the WatchESPN app, and content from Maker Studios. Yesterday, the company announced that AMC Networks would become another programming partner. Continue reading Dish Goes National with Sling TV Service, Adds AMC Networks

“Assassin’s Creed Rogue” Game Integrates Eye Tracking Tech

The developers of “Assassin’s Creed” have teamed up with Tobii Tech to provide gamers with the ability to control the camera in the game with their natural eye movement. Tobii Tech calls it an “infinite screen” experience, tracking the user’s gaze at 50 frames per second. Users don’t have to even move their mouse to get the camera to pan or click pause when they look away from the screen. The “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” PC game will be one of the first to include this new technology when it launches early next month. Continue reading “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” Game Integrates Eye Tracking Tech

HP Developing AR and 3D for Interactive Tablets and Laptops

Hewlett-Packard is reportedly planning to introduce augmented reality and 3D technologies to tablets and laptops to provide consumers with a more immersive mobile computing experience. In addition to interaction between mobile devices and 3D printers, HP intends to bring AR to real-world applications. HP’s Sprout desktop PC, featuring Intel’s 3D RealSense camera, enables scanning and 3D printing. At CES last month, the company also touted its 23.6-inch Zvr virtual reality monitor that projects 3D images. Continue reading HP Developing AR and 3D for Interactive Tablets and Laptops

Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

During CES, Dish announced its $20 per month, OTT subscription service that provides access to Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, and YouTube videos from Maker Studios. Sling TV could finally help position the enormously popular YouTube content at the same advertising value as television. Advertisers would be able to reach the younger demographic that increasingly watches less television, while multi-channel networks like Maker Studios may grow in value. Continue reading Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

UltraFlix Aims to Become Your Choice for Streaming 4K Content

NanoTech Entertainment is hoping that its 4K movie-streaming service, UltraFlix, will become the Netflix of Ultra HD. However, its immediate obstacle is a lack of 4K content, which is expected to change now that more companies are embracing the format. Consumers who already purchased a 4K smart TV from Hisense, Samsung, Sony or Vizio likely already have the UltraFlix app (next up is LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba, according to NanoTech). Competing with Netflix and Amazon could prove an additional obstacle. Continue reading UltraFlix Aims to Become Your Choice for Streaming 4K Content

Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Online streaming continues to make headlines — from notable CES announcements (including upcoming HDR support from Netflix) to Golden Globe wins for “Transparent” and “House of Cards.” In the wake of Amazon unveiling its full lineup for the next pilot season and Netflix revealing a planned reboot for cult comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” it looks like Woody Allen fans may also have a reason to celebrate. The iconic writer, director and performer has been tapped to create his first series, which will premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video. Continue reading Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

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