Autodesk Stingray, Ideal Program for Mid-Small Sized Studios

Autodesk has launched Stingray, a game engine with design tools targeting for smaller studies that are looking for customization without the need for excessive programming. The engine is equipped with node-based scripting tools, however it also offers Stingray’s C++ source code for companies looking for more customization. Stingray provides quicker feedback, and will be bundled with Maya LT to provide artists with a modeling and animation app. It will arrive for Windows beginning mid-August for $30 a month. Continue reading Autodesk Stingray, Ideal Program for Mid-Small Sized Studios

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

FCC Comments Site Slows After John Oliver’s Commentary

During Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight” on HBO, John Oliver devoted more than 13 minutes, nearly half his show, to explaining the FCC’s proposed Net neutrality rules in a humorous yet detailed fashion. Toward the end of the commentary, he passionately called upon Internet commenters to direct their “indiscriminate rage” toward the FCC’s online feedback system. Viewers responded, and the next day the FCC tweeted that its site was experiencing technical difficulties due to the heavy traffic. Continue reading FCC Comments Site Slows After John Oliver’s Commentary

Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Amazon.com announced yesterday that it has picked up two dramas, two comedies and two kids shows from the batch of 10 television pilots it was testing with viewers. Amazon considered feedback and ratings submitted by users, as it did with an earlier pilot season. However, this time twice as many viewers (more than two million) were involved with the process. While Amazon’s streaming service normally does not include ads, the pilots were sponsored by Geico so they could be available to all users, not just Prime subscribers. Continue reading Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Ev Williams Reimagines Online Writing with Launch of Medium

Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Blogger, is launching a startup called Medium to improve the way people write and collaborate online. The goal is to find a balance between traditional journalism, where professional editors help reporters publish articles, and modern journalism, where anyone can post anything online. Williams hopes to tackle the massive amount of articles and posts currently online, which makes it challenging for readers to decipher which information is important and accurate. Continue reading Ev Williams Reimagines Online Writing with Launch of Medium

Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

In an effort to attract more U.S. viewers, Paris-based online video site Dailymotion is pushing new original programming that it hopes will help the service compete with Google’s YouTube. Dailymotion plans to initially commit between $3 million and $4 million to produce up to six series this year that will include leading personalities from industries such as food, music and entertainment. The company is also courting U.S. firms as potential investors. Continue reading Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

Amazon Launches its Second Pilot Season with 10 New Shows

Amazon Studios is releasing its second batch of original pilots, all vying for the opportunity to become a series to be made available on Amazon’s Instant Video service. Viewers are encouraged to stream the 10 pilots at AmazonOriginals.com, write reviews and rate each show. Feedback will help the studio determine whether or not to commission a full season. The current batch includes five shows for children and five geared toward adults from the likes of Chris Carter, Roman Coppola and Jill Soloway. Continue reading Amazon Launches its Second Pilot Season with 10 New Shows

YouTube Nation: DreamWorks Produces Daily Highlight Show

YouTube is teaming up with DreamWorks Animation to produce its first daily program. The new short program, “YouTube Nation,” will be available on the YouTube Spotlight page. The show will highlight the most exciting content and creators on YouTube. This will give channels and videos an opportunity to grow and build a loyal audience. DreamWorks will be responsible for production of the show, while YouTube will oversee sales and marketing. Continue reading YouTube Nation: DreamWorks Produces Daily Highlight Show

CES Panel: Sixth Sense is Digital, Say Wearables Innovators

At a panel provocatively titled “The Sixth Sense is Digital,” several wearables pioneers gathered to discuss the evolving changes and direction of the burgeoning industry. NeuroSky CEO Stanley Yang started it off with a series of important questions: “First, you have to ask — do I need to wear anything? If I do, what’s helpful? After motion tracking, what do you do with it? Who can design the next wearable technology for the masses with the functions we need?” Continue reading CES Panel: Sixth Sense is Digital, Say Wearables Innovators

Amazon Preview: Viewers to Steer Movie Concepts, TV Pilots

Amazon Studios has launched a program that brings viewers into the development process. Amazon Preview asks consumers to view its pilots, test footage, concepts and storyboards to provide feedback on general interest and how to improve content. The program intends to help Amazon Studios carefully direct its resources and launch pilots that are better received. Amazon has already invited viewers to weigh in on its new shows, but the new program is an expanded, more selective effort. Continue reading Amazon Preview: Viewers to Steer Movie Concepts, TV Pilots

Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

The first of Amazon’s original series will debut this month, and the selection process by the retail giant for determining which shows made the cut is unlike any traditional decision-making most networks go through. Amazon is minimizing risk by assessing data outlining early viewership for a group of pilot episodes, and “Alpha House,” a political comedy written by “Doonesbury” comic strip creator Garry Trudeau and featuring John Goodman and Bill Murray, was the biggest hit. Continue reading Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

Disney Research has created a haptic, or touch feedback, system that uses bursts of air. The AIREAL system simulates touch, or tactile sensation, in three-dimensional empty space. The haptic feedback can be applied to countless applications and situations, and may offer new ways for users to interact with their devices. The concept is to make touchless experiences, such as motion and gesture control, a physical interaction. This will ultimately give the user a more natural, touch-like perception. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

Happy Holidays from the ETCentric Publishing Team

  • We’ve had a spectacular year at ETCentric and thank everyone in our community for your ongoing participation, generous support and helpful feedback.
  • ETCentric will not publish next week in order to migrate content to our new site and prepare for the Consumer Electronics Show. If there is any breaking news in the interim, we’ll be sure to provide you with an update.
  • In the meanwhile, we wish you and your families a joyous holiday season.
  • The new ETCentric site and The Daily Bullet email alert will return on January 2nd with an exciting redesign just in time for our live CES reporting from Las Vegas, January 7-11.
  • We look forward to providing you with the latest media tech news and opinion in 2013.

All About the Fans: NBC Revamps Apps Based on Audience Feedback

  • Just in time for the fall premiere season, NBC has updated two of its iPad apps. The network has enabled its NBC app to stream full episodes and has added new social features to its NBC Live second screen app.
  • The new NBC Live additions are based on lessons the network has learned about how viewers have been using the app.
  • They noticed, for example, that different shows (scripted, reality and live TV) produce different viewer interaction, which has helped the network decide which shows to focus on inside the app for the new season.
  • People expect to share comments on Facebook and Twitter, and log in via either service (features that have been added to the app).
  • Some users prefer if content and interaction (such as slideshows, video and polls) did not interrupt the app conversation, so the interface has been improved. They also found that during “The Voice” last season, fans wanted to vote for contestants via the app just like they could on NBC.com.
  • Vivi Zigler, president NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment says that there’s “an elegance” to building an app with a specific purpose.
  • As for whether NBC is considering TV Anywhere authentication like Fox, “at this point, it’s not part of the plan,” she said, explaining that NBCU’s distribution arm has been examining that approach.