Pinterest Touts 30 Billion Pins, Sees Big Hit in Related Pins

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann announced during an event in San Francisco last week that users of the social visual discovery tool have created more than 750 million boards and contributed more than 30 billion Pins since Pinterest was founded in 2010. Acording to Silbermann, the number of Pins has grown by nearly 50 percent during the past six months, due in part to the introduction of Related Pins about a year ago. More than 90 percent of current Pins are connected to Related Pins. Continue reading Pinterest Touts 30 Billion Pins, Sees Big Hit in Related Pins

Facebook Splitting Instant Messaging Feature to Separate App

Facebook is beginning to split some of its features into separate apps, starting with extracting instant messaging from its mobile app. If users want to chat with each other through Facebook, they will have to download Facebook’s separate Messenger app. Facebook recently notified users of the change, and will be rolling it out over the next few weeks. This signals a change for the social giant, and critics suggest this sacrifice in user engagement could make Facebook lose users. Continue reading Facebook Splitting Instant Messaging Feature to Separate App

Instagram Improves Explore Tab for Personalized Experience

Instagram has redesigned its “Explore” tab to provide a more relevant experience for users, rather than showcase random pictures that receive a lot of global Likes. The Explore tab will now display the photos and videos “Liked” by individuals that a user is actively following. This personalization reflects Instagram’s focus on each user’s social graph, which contrasts with the approach by Vine that largely centers on re-sharing content and notable video creators. Continue reading Instagram Improves Explore Tab for Personalized Experience

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

New Twitter Redesign Emulates Facebook for Mainstream Appeal

Twitter profiles will receive a significant design overhaul in the coming weeks. Profile pages will include a large horizontal cover photo and a prominent profile picture, which are unmistakably similar to the look of Facebook profiles. The most popular tweets will also appear larger in the timeline and users can now pin a favorite tweet to the top of their page. Visitors to profiles will be able to filter timelines to include only tweets with photos, videos or replies. Continue reading New Twitter Redesign Emulates Facebook for Mainstream Appeal

Google and LG Partner on New Smartwatch for June Launch

After successful launches of the Nexus 4 and 5 smartphones, Google and LG are creating a new smartwatch which will likely debut at the Google I/O conference in June. Google will be responsible for creating the software and logistical aspects of the product launch, while LG will be in charge of manufacturing the product. Wearable technology continues to generate significant buzz; according to Juniper Research the market will be worth $19 billion by 2018. Continue reading Google and LG Partner on New Smartwatch for June Launch

Identifying Where Function Meets Fashion with New Wearables

At the Sports and Fitness Tech Summit, the focus was on wearables that combine function and fashion for optimum success. In a panel on Wearable Tech: Function Meets Fashion, panelists described their own successes. FitLinxx CEO David Monahan summed up his formula for successful deployment: “Can I blend it into my lifestyle? Second, is it relevant — does it give me behavioral change? The third piece is affordability. If you’re deploying devices to 50,000 people, price makes a big difference.” Continue reading Identifying Where Function Meets Fashion with New Wearables

Tobii: Eye-Tracking Controls Finally Coming to Video Games

Tobii announced its partnership with SteelSeries to bring eye tracking to video games with a new sensor bar and the EyeX engine. A prototype at CES demonstrated in-game navigation, menu selection and aiming by using nothing more than players’ eye movements. Developers can preorder the SDK now for delivery in March, and they’ll be able to designate standard mouse and keyboard functions to gaze controls. The device is expected to cost around $100. Continue reading Tobii: Eye-Tracking Controls Finally Coming to Video Games

Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

Google has released a Glass software update that includes some substantial new features. Update XE12 provides users with the ability to snap a photo with a discreet wink, adds a lock screen function for improved security, offers options for uploading Glass-shot videos directly to YouTube, and intros Hangouts integration for messaging and chatting with friends. Additionally, the Google Play Music app is available and the long-awaited MyGlass app for iOS is being rolled out. Continue reading Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

Google Launches In-App Search, Retains Control of Android

Just when it looked like Samsung was taking over Android, Google swooped in with a new in-app search function, as well as app content in mobile search results, for Android users. In the next few days or so, the features will be available not only for phones using the recently released Android 4.4, or Kit Kat, but also for older Android models within Google’s Search app. Google partnered up with Expedia, Trulia, Etsy and about nine other apps for the launch. Continue reading Google Launches In-App Search, Retains Control of Android