LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

LeapFrog Enterprises plans to launch its $150 kid-friendly LeapTV game console this fall. The twist? LeapTV will debut with 100 games and videos approved by professional educators, those who ideally know what is best for children. The console will include personalization features and motion-sensing controls similar to those introduced with Nintendo’s Wii. Games will target children ages 3 to 8. At launch there will be nine cartridge titles offered, with additional titles available digitally. Continue reading LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

Mozilla to Take On Chromecast with Firefox Streaming Stick

Mozilla has been quietly working with a partner on a Firefox OS-powered streaming media dongle that could compete with Google’s Chromecast. While the device does not yet have a name, it has been shared with a small group of developers, and photos have leaked via Twitter. GigaOM obtained a prototype that it says works similarly to Chromecast, even running some of its apps. And since Firefox OS is an open platform, the device may not have some of the same restrictions as Chromecast. Continue reading Mozilla to Take On Chromecast with Firefox Streaming Stick

Amazon Releases App Figures in Preparation for Launch Event

Following several hardware launches over the past year, including new Kindle Fire tablets and its Fire TV streaming box, Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone during a launch event in Seattle on Wednesday. To generate buzz, the company posted a YouTube video about a mysterious new product and announced that the number of apps in its Appstore nearly tripled over the past year. More than 240,000 apps are now available, and Amazon claims developers can make more money with its apps. Continue reading Amazon Releases App Figures in Preparation for Launch Event

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

UPS: Free Shipping Attracts More Online Shopping Customers

UPS’s “Pulse of the Online Shopper” survey shows that 93 percent of customers are willing to take some action in order to qualify for free shipping. Not only will people do more to get free shipping, but 58 percent have also cancelled orders because shipping costs were too much, with 50 percent doing the same because the shipping wasn’t free. Along with attraction to free shipping, there has also been a 12 percent increase in the amount of people that have returned an item.

Continue reading UPS: Free Shipping Attracts More Online Shopping Customers

Samsung and Oculus Collaborate on Virtual Reality Headset

Engadget has an update to the recent reports of Samsung working on an unannounced virtual reality headset. Samsung is reportedly working with Facebook-owned Oculus VR on a media-focused headset. Samsung is working on the hardware side of the product, including next-gen OLED screens, while Oculus is handling the software side. The headset will be navigated via motion and voice, using either a paired game controller or as a standalone device. Continue reading Samsung and Oculus Collaborate on Virtual Reality Headset

Internet Trends Report: Overall Growth Slows, Mobile on Rise

It’s that time of year again. Mary Meeker, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, presented her annual report on Internet trends at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Wednesday. Meeker noted that growth in Internet usage was slowing, but overall mobile data consumption (pushed by video) is up 81 percent, due to the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones. While mobile accounted for 14 percent of Web usage last year, it is up to 25 percent today. Continue reading Internet Trends Report: Overall Growth Slows, Mobile on Rise

Forrester Sees Growth in Use of Big Data Despite Confusion

In a survey of 259 marketing and business development execs in finance, retail and consumer products, Forrester Research found that one-third of the respondents were confused about big data, and only 9 percent plan to implement related technologies in the next year. Forrester also found in a parallel survey that 452 technology execs at the same companies claimed they were more familiar with big data. Despite the confusion, the report encourages companies to take advantage of data supplied by Internet users and connected devices.

Continue reading Forrester Sees Growth in Use of Big Data Despite Confusion

Samsung Developing Virtual Reality Headset for Video Games

Later this year, Samsung is reportedly planning to announce a virtual reality headset that will work with Galaxy phones and tablets. The headset with OLED screen is designed to provide gamers with a more immersive experience for Android-based video games. Facebook and Sony have been developing their own VR headsets with the much-hyped Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, but Samsung hopes to offer its product before the competition and at a lower price. Continue reading Samsung Developing Virtual Reality Headset for Video Games

New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Samsung is expanding its smartwatch offering to include a smart watch-phone that can send and receive calls without the need for a separate smartphone. The new Tizen device, which the company hopes to unveil this summer, will also feature a camera, GPS, email management, Bluetooth and heart rate monitor. Samsung also filed a patent last week that details another smartphone project, which includes a camera that can be operated by touchless gestures. Continue reading New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Energous and Witricity have developed new ways to charge smartphones, tablets and other small devices without needing wires to plug them into an outlet. Energous’ WattUp technology allows users to recharge phones in special cases or receivers that can pick up signals from a transmitter that is plugged in more than 10 feet away. Toyota and TDK are already planning to utilize Witricity’s wireless charging technology in upcoming hybrid and electric cars, and car batteries. Continue reading Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Sony, Panasonic May Team Up for Mobile Panel Tech Venture

Sony and Panasonic are reportedly in early discussions to create a joint venture in next-gen panel tech for mobile devices with key Apple supplier Japan Display Inc. While OLED tech for TVs has been a pursuit of numerous companies, LG and Samsung have led the charge for smaller screens in mobile devices. According to people familiar with the matter, Japanese manufacturers hope they can compete with their Korean rivals in smaller panels through the new joint venture. Continue reading Sony, Panasonic May Team Up for Mobile Panel Tech Venture

House Passes USA Freedom Act to Curb NSA Surveillance

Late last week the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that is intended to bring an end to the National Security Agency’s bulk phone records program. The USA Freedom Act is designed to restrict the federal government’s ability to collect records about citizens in bulk, a program that had sparked debate regarding privacy and civil liberties. The House voted 303-to-121 in support of the USA Freedom Act, which could signal a change in how both political parties view the power of the NSA. Continue reading House Passes USA Freedom Act to Curb NSA Surveillance

ESPN Studio Integrates Video Displays and Online Features

“SportsCenter,” ESPN’s flagship news and highlights show, will start broadcasting from a new 10,000 square-foot studio in Bristol, Connecticut called Digital Center 2 next month. Digital Center 2 features a whopping 114 video displays, which anchors can manipulate on-air using tablets. Viewers can also interact with the new studio by submitting tweets that will appear in real time and using online features seen in the show, such as the “hot and cold zone” baseball player display. Continue reading ESPN Studio Integrates Video Displays and Online Features

NPD Reports Consumer Satisfaction with UltraViolet Service

According to a new study from NPD Group based on a survey conducted in February, 82 percent of consumers who currently have an UltraViolet account plan to continue using the digital locker service in the future. The NPD study also found that UltraViolet users were about 11 times more likely to make an electronic sell-through movie purchase than other consumers in the last year. UltraViolet launched in 2011, and there are now more than 16 million accounts. Continue reading NPD Reports Consumer Satisfaction with UltraViolet Service

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